Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: I'm trying to find out any information on the death of Bruce Lee, a Sacramento musician who was born Dec. 20, 1949, and died Dec. 29, 1987. His body was discovered covered with tarps in back of a truck at the Truckadero on Stockton Boulevard.
Submitted by: Rick Schultze, Yachats, Ore
ANSWER: John James Bruce Lee, a 1966 Sacramento High School graduate who went on to a successful career as an entertainer, was found dead on his 38th birthday inside a sleeping bag in the bed of his pickup truck behind a truck stop on Stockton Boulevard.
According to stories in The Bee, he died of numerous blows to the head.
Ronald Boe Wingo was accused of the killing, but the case against him was dismissed at the request of the prosecutor after the chief witness failed to show up for a preliminary hearing.
The witness, a female carnival worker who lived out of her car, had failed to appear twice and did not respond to a subpoena. The prosecutor said the woman had linked Wingo to Lee's killing and had known the whereabouts of Lee's body before it was discovered. But without the woman's testimony, the prosecutor said he had no choice but to move for dismissal.
Lee's mother told The Bee shortly after her son's death that Lee had confided that he "owed some money ... apparently drug money."
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