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Savage murders of Bodhi Potter and Christopher Thompson by Collin McGlaughlin examined on ID

Profile pics of Bodhi Potter and Christopher Thompson
Bodhi Potter and Christopher Thompson were high school sweethearts who were gunned down in the Californian desert by Collin McGlaughlin. Pic credit: Family pics/Police handout

Dead Silent is investigating the tragic murders of Bodhisattva “Bodhi” Sherzer Potter and her boyfriend Christopher Cody Thompson at an abandoned Airforce bunker near Barstow, southern California, in 2008.

The 16-year-old Potter and 18-year-old Thompson had spent a night attending a friend’s birthday party at the bunker and were still there the following morning of January 5, 2008, when Collin Lee McGlaughlin gunned them down.

Two accomplices aided McGlaughlin in the execution-style murders; his buddies, David Brian Smith, and Cameron Thomson.

The night before the murders, the three killers had asked the partying teenagers if they could join in on the festivities, and they were graciously welcomed to hang out with the rest of the group.

However, at about 4 am, McGlaughlin and Smith ordered Potter and Thompson out of their Jeep (the last car to leave the party) and marched them into the desert. They then forced the high school sweethearts onto their knees, and McGlaughlin blasted the pair with a shotgun.

It is believed that Smith may have fired one of the shots, and Thomson is thought to have kept watch.

McGlaughlin murdered ‘for fun’

The motive for the killing is unclear. Robbery is thought to have been a motivating factor, but investigators believe the real motive was actually “for fun.”

McGlaughlin was viewed by many as a ticking timebomb. He seemed to have had a fascination with killing people at random. His own family was reportedly scared of him, and his father kept his guns locked up to stop them from falling into his hands.

While in prison, he reportedly bragged that killing Potter and Thompson had been an “adrenaline rush.” He initially pleaded innocent due to insanity, but the authorities ruled him fit to stand trial after two years.

In January 2014, McGlaughlin was convicted of two counts of murder, two counts of attempted robbery, and two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In 2016, Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder and was sentenced to two terms of 25 years to life in prison, with eligibility for parole in 16 years.

Thomson had already admitted his role in the murders in 2011 and had agreed to testify against the other two defendants. He was sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

More from Dead Silent

Follow the links to read about more horrifying crimes profiled on Dead Silent.

Roylynn Rides Horse was been giving a ride home by Jo Whitman and Dimarzio Sanchez when the group got into an argument that escalated out of control. Rides Horse was brutally beaten, strangled, and set on fire before being left for dead on a remote section of an Indian Reservation in Montana.

Richard Cobb and Beunka Adams held up a convenience store in Rusk, Texas, and kidnapped two clerks Candace Driver and Nikki Ansley, and customer Kenneth Vandever. After raping Driver, they blasted their three victims with a shotgun.

Dead Silent airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.

Jerry Brown


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