|“||There I was with the Manson women and Carol Bundy. All I could think was, what the hell have I done? This isn't me.||”|
Absolutely no specific information has been revealed about Compton's early history, other than she became an actress and playwright and that she developed a drug-induced psychosis along with a fascination for serial killers. At twenty-something years old, she wrote a screenplay titled The Mutilated Cutter, which was about a female serial killer, and sent Kenneth Bianchi, one of the two killers collectively referred to as The Hillside Strangler, a copy of the script, hoping to gain his opinion about it. The two began to talk and eventually discuss their murderous fantasies, similar to one another's in nature, and Compton fell in love with Bianchi. Bianchi took advantage of the relationship, hoping that he could convince authorities that the real Hillside Strangler was still on the loose. He invited Compton to visit him in prison, and he smuggled to her a plastic glove with a sample of his semen in it, instructing her to copycat a Hillside Strangler murder and plant the semen in the victim. Compton obeyed and went to Bellingham, Washington, with the semen in hand.
Using the alias "Karen", Compton selected her victim, 26-year-old Kim Breed, in a Bellingham tavern at around 10:00 p.m. The two stayed together for a prolonged time, during which Compton accompanied Breed as she did some grocery shopping and she went home to feed her children. Afterward, they drank, did cocaine, and danced with some of Breed's friends. Compton then invited Breed to take a final drink in her room at the Shangri-La Motel, where she was staying; Breed accepted the offer. Compton then bound and attempted to kill Breed, but after a struggle, her would-be victim escaped and alerted a friend. Compton fled, taking a flight to San Francisco, California. However, upon arriving, she became hysterical and caused a scene in the airport. Compton also sent a letter and a tape to Bellingham authorities, claiming that Bianchi was innocent and pointing to the strangling attempt as proof that the real Hillside Strangler was still on the loose.
Police were soon able to connect the police report of the attempted copycat murder to the scene Compton brought up at the airport. She was arrested, convicted in Washington, and sentenced to prison with no chance of parole until 1994. Though Bianchi continued to write to her, Compton lost interest in him and fell in love with another serial killer, Douglas Daniel Clark, who, along with his wife and partner Carol M. Bundy, killed and decapitated seven women, mostly prostitutes, in Los Angeles, California; he was sentenced to death row. Clark sent her a Valentine's Day-style letter with the photo of a headless female corpse, and the two began to write to each other until sometime in 1988. In 2003, Compton was released from prison after completing her sentence and hasn't been heard of since.
In the attempt to copycat a Hillside Strangler murder, Compton tied Breed's hands behind her and tried to strangle her with a cord twice. She intended to plant some of Bianchi's semen into the victim after killing her, but she had no chance to do it.
- 1980, Bellingham, Washington: Kim Breed, 26 (bound and attempted to strangle)
On Criminal Minds
- Season Three
- "Doubt" - Compton was mentioned alongside Bianchi and may have been an inspiration for Anna Begley - Both women were in the same age range, developed a fixation on a male murderer, and attacked a woman using the killer's M.O. in order to convince authorities to release the object of their obsessions under the pretense that he was innocent (although Begley was successful and Compton failed).
- Season Four
- "The Angel Maker" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Compton appears to have been an inspiration for both Chloe Kelcher and Shara Carlino - All were infatuated with a male serial killer who killed women, and attempted to replicate their crimes (though Compton and Carlino failed). Both Compton and Kelcher even went as far as to acquire semen from their idolized serial killers (though for different reasons).
- Compton may have also been an inspiration for Rachel Lancroft in Suspect Behavior.
- TruTV page about Compton (pg. 16)
- Angelfire page about Compton
- 1980 article about Compton's arrest on the Observer-Reporter
- Team Killers: A comparative study of collaborative criminals (2001)
- Letters from prison: Voices of women murderers (2007)