Dale Bundy

Stark County, Ohio
Date of Crime:  November 23, 1956

Harry Dale Bundy was convicted of murdering Reynold P. Amodio during a holdup of the County Line Market north of Uniontown. Amodio was the store manager. A clerk, Paul E. Cain, was also killed.  In Feb. 1957, a few months after the crime, Bundy's friend and former co-worker, Russell T. McCoy, visited him when he was working the night shift at a Zanesville plant. McCoy asked Bundy for a loan and told him he had just murdered the people he lived with. Bundy did not believe McCoy's story and told him to go home. McCoy, age 22, then threatened Bundy, age 39, with a gun and told him not to repeat what he heard.

The next afternoon when Bundy read in the local paper about the suspected arson deaths of McCoy's living companions, he told police of his early morning conversation with McCoy. The victims were McCoy's half-sister, Louise See, and her husband, Lloyd See. They were shot inside their home and their home was subsequently set ablaze. The Sees had reared McCoy since the age of three. McCoy subsequently held up three stores in Columbus, OH, 50 miles distant, then departed for Amarillo, TX. Eight days later he was back in Ohio looking for Bundy, but turned himself in to police after another two days. Once in custody McCoy confessed to the murders of the Sees and also confessed to complicity in the holdup murders of Amodio and Cain. McCoy said Bundy accompanied him in the holdup and that Bundy had shot Amodio to death These murders occurred in Nov. 1956.

McCoy repeated his testimony at Bundy's trial. Bundy said he was in a Canton tavern during the holdup murders and that he would not have turned in McCoy for the See murders if McCoy had had something on him. Bundy had been convicted of robbery seventeen years earlier. A fourteen-year-old schoolgirl customer of Amodio's store identified Bundy as a man she had seen in the store. Bundy's defense presented three alibi witnesses plus a fourth witness who testified that the schoolgirl told him she had seen Bundy's picture in a newspaper before identifying him. Bundy was sentenced to death.

Following Bundy's conviction, a woman customer of Amodio's store came forward and said that McCoy alone committed the holdup and that neither Bundy nor the schoolgirl witness were present. This woman's name had been withheld from Bundy's defense. Other witnesses also came forward to deny the schoolgirl's testimony and to provide additional alibi testimony for Bundy. Bundy's appeals based on the new evidence were denied and his execution was set for Nov. 1957.

Just days before Bundy's scheduled execution, Norma Brajnovic, an Amarillo, TX liquor store owner, happened to read a story about Bundy's conviction in a true crime magazine. From a photo in the story she recognized McCoy as a man with whom she had an unusual conversation months before. During their conversation Brajnovic asked McCoy if he had any friends in Amarillo. McCoy replied, “No, I don't have a friend anywhere. I did have one friend, but he turned against me.” When Brajnovic suggested McCoy could make new friends, McCoy replied, “It's too late for that. I have already killed four people and I am going to kill another one, but this one will be legal.” Brajnovic then told McCoy there was no such thing as legal murder. McCoy replied, “There will be. I am going to have the law do it for me.”

The Ohio Court of Appeals stayed Bundy's execution after it received a special delivery letter from Brajnovic detailing her conversation. Following a hearing, Bundy was granted a new trial. At the new trial in June 1958, all the new evidence was presented and Bundy was acquitted.  [7/09]


References:  The Innocents, In Spite of Innocence

Posted in:  Victims of the State, Eastern Ohio Cases, Favorite Case Stories