Who Murdered Bonnie Craig?
And a mother’s fight to change the law for felony arrest DNA collection
How does a mother cope when she learns someone murdered her daughter, and she knows terror and pain must have marked the last moments of her child’s life? The book Justice for Bonnie deals with this issue. The well-written book profiles a mother’s fight to learn the truth about what happened to her daughter.
Karen Foster and her boyfriend, Jim, had been looking forward to a Florida getaway for several months. Jim worked as a firefighter and paramedic in Anchorage, and Karen was a real estate agent and a volunteer reserve undercover police officer. When Jim’s brother, Ken, called to tell them he was getting married in Florida, Karen and Jim began planning their trip. Karen’s three youngest kids, Samantha,12, Adam, 13, and Bonnie, 18 would stay with Karen’s ex-husband, Gary. Her oldest son, Jason, 20, lived on his own. Jim also had three kids who would stay with his ex-wife while he and Karen were in Florida.
Karen’s oldest daughter, Bonnie, was a full-time college student at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, and she was very responsible. Karen knew she would be there to help watch over the younger kids if necessary. Karen and Jim felt they had nothing to worry about, and they planned to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine for a few days. They arrived in Florida on September 26, 1994, and they rented a sailboat and sailed from St. Petersburg to the tiny town of St. Marks.
On September 28, after a pleasant dinner with Jim’s brother, Ken, and other members of Jim’s family, Jim and Karen returned to their boat and headed for their bunks. Footsteps on the deck awakened Karen at 3:00 am. She heard a knock and opened the companionway to see Ken’s grim face. Only half awake, Karen could not understand why Ken had driven back to the marina.
Ken looked into Karen’s eyes, his own eyes misting with tears. He then broke the terrible news. Bonnie was dead. She died in a hiking accident. Karen reacted with anger and disbelief, but Ken handed her a scrap of paper. On it, he had scribbled an Alaska phone number and a state trooper’s name. Jim walked Karen to a pay phone and dialed the number for her. She was connected with Sergeant Mike Marrs of the Alaska State…