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Murder Victim's Sister Describes 'Living Hell' As Trial Begins For Her 1980 Killing

Stephanie Mullen testified about her slain sister Suzanne Bombardier as the murder trial for the teen's alleged killer Mitchell Lynn Bacom begins.

By Gina Tron
Trial Begins For Suzanne Bombardier's 1980 Murder

The sister of a California murder victim took the stand this week to describe the last time she saw her sibling before she was kidnapped and murdered and the harrowing moments that followed.

“I didn’t know that was the last time I would see her,” Stephanie Mullen testified on Monday, referring to her 14-year-old sister Suzanne Bombardier, Bay Area News Group reports.

Mullen kicked off the trial as the first witness for the prosecution against Mitchell Lynn Bacom, who is accused of kidnapping and killing Bombardier in 1980.

Mullen was the last loved one to see Bombardier alive; Bombardier arrived at her sister’s home to babysit Mullen’s kids that night, holding a sewing kid and overnight bag, her older sister recalled. When returned from working a night shift, Bombardier was gone. 

"They [her children] came down and said, ‘Mom, Suzie’s not here,'” Mullen said. “I ran out and started calling her name.”

From there, she said her family went through "living hell."

Suzanne Bombardier

Bombardier wasn’t found until four days later when her body was discovered along the Antioch River. Somebody had raped her and stabbed her once in the chest.

That somebody, according to the prosecution, is Bacom, whom Mullen had dated briefly. He was arrested in 2017 after DNA linked him to her death; he'd previously been questioned in the original investigation in 1980. Bacom, now 67, has been convicted of sex offenses twice in the past, including a 1981 conviction for raping a minor under the age of 14.

“I'm just glad it's [the trial has] started. It's been a long time coming,” Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons, who was credited for assisting in the 2017 break in the case, told Oxygen.com on Tuesday. “Suzie’s sister was very brave and I am proud of her.”

Mullen testified on Monday that she regrets not hugging her sister that night. She also recalled the moments in which her family was told Bombardier was murdered.

“My mom passed out and fell on the floor,” Mullen testified, according to the Bay Area Newsgroup. “And about an hour later, (Suzanne’s) report card got there. All A-pluses.”

Cynthia Scofield, Bacom’s public defender, said in her opening remarks that she will argue that another man that Mullen dated is responsible for the murder. She said that man showed up at her home that day, intoxicated and begging for another chance. 

Scofield has previously argued in 2019 that it’s possible that her client may have had sexual contact with the victim after she died, not before.

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