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June 16, 2009

Remembering Angela Bugay, a little girl murdered long ago ... On the day we learned her killer apparently took his own life on San Quentin's Death Row

The gravestone in the Meditation section at Oakmont Memorial Park in Pleasant Hill reads:

In Loving Memory of Our Little Angel: Angela Jane Bugay, March 6, 1978 - November 1983

I visited Angela's gravesite about a month ago, for rather convoluted reasons which you can read here in my story Crime Degrees of Separation. Among other things, this story looks back at the death of 5-year-old Angela Bugay. In November 1983, Angela disappeared from the Antioch apartment complex where she lived with her single mom and little brother. Her nude body was found about a week later, buried in a field a few miles away.

I return to the subject of Angela and the sadness of her short, tragic life following news today that Larry Christopher Graham, the man convicted of killing her, apparently killed himself. The 58-year-old Graham, who had briefly dated Angela's mother and lived in the same apartment complex, was found unresponsive in his death-row row cell at San Quentin State Prison. His death is being investigated as a suicide.

Graham was sentenced to death in 2003 after DNA evidence linked him to the murder of Angela Bugay.


Angela was laid to rest in the Meditation section of Oakmont Memorial Park. The Meditation section is an area of sloping lawn and gravestones that looks down into the valley below, over the stretch of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and Concord. From Meditation, you can see Mount Diablo looming above the entire Diablo Valley.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

its just semantics I know, but did she have a tragic life? or a short life and tragic end?

Anonymous said...

Graham committed suicide? Good riddence, that saves the state about aseveral million over his lifetime.

Anonymous said...

awwww, how saaaad, poor wittle warry is no longer with us....awwwww. Burn in hell you piece of trash!

Anonymous said...

love you always ,Angie. Christopher too.

Matt said...

My name is Matt...I lived very close to Angela at the time of the murder. I remember it very well. I wrote a song about Antioch that I dedicated to her. It can be heard at trashman.bandcamp.com.....if anyone reading this knows her mom, please tell her about it. RIP Angela.


The Trashman

dianaL_J said...

Angela came to our house just a couple hours before she got kidnapped- I was just a little baby (5 months old at the time) and my sister was almost 4- she was a friend of ours. My mother said that night she had on blue courderoy pants and a ballet leotard and was carrying a pink parisol... My mother was EXTREMELY protective of us the years following when we'd go outside and play, because they didn't find out who had killed her until 1996- which is when my mom told me the story...I knew nothing of it before then.

dianaL_J said...

oh, and we lived in the row across from Angela in the Delta View apartments in Antioch, Ca. We lived there until I was 6. I went to Turner Elementary- which is where she would have gone.

debbie said...

i went to school with chris. i did not know him well, but since this came out, i read his life's story. did you know that his dad molested him? his own father!!!
all i can say is to keep your kids safe, so they will not turn out like larry did.
he was once an innocent baby.
remember that.
he did not ask to be sexually molested by his own father and made hard and scared by that.
you will not like me saying this, but we are made to be what we are. mostly. except a few that are born bad and i do not believe that larry was.
he could be your child, grown up, if you don't love your child right.

NP said...

I was a little girl when she was found dead...it is when Antioch had become an unsafe haven for all of us kids. We were watched more and kept more tightly under our parents reigns. This was a trajic event for the family and the small town that Antioch once was.
Matt, I listened to your song and it brought me home. I hope Angela's parents have had the chance to hear it and to appreciate it as much as the rest of us who have heard it. Rest In Peace to all that we have lost.

Tara said...

I was Angela's best friend. I still keep a picture of her in my jewelry box. My mother, sister and I lived in Delta Fair Apartments as well. I still remember when she was taken like it was yesterday. I think all of our lives were changed after that. She was such a sweet girl.

dianaL_J said...

Tara- I just called my mom and asked her if she remembered you from living in the Delta fair. She said yes, you are Courtney's sister. We were good friends with your family- my sister is Nelle, she was best friends with your sister Courtney and friends with Angela as well. I was just a little baby at the time. This is Diana.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for what my dad did to you. He was a sick man. There's hardly a day gone by I haven't thought of you and wonder about the terrific person I know you would have grown up to be. I remember a better time playing with you, my brother, and your brother. The whole world was ahead of us. Now it seems the world is behind us and falling to pieces. I sincerely love you, Angela. Rest in Peace.

Anonymous said...

Angela,
words cannot express what I feel in my heart! The daughter I was never allowed to know. I wish I could erase what my baby had to endure. One day we will all be together thank you for looking over me and Susan. I know who my Angels are!!

Love always!
James P. Clarke

Anonymous said...

My mom and I decorate her grave every Holiday. I'm getting ready to decorate her grave with Halloween items. I remember the authorities finding her lifeless body in Antioch. :(

Courtney said...

Susan and Christopher - you are in my thoughts and prayers more than you know. My memories from being so young are few, but I remember the friendship that our families shared, and this story unfolding, and it saddens me even more now, as the mother of a little girl. Wishing you peace during this holiday season.

Anonymous said...

Debbie,
While its true that he didn't deserve to be molested and suffer as a child, its also true that he was an ADULT who made the decesion to abduct,rape both vaginally,analy and orally a fucking 5 year old child! So don't sit up here and make HIM into the victim, he's not the victim here!!
If anything, he knows the pain and torment that causes to a child and their family if he was in fact molested himself. She on the other hand is no longer alive to talk about it now is she? This is because the man whom you paint into the victim here "who was made hard and scared" as you put it murdered her. Man, she was 5 yrs old. FIVE YEARS OLD! A baby! I dont give two shits what he went through as a child because he wasnt a child when he committed his vile and disgusting acts. He had a choice! He did not have to act on his deplorable sexual impulses, he could of killed himself THEN and BEFORE he killed her instead of waiting till he was on Death Row so that way he could protect society from himself.

He is a selfish coward and a total sociopath. Fuck him and you too for making excuses and defending this perv.

You Debbie are a total cafone...

GOD BLESS said...

ME AND MY FAMILY LIVED IN THE DELTA APARTMENTS AS WELL, AND I WAS A LIL BABY AT THE TIME. MY MOM AND BROTHER WERE VERY CLOSE TO ANGELA AND HER FAMILY. MY HEART STILL GOES OUT TO THEM. AND IT FEELS LIKE YESTERDAY, WE WILL ALWAYS MISS HER, HAVE HER IN OUR HEARTS, OUR LIL ANGEL. <3

Sherry Dieckmann said...

I lived in the Delta apartments at this time. I was only 10 at the time. I remember the search party's, her Mothers anguish, the worry and fear that took over the community... I'm so sorry this happened. RIP sweet little girl.

Vicky Coppedge said...

I too lived in delta view a pts and remember well of that horrible evening and days to come.Angela will always be in my thoughts as my own children were 3 and 5 yes old at the time.this evening I was thinking of angela as I do often. I didn't know her but she lived across the parking lot from me.I moved as soon as I could and made a life for me and my children in another state and not that it don't happen here but it did put me at ease for the most part and eventually my children could be children once again

Anonymous said...

We went to the same church as Angie. She played with my daughter. That poor baby went through hell before she died. I had a police friend who gave me the details and it was disgusting what that pervert put her through! Hope he's rotting in hell!!! 42482468

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have tried to find an address for Susan, Angela's mother. I believe she changed her name. We are praying for her and want to send her an encouraging book and some candy for the New Year. Any info would be appreciated...even a POBox. Thanks.

Concerned citizen

Lee Ann said...

I also lived in the Delta View Apts, I lived in the row of Apts just next to Angie and knew her well and played With her often. I was only 8 at the time, but remember it all very clearly like everyone else. I remembered seeing her shortly before her disappearance when I was taking out the garage - walking with what I remembered as an umbrella (so the parasol reference would make perfect sense). It terrified me for years that he hadn't been caught, and was relieved years later when an arrest was finally made. RIP Angie!

dameon swindle said...

Lame .....shame on u.

dameon swindle said...

I lived very close by on Truman Ct , went to Turner Elementary and remember this like it was yesterday. It was very terrifying as a kid to know that someone a few blocks away was taken .i never forgot her...makes me think of Kevin Collins also ..

Anonymous said...

And Anthony Buchalatto....and Graham's son. This story is way bigger than you would begin to believe. My last name is Graham but no relation....know both stories well and it is frightening really