Deana Lynne Bowdoin
21 Years Old

July 28, 1956 to January 7, 1978

Deana was born to Harold Dean and Beulah Ann (Bobbie) Bowdoin on July 28, 1956, in Eagar, Arizona. She has one sister, Leslie James, who is 20 months older. Deana grew up in Phoenix, attending Kachina and Squaw Peak Elementary Schools, then Camelback High School. In high school, she was a baton twirler and also played the trumpet. She had 8 hours left to graduate with honors in international marketing from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, when she was murdered at the age of 21. Deana was multi-lingual, having attended schools in Mexico and Spain, and having lived in Europe for a period of months. She was a friend to everyone, beautiful, talented, and had her entire life ahead of her. She had just been nominated for “Who’s Who” given her academic achievements.


On January 7, 1978, Deana returned to her near-campus apartment in Tempe, Arizona. She had been out to dinner with her parents that evening, and then with one of her best girlfriends. Shortly after 1 a.m. her boyfriend stopped by, where he found Deana lying on the bed. He tried to revive her but was unsuccessful. She had been raped, strangled with her own belt, and stabbed. For many years the case went unsolved. In 1996, the Tempe Police determined that there was testable DNA evidence. As time went on, they found a match, and Clarence Wayne Dixon was indicted for first degree murder in November 2002. After five years of hearings, the trial began on November 13, 2007. On January 24, 2008, a jury found Dixon guilty and sentenced him to the death penalty. The appeals are pending. At the time he murdered Deana, he was married, attending ASU, and lived nearby. Police have linked him to several other sexual assaults in the area. He went to prison in September of 1978, got out in March of 1985, then raped again that June. He went to prison again in January 1986 on 7 life counts, where he was until indictment for Deana’s murder. Just two days before Deana’s murder, he went to a bench trial for an aggravated assault. The judge, Sandra Day O’Connor, found him not guilty by reason of insanity, but did not commit him. He was released, killed Deanna some 30 hours later.

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Deana Bowdoin