- Category : Passions-Criminal-Perpetrator-Homicide-serial
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Informing 2
- Birth Year: 1942
- Birthday: 14. September
- Birthplace: Phoenix, USA - Arizona
- Category: Passions-Criminal-Perpetrator-Homicide-serial
- Profile: 5-1
- Type: Emotional Manifesting Generator
- Inc.Cross: Informing 2
- Definition: Single
- Variables: BRR-MRR
- 2057 The Brain Wave
- 0659 Mating
- 1222 Openness
- 3740 Community
- 1156 Curiosity
James Clifford Carson (aka Michael Bear Carson) (born 1950) and Suzan Barnes Carson (born 1941) are serial killers convicted for three murders between 1982 and 1983 in Northern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1980, James Carson, who had a masters degree in Chinese studies, was married and living with one child in Phoenix, Arizona, when his wife noticed severe behavior changes and left for California with their child. Carson began a relationship with Suzan, who had two teenaged sons and had recently been divorced. The two married and became involved in drugs.
Their murder spree began in Haight-Ashbury in March, 1981, when the two attacked their roommate, 22-year-old Keryn Barnes, in their San Francisco apartment. They bashed her on the head with a frying pan and stabbed her 13 times before hiding her body in the basement, wrapped in a blanket.
The Carsons initially called a press conference to confess to this murder, and the murders of Clark Stephens near Alderpoint in Humboldt County, California in 1982 and Jon Charles Hillyar, 30, in January 1983 outside Santa Rosa, California. Before trial, they withdrew their confessions and entered pleas of not guilty. On 12 June 1984, the Carsons were convicted first of Barnes' murder and sentenced to serve twenty-five years in prison. Later, the Carsons were convicted of the murders of Stephens and Hillyar, for which they received sentences of fifty years to life and seventy-five years to life. In 1989, the First District Court of Appeal, affirmed their third conviction as it had previously done on the other two convictions. James Carson is incarcerated at Mule Creek State Prison and Suzan Carson is incarcerated at Central California Women's Facility.
They are suspects in nearly a dozen other deaths in the U.S. and Europe.
The Carsons were involved in the counterculture movement. In a five-hour interview with KGO-TV and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as homicide investigators, the Carsons claimed to have been pacifists and vegetarian yoga practitioners who converted to a form of Muslim religion, and described themselves as "vegetarian Moslem warriors." Their crimes emerged from a shared mission: to exterminate individuals they believed to be "witches". The press dubbed them "the San Francisco Witch Killers."
They stated that they killed Barnes because they believed she had made a false conversion to their religion and was "draining Miss Carson of her health and yogic powers." Their justifications for the second and third killings were that Stephens had allegedly sexually attacked Suzan, and that Hillyar had called her a "witch." They had worked on a marijuana farm outside Garberville, California with Stephens, whom they later killed near Alderpoint by shooting him, burning the body and burying the remains under chicken fertilizer. They met Hillyar while he was hitchhiking; the Carsons claimed he abused Suzan sexually and they killed him on the side of a road in Sonoma County, California.
They claimed to have wandered from the U.S. to Europe and back in the American Southwest and parts of California. The pair said they kept a list of targeted individuals including celebrities and political figures such as Johnny Carson and then-president Ronald Reagan. Even today, they show no remorse.