Chris McAmis' Chilling Confession of Lynsie Ekelund's Murder

Tapes reveal a portrait of a cowardly killer

McAmis took a quick breath and, after a decade of lies, finally confessed to killing Ekelund. It all happened, he said, because she would have gotten in trouble had she gone home late. She insisted on spending the night at his Whittier apartment and sleeping in his bed. McAmis said he tried to kiss her, but she elbowed him in the chest.

Scorned, he went to the kitchen and began gulping vodka. He returned to his room, where Ekelund pretended to sleep. "I pulled her pants down and tried to put my penis inside her," he said. She grabbed the phone and threatened to call the police, he recalled, then slammed the receiver across his face.

"Being drunk, it enraged me," McAmis told police. "It set me on fire. I grabbed her, threw her onto my bed, got her into a headlock. I just thought she was going to pass out, and I ended up killing her."

Jonathan Bartlett

Police believe McAmis may have kept Ekelund's corpse, which stiffened with rigor mortis, in his apartment for up to two days. Eventually, he wrapped her in a green blanket, carried her down the stairs of his second-floor unit and loaded her into the extended cab of his pickup. He told police he bumped her head as he hurriedly put her in the vehicle. At the Santa Clarita construction site, he dug her grave using a skip loader; then, after driving his truck into the meadow, he unloaded and dumped her body into the hole during his lunch break.

Until his arrest two years ago, McAmis occasionally granted interviews. In 2003, he met with documentary filmmakers about Ekelund's disappearance. Sitting on a couch next to ex-girlfriend Kwan, he maintained his innocence. The 40-minute segment never aired, but just before the sound cuts out, a cheerful Kwan came chillingly close to describing the actual murder.

"There's so many people abducted," she insisted. "You say they're missing. But they could be raped and buried in a mountain. How the hell could anyone find them?"

This article appeared in print as "Chris, Portrait of a Cowardly Killer: With Lynsie Ekelund's confessed murderer now behind bars, police unveil his chilling confession."

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