Coming Tuesday: Muscle Car Murder, a tale of cars, guns and bureaucracy


BAKERSFIELD, California (KGET) -- Murder victim Vicki Hampton had two passions: firearms and one particular make and model of automobile. Together, those passions played major roles in her fate.

Sometimes, the story takes on a life of its own, and sometimes, the facts of a case reveal themselves in serpentine twists. Truth really can be stranger than fiction.

Such was the case with the murder of Victoria Hampton – a 61-year-old widow from Bakersfield gunned down while attempting to retrieve her stolen car early one rainy March morning.

As unusually harsh a death as that may seem, it was only the start of a series of unexpected revelations.  Hampton’s pursuit of her stolen car was made possible by an unimposing bit of technology – a coin-sized Apple AirTag tracking device.

Hampton, upon realizing her car was missing from the street in front of her home, used her iPhone to follow the Bluetooth beacon of her AirTag, hidden in some recess of her stolen car.

And what was so special about this car? Just this – it was a Dodge Hellcat – a more powerful, and desirable, version of the Challenger SRT and one of the fastest street-legal cars on the American road today. And this attempted theft was no fluke.

The Hellcat, capable of speeds exceeding 200 mph, has become the number one target of car thieves across California and the entire country.

Is that enough plot for you? Brace yourself, because there’s more.


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