On November 7, 1974, Carol DeRonch, 18, was in a Utah Shopping Mall when
she was approached by Bundy, who told her that someone had been trying
to break into her automobile. She thought that he was a police officer
and Bundy later showed her a badge.
Bundy asked her to accompany him to
the car to see if anything was missing. Upon reaching the car the girl
looked in and determined nothing was missing. He eventually asked her if
she could go to the station to make a complaint. Bundy drove her in his
Volkswagon, and pulled over on the way and forcibly placed a pair of
handcuffs on her wrist. She screamed and fought her way outside the
vehicle and eventually got away.
Nine months later, Bundy was arrested fleeing police
and handcuffs were found in his car. Bundy was convicted of Aggravated
Kidnapping after waiving a jury trial and received a 1-15 year sentence.
He escaped while in custody but was recaptured 6 days later. He escaped
a second time and fled to Tallahassee, Florida, staying at a rooming
house near the Florida State University Campus.
During the early morning hours of Sunday, January 15,
1978, Bundy entered the Chi Omega sorority house and brutally attacked
four women residing there. Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy were killed,
and Kathy Kleiner and Karen Chandler sustained serious injuries. Within
approximately an hour of the attacks in the Chi Omega house, Bundy
entered another home nearby and attacked a woman residing there, Cheryl
Thomas. All five women were university students. All were bludgeoned
repeatedly with a blunt weapon.
Bundy was identified by a resident returning home to
the Sorority House, just as he was leaving with a club in his hand. Lisa
Levy and Margaret Bowman were killed by strangulation after receiving
severe beatings with a length of a tree branch used as a club. Margaret
Bowman's skull was crushed and literally laid open. The attacker also
bit Lisa Levy with sufficient intensity to be identified as human bite
Bundy was arrested a month later in Pensacola. Of
critical importance was the testimony of two forensic dental experts who
testified concerning analysis of the bite mark left on the body of Lisa
Levy. The experts both expressed to the jury their opinion that the
indentations on the victim's body were left by the unique teeth of Bundy.
Bundy was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, three
counts of attempted first-degree murder, and two counts of burglary. For
the two crimes of first-degree murder the trial judge imposed sentences
On February 9, 1978, Kimberly Leach, age 12, was
reported missing from her junior high school in Lake City, Florida. Two
months later, after a large scale search, the Leach girl's partially
decomposed body was located in a wooded area near the Suwanee River.
There were semen stains in the crotch of her panties
found near the body. Two Lake City Holiday Inn employees and a
handwriting expert established that Bundy had registered at the Lake
City Holiday Inn the day before her disappearance under another name. A
school crossing guard at the junior high school identified Bundy as
leading a young girl to a van on the morning of the disappearance.
Bundy was again convicted of murder and sentenced to
death. This death sentence to be carried out a decade later.
State v. Bundy, 589 P.2d 760 (Utah 1978) (Direct Appeal).
Bundy v. State, 455 So.2d 330 (Fla. 1984) (Sorority House Direct
Bundy v. State, 471 So.2d 9 (Fla. 1985) (Leach Direct Appeal).
Bundy v. Florida, 107 S.Ct. 295 (1986) (Cert. Denied).
Bundy v. State, 490 So.2d 1257 (Fla. 1986). (Stay)
Bundy v. State, 497 So.2d 1209 (Fla. 1986) (State Habeas).
Bundy v. Dugger, 850 F.2d 1402 (11th Cir. 1988) (Habeas).
Bundy v. Dugger, 109 S.Ct. 849 (1989) (Cert. Denied).
Ted Bundy Victims List:
Lonnie Trumbull; Seattle (6/23/66)
Kathy Devine; Seattle (11/25/73)
Lynda Ann Healy; University of Washington (2/1/74)
Donna Manson; Evergreen St. College, Olympia (3/12/74)
Susan Rancourt; Central Washington St. College, Ellensburg (4/17/74)
Brenda Baker; Seattle (5/25/74)
Brenda Ball; Burien (6/1/74)
Georgeann Hawkins; University of Washington (6/11/74)
Janice Ott; Lake Sammamish St. Park (7/14/74)
Denise Naslund; Lake Sammamish St. Park (7/14/74)
Kathy Parks; Oregon St. (5/6/74)
Nancy Wilcox; (10/2/74)
Melissa Smith; Midvale (10/18/74)
Laura Aimee; Lehi (10/31/74)
Debbie Kent; Bountiful (11/8/74)
Susan Curtis; Brigham Young University (6/28/75)
Nancy Baird; Layton (7/4/75)
Debbie Smith; Salt Lake City (2/?/76)
Caryn Campbell; Aspen (1/12/75)
Julie Cunningham; Vail (3/15/75)
Denise Oliverson; Grand Junction (4/6/75)
Melanie Cooley; Nederland (4/15/75)
Shelley Robertson; Golden (7/1/75)
Lynette Culver; Pocatello (5/6/75)
Jane Doe; Boise (9/21/74)
Lisa Levy; Tallahassee (1/15/78)
Margaret Bowman; Tallahassee (1/15/74)
Kimberly Ann Leach; Lake City (2/9/78)
Serial Killers A-Z
Ted Bundy Timeline:
11/24/46 - Is born as Theodore Robert Cowell in a
home for unwed mothers in Burlington, Vermont.
05/19/51 - Bundy's mother, Louise, marries Johnnie Bundy and her son
takes his step-father's last name.
Spring 1965 - Graduates from Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma,
Fall 1965 - Enrolls at the University of Puget Sound and attends the
school until the Spring of 1966.
06/23/65 - Murders Lonnie Trumbull and seriously injuresroommate Lisa
Wick in their Seattle apartment.
Fall 1966 to Spring 1969 - Attends the University of Washington.
1967 to 1968 - Courts Stephanie Brooks, who closely resembles his future
Fall 1968 - Brooks breaks off relationship with Bundy.
Early 1969 - Visits his brithtown of Burlington, Vermont, and learns for
certain that he is illegitimate.
Fall 1969 - Re-enters Univ of Washington and meets Liz Kendall, his
girlfriend throughout most of the murders.
Spring 1973 - Graduates form the University of Washington.
11/25/73 - Abducts Kathy Devine from a Seattle street corner.
12/06/73 - Devine's body is found near Olympia, Washington.
01/05/74 - Attacks Joni Lenz in her Seattle apartment. Lenz survives.
02/01/74 - Abducts Lynda Ann Healy from her basement bedroom in Seattle.
03/12/74 - Abducts Donna Manson from the campus of Evergreen College.
04/17/74 - Abducts Susan Rancourt from the Central Washignton St. campus.
05/06/74 - Abducts Kathy Parks from the campus at Oregon St.
06/01/74 - Abducts Brenda Ball from Burien, Washington.
06/11/74 - Abducts Georgeann Hawkins from an alley near her University
of Washington fraternity house.
06/17/74 - Brenda Baker's body is found in Millersylvania St. Park. It
is unknown when she was abducted.
07/14/74 - In seperate incidents, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund are
abducted from Lake Samm St. Park.
09/02/74 - A Jane Doe is abducted from Boise, Idaho.
Fall 1974 - Enters the University of Utah Law School.
09/07/74 - Body parts of Ott, Naslund, and Hawkins are recovered 2 miles
from lake Samm St. Park.
10/02/74 - Abducts Nancy Wilcox.
10/18/74 - Abducts Melissa Smith from Midvale, Utah.
10/27/74 - Smith's body is found in Summitt Park near Salt Lake City,
10/31/74 - Abducts Laura Aimee from Lehi, Utah.
11/08/74 - Botches abduction of Carol DeRonch but abducts Debby Kent
later that day from school in Bountiful.
Thanksgiving 1974 - Aimee's body is found.
01/12/75 - Abducts Caryn Campbell from a hotel in Aspen, Colorado.
02/18/75 - Campbell's body is found near the motel she disappeared from.
03/03/75 - The skulls of Healy, Ball, Parks, and Rancourt are found near
Taylor Mountain in Washington.
03/15/75 - Abducts Julie Cunningham from Vail, Colorado.
04/06/75 - Abducts Melanie Cooley from her school in Nederland,
04/23/75 - Cooley is found dead twenty miles from Nederland.
05/06/75 - Abducts Lynette Culver from her school playground in
06/28/75 - Abducts Susan Curtis from the campus of BYU while attending a
07/01/75 - Abducts Shelley Robertson from Golden, Colorado.
07/04/75 - Abducts Nancy Baird from Layton, Utah.
08/16/75 - Arrested for possession of burglary tools during a traffic
stop in Salt Lake City.
February 1976 - Abducts Debbie Smith in Utah.
03/01/76 - Is found guilty of aggravated kidnapping in the DeRonch
04/01/76 - Smith's body is found at Salt Lake International Airport.
06/30/76 - Sentenced to 1-15 years in prison.
06/07/77 - Escapes from Pitkin Co. Law Library in Colorado while
preparing for trial in the Campbell murder.
06/13/77 - Is apprehended in Aspen, Colorado.
12/30/77 - Escapes from Garfield County Jail in Colorado and flees to
01/14/78 - Enters Chi Omega sorority house in Tallahassee, killing Lisa
Levy and Magaret Bowman.
01/14/78 - Also attacks Cheryl Thomas in her house nearby, seriously
02/09/78 - Abducts Kimberly Ann Leach from her school in Lake City,
02/15/78 - Arrested while driving a stolen VW in Pensacola, Florida.
04/12/79 - Leach's body is found in Suwanee St. Park in Florida.
07/27/78 - Indicted for the murders of Levy and Bowman.
07/31/78 - Indicted for the Leach murder.
07/07/79 - Leach and Bowman murder trial begins.
07/23/79 - Found guilty of the murders of Levy and Bowman.
07/31/79 - Sentenced to death for the murders of Levy and Bowman.
01/07/80 - Trial begins for the Leach murder.
02/06/80 - Found guilty of Leach murder.
02/09/80 - Sentenced to death for Leach murder.
07/02/86 - Obtains a stay of execution only fifteen minutes before he is
scheduled to die.
11/18/86 - Obtains a stay of execution only seven hours before he is
scheduled to die.
11/17/89 - Final death warrant is issued.
01/24/89 - Executed in the electric chair at 7:16 AM.
Theodore Robert Bundy, born Theodore Robert
Cowell (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989), known as Ted Bundy, was
an American serial killer. Bundy murdered numerous young women across
the United States between 1974 and 1978. He twice escaped from prison
before his final apprehension in Feburary 1978. After more than a decade
of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed to 30 murders, although the
actual total of victims remains unknown. Estimates range from 29 to over
100, the general estimate being 35. Typically, Bundy would bludgeon his
victims, then strangle them to death. He also engaged in rape and
Bundy was born at the Elizabeth Lund Home For Unwed
Mothers in Burlington, Vermont, to Eleanor Louise Cowell. While the
identity of his father remains a mystery, Bundy's birth certificate
lists a "Lloyd Marshall" (b. 1916), although Bundy's mother would later
tell of being seduced by a war veteran named "Jack Worthington".
Bundy's family did not believe this story, however,
and expressed suspicion about Louise's violent, abusive father, Samuel
Cowell. To avoid social stigma, Bundy's maternal grandparents, Samuel
and Eleanor Cowell, claimed him as their son; in taking their last name,
he became Theodore Robert Cowell. He grew up believing that his mother
was his older sister. Bundy biographers Stephen Michaud and Hugh
Aynesworth wrote that he learned Louise was actually his mother while he
was in high school. True crime writer Ann Rule, who knew Bundy
personally, states that it was around 1969, shortly following a
traumatic breakup with his college girlfriend.
For the first few years of his life, Bundy and his
mother lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 1950, Bundy and his
mother, whom he still believed was his sister, moved to live with
relatives in Tacoma, Washington. Here, Louise Cowell had her son's
surname changed from Cowell to Nelson.
In 1951, one year after their move, Louise Cowell met
Johnny Culpepper Bundy at an adult singles night held at Tacoma's First
Methodist Church. In May of that year, the couple were married, and soon
after Johnny Bundy adopted Ted, legally changing his last name to "Bundy".
Johnny and Louise Bundy had more children, whom the
young Bundy spent much of his time babysitting. Johnny Bundy tried to
include his stepson in camping trips and other father-son activities,
but the boy remained emotionally detached from his stepfather. Bundy was
a good student at Woodrow Wilson High School, in Tacoma, and was active
in a local Methodist church, serving as vice-president of the Methodist
Youth Fellowship. He was involved with a local troop of the Boy Scouts
Socially, Bundy remained shy and introverted
throughout his high school and early college years. He would say later
that he "hit a wall" in high school and that he was unable to understand
social behavior, stunting his social development. He maintained a facade
of social activity, but he had no natural sense of how to get along with
other people, saying: "I didn't know what made things tick. I didn't
know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people
attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social
Years later, while on Florida's death row, Bundy
would describe a part of himself that, from a young age, was fascinated
by images of sex and violence. In early prison interviews, Bundy called
this part of himself "the entity". While still in his teens, Bundy would
look through libraries for detective magazines and books on crime,
focusing on sources that described sexual violence and featured pictures
of dead bodies and violent sexuality. Before he was even out of high
school, Bundy was a compulsive thief, a shoplifter, and on his way to
becoming an amateur criminal. To support his love of skiing, Bundy stole
skis and equipment and forged ski-lift tickets. He was arrested twice as
a juvenile, although these records were later expunged.
In 1965, Bundy graduated from Woodrow Wilson High.
Awarded a scholarship by the University of Puget Sound (UPS), he began
that fall, taking courses in psychology and Oriental studies. After two
semesters at UPS, he decided to transfer to Seattle's University of
While a university student, Bundy worked as a grocery
bagger and shelf-stocker at a Seattle Safeway store on Queen Anne Hill,
as well as other odd jobs. As part of his course of studies in
psychology, he would later work as a night-shift volunteer at Seattle's
Suicide Hot Line, a suicide crisis center that served the greater
Seattle metropolitan and suburban areas. There, he met and worked
alongside former Seattle policewoman and fledgling crime writer Ann Rule,
who would later write a biography of Bundy and his crimes, The Stranger
He began a relationship with fellow university
student "Stephanie Brooks" (a pseudonym), whom he met while enrolled at
UW in 1967. Following her 1968 graduation and return to her family home
in California, she ended the relationship, fed up with what she
described as Bundy's immaturity and lack of ambition. Rule states that,
around this time, Bundy decided to pay a visit to his birthplace,
Burlington, Vermont. There, according to Rule, he visited the local
records clerk and finally uncovered the truth of his parentage.
After his discovery, Bundy became a more focused and
dominant person. In 1968, he managed the Seattle office of Nelson
Rockefeller's Presidential campaign and attended the 1968 Republican
convention in Miami, Florida as a Rockefeller supporter. He re-enrolled
at UW, this time with a major in psychology. Bundy became an honors
student and was well liked by his professors. In 1969, he started dating
Elizabeth Kloepfer, a divorced secretary with a daughter, who fell
deeply in love with him. They would continue dating for more than six
years, until he went to prison for kidnapping in 1976.
Bundy graduated in 1972 from UW with a degree in
psychology. Soon afterward, he again went to work for the state
Republican Party, which included a close relationship with Gov. Daniel
J. Evans. During the campaign, Bundy followed Evans' Democratic opponent
around the state, tape recording his speeches and reporting back to
Evans personally. A minor scandal later followed when the Democrats
found out about Bundy, who had been posing as a college student.
In the fall of 1973, Bundy enrolled in the law school
at the University of Utah, but he did poorly. He began skipping classes,
finally dropping out in the spring of 1974.
While on a business trip to California in the summer
of 1973, Bundy came back into his ex-girlfriend "Stephanie Brooks"' life
with a new look and attitude; this time as a serious, dedicated
professional who had been accepted to law school. Bundy continued to
date Kloepfer as well, and neither woman was aware the other existed.
Bundy courted Brooks throughout the rest of the year, and she accepted
his marriage proposal. Two weeks later, however, shortly after New
Year's 1974, he unceremoniously dumped her, refusing to return her phone
calls. A few weeks after this breakup, Bundy began a murderous rampage
in Washington state.
No one knows exactly where and when Bundy began
killing. Many Bundy experts, including Rule and former King County
detective Robert D. Keppel, believe Bundy may have started killing as
far back as his early teens. Ann Marie Burr, an eight-year-old girl from
Tacoma, vanished from her home in 1961, when Bundy was 14 years old,
though Bundy always denied killing her. The day before his execution,
Bundy told his lawyer that he made his first attempt to kidnap a woman
in 1969, and implied that he committed his first actual murder sometime
in 1972. At one point in his death-row confessions with Keppel, Bundy
said he committed his first murder in 1972.
In 1973, one of Bundy's Republican Party friends saw
a pair of handcuffs in the back of Bundy's Volkswagen. He was for many
years a suspect in the December 1973 murder of Kathy Devine in
Washington state, but DNA analysis led to another man's arrest and
conviction for that crime in 2002. Bundy's earliest known, identified
murders were committed in 1974, when he was 27.
Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, Bundy
entered the basement bedroom of 18-year-old "Joni Lenz" (pseudonym), a
dancer and student at UW. Bundy bludgeoned her with a metal rod from her
bed frame while she slept and sexually assaulted her with a speculum.
Lenz was found the next morning by her roommates in a coma and lying in
a pool of her own blood. She survived the attack but suffered permanent
Bundy's next victim was Lynda Ann Healy, another UW
student (and his cousin's roommate). In the early morning hours of
February 1, 1974, Bundy broke into Healy's room, knocked her unconscious,
dressed her in jeans and a shirt, wrapped her in a bed sheet, and
carried her away.
Co-eds began disappearing at a rate of roughly one a
month. On March 12, 1974, in Olympia, Bundy kidnapped and murdered Donna
Gail Manson, a 19-year-old student at The Evergreen State College.
On April 17, 1974, Susan Rancourt disappeared from
the campus of Central Washington State College (CWSC) in Ellensburg.
Later, two different CWSC co-eds would recount meeting a man with his
arm in a cast—one that night, one three nights earlier—who asked for
their help to carry a load of books to his Volkswagen Beetle.
Next was Kathy Parks, last seen on the campus of
Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, on May 6, 1974. Brenda
Ball was never seen again after leaving The Flame Tavern in Burien on
June 1, 1974. Bundy then murdered Georgeann Hawkins, a student at UW and
a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, an on-campus sorority. In the early
morning hours of June 11, 1974, she walked through an alley from her
boyfriend's dormitory residence to her sorority house. She was never
seen again. Witnesses later reported seeing a man with a leg cast
struggling to carry a briefcase in the area that night. One co-ed
reported that the man had asked for her help in carrying the briefcase
to his car, a Beetle.
Bundy's Washington killing spree culminated on July
14, 1974, with the daytime abduction of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund
from Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. That day, eight different
people told the police about the handsome young man with his left arm in
a sling who called himself "Ted". Five of them were women whom "Ted"
asked for help unloading a sailboat from his Beetle. One of them went
with "Ted" as far as his car, where there was no sailboat, before
declining to accompany him any farther. Three more witnesses testified
to seeing him approach Ott with the story about the sailboat and to
seeing her walk away from the beach in his company. She was never seen
alive again. Naslund disappeared without a trace four hours later.
King County detectives now had a description both of
the suspect and his car. Some witnesses told investigators that the "Ted"
they encountered spoke with a clipped, British-like accent. Soon, fliers
were up all over the Seattle area. After seeing the police sketch and
description of the Lake Sammamish suspect in both of the local
newspapers and on television news reports, Bundy's girlfriend, one of
his psychology professors at UW, and former co-worker Ann Rule all
reported him as a possible suspect. The police, receiving up to 200 tips
per day, did not pay any special attention to a tip about a clean-cut
The fragmented remains of Ott and Naslund were
discovered on September 7, 1974, off Interstate 90 near Issaquah, one
mile from the park. Found along with the women's remains was an extra
femur bone and vertebrae, which Bundy would identify as that of
Georgeann Hawkins shortly before his execution.
Between March 1 and March 3, 1975, the skulls and
jawbones of Healy, Rancourt, Parks and Ball were found on Taylor
Mountain just east of Issaquah. Years later, Bundy claimed that he had
also dumped Donna Manson's body there, but no trace of her was ever
Utah and Colorado
Bundy smiles for the cameras and pleads "Not guilty"
during a press conference announcing his indictment on first degree
That autumn, Bundy began attending the University of
Utah law school in Salt Lake City, where he resumed killing in October.
Nancy Wilcox disappeared from Holladay, Utah, on October 2, 1974. Wilcox
was last seen riding in a Volkswagen Beetle.
On October 18, 1974, Bundy murdered Melissa Smith,
the 17-year-old daughter of Midvale police chief Louis Smith; Bundy
raped, sodomized and strangled her. Her body was found nine days later.
Next was Laura Aime, also 17, who disappeared when she left a Halloween
party in Lehi, Utah, on October 31, 1974; her naked, beaten and
strangled corpse was found nearly a month later by hikers on
Thanksgiving Day, on the banks of a river in American Fork Canyon.
In Murray, Utah, on November 8, 1974, Carol DaRonch
narrowly escaped with her life. Claiming to be Officer Roseland of the
Murray Police Department, Bundy approached her at the Fashion Place
Mall, told her someone had tried to break into her car, and asked her to
accompany him to the police station. She got into his car but refused
his instruction to buckle her seat belt. They drove for a short period
before Bundy suddenly pulled to the shoulder and attempted to slap a
pair of handcuffs on her. In the struggle, he fastened both loops to the
same wrist. Bundy whipped out his crowbar, but DaRonch caught it in the
air just before it would have cracked her skull. She then got the door
open and tumbled out onto the highway, thus escaping from her would-be
About an hour later, a strange man showed up at
Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah, where the drama club was
putting on a play. He approached the drama teacher and then a student,
asking both to come out to the parking lot to identify a car. Both
declined. The drama teacher saw him again shortly before the end of the
play, this time breathing hard, with his hair mussed and his shirt
untucked. Another student saw the man lurking in the rear of the
auditorium. Debby Kent, a 17-year-old Viewmont High student, left the
play at intermission to go and pick up her brother, and was never seen
again. Later, investigators found a small key in the parking lot outside
Viewmont High. It
unlocked the handcuffs taken off Carol DaRonch.
In 1975, while still attending law school at the
University of Utah, Bundy shifted his crimes to Colorado. On January 12,
1975, Caryn Campbell disappeared from the Wildwood Inn at Snowmass,
Colorado, where she had been vacationing with her fiancé and his
children. She vanished somewhere in a span of 50 feet between the
elevator doors and her room. Her body was found on February 17, 1975.
Next, Vail ski instructor Julie Cunningham
disappeared on March 15, 1975, and Denise Oliverson in Grand Junction on
April 6, 1975. While in prison, Bundy confessed to Colorado
investigators that he used crutches to approach Cunningham, after asking
her to help him carry some ski boots to his car. At the car, Bundy
clubbed her with his crowbar and immobilized her with handcuffs, later
strangling her in a crime highly similar to the Hawkins murder.
Lynette Culver went missing in Pocatello, Idaho, on
May 6, 1975, from the grounds of her junior high school. After his
return to Utah, Susan Curtis vanished on June 28, 1975. (Bundy confessed
to the Curtis murder minutes before his execution.) The bodies of
Cunningham, Culver, Curtis and Oliverson have never been recovered.
Meanwhile, back in Washington, investigators were
attempting to prioritize their enormous list of suspects. They used
computers to cross-check different likely lists of suspects (classmates
of Lynda Healy, owners of Volkswagens, etc) against each other, and then
identify suspects who turned up on more than one list. "Theodore Robert
Bundy" was one of 25 people who turned up on four separate lists, and
his case file was second on the "To Be Investigated" pile when the call
came from Utah of an arrest.
Arrest, first trial, and escapes
Bundy was arrested on August 16, 1975, in Salt Lake
City, for failure to stop for a police officer. A search of his car
revealed a ski mask, a crowbar, handcuffs, trash bags, an icepick, and
other items that were thought by the police to be burglary tools. Bundy
remained calm during questioning, explaining that he needed the mask for
skiing and had found the handcuffs in a dumpster. Utah detective Jerry
Thompson connected Bundy and his Volkswagen to the DaRonch kidnapping
and the missing girls, and searched his apartment.
The search uncovered a brochure of Colorado ski
resorts, with a check mark by the Wildwood Inn where Caryn Campbell had
disappeared. After searching his apartment, the police brought Bundy in
for a lineup before DaRonch and the Bountiful witnesses. They identified
him as "Officer Roseland" and as the man lurking about the night Debby
Following a week-long trial, Bundy was convicted of
DaRonch's kidnapping on March 1, 1976, and was sentenced to 15 years in
Utah State Prison. Colorado authorities were pursuing murder charges,
however, and Bundy was extradited there to stand trial.
On June 7, 1977, in preparation for a hearing in the
Caryn Campbell murder trial, Bundy was taken to the Pitkin County
courthouse in Aspen. During a court recess, he was allowed to visit the
courthouse's law library, where he jumped out of the building from a
second-story window and escaped, but sprained his right ankle during the
jump. In the minutes following his escape, Bundy at first ran and then
strolled casually through the small town toward Aspen Mountain.
He made it all the way to the top of Aspen Mountain
without being detected, where he rested for two days in an abandoned
hunting cabin. But afterwards, he lost his sense of direction and
wandered around the mountain, missing two trails that led down off the
mountain to his intended destination, the town of Crested Butte. At one
point, he came face-to-face with a gun-toting citizen who was one of the
searchers scouring Aspen Mountain for Ted Bundy, but talked his way out
On June 13, 1977, Bundy stole a car he found on the
mountain. He drove back into Aspen and could have gotten away, but two
police deputies noticed the Cadillac with dimmed headlights weaving in
and out of its lane and pulled Bundy over. They recognized him and took
him back to jail. Bundy had been on the lam for six days.
He was back in custody, but Bundy worked on a new
escape plan. He was being held in the Glenwood Springs, Colorado, jail
while he awaited trial. He had acquired a hacksaw blade and $500 in
cash; he later claimed the blade came from another prison inmate. Over
two weeks, he sawed through the welds fixing a small metal plate in the
ceiling and, after dieting down still further, was able to fit through
the hole and access the crawl space above.
An informant in the prison told guards that he had
heard Bundy moving around the ceiling during the nights before his
escape, but the matter was not investigated. When Bundy's Aspen trial
judge ruled on December 23, 1977, that the Caryn Campbell murder trial
would start on January 9, 1978, and changed the venue to Colorado
Springs, Bundy realized that he had to make his escape before he was
transferred out of the Glenwood Springs jail.
On the night of December 30, 1977, Bundy dressed
warmly and packed books and files under his blanket to make it look like
he was sleeping. He wriggled through the hole and up into the crawlspace.
Bundy crawled over to a spot directly above the jailer's linen closet —
the jailer and his wife were out for the evening — dropped down into the
jailer's apartment, and walked out the door.
Bundy was free, but he was on foot in the middle of a
bitterly cold, snowy Colorado night. He stole a broken-down MG, but it
stalled out in the mountains. Bundy was stuck on the side of Interstate
70 in the middle of the night in a blizzard, but another driver gave him
a ride into Vail. From there he caught a bus to Denver and boarded the
TWA 8:55 a.m. flight to Chicago. The Glenwood Springs jail guards did
not notice Bundy was gone until noon on December 31, 1977, 17 hours
after his escape, by which time Bundy was already in Chicago.
Following his arrival in Chicago, Bundy then caught
an Amtrak train to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he got a room at the YMCA.
On January 2, 1978, he went to an Ann Arbor bar and watched the
University of Washington Huskies, the team of his alma mater, beat
Michigan in the Rose Bowl. He later stole a car in Ann Arbor, which he
abandoned in Atlanta, Georgia before boarding a bus for Tallahassee,
Florida, where he arrived on January 8, 1978. There, he rented a room at
a boarding house under the alias of "Chris Hagen" and committed numerous
petty crimes including shoplifting, purse snatching, and auto theft. He
stole a student ID card that belonged to a Kenneth Misner and sent away
for copies of Misner's Social Security card and birth certificate. He
grew a mustache and drew a fake mole on his right cheek when he went
out, but aside from that, he made no real attempt at a disguise. Bundy
tried to find work at a construction site, but when the personnel
officer asked Bundy for his driver's license for identification, Bundy
walked away. This was his only attempt at job hunting.
One week after Bundy's arrival in Tallahassee, in the
early hours of Super Bowl Sunday on January 15, 1978, two and a half
years of repressed homicidal violence erupted. Bundy entered the Florida
State University Chi Omega sorority house at approximately 3 a.m. and
killed two sleeping women, Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. Bundy
bludgeoned and strangled Levy and Bowman; he also sexually assaulted
Levy. He also bludgeoned two other Chi Omegas, Karen Chandler and Kathy
Kleiner. The entire episode took no more than half an hour. After
leaving the Chi Omega house, Bundy broke into another home a few blocks
away, clubbing and severely injuring Florida State University student
On February 9, 1978, Bundy traveled to Lake City,
Florida. While there, he abducted, raped, and murdered 12-year-old
Kimberly Leach, throwing her body under a small pig shed. On February
12, 1978, Bundy stole yet another Volkswagen Beetle and left Tallahassee
for good, heading west across the Florida panhandle.
On February 15, 1978, shortly after 1 a.m., Bundy was
stopped by Pensacola police officer David Lee. When the officer called
in a check of the license plate, the vehicle came up as stolen. Bundy
then scuffled with the officer before he was finally subdued. As Lee
took the unknown suspect to jail, Bundy said "I wish you had killed me."
At his booking Bundy gave the police the name Ken Misner (and presented
stolen identification for Misner), but the Florida Department of Law
Enforcement made a positive fingerprint identification early the next
day. He was immediately transported to Tallahassee and subsequently
charged with the Tallahassee and Lake City murders. He was later taken
to Miami to stand trial for the Chi Omega murders.
Conviction and execution
Bite mark testimony at the Chi Omega trialBundy went
to trial for the Chi Omega murders in June 1979, with Dade County
Circuit Court Judge Edward D. Cowart presiding. Despite having five
court-appointed lawyers, he insisted on acting as his own attorney and
even cross-examined witnesses, including the police officer who had
discovered Margaret Bowman's body. He was prosecuted by Assistant State
Attorney Larry Simpson.
Two pieces of evidence proved crucial. First, Chi
Omega member Nita Neary, getting back to the house very late after a
date, saw Bundy as he left, and identified him in court. Second, during
his homicidal frenzy, Bundy bit Lisa Levy in her left buttock, leaving
obvious bite marks. Police took plaster casts of Bundy's teeth and a
forensics expert matched them to the photographs of Levy's wound. Bundy
was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death. After confirming the
sentence, Cowart gave him the verdict:
It is ordered that you be put to death by a current
of electricity, that current be passed through your body until you are
dead. Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely;
take care of yourself, please. It is an utter tragedy for this court to
see such a total waste of humanity as I've experienced in this courtroom.
You're a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer, and I would
have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way,
partner. Take care of yourself. I don't feel any animosity toward you. I
want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.
Bundy was tried for the Kimberly Leach murder in
1980. He was again convicted on all counts, principally due to fibers
found in his van that matched Leach's clothing and an eyewitness that
saw him leading Leach away from the school, and sentenced to death.
During the Kimberly Leach trial, Bundy married former coworker Carole
Ann Boone in the courtroom while questioning her on the stand. Following
numerous conjugal visits between Bundy and his new wife, Boone gave
birth to a daughter in October 1982. However, in 1986 Boone moved back
to Washington and never returned to Florida. Her whereabouts and those
of Bundy's daughter are unknown.
While awaiting execution in Starke Prison, Bundy was
housed in the cell next to fellow serial killer Ottis Toole, the
murderer of Adam Walsh. FBI profiler Robert K. Ressler met with him
there as part of his work interviewing serial killers, but found Bundy
uncooperative and manipulative, willing to speak only in the third
person, and only in hypothetical terms. Writing in 1992, Ressler spoke
of his impression of Bundy in comparison to his reviews of other serial
killers: "This guy was an animal, and it amazed me that the media seemed
unable to understand that."
However, during the same period, Bundy was often
visited by Special Agent William Hagmaier of the Federal Bureau of
Investigation's Behavioral Sciences Unit. Bundy would come to confide in
Hagmaier, going so far as to call him his best friend. Eventually, Bundy
confessed to Hagmaier many details of the murders that had until then
been unknown or unconfirmed.
In October 1984, Bundy contacted former King County
homicide detective Bob Keppel and offered to assist in the ongoing
search for the Green River Killer by providing his own insights and
analysis. Keppel and Green River Task Force detective Dave Reichert
traveled to Florida's death row to interview Bundy. Both detectives
later stated that these interviews were of little actual help in the
investigation; they provided far greater insight into Bundy's own mind,
however, and were primarily pursued in the hope of learning the details
of unsolved murders which Bundy was suspected of committing.
Bundy mug shot, 1980, the day after he was sentenced
to death for the murder of Kimberly LeachBundy contacted Keppel again in
1988. At that point, his appeals were exhausted. Bundy had beaten
previous death warrants for March 4, 1986, July 2, 1986, and November
18, 1986. With execution imminent, Bundy confessed to eight official
unsolved murders in Washington State for which he was the prime suspect.
Bundy told Keppel that there were actually five bodies left on Taylor
Mountain, not four as they had originally thought. Bundy confessed in
detail to the murder of Georgeann Hawkins, describing how he lured her
to his car, clubbed her with a tire iron that he had stashed on the
ground under his car, drove away with her in the car with him, and later
raped and strangled her.
After the interview, Keppel reported that he had been
shocked in speaking with Bundy, and that he was the kind of man who was
"born to kill." Keppel stated:
He described the Issaquah crime scene (where Janice
Ott, Denise Naslund, and Georgeann Hawkins had been left) and it was
almost like he was just there. Like he was seeing everything. He was
infatuated with the idea because he spent so much time there. He is just
totally consumed with murder all the time.
Bundy had hoped that he could use the revelations and
partial confessions to get another stay of execution or possibly commute
his sentence to life imprisonment. At one point, a legal advocate
working for Bundy asked many of the families of the victims to fax
letters to Florida Governor Robert Martinez and ask for mercy for Bundy
in order to find out where the remains of their loved ones were. All of
the families refused. Keppel and others reported that Bundy gave scant
detail about his crimes during his confessions, and promised to reveal
more and other body dump sites if he were given "more time." The ploy
failed and Bundy was executed on schedule.
The night before Bundy was executed, he gave a
television interview to James Dobson, head of the evangelical Christian
organization Focus on the Family. During the interview, Bundy made
repeated claims as to the pornographic "roots" of his crimes. He stated
that, while pornography did not cause him to commit murder, the
consumption of violent pornography helped "shape and mold" his violence
into "behavior too terrible to describe." He alleged that he felt that
violence in the media, "particularly sexualized violence," sent boys "down
the road to being Ted Bundys." In the same interview, Bundy stated:
"You are going to kill me, and that will protect
society from me. But out there are many, many more people who are
addicted to pornography, and you are doing nothing about that."
According to Hagmaier, Bundy contemplated suicide in
the days leading up to his execution, but eventually decided against it.
At 7:06 a.m. local time on January 24, 1989, Ted
Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison in
Starke, Florida. His last words were, "I'd like you to give my love to
my family and friends." Then, more than 2,000 volts were applied across
his body for less than two minutes. He was pronounced dead at 7:16 a.m.
Several hundred people were gathered outside the prison and cheered when
they saw the signal that Bundy had been declared dead.
Modus operandi and victim profiles
Bundy in custody, Leon County, FloridaBundy had a
fairly consistent modus operandi. He would approach a potential victim
in a public place, even in daylight or in a crowd, as when he abducted
Ott and Naslund at Lake Sammamish or when he kidnapped Leach from her
school. Bundy had various ways of gaining a victim's trust. Sometimes,
he would feign injury, wearing his arm in a sling or wearing a fake cast,
as in the murders of Hawkins, Rancourt, Ott, Naslund, and Cunningham. At
other times Bundy would impersonate an authority figure; he pretended to
be a policeman when approaching Carol DaRonch. The day before he killed
Kimberly Leach, Bundy approached another young Florida girl pretending
to be "Richard Burton, Fire Department", but left hurriedly after her
older brother arrived.
Bundy had a remarkable advantage in that his facial
features were attractive, yet not especially memorable. In later years,
he would often be described as chameleon-like, able to look totally
different by making only minor adjustments to his appearance, e.g.,
growing a beard or changing his hairstyle.
All of Bundy's victims were white females and most
were of middle class background. Almost all were between the ages of 15
and 25. Many were college students. In her book, Rule notes that most of
Bundy's victims had long straight hair parted in the middle—just like
Stephanie Brooks, the woman to whom Bundy was engaged in 1973. Rule
speculates that Bundy's resentment towards his first girlfriend was a
motivating factor in his string of murders. However, in a 1980 interview,
Bundy dismissed this hypothesis: "[t]hey...just fit the general criteria
of being young and attractive...Too many people have bought this crap
that all the girls were similar — hair about the same color, parted in
the middle...but if you look at it, almost everything was dissimilar...physically,
they were almost all different."
After luring a victim to his car, Bundy would hit her
in the head with a crowbar he had placed underneath his Volkswagen or
hidden inside it. Every recovered skull, except for that of Kimberly
Leach, showed signs of blunt force trauma. Every recovered body, except
for that of Leach, showed signs of strangulation.
Many of Bundy's victims were transported a
considerable distance from where they disappeared, as in the case of
Kathy Parks, whom he drove more than 260 miles from Oregon to
Washington. Bundy often would drink alcohol prior to finding a victim;
Carol DaRonch testified to smelling alcohol on his breath.
Hagmaier stated that Bundy considered himself to be
an amateur and impulsive killer in his early years, and then moved into
what he considered to be his "prime" or "predator" phase. Bundy stated
that this phase began around the time of the Lynda Healy murder, when he
began seeking victims he considered to be equal to his skill as a
On death row, Bundy admitted to decapitating at least
a dozen of his victims with a hacksaw. He kept the severed heads later
found on Taylor Mountain (Rancourt, Parks, Ball, Healy) in his room or
apartment for some time before finally disposing of them. He confessed
to cremating Donna Manson's head in his girlfriend's fireplace. Some of
the skulls of Bundy's victims were found with the front teeth broken
out. Bundy also confessed to visiting his victims' bodies over and over
again at the Taylor Mountain body dump site. He stated that he would lie
with them for hours, applying makeup to their corpses and having sex
with their decomposing bodies until putrefaction forced him to abandon
the remains. Not long before his death, Bundy admitted to returning to
the corpse of Georgeann Hawkins for purposes of necrophilia.
Bundy confessed to keeping other souvenirs of his
crimes. The Utah police who searched Bundy's apartment in 1975 missed a
collection of photographs that Bundy had hidden in the utility room,
photos that Bundy destroyed when he returned home after being released
on bail. His girlfriend Elizabeth once found a bag in his room filled
with women's clothing.
When Bundy was confronted by law enforcement officers
who stated that they believed the number of individuals he had murdered
was 36, Bundy told them that they should "add one digit to that, and
you'll have it." Rule speculated that this meant Bundy might have killed
over 100 women. Speaking to his lawyer Polly Nelson in 1988, however,
Bundy dismissed the 100+ victims speculation and said that the more
common estimate of approximately 35 victims was accurate.
In December 1987, Bundy was examined for seven hours
by Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a professor from New York University Medical
Center. Lewis diagnosed Bundy as a manic depressive whose crimes usually
occurred during his depressive episodes. To Lewis, Bundy described his
childhood, especially his relationship with his maternal grandparents,
Samuel and Eleanor Cowell.
According to Bundy, grandfather Samuel Cowell was a
deacon in his church. Along with the already established description of
his grandfather as a tyrannical bully, Bundy described him as a bigot
who hated blacks, Italians, Catholics, and Jews. He further stated that
his grandfather tortured animals, beating the family dog and swinging
neighborhood cats by their tails. He also told Lewis how his grandfather
kept a large collection of pornography in his greenhouse where,
according to relatives, Bundy and a cousin would sneak to look at it for
Family members expressed skepticism over Louise's "Jack
Worthington" story of Bundy's parentage and noted that Samuel Cowell
once flew into a violent rage when the subject of the boy's father came
up. Bundy described his grandmother as a timid and obedient wife, who
was sporadically taken to hospitals to undergo shock treatment for
depression. Toward the end of her life, Bundy said, she became
Louise Bundy's younger sister Julia recalled a
disturbing incident with her young nephew. After lying down in the
Cowells' home for a nap, Julia woke to find herself surrounded by knives
from the Cowell kitchen. Three-year-old Ted was standing by the bed,
smiling at her.
Bundy used stolen credit cards to purchase more than
30 pairs of socks while on the run in Florida; he was a self-described
In the Dobson interview before his execution, Bundy
said that violent pornography played a major role in his sex crimes.
According to Bundy, as a young boy he found "outside the home again, in
the local grocery store, in a local drug store, the soft core
pornography that people called soft core...And from time to time we
would come across pornographic books of a harder nature...."
Bundy said, "It happened in stages, gradually. My
experience with pornography generally, but with pornography that deals
on a violent level with sexuality, is once you become addicted to it —
and I look at this as a kind of addiction like other kinds of addiction
— I would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic
kinds of material. Until you reach a point where the pornography only
goes so far, you reach that jumping off point where you begin to wonder
if maybe actually doing it would give that which is beyond just reading
it or looking at it."
In a letter written shortly before his escape from
the Glenwood Springs jail, Bundy said "I have known people who...radiate
vulnerability. Their facial expressions say 'I am afraid of you.' These
people invite abuse... By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage
In a 1980 interview, speaking of a serial killer's
justification of his actions, Bundy said "So what's one less? What's one
less person on the face of the planet?" When Florida detectives asked
Bundy to tell them where he had left Kimberly Leach's body for her
family's solace, Bundy allegedly said, "But I'm the most cold-hearted
son of a bitch you'll ever meet."
Below is a chronological list of Ted Bundy's known
victims. Bundy never made a comprehensive confession of his crimes and
his true total is not known, but before his execution, he confessed to
Hagmaier to having committed 30 murders. Many of his victims remain
unknown. All the women listed were killed, unless otherwise noted.
May 1973: Unknown hitchhiker, Tumwater, Washington
area. Confessed to Bob Keppel before Bundy's execution. No remains found.
January 4: Joni Lenz (pseudonym) (18, survived).
University of Washington first-year student who was bludgeoned in her
bed and impaled with a speculum as she slept.
February 1: Lynda Ann Healy (21). Bludgeoned while
asleep and abducted from the house she shared with other University of
March 12: Donna Gail Manson (19). Abducted while
walking to a jazz concert on the Evergreen State College campus, Olympia,
Washington. Bundy confessed to her murder, but her body was never found.
April 17: Susan Elaine Rancourt (18). Disappeared as
she walked across Ellensburg's Central Washington State College campus
May 6: Roberta Kathleen "Kathy" Parks (22). Vanished
from Oregon State University in Corvallis while walking to another dorm
hall to have coffee with friends.
June 1: Brenda Carol Ball (22). Disappeared from the
Flame Tavern in Burien, Washington.
June 11: Georgeann Hawkins (18). Disappeared from
behind her sorority house, Kappa Alpha Theta, at the University of
July 14: Janice Ann Ott (23) and Denise Marie Naslund
(19). Abducted several hours apart from Lake Sammamish State Park in
September 2: Unknown teenage hitchhiker. Idaho.
Confessed before his execution. No remains found.
October 2: Nancy Wilcox (16). Disappeared in Holladay,
Utah. Her body was never found.
October 18: Melissa Smith (17). Vanished from Midvale,
Utah, after leaving a pizza parlor.
October 31: Laura Aime (17). Disappeared from a
Halloween party at Lehi, Utah.
November 8: Carol DaRonch (survived). Escaped from
Bundy by jumping out from his car in Murray, Utah.
November 8: Debra "Debi" Kent (17). Vanished from the
parking lot of a school in Bountiful, Utah, hours after DaRonch escaped
from Bundy. Shortly before his execution, Bundy confessed to
investigators that he dumped Kent at a site near Fairview, Utah. An
intense search of the site produced one human bone — a knee cap — which
matched the profile for someone of Kent's age and size. DNA testing has
not been attempted.
Bundy is a suspect in the murder of Carol Valenzuela,
who disappeared from Vancouver, Washington, on August 2, 1974. Her
remains were discovered two months later south of Olympia, Washington,
along with those of an unidentified female.
January 12: Caryn Campbell (23). Campbell, a Michigan
nurse, vanished between her hotel lounge and room while on a ski trip
with her fiancé in Snowmass, Colorado.
March 15: Julie Cunningham (26). Disappeared while on
her way to a nearby tavern in Vail, Colorado. Bundy confessed to
investigators that he buried Cunningham's body near Rifle, Garfield
County, Colorado, but a search did not produce remains.
April 6: Denise Oliverson (25). Abducted while
bicycling to visit her parents in Grand Junction, Colorado. Bundy
provided details of her murder, but her body was never found.
May 6: Lynette Culver (13). Snatched from a school
playground at Alameda Junior High School in Pocatello, Idaho. Her body
was never found.
June 28: Susan Curtis (15). Disappeared while walking
alone to the dormitories during a youth conference at Brigham Young
University in Provo, Utah. Her body was never found.
Bundy is a suspect in the murder of Melanie Suzanne "Suzy"
Cooley, who disappeared April 15, 1975, after leaving Nederland High
School in Nederland, Colorado. Her bludgeoned and strangled corpse was
discovered by road maintenance workers on May 2, 1975, in nearby Coal
Creek Canyon. Gas receipts place Bundy in nearby Golden, the day of the
Cooley abduction. The Jefferson County, Colorado, Sheriff's Office has
classified the Melanie Cooley murder as a cold
January 15: Lisa Levy (20), Margaret Bowman (21),
Karen Chandler (survived), Kathy Kleiner Deshields (survived). The Chi
Omega killings, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
January 15: Cheryl Thomas (survived). Bludgeoned in
her bed, eight blocks away from the Chi Omega Sorority house.
February 9: Kimberly Leach (12), kidnapped from her
junior high school in Lake City, Florida. She was raped, murdered and
discarded in Suwannee River State Park in Florida.
Three TV movies and one feature film have been
produced about Bundy and his crimes.
The Deliberate Stranger, a two-part TV movie, aired
on NBC in 1986 and starred Mark Harmon as Bundy.
Ted Bundy, released in 2002, was directed by Matthew
Bright. Michael Reilly Burke starred as Bundy.
The Stranger Beside Me aired on the USA Network in
2003, and starred Billy Campbell as Bundy and Barbara Hershey as Ann
In 2004, the A&E Network produced an adaptation of
Robert Keppel's book The Riverman, which starred Cary Elwes as Bundy and
Bruce Greenwood as Keppel.
The Depths of Depravity
Savvy Sociopath Changes
By By Kevin Heldman - APB Online
NEW YORK (APBnews.com) -- Ted Bundy was a young
Republican, law student, avid skier, crisis hotline volunteer and the
boy next door. He was also a cannibal, necrophiliac, charismatic
sociopath and the man whose name came to define the term "serial killer"
for the 20th century. Though there were at least 57 documented cases of
serial killings in America since 1900, Bundy changed the landscape. The
man who admitted to killing at least 30 women between 1973 and 1978 --
some experts believe he killed more than a hundred -- was a remarkable
criminal in several ways.
"In 1974 when we had our first [Bundy] crime that we
knew of, the phenomena just wasn't very well known," said Robert Keppel,
a former homicide detective and author of The Riverman, an account of
his search for Washington's Green River Killer and his attempt to enlist
Ted Bundy's assistance. "What makes him unique from a lot of others is
the range and the span with which he committed his murders across state
lines, across the whole country," Keppel said. Bundy killed in as many
as 10 states, more than any serial killer in American history.
University of Louisville criminology professor Ronald
M. Holmes, who spent two years corresponding with Bundy as well as
interviewing him in prison, said Bundy's propensity for travel
corresponded with the advent of the nation's interstate system and the
increased reliability of transportation. Prior to Bundy, most serial
killers murdered in their own backyards.
Bundy was the first to deviate
significantly from that pattern, establishing the model for the modern-day
multiple murderer. A new breed of killer - Bundy was a type of killer
police hadn't encountered before. They weren't yet equipped to deal with
him. "His case had a great effect on the way law enforcement collects
information about killers," Keppel said. "There was no central
repository of murder information anywhere in the United States at that
Although some experts disagree, Keppel said the Bundy
case was instrumental in the development of VICAP (Violent Criminal
Apprehension Program), an FBI database designed to collect and link
information on serial homicides. The FBI began using VICAP in 1985.
Bundy's geographical range left investigators with the laborious task of
phoning individual police departments across the United States and
combing through piles of disparate murder records. It was Bundy, by
proxy, who taught the FBI the value of a central murder database. "It
took my partner and I a year-and-a-half to collect information on over
90 murders in Western states," said Keppel. "If everybody cooperated in
the VICAP program and submitted their crimes, it would have been a
matter of seconds."
The media's darling - Bundy, with a hand from the
media, changed the face of the serial killer as well. According to
Holmes, who has profiled more than 375 murder and rape cases, the public
image of the serial killer before Bundy was the psychotic, demented
freak with gross physical impairments.
"Then Bundy comes along and says, 'Hey, I'm just like
the guy next door -- I'm the stranger beside you,' " he said, referring
to the title of crime writer Ann Rule's book about Bundy. Holmes said
there were serial killers before Bundy who were just as charismatic,
just as all-American, but they didn't get the media representation Bundy
did. "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are
everywhere," Bundy is quoted in Harold Schechter's book, The A to Z
Encyclopedia of Serial Killers. A Ph.D. in serial killing - Bundy called
upon a potpourri of serial killer traits and a vast reserve of deviance.
According to various accounts, he stored severed heads in his home, and
was a loner who was simultaneously engaged to two women while he was
He incinerated skulls in his fireplace and vacuumed up the
ashes. He re-dressed dead victims, ate their flesh, feigned lameness to
lure victims and faked accents. He kept one of his victims in his
possession for nine days. He twice escaped from custody, was an
experienced cat burglar and insisted on strangling his victims while he
looked directly into their eyes.
Bundy looked upon serial killing as a macabre mixture
of sport, craft and intellectual pursuit. A 1992 investigative report
stated that Bundy went on dry runs, "picking up a woman and releasing
her unharmed to test his skills." In interviews, he compared killing to
learning how to be a better repairman or cook. He told interviewers he
had a Ph.D. in serial killing. Killed only the best victims - Perhaps
Bundy's most significant impact on the public consciousness was the
breadth of his killing and the identities of his victims. Bundy didn't
kill prostitutes or drug dealers. He killed the police chief's daughter.
He killed pretty young college girls. His crimes caused outrage and led
to nationwide media coverage. "He was killing the best and most
attractive of the youth," said Holmes. "He was killing college girls
that were the future of America. They were very valuable victims."
Serving as his own defense attorney, Bundy dragged
out his execution for almost 11 years. Snippets of his televised trial
in Miami came into people's homes on the news each night. By the time he
was executed in 1989 at age 42, Bundy was so widely despised that,
according to Schechter's book, people gathered outside the prison where
he was to be electrocuted to toast his death with champagne. Across the
state of Washington, Keppel said taverns in every city put up billboards
celebrating his impending execution: "Drink one to Bundy."
Ted Bundy Quotations
Theodore Robert Bundy is trying
to TELL you Something:
"It is not an easy matter to isolate things. I mean,
incidents which themselves could cause pressure or stress, be unpleasant
to one degree or another or have a disorienting effect. You have to see
it in its unique effect on the unique individual. There are no broad
generalizations or predictions you can make. You just can't predict
behavior like that. Society wants to believe it can identify evil people
... it's not practical ... If someone does something antisocial and
deviant, that is a manifestation of something that is going on inside.
Once they do something, then they can be labeled. Predictions can't be
made until that point is reached."
"I think that you could say that the
influence of the person's family history was positive. But not positive
enough -- not enduring, perhaps not strong enough to overcome the urges
or compulsions that resulted ... in this instance, the influence of the
family and the environment in which this person grew up were positive,
but not so positive as to prepare this individual ... " "You take the
individual we are talking about ... and then you subject him to stress.
Stress happens to come randomly, but its effect on the personality is
not random; it's specific. That results in a certain amount of chaos,
confusion, and frustration. That person begins to seek out a target for
his frustrations. The continued nature of this stress this person was
under -- the nature of the flaw or weakness in his personality, together
with other elements in the environment that offer him a logical target
for his frustrations or escapes from reality -- yields the situation
we're discussing ... There is no trigger, it is truly more sophisticated
"I hate to use labels that are psychological or
psychiatric because there are no stereotypes, and when you start to use
those labels, you stop looking at the facts." "This condition is not
immediately seen by the individual or identified as a serious problem.
It sort of manifests itself in an interest concerning sexual behavior,
as sexual images ... But this interest, for some unknown reason, becomes
geared toward matters of a sexual nature that involves violence. I
cannot emphasize enough the gradual development of this. It is not short
term ... This is on a different level than this individual would deal
with women every day, and not in the context of sexual condition,
because that is over here someplace, like collecting stamps. He doesn't
retain the taste of glue, so to speak, all day long. But in a broader,
more abstract way, it begins to preoccupy him."
"He has no hatred for women; there is nothing in his
background that happened that would indicate he has been abused by any
females ... there is some kind of weakness that gives rise to this
individual's interest in the kind of sexual activity involving violence
that would gradually begin to absorb some of his fantasy ... he was not
imagining himself actually doing these things, but he found
gratification from reading about others so engaged. Eventually the
interest would become so demanding toward new material that it could
only be catered to by what he could find in the dirty book stores."
[Bundy described the part of "this personality"
that found gratification in the thoughts, and later acts, of sexual
violence as "the entity," "the disordered self," and "the malignancy."
The schemes or ruses used for isolating and abducting his victims, were
a result of fantasy, and attributed to the "Ted," or dominant part of
the personality. The following are statements made by Ted in which he
discusses the progressive pattern of sexual violence prior to the
commission of murder.]
"Say he was walking down the street on one occasion,
one evening, and just totally, by chance ... looked up into the window
of a house and saw a woman undressing ... And he began, with some
regularity, with increasing regularity, to, uh, canvass, as it were, the
community he lived in. By peeping in windows, as it were, and watching a
woman undress, or watching whatever could be seen, you know, during the
evening, and approaching it almost like a project, throwing himself into
it, literally for years ... These occasions when he when he would, uh,
travel about the neighborhoods that adjoined his and search out
candidates for ... search out places where ... he could see what he
wanted to see ... more or less these occasions were dictated ... still
being dictated by this person's normal life. So he wouldn't break a date
or postpone an important, uh, event ... wouldn't rearrange his life ...
to accommodate this, uh, indulgence in voyeuristic behavior ... He
gained ... a great amount of gratification from it. And he became
increasingly adept at it -- as anyone becomes adept at anything they do
over and over and over again ... What began to happen was that ...
important matters were not being rearranged or otherwise interfered with
by this voyeuristic behavior, but with increasing regularity, things
were postponed or otherwise rescheduled, to, uh, work around, uh, hours
and hours spent on the street, at night and during the early morning
" ... what's happening is that we're building up the
condition ... and what may have been a predisposition for violence
becomes a disposition. And as the condition develops and its purposes or
its characteristics become more well defined, it begins to demand more
time of the individual ... There's a certain amount of tension, uh,
struggle, between the normal personality and this, this, uh,
psychopathological, uh, entity ... The tension between normal
individual, uh, normal consciousness of this individual and those
demands being submitted to him via this competing ... this condition
inside him seems to be competing for more attention ... And it's not an
independent thing. One doesn't switch on and the other doesn't switch
off. They're more or less active at the same time. Sometimes one is more
active ... "
" ... a point would be reached where we'd had all of
this, this reservoir of tension building. Building and building. Finally,
inevitably, this force -- this entity -- would make a breakthrough ...
Maybe not a major breakthrough, but a significant breakthrough would be
achieved -- where the tension would be too great and the demands and
expectations of this entity would reach a point where they just could
not be controlled. And where the consequences would really be seen for
the first time." " I think you could make a little more sense of it if
you take into account the effect of alcohol. It's important ... When
this person drank a good deal, his inhibitions were significantly
diminished. He would find that his urge to engage in voyeuristic
behavior on trips to the book store would become more prevalent, more
urgent. On every occasion when he engaged in such behavior, he was
" ... On one particular evening, when he had been
drinking a great deal ... and he was passing a bar, he saw a woman
leaving the bar and walk up a fairly dark side street. And we'd say that
for no ... the urge to do something to that person seized him -- in a
way he'd never been affected before ... And it seized him strongly. And
to the point where, uh, without giving a great deal of thought, he
searched around for some instrumentality to uh, uh, attack this woman
with. He found a piece of a two-by-four in a lot somewhere and proceeded
to follow and track this girl ... and he reached the point where he was,
uh, almost driven to do something -- there was really no control at this
point ... the sort of revelation of that experience and the frenzied
desire that seized him, uh, really seemed to usher in a new dimension to
the, that part of himself that was obsessed with ... violence and women
and sexual activity -- a composite kind of thing. Not terribly well
defined, but more well defined as time went on."
"On succeeding evenings he began to, uh, scurry
around this same neighborhood, obsessed with the image he'd seen on the
evening before ... and on one particular occasion, he saw a woman park
her car and walk up to her front door and fumble with her keys. He
walked up behind her and struck her with a ... piece of wood that he was
carrying. And she fell down and began screaming, and he panicked and ran.
What he had done had ... purely terrified him ... The sobering effect of
that was to ... for some time ... close up the cracks again. And not do
anything. For the first time, he sat back and swore to himself that he
wouldn't do something like that again ... or anything that would lead to
it ... And he did everything he should have done. He stayed away from
... he did not go out at night. And when he was drinking, he stayed
around friends. For a period of months, the enormity of what he did
stuck with him, and he watched his behavior and reinforced the desire to
overcome what he had begun to perceive were some problems that were
probably more severe than he would have liked to believe they were ...
within a matter of months ... the impact of this event lost its ...
deterrent value. And within months he was back ... peeping in windows
again and slipping into that old routine ... the repulsion began to
recede ... something did stick with him. That was the incredible danger:
by allowing himself to fall into spontaneous, unplanned acts of violence
... It took six months or so, until he back thinking of alternative
means of engaging in similar activities, but not ... something that
would be likely to result in apprehension."
"Then on another night he saw a woman walking home
... he followed her home ... Eventually, he created a plan where he
would attack her in, in the house ... early one morning, uh, he sneaked
into her house ... he jumped on the woman's bed and attempted to
restrain her... all he succeeded in doing was waking her up, and, uh,
causing her to panic and scream. He left very rapidly ... And then he
was seized with the same kind of disgust, repulsion, and fear and wonder
at why he was allowing himself to attempt such extraordinary violence
... But the significance ... was that while he did the same thing he did
before -- stayed off the streets, vowed he'd never do it again and
recognized the horror of what he'd done, and certainly was frightened by
what he saw happening -- it only took him three months to get over it
this time ... and then the next incident, he was over it in a month --
until it didn't take him any time at all to recover... "
"We are talking about anonymous, abstracted, living
and breathing people ... but they were not known. To a point they were
symbols, uh, but once a certain point in the encounter had been crossed,
they ceased being individuals and became, uh, well you could say
problems ... that's not the word either... that's when the rational self
-- the normal self -- would surface and, and, react with fear and horror
... But, recognizing the state of affairs, would sort of conspire with
this other part of himself to conceal the act. The survival took
precedence over remorse ... the normal individual, began to condition
mentally, out guilt out guilt; using a variety of mechanisms. Saying it
was justifiable, it was, uh, acceptable, it was necessary, and on and on."
"He received no pleasure from harming or causing pain
to the person he attacked. He received absolutely no gratification from
causing pain and did everything possible, within reason -- considering
the unreasonableness of the situation -- not to torture these
individuals, at least not physically."
[The following are statements made by Ted
concerning the abduction and murder of twenty-one year old college co-ed
Lynda Healy, which occurred on January 31, 1974. Healy was vanish ed
from the basement bedroom the home which she shared with several other
students. More than year had passed before her remains were discovered,
as were those of three other young women, scattered on the hillside of
" ... he checked out the house and found that the
front door was open. He thought about it. What kind of opportunity that
offered. And returned to the house later and entered the house ... Then
he went around the house and found a particular door and opened --
really hit and miss. Not knowing who or what, not looking or anyone in
particular ... that would be the opportunity. This was late at night.
And presumably everyone would be asleep ... we know that sometime later
the remains were found somewhere in the Cascades. So obviously she
transported up there ... some place that was quiet and private. His home
or some secluded area ... He would have the girl undress and then, with
that part of himself gratified, he found himself in a position where he
realized then he couldn't let the girl go. And at that point he would
kill her and leave her body where he had taken her."
"As far as remorse over the act, that would last for
a period of time. But it could all be justified. The person would
attempt to justify it by saying, "Well, listen you, you fucked up this
time, but you're never going to do it again. So let's just stay together,
and it won't ever happen again." Why sacrifice this person's whole life
... But this did not last for very long. A matter of weeks. We go first
into a state of semi-dormancy, and then it would sort of regenerate
itself, in one form or another ... Once the condition began to reassert
its force, it didn't look back. It looked forward. Didn't want to dwell
on the preceding event, but begin to plan, anticipate, contemplate the
next ... things would be learned. Experience teaches in overt and subtle
ways. And over a period of time, there would be less panic, there would
be less confusion, there would be less fear and apprehension. There
would be a faster regeneration period."
The following statements are made by Ted
concerning the abduction and murder of twenty-two year old Kathy Parks.
Kathy was last seen on May 6, 1974 at Oregon State University. Her
remains were discovered approximately a year later on the hillside of
"It was established quite early in the case that her
body had been ravished by wildlife ... a whole variety of wild animals
... feed on the carcasses ... This might give us one as clue as to why
this person returned to that site on at least several occasions .
Perhaps it was discovered that when a body was left there, and later
when the individual would return to check out the situation, he would
find that it was no longer there!"
The following statements made by Ted are not
relative to any one crime in particular.]
"Once he'd made his contact -- and it appeared he was
going to be able to carry it through -- he became very calm and
analytical about the situation he was in ... a period of relaxation ...
until it came time for him to kill the victim ... he would become torn
apart as to the correctness of his conduct ... he'd still have the
overriding need to dispose of the victim, and, of course, once it was
done, he would usually go into a state of panic. Suddenly it would seem
as if the dominant, or formerly dominant ... the predominant, normal
self came back into control in a horrifying way. Or one that is
presented with ... conceived with panic and confusion ... Fear of being
captured or discovered ... I would envision a continuation of this kind
of collaboration ... between that one part of this person's self. Which
demands certain gratification, and the more dominant, law-abiding, more
ethical, rational, normal self -- which was sort of forced to become a
party to this kind of conduct. Basically you might say there was a
shared division of responsibility. This came as much from evolution as
from conscious choice."
" ... this activity is just a small, small portion of
what was predominantly a normal existence ... which continued to be a
normal existence ... This person could still be very much in favor of
law and order and the police ... and be very genuinely shocked by crime
in the newspaper. And very much moved by people who suffered the death
of a loved one. Complete, genuine responding in a normal fashion.
Willing and able to help police. He would have a real feeling in those
regards. Not out of a desire to protect or hide. These were just normal
responses ... The uniqueness of the whole situation is how this
condition pertained to such a narrow spectrum of activity. The
inhibitions that would normally prevent a person from acting that way
were specifically excised, removed, diminished, repressed ... in such a
way as to not affect all the other inhibitions -- or to result in the
deterioration off the entire personality. But only in that tiny, tiny
"We would expect that after the passing of a period
of time, this psychological condition, or part of that individual's self
... would reach a state of maturity ... its growth would greatly
diminish ... the normal self had a pretty good understanding of this
condition. Learned, uh, how to tolerate it..And perhaps, as a symptom of
this matured state of development of the condition ... we'd expect this
individual wouldn't need to drink to over come his inhibitions."
"It's like trying to examine what's in the medical
cabinet by, in great detail, examining what's in the mirror ... he
wasn't seeing through perhaps, the morass of justifications and
obfuscations that he'd created and indulged in -- and what he was
closely examining was the reflection in the mirror, not what was behind
it. Not what was really going on ... on the one hand he thought he'd
looked at the problem and dealt with it."
TB: How does a person . . . how does a soldier deal
HA: Well, he has the justification built in, you see,
TB: So does the mass murderer.
Psychiatric Evaluation of Ted Bundy
Dr. Emanuel Tanay)
The following is a deposition taken by Polly Nelson,
who represented Bundy throughout the collateral appeal process. It was
only at this stage that the question of Ted Bundy's sanity was raised,
though not in relation to the crimes. Nelson was hoping prove to the
court that Bundy was not, at the time, comepetent to stand trial,
therefore invalidating his conviction on three counts of murder. Dr.
Emauel Tanay, who evaluated Bundy in 1979, is testifying as to what his
findings were at that time.
Saturday, December 12, 1987.
Polly Nelson: What were your impressions of Mr. Bundy
when you examined him on May eighteenth, 1979?
Dr. Emanuel Tanay: My impressions were
that he was an individual who was indeed rather intelligent - who was
well informed about a variety of matters - but, just as I indicated in
my preliminary report, based on documents only, namely April twenty-seventh,
1979, he showed a typical picture of someone who suffers from a lifelong
personality disorder. Someone who was, what we would call in psychiatry,
an impulse-ridden indivdual, prone to acting out and more involved with
immediate gratification than any long-term concerns. He was what in the
literature has been described in the past as a typical psychopathic type
of personality. This is an old term that is no longer used outside of
textbooks, but nevertheless I found it quite descriptive of Mr. Bundy.
Nelson: What do you mean by the term "impulse-ridden?"
Tanay: Someone who has no control, or at least
impaired control, over his or her impulses. Most people might perceive a
certain type of impulse to act in a certain fashion, because it might
gratify some kind of need, but they will reflect about it and make
choices. Impulse-ridden individuals don't have that ability. They are
driven to gratify their impulse without subjecting it to reflection.
Nelson: Turning to page four of Exhibit Fifteen, you
state that "in the nearly three hours which I spent with Mr. Bundy I
found him to be in a cheerful, even jovial, mood. He was witty but not
flippant; he spoke freely; however, meaningful communication was never
established. He was asked about his apparent lack of concern so out of
keeping with the charges facing him. He acknowledged that he was facing
a possible death sentence. However, he said, 'I'll cross that bridge
when I get to it.' " Do you recall that impression?
Tanay: Yes, I do.
Nelson: Could you describe more fully what Mr.
Bundy's mood and affect was like at that time?
Tanay: Mr. Bundy was more involved with impressing me
with his brilliance and his wit than to use the services that had been
arranged for him of an expert. He was informed that I was someone of
national reputation and that he was to avail himself of these services -
Mr. Minerva and other members of the defense team had so informed me -
but that did not take place. Mr. Bundy dealt with me as if I was a
reporter for Time magazine or some other publication. He certainly
didn't deal with me as if I was a psychiatrist retained by the defense
to assist in defending him when he was facing a death sentence. He
played a similar game with me as he played with the investigators.
Nelson: In what way?
Tanay: You see, I pointed out to him that a person
who committed these type of sadistic homicides may be someone who may
have available to him the defense of insanity, and I clearly indicated
to him that it may be useful for him to discuss that with me; and just
like he did with the investigators, he was confessing that he did - and
I say "confessing" in quotes, because it wasn't an official confession,
but he was leading me to believe that he indeed committed these acts.
Just like he told the investigators, to use their own words, that he was
telling them that he did it, and yet he wasn't. So he was creating a
situation where he was pursuading people that he committed these acts
and yet making it impossible for a psychiatrist, like myself, to review
this in a manner that could convceivably assist his lawyer in
formulating a defense, and he played it, ya know, he talked to me but
never really talked to me about the situation directly. He never
acknowledged that he committed the acts, therefore we could never
discuss them, and yet he was indicating, in a manner that I can't really
describe to you, just as he did with the police officers, that he was
the one who did it.
Nelson: What was your impression of the reason that
Mr. Bundy was acting in that way?
Tanay: My impression was that it was typical behavior
of a psychopath who likes to defy authority, who has a need, who is
driven to defy authority - and that includes lawyers, psychiatrists, law
enforcement, judges - and that was more important to him than saving his
own life. He was typically responding to a gratification of the moment.
Nelson: You wrote here on page five of Exhibit
Fifteen that "Mr. Bundy rationalized away every piece of evidence which
linked him to the crime," and a little further down, "Mr. Bundy has an
incapacity to recognize the significance of the evidence held against
him. It would be simplistic to characterize this as merely lying, in as
much as he acts as if his perception of the evidence was reality - he
makes decisions based upon these distorted perceptions of reality." Do
those statements accurately reflect your opinions concerning Mr. Bundy?
Tanay: Yes. On the same page I am describing, or
making reference to what I knew at the time the evidence was against him,
which certainly I was told by his attorneys was persuasive. By
confronting him with the interview I tried to find out if he would
respond to my pointing out to him the reality that he was facing, which
he did. He simply rejected it.
Nelson: At the bottom of the same page you state, "It
is my opinion, based on a variety of data, that his dealings with the
criminal justice system are dominated by psychopathology." Are you
referring there merely to the alleged crimes or to Mr. Bundy's other
Tanay: Both. He was doing the same thing, he was
being the same psychopath when he dealt with his victims that he
tortured and killed as when he was dealing with lawyers who were helping
him, or investigators who were trying to solve the crime. He was
behaving in the same manner - psychiatrically it was the same, even
though the consequences were obviously not as tragic, since he couldn't
harm anybody in the manner that he harmed his victims. He was harming
other people. He was destructive to himself. He was destructive to his
lawyers. My observations were that he was manipulating people around him,
including his lawyers, even though it was destructive to him. Ultimately
he was the victim of it all, but he was victimizing other people even
while he was in jail.
Nelson: In your opinion, was this behavior of Mr
Bundy's under his conscious control?
Tanay: No, it was not. This was part and parcel of
his maladaptive personality structure. He was doing what was dictated by
his personality disorder.
Nelson: This psychopathology that you note, with
which he deals with the criminal justice system, was that a temporary
phenomena or was it a chronic condition?
Tanay: It was a lifelong pattern. It was not a
temporary phenomena. It was an expression of his basic persoanlity
Nelson: Would you describe Exhibit One?
Tanay: The real background of it is the fact that I
told Mr. Minerva that I did not believe that Mr. Bundy would do what he
was told to do, and my recollection was that Mr. Minerva was writing
this to confirm that I was right, because I did - I recall Mr. Minerva
expressing to some degree, I would have to say, admiration, for the fact
that I had anticipated what would occur - I did not think that Mr. Bundy
Nelson: Cooperate in what manner?
Tanay: With the advice of his lawyers - including
even Mr. Farmer, who supposedly Mr. Bundy greatly respected and admired
- and that he would take the guilty plea, because it was my view that he
would not, because that would terminate the show, his ability to be the
celebrity would come to an end, he would be just someone who was spared
from the death sentence, and the show would be over. Whereas, his need
was to have the proceedings go on and on in order to gratify his
Nelson: If Mr.Bundy made the decision to reject the
plea bargain, in your opinion would that have been a rational decision?
Tanay: No. It was, in my opinion, clearly an
irrational decision, even though I anticipated it, not because it was
rational but because it was consistent with the psychopathology, the
mental disorder from which he suffered. In fact, had he done what his
lawyers advised him to do, that would have been rational, since it was
forseeable that he would be convicted and face the death penalty.
Nelson: Was Mr. Bundy's behavior with
his attorney and his actions in terms of self-representation and other
defense matters, was that an integral part of his psychopathology?
Tanay: Very definitely so. He behaved like a typical
psychopath with his lawyers, and, for that matter, with me.
Nelson: You testified at the competency hearing of
June eleventh, 1979. At that hearing, did Mr. Bundy's competency counsel,
Mr. Hayes, explore your opinion to develop facts on which to make a
decision as to Mr. Bundy's competency?
Tanay: No one did that. To be very simplistic about
it, my feeling of that hearing was like someone who dressed up for the
party and arrived and they canceled the party. I was asked very few
questions, and very little information about my knowledge of Mr. Bundy
or the case was placed on the record.
Nelson: In your experience as an expert witness, was
this proceeding unique?
Tanay: I have testified - I belive the first time was
thrity years ago, and I have testified on many occasions since - but
this is the only case like that, where I have been declared an adverse
witness to both parties, and where information that I had was really not
developed by the means of an adversary proceeding. Normally, one side
pulls in one direction, the other side pulls in the other direction, and
considerable information is elicited. I always consider cross-examination
to be essential to develop a point of view that I am presenting.
Nelson: Did you feel that your opinion was adequately
presented in this hearing?
Tanay: Not at all. Not at all. There was no
exploration - that was my impression, I made some notes of it - that was
my impression of what happened, and when I read it now that just
confirms that my considerable work invested in the case was not utilized
in that hearing. I mean, I did not develop my opinion and explain my
opinion in this case. An expert witness, unlike a lecturer in a
classroom, cannot function on his or her own. He or she is completely,
say, at the mercy of whoever takes the testimony.
Nelson: Did you have an opinion at the time of the
hearing on June eleventh whether or not Mr. Bundy was able to assist his
Tanay: Considering the nature of the functions that
he was to perform as a defendant claiming innocence, it was my opinion
that he was not able to stand trial. When you say assist his counsel, he
was his own counsel.
Nelson: Was he capable of changin g that behavior and
not becoming his own counsel?
Tanay: In my opinion, he was not. He was predictably
unpredictable. What I mean by that is that one could anticipate that he
would be guided more by showmanship than prudence.
Nelson: Was Mr. Bundy able meaningfully to assit his
counsel at that time?
Tanay: He was not.
Nelson: Referring to the first factor in the Florida
rules of criminal procedure governing competency to stand trial, do you
have an opinion as to whether Mr. Bundy was able to appreciate the
Tanay: Yes, I do have an opinion that he was able to
appreciate the charges intellectually.
Nelson: When you say "intellectually," do you mean
that there was some way in which he was not able to appreciate the
Tanay: That's true. I'm of the opinion that he did
not appreciate the seriousness of the charges. He could intellectually
tell you what the charges were, but he just dismissed them as real
insignificant - based on his rich imagination of law enforcement - which
was not the case. Clearly the charges were based upon solid evidence,
but that was not his view.
Nelson: Dr. Tanay, when you say that Mr. Bundy
dismissed the weight of the evidence against him, was that merely
carelessness on his part or was that due to an emotional or mental
Tanay: It was part of the illness, his attitude was
the product, the outcome, of the nature of the illness.
Nelson: Looking to the second factor of the Florida
standards, was Mr. Bundy able to appreciate the range and the nature of
the possible penalty?
Tanay: Again, intellectually he was. As I pointed out
in my report, he said that he would cross that bridge when he came to
it, when I was asking him, Do you know that you are facing th death
snetence? He could intellectually acknowledge it, but he sure didn't act
like a man who was facing a death sentence. He was acting like a man who
did not have a care in the world. I think I commented upon it in my
report, that he was cheerful and acted more like a man who was not in
jail but was onstage.
Nelson: Was that fact psychiatrically significant?
Tanay: Yes. It's consistent with the diagnosis that I
have previously described, of someone who is typical psychopath or
suffers from a personality disorder.
Nelson: Dr. Tanay, did you ever observe Mr. Bundy
with Mr. Minerva?
Tanay: Yes. As I indicated in my report, Mr. Bundy
was acting as if Mr. Minerva was his third assistant and not a lawyer
Nelson: Did you in June of 1979 have an opinion as to
Mr. Bundy's ability to assist his attorneys in planning his defense?
Tanay: I did have an opinion.
Nelson: And what was that opinion?
Tanay: That he was unable to assist in planning his
defense. To the contrary, he was interfering with whatever meaningful
plans the defense made. He sabotaged pretty consitently what the defense
lawyers had worked out. His conduct was symptomatic of his illness, and
it was outside his control.
Nelson: What was your opinion as to Mr. Bundy's
motivation to help himself in the legal process?
Tanay: He was not motivated by a need to help himself.
He was motivated by the need to be the star of the show, as I pointed
out in my report. He was the producer of a play in which he was playing
a big role. The defense and his future were of secondary importance to
him. Tanay: Definitely not. I have absolutely
no doubt that he was a disaster as cocounsel or chief counsel of his own
defense and that was certainly forseeable.
Decade After Ted Bundy's Execution, Survivors Still
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - The heavy
footsteps of emergency medical technicians and the crackling of police
radios awakened Susan Denton from a deep sleep to a scene of horror and
blood. In the hallway of Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State
University in Tallahassee, her friend Karen Chandler was being loaded
onto a gurney. Another sorority sister, Kathy Kleiner, sat dazed on her
bed down the hall, blood pouring down her face. Two others had been
strangled: Margaret Bowman's body lay in her room, and Lisa Levy died on
the way to the hospital.
"When you realize how close it occurred, you think
why was it their room and not our room? You go through all that,'' said
Ms. Denton in an interview recently. She still quivers at the memory of
the January 1978 attacks and of the sinister stranger with the engaging
smile and magnetic appeal who was finally convicted of the rampage,
Theodore Robert Bundy. It has been 10 years since Ted Bundy was executed
in Florida's electric chair. "There probably wasn't a day that went by
that I didn't think of Lisa and Margaret,'' said Ms. Denton, who for 14
years worked to make Florida's victim rights laws more sensitive to
From early 1974 to early 1978, the stranger called "Ted''
stalked young women on college campuses, at shopping malls, in apartment
buildings and grade schools in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Colorado
and finally Florida. "He was the kind of charmer that you would take
home to your sister,'' said David Lee, now with the Florida Game and
Fresh Water Fish Commission. Two decades ago, on Feb. 15, 1978, as a
Pensacola policeman he had spotted a stolen Volkswagen and signaled the
driver to pull over.
During questioning, the driver kicked Lee's legs out
from under him and ran. Lee fired a warning shot, then a second round at
the fleeing man. Lee thought he had wounded the man but soon found
himself in a struggle over his gun. He finally subdued and arrested the
man. It turned out that Lee had apprehended one of the FBI's 10 Most
Wanted. The man was a suspect in the murders of the two Chi Omega
sisters and Kimberly Leach, a 12-year-old abducted from outside her
school in Lake City on Feb. 9, 1978, brutalized and left dead in a
deserted hog shed. He was Ted Bundy.
As a teen, Bundy was shy and sensitive. At a Seattle
crisis center, he counseled the depressed, the alcoholic, the suicidal.
He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of
Washington in 1972, designed a program for dealing with habitual
criminals and wrote a pamphlet on rape for the King County crime
commission. Although no one knows for sure how many women Bundy killed,
his first victim is believed to be Mary Adams, 18, whose battered body
was found in her Seattle bedroom on Jan. 4, 1974.
In the next year and a half, police investigated
several disappearances and killings of women in the West, some of them
since linked to Bundy. He was arrested in August 1975 and convicted in
March 1976 of kidnapping Carol DaRonch in Utah. That fall, he was
charged with killing a Michigan nurse in Aspen, Colo. But he escaped
from custody twice, the last time in December 1977. And once again, the
murders started mounting.
Bob Keppel, chief investigator of the Washington
state attorney general's office, spent Bundy's final days trying to tie
him to unsolved crimes. "There was no human remains found. We were able
to feel he was the one who committed all the murders. He confessed to
more than 30 of them,'' said Keppel, author of "The River Man'' about
Bundy's murderous odyssey.
Mike Minerva, who defended Bundy in the Chi Omega
murders, said prosecutors offered a deal to spare his life if he pleaded
guilty to the three Florida slayings in exchange for 75 years in prison.
Bundy backed out at the last minute. "It made him realize he was going
to have to stand up in front of the whole world and say he was guilty.
He just couldn't do it,'' said Minerva, who works in the public
defender's office in Tallahassee. After 11 years of trials and appeals,
then-Florida Gov. Bob Martinez signed the final death warrant against
Bundy on Jan. 17, 1989.
On the night before his execution, Bundy talked of
suicide, recalled Bill Hagmaier, chief of the FBI's National Center for
the Analysis of Violent Crimes. "We had some discussions about morality
and the taking of another life and his concerns about trying to explain
to God about his actions,'' Hagmaier added.
After drafting a will and letters to his mother, wife
and daughter, there was one more thing the killer wanted. "He wanted to
rehearse his execution,'' Hagmaier said. "I talked him through it, the
mechanics of it.'' "I'm afraid to die,'' Bundy told him.
The sun was peeking over the horizon on Jan. 24,
1989, when a black-hooded executioner turned a switch that sent 2,000
volts through Bundy's body. As witnesses walked into the cold air from
the stuffy execution viewing area, fireworks erupted in the cow pasture
across the road from Florida State Prison. There, hawkers sold "Burn
Bundy Burn'' T-shirts and gold electric-chair lapel pins. Dozens cheered
when the hearse carrying his body drove by. Assistant State Attorney Bob
Dekle helped put Bundy in the electric chair for the murder of little
Kimberly Leach. As he watched the execution, his mind replayed vivid
images of that April day in 1978 when her body was discovered. "I'm
satisfied that it's over,'' he said recently, "but for some people like
Kim Leach's family, it will never be over.''
Theodore Robert Bundy
The Wacky World of Murder
BORN : November 24, 1946
DIED : January 24, 1989
VICTIMS : 23+
Ted Bundy is a striking contrast to the general image
of a "homicidal maniac": attractive, self-assured, politically ambitious,
and successful with a wide variety of women. But his private demons
drove him to extremes of violence that make the gory worst of modern "slasher"
films seem almost petty by comparison. With his chameleon-like ability
to blend, his talent for belonging, Bundy posed an ever-present danger
to the pretty, dark-haired women he selected as his victims.
Linda Healy was the first fatality. On January 31,
1974, she vanished from her basement lodgings in Seattle, leaving bloody
sheets behind, a blood-stained nightgown hanging in her closet. Several
blocks away, young Susan Clarke had been assaulted, bludgeoned in her
bed a few weeks earlier, but she survived her crushing injuries and
would eventually recover. As for Lynda Healy, she was gone without a
Police had no persuasive evidence of any pattern yet,
but it would not be long in coming. On March 12, Donna Gail Manson
disappeared en route to a concert in Olympia, Washington. On April 17,
Susan Rancourt vanished on her way to see a German language film in
On May 6, Roberta Parks failed to return from a
late-night stroll in her Corvallis neighborhood. On June 1, Brenda Ball
left Seattle's Flame Tavern with an unknown man and vanished, as if into
thin air. Ten days later, Georgann Hawkins joined the list of missing
women, lost somewhere between her boyfriend's apartment and her own
sorority house in Seattle.
Now detectives had their pattern. All the missing
women had been young, attractive, with their dark hair worn at shoulder
length or longer, parted in the middle. In their photos, laid out side-by-side,
they might have passed for sisters, some for twins. Homicide
investigators had no corpses yet, but they refused to cherish false
illusions of a happy ending to the case. There were so many victims, and
the worst was yet to come.
July 14. A crowd assembled on the shores of Lake
Sammamish to enjoy the sun and water sports of summer. When the day was
over, two more names would be appended to the growing list of missing
women: Janice Ott and Denise Naslund had each disappeared within sight
of their separate friends, but this time police had a tenuous lead.
Passers-by remembered seeing Janice Ott in conversation with a man who
carried one arm in a sling; he had been overheard to introduce himself
With that report in hand, detectives turned up other
female witnesses who were themselves approached by "Ted" at Lake
Sammamish. In each case, he had asked for help securing a sailboat to
his car. The lucky women had declined, but one had followed "Ted" to
where his small Volkswagen "bug" was parked; there was no sign of any
sailboat, and his explanation - that the boat would have to be retrieved
from a house "up the hill" - had aroused her suspicions, prompting her
to put the stranger off.
Police now had a fair description of their suspect
and his car. The published references to "Ted" inspired a rash of calls
reporting "suspects," one of them in reference to college student
Theodore Bundy. The authorities checked out each lead as time allowed,
but Bundy was considered "squeaky clean;" a law student and Young
Republican active in law-and-order politics, he once had chased a mugger
several blocks to make a citizen's arrest. So many calls reporting
suspects had been made from spite or simple overzealousness, and Bundy's
name was filed away with countless others, momentarily forgotten.
On September 7, hunters found a makeshift graveyard
on a wooded hillside several miles from Lake Sammamish. Dental records
were required to finally identify remains of Janice Ott and Denise
Naslund; the skeleton of a third woman, found with the others, could not
be identified. Five weeks later, on October 12, another hunter found the
bones of two more women in Clark County.
One victim was identified as Carol Valenzuela,
missing for two months from Vancouver, Washington, on the Oregon border;
again, the second victim would remain unknown, recorded in the files as
a "Jane Doe." Police were optimistic, hopeful that discovery of victims
would eventually lead them to the killer, but they had no way of knowing
that their man had given them the slip already, moving on in search of
safer hunting grounds and other prey.
The terror came to Utah on October 2, 1974, when
Nancy Wilcox disappeared in Salt Lake City. On October 18, Melissa Smith
vanished in Midvale; her body, raped and beaten, would be unearthed in
the Wasatch Mountains nine days later. Laura Aime joined the missing
list in Orem, on October 31, while walking home in costume from a
Halloween party; a month would pass before her battered, violated body
was discovered in a wooded area outside of town. A man attempted to
abduct attractive Carol Da Ronch from a Salt Lake City shopping mall
November 8, but she was able to escape before he could attach a pair of
handcuffs to her wrists. That evening, Debbie Kent was kidnapped from
the auditorium at Salt Lake City's Viewmont High School.
Authorities in Utah kept communications open with
police in other states, including Washington. They might have noticed
that a suspect from Seattle, one Ted Bundy, was attending school in Utah
when the local disappearances occurred, but they were looking for a
madman, rather than a sober, well-groomed student of the law who seemed
to have political connections in Seattle. Bundy stayed on file, and was
With the new year, Colorado joined the list of
hunting grounds for an elusive killer who apparently selected victims by
their hairstyles. Caryn Campbell was the first to vanish, from a ski
lodge at Snowmass on January 12; her raped and battered body would be
found on February 17. On March 15, Julie Cunningham disappeared en route
to a tavern in Vail. One month later to the day, Melanie Cooley went
missing while riding her bicycle in Nederland; she was discovered eight
days later, dead, her skull crushed, with her jeans pulled down around
her ankles. On July 1, Shelly Robertson was added to the missing list in
Golden; her remains were found on August 23, discarded in a mine shaft
near the Berthoud Pass.
A week before the final, grim
discovery, Ted Bundy was arrested in Salt Lake City for suspicion of
burglary. Erratic driving had attracted the attention of police, and an
examination of his car - a small VW - revealed peculiar items such as
handcuffs and a pair of panty hose with eyeholes cut to form a stocking
The glove compartment yielded gasoline receipts and
maps that linked the suspect with a list of Colorado ski resorts,
including Vail and Snowmass. Carol Da Ronch identified Ted Bundy as the
man who had attacked her in November, and her testimony was sufficient
to convict him on a charge of attempted kidnapping. Other states were
waiting for a shot at Bundy now, and in January 1977 he was extradited
to Colorado for trial in the murder of Caryn Campbell, at Snowmass.
Faced with prison time already, Bundy had no time to
spare for further trials. He fled from custody in June, and was
recaptured after eight days on the road. On December 30 he tried again,
with more success, escaping all the way to Tallahassee, Florida, where
he found lodgings on the outskirts of Florida State University.
Suspected in a score of deaths already, Bundy had secured himself
another happy hunting ground.
In the small hours of January 15, 1978, he invaded
the Chi Omega sorority house, dressed all in black and armed with a
heavy wooden club. Before he left, two women had been raped and killed,
a third severely injured by the beating he inflicted with his bludgeon.
Within the hour, he had slipped inside another house, just blocks away,
to club another victim in her bed. She, too, survived. Detectives at the
Chi Omega house discovered bite marks on the corpses there, appalling
evidence of Bundy's fervor at the moment of the kill.
On February 6, Ted stole a van and drove to
Jacksonville, where he was spotted in the act of trying to abduct a
schoolgirl. Three days later, twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach disappeared
from a schoolyard nearby; she was found in the first week of April, her
body discarded near Suwanee State Park.
Police in Pensacola spotted Bundy's stolen license
plates on February 15, and were forced to run him down as he attempted
to escape on foot. Once Bundy was identified, impressions of his teeth
were taken to compare with bite marks on the Chi Omega victims, and his
fate was sealed. Convicted on two counts of murder in July 1979, he was
sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair. A third conviction and
death sentence were subsequently obtained in the case of Kimberly Leach.
After ten years of appeals, Bundy was finally executed in February 1989,
he confessed to a total of 28 murders.
This bio was taken from "Hunting Humans," by Michael
What We Learned from Ted Bundy
By Leilani Corpus - Forerunner.com
STARKE, FL (FR) - He was once an assistant director
of the Seattle Crime Prevention advisory committee and even wrote a
pamphlet instructing women on rape prevention. A one-time Boy Scout with
a promising career in Washington state politics, Ted Bundy appeared to
be an example of a good, upstanding citizen. But behind the congenial
facade lurked a force which landed him in an electric chair in January
of this year.
In the last few hours prior to his widely-publicized
execution for the murder of as many as 50 young women and girls from
Utah, Washington, Idaho, Colorado and Florida, the serial killer asked
Christian psychologist James Dobson to visit him at the Florida State
Prison. Bundy had corresponded with Dr. Dobson - a former member of
President Reagan's Commission on Pornography - for two years prior to
their meeting. While anxious reporters waited outside, Bundy told Dobson
about the influence of pornography on his behavior.
Bundy said he began casually reading soft-core
pornography when he was 12 or 13 years old. His friends found
pornographic books in the garbage cans in his neighborhood: "(F)rom time
to time we would come across pornographic books of a harder nature ... a
more graphic, explicit nature than we would encounter at the local
grocery store," he told Dobson in the taped interview. "But slowly
throughout the years reading pornography began to become a deadly habit.
"My experience with pornography ... is once you become addicted to it, (and
I look at this as a kind of addiction like other kinds of addiction), I
would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of
material. Like an addiction, you keep craving something that is harder,
something which gives you a greater sense of excitement. Until you reach
a point where the pornography only goes so far, you reach that jumping
off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it would
give you that which is beyond just reading or looking at it."
Within a few years, those latent
desires fueled by pornography were expressed through his first murder.
Although Bundy said he did not blame pornography, he explained that
pornographic materials shaped and molded his behavior. He also warned
the nation that "the most damaging kinds of pornography ... are those
that involve violence and sexual violence. Because the wedding of those
two forces, as I know only too well, brings out the hatred that is just,
just too terrible to describe."
Bundy said that pornography "snatched me out of my
home 20, 30 years ago ... and pornography can reach out and snatch a kid
out of any house today." His religious training and morality initially
restrained him from acting out his fantasies, but he confessed that
finally, "I couldn't hold back anymore." Alcohol supposedly broke the
restraints for him to commit his first murder. "What alcohol did in
conjunction with exposure to pornography is (sic) alcohol reduced my
inhibitions at the same time the fantasy life that was fueled by
pornography eroded them further."
While committing the murders, Bundy said he felt as
if he was possessed by "something ... awful and alien. There is just
absolutely no way to describe first the brutal urge to do that kind of
thing, and then what happens is once it has been more or less satisfied
and recedes, you might say, or spent, that energy level recedes and
basically I become myself again." "But basically I was a normal person.
I wasn't some guy hanging out at bars or a bum. I wasn't a pervert in
the sense that people look at somebody and say, 'I know there is
something wrong with him, you can just tell.' I was essentially a normal
person," Bundy told Dobson. "The basic humanity and the basic spirit
that God gave me was intact, but unfortunately became overwhelmed at
Ted Bundy acknowledged that he deserved the death
penalty, even though there were anti-death penalty demonstrators outside
his prison cell up until the moment of his execution. "I deserve the
most extreme punishment society has," he said. "But I don't want to die,
I kid you not." Dobson said that Bundy wept several times during the
interview: "He expressed great regret, remorse for what he had done, for
the families that were hurting." He spent his last night in prayer with
a minister from Gainesville, Florida.
Bundy's last words of confession and
warning about pornography are an echo of statistics, research, and
reports conducted within the last decade about the link between
pornography and sexually violent crime. Unfortunately, many of the
warnings in those reports still have not been heeded, and pornography
has been taken for granted or considered a necessary evil.
According to a study conducted by a group of
psychologists, Neil Malamuth of UCLA, Gene Abel of Columbia University,
and William Marshall of Kingston Penitentiary, various forms of
pornography can elicit fantasies which may lead to crime. Out of a test
group of 18 rapists studied who used 'consenting pornography' to
instigate a sexual offence, seven of them said that it provided a cue to
elicit fantasies of forced sex.
A study released by the University of New Hampshire
has proven that the states which have the highest readership of
pornographic magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse also have the
highest rape rates. The Michigan State Police department found that
pornography is used or imitated in 41 percent of the sex crimes they
The Free Congress Research and Education Foundation
discovered that half of all rapists studied used soft core pornography
to arouse themselves prior to seeking out a victim. Although researchers
and media analysts may ballyhoo the impact of soft core pornography -
claiming protection under the free speech provision of the Constitution
- mounting evidence seems to be favoring a national crackdown on porn as
a necessary means to stop crime.
In recent years, as more of this type of research has
been published, significant gains have been made against pornographers
as major retailers have removed porn from their shelves. Ted Bundy's
confessions to Dr. James Dobson - a leader of the largest segment of
pro-family forces in the U.S. - promises to fuel the nationwide efforts
being made on the state and local levels to eliminate the pornography
By Rachael Bell
The Ted Bundy Story – Attack!
Joni Lenz's roommates had not been
particularly worried when they didn't see her in the morning of January
4, 1974. But when she still wasn't up and around that afternoon, they
went into her basement bedroom to see if she was sick.A horrifying sight
Ann Rule in her now famous classic
book on the subject, The Stranger Beside Me, wrote that Joni, 18, had
been badly beaten. A bed rod had been torn away from the bed and
savagely rammed into her vagina. Shortly after the discovery, Joni was
transported to the hospital in a comatose state, suffering from damages
that would affect her for the rest of her life.
However, she was lucky to be
alive. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted
Bundy, who reigned terror across the United States between 1974 and
1978. There were an estimated 35 more victims after Joni who were not so
fortunate. Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in The Only Living
Witness suggest that perhaps 40 young women may have fallen prey to
Bundy, but only Bundy knew for sure. It is a number that Bundy has
carried with him to his grave.
The Early Years
Theodore Robert Cowell was born on
November 24, 1946 to Louise Cowell following her stay of three months at
the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Vermont . Ted's biological
father, who was an Air Force veteran, was unknown to his son throughout
his life. Shortly after his birth, Ted and his mother moved back to the
home of his grandparents in Philadelphia . While growing up, Ted was led
to believe that his grandparents were his parents and his natural mother
was his older sister. The charade was created in order to protect his
biological mother from harsh criticism and prejudice of being an unwed
At the age of four, Ted and his
mother moved to Tacoma , Washington to live with relatives. A year after
the move, Louise fell in love with a military cook named Johnnie
Culpepper Bundy. In May 1951, the couple was married and Ted assumed his
stepfather's last name, which he would keep for the rest of his life.
Over the years, the Bundy family
added four other siblings, who Ted spent much of his time babysitting
after school. Ted's stepfather tried to form a bond between himself and
Ted by including him in camping trips and other father-son activities.
However, Johnnie's attempts were unsuccessful and Ted remained
emotionally detached from his stepfather. According to Stephen Michaud
and Hugh Aynesworth's book Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer , Ted
became increasingly uncomfortable around his stepfather and preferred to
be alone. This desire to be by himself increased and possibly led to his
later inability to socially interact comfortably with others.
As a youth, Ted was terribly shy,
self-doubting and uncomfortable in social situations. He was often
teased and made the butt of pranks by bullies in his junior high school.
Michaud analyzed Ted's behavior and decided that he was "not like other
children, he looked and acted like them, but he was haunted by something
else: a fear, a doubt -- sometimes only a vague uneasiness-? that
inhabited his mind with the subtlety of a cat. He felt it for years, but
he didn't recognize it for what it was until much later." Regardless of
the humiliating experiences he sometimes suffered from being different,
he was able to maintain a high grade-point average that would continue
throughout high school and later into college.
During his high school years, Ted
appeared to blossom into a more gregarious young man. His popularity
increased significantly and he was considered to be "well dressed and
exceptionally well mannered." Despite his emerging popularity, Ted
seldom dated. His interests lay more in extra-curricular activities such
as skiing and politics. In fact, Ted had a particular fascination with
politics, an interest that would years later temporarily land him in the
Following high school, Ted
attended college at the University of Puget Sound and the University of
Washington . He worked his way through school by taking on several
low-level jobs, such as a bus boy and shoe clerk. However, he seldom
stayed with one position for very long. His employers considered him to
Although Ted was inconsistent with
his work outside of school, he was very focused on his studies and
grades. Yet, his focus changed during the spring of 1967 when he began a
relationship that would forever change his life.
Ted met a girl that was everything
he had ever dreamed of in a woman. She was a beautiful and highly
sophisticated woman from a wealthy Californian family. Ted couldn't
believe someone from her "class" would have an interest in someone like
him. Although they had many differences, they both loved to ski and it
was during their many ski trips together that he fell in love. She was
really Ted's first love, and, according to Ann Rule, possibly the first
woman with whom he became involved with sexually. However, she was not
as infatuated with Ted as he was with her. In fact, she liked Ted a lot
but believed he had no real direction or future goals. Ted tried too
hard to impress her, even if that meant lying, something that she didn't
like at all.
Michaud writes that Ted won a
summer scholarship to the prestigious Stanford University in California
just to impress her, but at Stanford, his immaturity was exposed. He
writes, "Ted did not understand why the mask he had been using had
failed him. This first tentative foray into the sophisticated world had
ended in disaster."
In 1968, after his girlfriend
graduated from the University of Washington, she broke off relations
with Ted. She was a practical young woman and seemed to realize that Ted
had some serious character flaws that took him out of the running as
Ted never recovered from the
break-up. Nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him
and he eventually dropped out, dumb-founded and depressed over the
break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing after she
returned to California, yet she seemed uninterested in getting back
together. But Ted became obsessed with this young woman and he couldn't
get her out of his mind. It was an obsession that would span his
lifetime and lead to a series of events that would shock the world.
A Time of Change
To make matters worse, in 1969
Bundy learned his true parentage. His "sister" was actually his mother
and his "parents," were actually his grandparents. Not unexpectedly,
this late discovery had a rather serious impact on him. Michaud says
that his attitude towards his mother did not change much, but he became
nasty and surly to Johnnie Bundy.
It's hard to say whether the
knowledge that his mother had deceived him all his life had any impact
on his other character flaws which were beginning to blossom. Throughout
Ted Bundy's high school and college years, there was always a cloud over
his reputation for honesty. Many people close to him suspected him of
According to Marilyn Bardsley,
Crime Library's serial killer expert, Ted's psychopathic nature was
being revealed, but most of the people that witnessed it did not realize
what they were experiencing. Stealing without any sense of guilt and, in
fact, a sense of entitlement, is a common trait in a psychopath. Also,
psychopaths get a thrill from the the excitement and danger that
stealing and shoplifting presents to them. Ted's dishonesty evolved from
stealing small things in work and school situations to shoplifting to
burglarizing homes for televisions and other items of value.
He changed from a shy and
introverted person to a more focused and dominant character. He was
driven, as if to prove himself to the world. He re-enrolled at the
University of Washington and studied psychology, a subject in which he
excelled. Bundy became an honors student and was well liked by his
professors at the university.
It is also at this time when Ted
met Elizabeth Kendall (a pseudonym under which she wrote The Phantom
Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy ), a woman with whom he would be involved
with for almost five years. Elizabeth worked as a secretary and was a
somewhat shy and quiet woman. She was a divorcee who seemed to have
found in Ted Bundy the perfect father figure for her daughter. Elizabeth
was deeply in love with Ted from the start and wanted to one day marry
him. However, Ted said he was not yet ready for marriage because he felt
there was still too much for him to accomplish. She knew that Ted didn't
feel as strongly for her as she did him. She felt that on many occasions
Ted was meeting with other women. Yet, Elizabeth hoped that time would
bring him around to her and he would eventually change his ways. She was
unaware of his past relationship with his girlfriend from California and
that they still continued to keep in contact and visit each other.
Outwardly, Ted's life in 1969-1972
seemed to be changing for the better. He was more confident, with high
hopes for his future. Ted began sending out applications to various law
schools, while at the same time he became active in politics. He worked
on a campaign to re-elect a Washington governor, a position that allowed
Ted to form bonds with politically powerful people in the Republican
Party. Ted also performed volunteer work at a crisis clinic on a
work-study program. He was pleased with the path his life was taking at
this time, everything seemed to be going in the right direction. He was
even commended by the Seattle police for saving the life of a
three-year-old boy who was drowning in a lake.
In 1973, during a business trip to
California for the Washington Republican Party, Ted met up with his old
girlfriend. She was amazed at the transformation in Ted. He was much
more confident and mature, not as aimless as he was when they last
dated. They met several other times afterwards, unknown to his steady
girlfriend, Elizabeth. During Ted's business trips he romantically
courted the lovely young woman from California and she once again fell
in love with him.
Marriage was a topic brought up
more than once by Ted over their many intimate rendezvous during that
fall and winter. Yet, just as suddenly as their romance began, it
changed radically. Where once Ted lavished affection upon her, he was
suddenly cold and despondent. It seemed as if Ted had lost all interest
in her in just a few weeks. She was clearly confused about this "new"
Ted. In February 1974, with no warning or explanation, Ted ended all
contact with her. His plan of revenge worked. He rejected her as she had
once rejected him. She was never to see or hear from Ted again.
A Time of Terror
Lynda Ann Healy was a very
accomplished young woman. At age 21, morning radio listeners heard her
friendly voice announce the ski conditions for the major ski areas in
western Washington. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slim with shiny
clean, long brown hair and a ready smile.
The product of a good family and
an uppper-middle-class environment, she was an excellent singer and a
senior at the University of Washington, majoring in psychology. She
loved working with children who were mentally handicapped.
Lynda shared a house near the
university with four other young women. On January 31, 1974, she and a
few friends went for a few beers after dinner at Dante's, a tavern that
was popular with the university students. They didn't stay long and
Lynda went home to watch television and talk on the phone to her
boyfriend. Then Lynda went to bed. The roommate in the room next to
Lynda heard no noises coming from Lynda's room that night.
Lynda had to get up every morning
at 5:30 to get to her job at the radio station. The roommmate heard
Lynda's alarm go off at 5:30 as it did customarily. What was unusual was
that the alarm kept buzzing. When the roommate finally went in to shut
off the alarm, she heard the phone ring. It was the radio station
calling to see where Lynda was. The bed in Lynda's room was made and
nothing looked disturbed, so the roommate assumed that Lynda was on her
way to work.
When her parents called that
afternoon to find out why Lydna had not shown up for dinner as expected,
everyone became worried. Nobody had seen her. She seemed to have
vanished from the house.
Lynda's parents called the police.
In Lynda's room, they found that her bed had been made up in a way that
Lynda had never made it up before. In fact, Lynda was not normally one
to make up her bed. Oddly, a pillowcase and the top sheet were missing
on this carefully made-up bed.
A small bloodstain of the same
blood type as Lydna's was found on the pillow and the bottom sheet.
Blood was also on her nightgown that was carefully hung in the closet.
An outfit of hers was missing.
Another alarming clue was that one
of the doors to the house was unlocked when the girls were always
vigilant about locking it.
The police were not initially
convinced that Lynda had been a victim of foul play, so no fingerprint,
hair or fiber evidence was gathered.
Ultimately, police realized that
an intruder had somehow gotten into the house, removed her nightgown and
hung it in the closet, dressed her in a change of clothes, made up the
bed, wrapped Lynda in the top bed sheet and carried her out of the house
-- very quietly.
During that spring and summer,
more women students suddenly and inexplicably vanished. There were
striking similarities among many of the cases. For instance, all the
girls were white, slender, single, wearing slacks at the time of
disappearance, had hair that was long and parted in the middle and they
all disappeared in the evening.
Also around the time of the
disappearances, police interviewed college students who told them of a
strange man who was seen wearing a cast on either his arm or leg.
Supposedly, the stranger seemed to be struggling with books and asking
young women nearby for assistance. Other eyewitnesses reported a strange
man in the campus parking lot who had a cast and asked for assistance
with his car, a VW bug that he apparently had difficulty starting.
Interestingly, around the same area where two of the girls
mysteriously disappeared, there was seen such a man wearing a cast on
his arm or leg.
Finally, in August of 1974 in Washington's Lake
Sammamish State Park, the remains of some of the missing girls were
found and two were later identified. It was remarkable that police were
able to identify two of the bodies considering what was left -- strands
of various colors of hair, five thigh bones, a couple of skulls and a
jaw bone. The girls identified were Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, who
disappeared on the same day, July 14th.
The last people to have seen Ott, a couple picnicking
near by, remembered a handsome young man approaching the young woman.
From what the couple could hear of the conversation between Ott and the
young man, his name was Ted and he had difficulty loading his boat onto
his car because his arm was in a cast. He asked Ott for assistance and
she agreed to help. That was the last time twenty-three-year-old Janice
Ott was seen alive.
Denise Naslund was spending the afternoon with her
boyfriend and friends when she walked towards the restroom in the park,
never to return again. That afternoon, around where she disappeared, a
man who wore a cast and asked for help with his boat approached a couple
of women. They were unable to assist the attractive young man. However,
Denise Naslund was the kind of girl to help someone in need, especially
someone with a broken arm--an act of kindness that cost her life. Denise
Naslund was not the last woman to disappear and be found dead.
This time the killer would travel to different states.
Midvale, Utah's, Police Chief Louis Smith had a
seventeen-year-old daughter whom he frequently warned about the dangers
of the world. He had seen all too much during his career and worried for
his daughter's safety. Yet, his worst fears were to come true on October
18, 1974 when his daughter Melissa disappeared. She had been found 9
days after her disappearance -- strangled, sodomized and raped.
Thirteen days later on Halloween, seventeen-year-old
Laura Aime disappeared. She was found on Thanksgiving Day in the Wasatch
Mountains lying dead by a river. Aime had been beaten about the head and
face with a crowbar, raped and sodomized. It was suspected that she was
killed someplace other than where she was found due to the lack of blood
at the crime scene. Other than her body, there was no physical evidence
for the police to use.
The similarities with the Washington State murders
caught the attention of local police in Utah , who were frantically
searching for the man responsible for the grisly crimes. With each
murder, the evidence was slowly mounting. Utah police consulted with
Washington State investigators. Almost all agreed that it was highly
likely that the same man who committed the crimes in Washington State
had also been responsible for the murders in Utah . Thanks to eyewitness
accounts of the man in the cast seen near the areas where many of the
women had disappeared, they were able to come up with a composite of the
could-be-killer who called himself "Ted."
When a close friend of Elizabeth Kendall saw the
account of Melissa Smith's murder in the paper and the composite of the
could-be-killer, she knew that Ted Bundy must be the man. It wasn't just
her intense dislike and mistrust for Elizabeth 's boyfriend that led her
to believe that Ted was the "man," but also the fact that he looked so
much like the composite picture in the paper.
Deep down, Elizabeth must have known her friend was
right. After all, Ted did resemble the sketch, he drove a VW similar to
those seen by witnesses and she had seen crutches in his room even
though he never injured his leg. According to the book The Phantom
Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, which was later written by Kendall , she
anonymously called the Seattle Police Department in August 1974 and
stated that her boyfriend "might be involved" in the recent murder
cases. She called again later that fall and gave more pertinent
information that might assist the investigators in the case. She also
agreed to give recent pictures of Ted, to later be shown to witnesses.
However, the witnesses did not make a positive I.D. after viewing the
pictures and Elizabeth 's report was eventually filed away. The
investigators working the case decided to turn their attention towards
more likely suspects and Ted Bundy was forgotten until a few years later.
The killer continued to elude investigators, assuming
that by operating in different states the police would be unable to
compare the cases. His behavior became increasingly bold and risky as he
approached women. Those who escaped his advances would later recognize
him and provide the police with valuable information.
It was on November 8th, 1974, when police
investigators were to get the break in the case for which they had been
waiting. That Friday evening, a strange but handsome man in a book store
at a Utah mall approached eighteen-year-old Carol DaRonch. The stranger
told her that he had seen someone trying to break into her car and asked
her to go along with him to the parking lot to see if anything had been
Carol thought that the man must have been a mall
security guard because he seemed so in control of the situation. When
they arrived at the car, she checked it and informed the man everything
was there. The man, who identified himself as Officer Roseland, was not
satisfied and wanted to escort her to police headquarters. He wanted her
to ID the supposed criminal and file a complaint. When he led her to a
VW bug, she became suspicious and asked for identification. He quickly
showed her a gold badge and then escorted her into the car.
He drove off quickly in the opposite direction of the
police station and, after a short while, he suddenly stopped the car.
Fear had set into Carol DaRonch. The "police officer" suddenly grabbed
her and tried to put handcuffs on her. DaRonch screamed for her life.
When she screamed, the man pulled out a handgun and threatened to kill
her if she didn't stop. DaRonch found herself falling out of the car and
then suddenly pushed up against the side of it by the madman. He had a
crowbar in his hand and was ready to hit her head. Terror-struck, she
kicked his genitals and managed to break free. DaRonch ran towards the
road and caught the attention of a couple driving by. They stopped and
DaRonch frantically jumped into their car. She was crying hysterically
and told them a man had tried to kill her. They immediately took her to
Sobbing, with the handcuffs still dangling from her
wrists, she told the police what one of their men had done. But there
was no man with the name of Roseland that worked there. Immediately
police were dispatched to the place where DaRonch had struggled for her
life just an hour earlier but the madman was long gone. However, the
police were able to get a description of the man and his car and a few
days later, from off the girl's coat, a blood type. The blood was type
O, the same as Ted Bundy's, as police were later to learn.
That same evening, the director of a play at Viewmont
High School was approached by a handsome man who asked for her
assistance in identifying a car. Yet, she was far too busy and refused
him. Again, he later approached her and asked for her assistance, and
again she refused him. Something seemed odd, almost scary about the man,
but she ignored it and kept on with the work at hand. It disturbed her
to see the man again in the back of the auditorium and she wondered what
it was he really wanted.
Debby Kent, who was watching the evening performance
along with her parents, left early to pick up her brother at the bowling
alley. She told her parents that she'd be back to pick them up shortly,
but she never did. In fact, she never made it to the car, which stood
empty in the school parking lot. Debby Kent was nowhere to be found.
What police did find in the parking lot was a small handcuff key. Later,
when police tried to fit the key that they found into the handcuffs worn
by DaRonch earlier that night, it was a perfect match. Almost a month
later, a man would call police to tell them that he had seen a tan VW
bug speed away from the high school parking lot the night of Kent's
On January 12, 1975, Caryn Campbell; her fiancé, Dr.
Raymond Gadowski; and his two children took a trip to Colorado. Caryn
hoped she could enjoy the break away from work and spend more time with
the children, while her fiancé attended a seminar. While relaxing in the
lounge of her hotel with Gadowski and his son and daughter one night,
she realized she had forgotten a magazine and returned to her room to
retrieve it. Her fiancé and the children waited for her return in vain.
He knew she was a bit ill that night and went back to the room to see if
she needed help. Caryn was nowhere in sight. In fact, she had never made
it to the room. By mid-morning, confused and worried, Gadowski informed
the police of her disappearance. They searched every room in the hotel
but they found no trace of Caryn.
Almost a month later and a few miles from where she
had disappeared, a recreational worker found Caryn's nude body lying a
short distance from the road. Animals had ravaged her body, which made
it difficult to determine the precise cause of death. However, it was
evident that she received crushing fractures that could have been fatal.
Like many of the victims found in Utah and Washington
, she had suffered from repeated blows to the head possibly made by a
sharp instrument. According to Richard Larsen's book Bundy: The
Deliberate Stranger, the blows were so violent that one of her teeth was
actually separated from the gum line in her mouth. There was also
evidence that she had been raped. It was believed that she was murdered
just hours after she disappeared. Apart from Caryn's brutalized remains,
there was little evidence to be found at the scene.
A few months after Caryn Campbell's body was
discovered, the remains of another person were found ten miles from
where the bodies of Naslund and Ott were located. It was Brenda Ball,
one of the seven women who had disappeared earlier that summer. The
cause of her death was blows to the head with a blunt object.
Police searched the Taylor Mountains where the bodies
were found. It would be only a couple days later when another body would
be discovered. The body was that of Susan Rancourt, who had also
disappeared earlier that summer. The Taylor Mountains had become the
burial sight for the madman known as "Ted." Two more bodies were found
that month; one of them was Lynda Ann Healy. All of the victims suffered
from severe head contusions from a blunt instrument, possibly a crowbar.
Police continued unsuccessfully to look for the
killer. Five more women were found dead in Colorado under similar
circumstances. They were not the last to fall victim to Ted's killing
On August 16, 1975, Sergeant Bob Hayward was
patrolling an area just outside of Salt Lake County when he spotted a
suspicious tan VW bug driving past him. He knew the neighborhood well
and almost all the residents that lived there and he couldn't remember
seeing the tan VW there before. When he put on his lights to get a
better view of the VW's license plate, the driver of the bug turned off
his lights and began speeding away.
Immediately, Sergeant Hayward began to chase the
vehicle. The car sped through two stop signs before it eventually pulled
over into a nearby gas station. Hayward pulled up behind the reckless
driver and watched as the occupant got out of his car and approached the
police car. Hayward asked the young man for his registration and license,
which was issued to Theodore Robert Bundy. Just then, two other troopers
pulled up behind the tan VW. Hayward noticed that the passenger seat in
Bundy's car was missing. With mounting suspicion and Bundy's permission,
the three officers inspected the VW. The officers found a crowbar, ski
mask, rope, handcuffs, wire and an ice pick. Bundy was immediately
placed under arrest for suspicion of burglary.
Soon after Bundy's arrest, police began to find
connections between him and the man who attacked Carol DaRonch. The
handcuffs that were found in Bundy's car were the same make and brand
that her attacker had used and the car he drove was similar to the one
she had described. Furthermore, the crowbar found in Bundy's car was
similar to the weapon that had been used to threaten Carol earlier that
November. They also suspected that Bundy was the man responsible for the
kidnapping of Melissa Smith, Laura Aime and Debby Kent. There were just
too many similarities among the cases for police to ignore. However,
they knew they needed much more evidence to support the case against
On October 2nd, 1975, Carol DaRonch along with the
director of the Viewmont High School play and a friend of Debby Kent
were asked to attend a line-up of seven men, one of whom was Bundy, at a
Utah police station. Investigators were not surprised when Carol picked
Ted from the line-up as the man who had attacked her. The play director
and friend of Debby Kent also picked Ted from the line-up as the man
they had seen wandering around the auditorium the night Debby Kent had
disappeared. Although Ted repeatedly professed his innocence, police
were almost positive they had their man. Soon after he was picked out of
the line-up, investigators launched a full-blown investigation into the
man they knew as Theodore Robert Bundy.
During the fall of 1975, police investigators
approached Elizabeth Kendall for whatever information she was able to
give about Ted. They believed Elizabeth would most likely hold the key
to Bundy's whereabouts, habits and personality. What investigators
learned would later help link Ted Bundy to the murder victims.
On September 16th, 1975, Elizabeth was called into
the King County Police Major Crime Unit building in Washington State and
interviewed by Detectives Jerry Thompson, Dennis Couch and Ira Beal. She
was visibly stressed and nervous, but willing to offer the police any
information necessary to help the case. When asked about Ted, she stated
that on the nights of the murders, she could not account for him.
Elizabeth also told police that he would often sleep during the day and
go out at night, exactly where she didn't know. She said that his
interest in sex had waned during the last year. When he did show
interest, he pressured her into bondage. When she told Bundy that she no
longer wanted to participate in his bondage fantasies, he was very upset
In a later interview with Elizabeth, investigators
learned that Ted had plaster of Paris to make casts in his room, which
she had noticed when they first began dating. She also noticed on a
later occasion that in his car, Ted had a hatchet. But there was
something else important to the case that Elizabeth would remember. She
recalled that Ted had visited Lake Sammamish Park in July, where he had
supposedly gone water skiing. A week after Ted had gone to Lake
Sammamish Park, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund were reported missing.
After long hours of interviews with Elizabeth,
investigators decided to shift their focus to Ted's former girlfriend in
California. When police contacted her, she told them of how he had
abruptly changed his manner towards her from loving and affectionate to
cruel and insensitive. Upon further questioning, police learned that
Bundy's relationship with his California girlfriend had overlapped with
his relationship with Elizabeth and neither of them knew of the other
woman. Ted seemed to be living a double life, filled with lies and
betrayal. There was more to Ted than what investigators had initially
Further investigation yielded more evidence that
would later link him to other victims. Lynda Ann Healy was linked to
Bundy through a cousin of his; more eyewitnesses would recognize him
from Lake Sammamish Park during the time Ott and Naslund disappeared; an
old friend of Bundy's came forward saying he had seen pantyhose in the
glove compartment of his car; plus Ted had spent a lot of time in the
Taylor Mountains where the bodies of victims had been found. Bundy's
credibility was further dented when police discovered he purchased gas
on credit cards in the towns where some of the victims had disappeared.
Furthermore, a friend had seen him with his arm in a cast when there was
no record of him ever having a broken arm. The evidence against Ted
Bundy was building up, yet he still continued to profess his innocence.
On February 23, 1976 Ted was put on trial for the
kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. Bundy sat in a relaxed manner in the
courtroom, confident that he would be found innocent of the charges
against him. He believed that there was no hard evidence to convict him,
but he couldn't have been more wrong. When Carol DaRonch took the stand,
she told of her ordeal that she suffered sixteen months earlier. When
asked if she were able to recognize the person who attacked her, she
began to cry as she lifted her hand and pointed a finger to the man who
had called himself "Officer Roseland." The people in the courtroom
turned their attention to Ted Bundy, who stared at DaRonch coldly as she
pointed at him. Later in the trial, Ted had said he had never seen the
defendant but he had no alibi to confirm his whereabouts the day of the
The judge spent the weekend reviewing the case before
he handed down a verdict. Two days later he would find Bundy guilty
beyond a reasonable doubt of aggravated kidnapping. Ted Bundy was later
sentenced on June 30th to one to fifteen years in prison with the
possibility of parole.
While in prison, Bundy was subjected to a
psychological evaluation that the court had previously requested. In
Anne Rule's book The Stranger Beside Me , she stated that psychologists
found Bundy to be neither "psychotic, neurotic, the victim of organic
brain disease, alcoholic, addicted to drugs, suffering from a character
disorder or amnesia, and was not a sexual deviate." The psychologists
concluded that he had a "strong dependency on women, and deduced that
that dependency was suspect." Upon further evaluation, they concluded
that Ted had a "fear of being humiliated in his relationships with women."
While Bundy remained incarcerated in Utah State
Prison, investigators began a search for evidence connecting him to the
murders of Caryn Campbell and Melissa Smith. What Bundy did not realize
was that his legal problems would soon escalate. Detectives discovered
in Bundy's VW hairs that were examined by the FBI and found to be
characteristically alike to Campbell's and Smith's hair. Further
examination of Caryn Campbell's remains showed that her skull bore
impressions made by a blunt instrument, and those impressions matched
the crowbar that had been discovered in Bundy's car a year earlier.
Colorado police filed charges against Bundy on October 22, 1976, for the
murder of Caryn Campbell.
In April of 1977, Ted was transferred to Garfield
County Jail in Colorado to await trial for the murder of Caryn Campbell.
During preparation of his case, Bundy became increasingly unhappy with
his representation. He believed his lawyer to be inept and incapable and
eventually he fired him. Bundy, experienced in law, believed he could do
the job better and he began to take up his own defense in the case. He
felt confident that he would succeed at the trial scheduled for November
14, 1977. Bundy had a lot of work ahead of him. He was granted
permission to leave the confines of the jail on occasion and utilize the
courthouse library in Aspen, to conduct research. What police didn't
know was that he was planning an escape.
The Great Escape
On June 7th, during one of his trips to the library
at the courthouse, Bundy managed to jump from an open window, injuring
his ankle in the process, and escaped to freedom. He was not wearing any
leg irons or handcuffs, so he did not stand out among the ordinary
citizens in the town of Aspen. It was an escape that had been planned by
Ted for a while. Aspen Police were quick to set up roadblocks
surrounding the town, yet Ted knew to stay within the city limits for
the time being and lay low. Police launched a massive land search, using
scent tracking bloodhounds and 150 searchers in the hopes of catching
Ted. However, Ted was able to elude them for days.
While on the run, Bundy managed to live off the food
he stole from local cabins and nearby campers, occasionally sleeping in
ones that were abandoned. Yet, Bundy knew that what he really needed was
a car, which would better enable him to pass through police barriers. He
couldn't hide in Aspen forever. Ted believed that he was destined to be
free. According to an interview with Michaud and Aynesworth, he felt as
if he were invincible and claimed that, "nothing went wrong. If
something did go wrong, the next thing that happened was so good it
compensated. It was even better". Sure enough, Bundy found his ticket
out of town when he discovered a car with the keys left in it. But, his
luck would not last long. While trying to flee Aspen in the stolen
vehicle, he was spotted.
From then on, he was ordered to wear handcuffs and
leg irons while conducting his research at the library in Aspen. However,
Bundy was not the type of man who liked to be tied down.
Almost seven months later, Bundy again attempted an
escape, but this time he was more successful. On December 30th, he
crawled up into the ceiling of the Garfield County Jail and made his way
to another part of the building. He managed to find another opening in
the ceiling that led down into the closet of a jailer's apartment. He
sat and waited until he knew the apartment was empty, then casually
walked out of the front door to his freedom. His escape would go
undiscovered until the following afternoon, more than fifteen hours
By the time police learned of his escape, Bundy was
well on his way to Chicago. Chicago was one of the few stops that Bundy
would make along the route to his final destination, sunny Florida. By
mid January of 1978 Ted Bundy, using his newly acquired name Chris Hagen,
had settled comfortably into a one-room apartment in Tallahassee,
Ted Bundy enjoyed his new found freedom in a place
that knew little if nothing about him or his past. Bundy was stimulated
by intelligence and youth and felt comfortable in his new environment
nearby Florida State University. He spent much of his free time walking
around F.S.U.'s campus, occasionally ducking into classes unnoticed and
listening in on lectures. When he was not wandering around campus, he
would spend his time in his apartment watching the television he had
stolen. Theft became second nature to Bundy. Almost everything in his
apartment was stolen merchandise. Even the food he ate was purchased
from stolen credit cards. Under the circumstances, Bundy seemed to have
enough material things to make him content. What he didn't have and what
he missed the most was companionship.
Murder On The Run
On Saturday night, January 14th, few of the sorority
sisters could be found at the Chi Omega House. Most were out dancing or
at keg parties on campus. It wasn't unusual for the sisters to stay out
late, since there was no curfew. In fact, it was pretty normal for the
girls to return in the early morning hours. However, none of the sisters
was prepared to confront the horror that awaited them back at their
sorority house later that night.
At 3 AM, Nita Neary was dropped off at the sorority
house by her boyfriend after attending a keg party on campus. Upon
reaching the door to the house, she noticed it standing wide open. Soon
after she had entered the building, she heard some movement, as if
someone was running in the rooms above her. Suddenly, she heard the
footsteps approaching the staircase near her and she hid in a doorway,
out of view. She watched as a man with a knit blue cap pulled over his
eyes, holding a log with cloth around it, ran down the stairs and out
Nita's first thought was that the sorority house had
been burglarized. She immediately ran up the stairs to wake her roommate,
Nancy. Nita told her of the strange man she saw leaving the building.
Unsure of what to do, the girls made their way to the housemother's room.
Yet, before they were able to make it to her room, they saw another
roommate, Karen, staggering down the hall. Her entire head was soaked
with blood. While Nancy tried to help Karen, Nita woke up the
housemother and the two of them went to check on another roommate nearby.
They found Kathy in her room alive, but in a horrible state. She was
also covered in blood that was seeping from open wounds on her head.
Hysterical, Nancy ran to the phone and dialed the police.
Police later found two more girls dead in their rooms
lying in their beds. Someone had attacked them while they slept. Lisa
Levy was the first girl that officers found dead. Pathologists who later
performed the autopsy on her found that she had been beaten on the head
with a log, raped and strangled. Upon further examination, they
discovered bite marks on her buttocks and on one of her nipples. In fact,
Lisa's nipple had been so severely bitten that it was almost severed
from the rest of her breast. She had also been sexually assaulted with a
hair spray bottle.
Post mortem reports on Margaret Bowman showed that
she suffered similar fatal injuries, although she had not been sexually
assaulted and she showed no signs of bite marks. She had been strangled
by a pair of panty hose that were later found at the scene of the crime.
She had also been beaten on the head, yet so severely that her skull was
splintered and a portion of her brain was exposed. Neither she nor Lisa
Levy showed signs of a struggle.
Investigators who interviewed the survivors learned
nothing. None of the girls had any memory of the events of that fatal
night. Like Levy and Bowman, they too had been asleep when they were
attacked. The only witness was Nita Neary, who was able to catch a
profile of the killer as he fled. However, the assailant would not
travel far before claiming another victim that night.
Less than a mile from the Chi Omega House, a young
woman was awakened by loud banging noises coming from the apartment next
to hers. She wondered what her friend in the adjoining apartment was
doing to make so much noise at four in the morning. As the banging
noises persisted, she became suspicious and woke her roommate. As they
listened, they heard Cheryl next door moaning. Frightened, they called
over to her house to see if she was all right. When no one picked up the
phone, they immediately called the police.
The police came quickly. After all, they were just
blocks away at the Chi Omega House tending to the crime scene there.
They entered Cheryl's apartment and walked to her bedroom, where they
found her sitting on the bed. Her face was just beginning to swell from
the bludgeoning to her head. She was still somewhat conscious and half
nude, but lucky to be alive. Police discovered a mask at the foot of her
bed. According to Anne Rule in The Stranger Beside Me the mask that was
found "resembled almost exactly the mask taken from Ted Bundy's car when
he'd been arrested in Utah in August of 1975."
Police investigators worked diligently on the
evidence that was left behind. They were able to get a blood type from
the assailant, sperm samples and fingerprint smudges. Unfortunately,
most of the evidence that was tested proved to be inconclusive. The only
firm evidence investigators were able to obtain were the hairs found in
the mask, teeth impressions from the bite marks on the victims and an
eyewitness account from Nita Neary. Investigators did not have a suspect
and Ted Bundy was unknown to them.
On February 9th, 1978, Lake City police received a
phone call from the distressed parents of twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach.
They were hysterical and said that their daughter had disappeared that
day. Police launched a massive search to find the missing girl, who
disappeared from her school grounds. The person who last saw her was her
friend Priscilla who saw Kimberly get into the car of a stranger the day
she disappeared. Unfortunately, she was unable to accurately remember
the car or the driver. They found Kimberly's body eight weeks later in a
state park in Suwannee County, Florida. The young girl's body yielded
little information due to advanced decomposition. However, police were
to later find the evidence they needed in a van driven by Ted Bundy.
A few days before Kimberly Leach had disappeared, a
strange man in a white van approached a fourteen-year-old girl as she
waited for her brother to pick her up. The man had claimed he was from
the fire department and asked her if she attended the school nearby. She
found it strange that an on-duty fireman was wearing plaid pants and a
navy jacket. She began to feel uncomfortable. She had been warned on
many occasions by her father, who was the Chief of Detectives for the
Jacksonville Police Department, not to talk with strangers. She was
relieved when her brother drove up. Suspicious of the man, her brother
ordered her into the car, followed the man and wrote down his license
plate to give it to his father.
Upon hearing of the stranger in the white van,
Detective James Parmenter had the license plate checked out. He learned
it belonged to a man named Randall Ragen, and he decided to pay him a
visit. Ragen informed the detective that his plates had been stolen and
he had already been issued new ones. The detective later found out that
the van his children had seen was also stolen and he had an idea who it
might have been. He decided to take his children to the police station
to show them a stack of mug shots, Bundy's picture being among them. He
hadn't realized how close he had been to losing his own daughter. Both
of his children recognized the man in the van as Ted Bundy.
The van long since discarded, Bundy set out towards
Pensacola, Florida in a new stolen car. This time he managed to find a
vehicle he was more comfortable driving, a VW bug. Officer David Lee was
patrolling an area in West Pensacola when he saw an orange VW at 10 p.m.
on February 15th. He knew the area well and most of the residents, yet
he had never before seen the car. Officer Lee decided to run a check on
the license plates and soon found out that they were stolen. Immediately,
he turned on his lights and began to follow the VW.
Once again, as had happened in Utah several years
earlier, Bundy started to flee. Suddenly, Bundy pulled over and stopped.
Officer Lee ordered him out of his car and told Bundy to lay down with
his hands in front. To Lee's surprise, as he had begun to handcuff Bundy,
he rolled over and began to fight the officer. Bundy managed to fight
his way free and run. Just as soon as he did, Lee fired his weapon at
him. Bundy dropped to the ground, pretending to have been shot. As the
officer approached him lying on the ground, he was again attacked by
Bundy. However, the officer was able to overpower him. He was handcuffed
and taken to the police station. Bundy had finally been caught.
Over the months following Bundy's arrest,
investigators were able to compile critical evidence to be used against
Bundy in the Leach case. The white van that had been stolen by Bundy was
found and they had three eyewitnesses that had seen him driving it the
afternoon Kimberly had disappeared. Forensic tests conducted on the van
yielded fibers of material that had come from Bundy's clothes.
Tests also revealed Kimberly Leach's blood type on
the van's carpet and semen and Ted's blood type on her underwear.
Further evidence was Ted's shoe impressions in the soil located next to
the place Kimberly was found. Police felt confident with the information
they had tying Bundy to the Leach case and on July 31, 1978, Ted Bundy
was charged with the girl's murder. Soon after, he would also be charged
with the Chi Omega murders. Facing the death penalty, Ted would later
plead in his own defense that he was not guilty of the murders.
Theodore Robert Bundy faced two murder trials, both
spaced within three years. His first trial date was set for June 25,
1979 , in Miami , Florida . The court case centered on the brutal
attacks on the Chi Omega sorority sisters. The second trial was to take
place in January 1980 in Orlando , Florida , where Ted was to be tried
for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Both trials would result in less-than-favorable
outcomes for Ted, however it would be the Chi Omega murder case that
would seal his fate forever.
Florida v. Theodore Robert Bundy
The opening of the Chi Omega murder trial sparked
immense public interest and a media frenzy. After all, Ted had been
suspected of at least thirty-six murders in four states and his name
elicited nightmarish images to thousands, perhaps even millions around
the world. He was considered by many to be evil reincarnate, a monster,
the devil and his murders initiated the biggest and most publicized
trials of the decade.
During the Chi Omega murder trial, Ted acted as his
own defense attorney. He was confident in his abilities and believed he
would be given a fair trial. The jury, made up mostly of African-Americans,
looked on as he defended himself against the murder charges. It became
clear early on in the trial that Ted was fighting a losing battle.
There were two events in the trial that would sway
the jury against Ted. The first was Nita Neary's testimony of what she
had seen the night of the murders. While on the stand, she pointed to
Ted as the man she had seen fleeing down the stairs and out the door of
the Chi Omega House. The second event that swayed the jury during the
trial was the testimony of odontologist Dr. Richard Souviron.
While on the stand, Dr. Souviron described the bite
mark injuries found on Lisa Levy's body. As he spoke, the jury was shown
full-scale photographs of the bite marks that had been taken the night
of the murder. The doctor pointed out the uniqueness of the indentations
left behind on the victim and compared them with full-scale pictures of
Ted's teeth. There was no question that Ted had made the bite marks on
Lisa Levy's body. The photos would be the biggest piece of evidence the
prosecution had linking Ted to the crime.
On July 23 rd , Ted waited in his cell as the jurors
deliberated over his guilt or innocence. After almost seven hours, they
returned to the courtroom with a verdict. Showing no emotion, Ted
listened as one of the jurors read out "GUILTY." On all counts of murder,
Ted was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the state of Florida , it is customary to have a
separate sentencing trial. Ted's sentencing took place one week later on
July 30 th before the same jury that had found him guilty. During the
brief hearing, Ted's mother testified and tearfully pleaded for her
son's life. Ted was also given a chance to address the court and refute
the recommendation from the prosecution for the death penalty.
Ted professed his innocence, claiming that the
prejudice of the media was responsible for his alleged misrepresentation.
He also suggested that the entire proceedings and verdict was nothing
short of a farce, which he was unable to accept. According to Larsen,
Ted told the hushed courtroom that it was, "absurd to ask for mercy for
something he did not do," yet he would "not share the burden of the
guilt." Judge Cowart, who presided over both trials, handed down his
final judgment following Ted's statement. He affirmed the recommendation
and imposed the death penalty twice for the murders of Margaret Bowman
and Lisa Levy. The method of execution Ted faced was the electric chair.
The Kimberly Leach Trial
After many delays, the Leach trial began in Orlando ,
Florida at the Orange County Courthouse on January 7, 1980 . This time
Ted decided not to represent himself, instead handing over the
responsibility to defense attorneys Julius Africano and Lynn Thompson.
Their strategy was to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, a plea
that was risky but one of the few available options open to the defense.
The plea of insanity might not have been difficult
for the seven women, five-man jury to believe. Unlike the other hearings,
Ted became increasingly agitated throughout the trial. At one point he
even lost control and stood up yelling at a witness with whom he
disagreed. Michaud and Aynesworth stated that Ted was just barely able
to control himself, "expending huge amounts of energy just to keep from
blowing apart." It appeared that Ted's facade of confidence was
beginning to fade, probably because he realized that he had already lost
the war and this legal battle wouldn't make much difference in
determining his fate.
There was no doubt that the outlook for Ted was bleak.
Assistant state attorney Bob Dekle presented sixty-five witnesses that
had connected Ted either directly or indirectly with Kimberly Leach on
the day of her disappearance. One of the star witnesses had seen a man
resembling Ted leading an upset little girl, matching Kimberly's
description, into a white van in front of the girl's school. However,
the defense team argued the legitimacy of the testimony because the man
was unable to recall the precise day he had seen the man and little girl.
Nevertheless, Dekle continued to press on and present
even more convincing evidence. The most damaging was the fiber evidence,
which linked Ted's clothes and the van he had driven that day with the
crime scene. Moreover, fibers matching those from Kimberly Leach's
clothes were found in the van and on Ted's clothing that he had
allegedly worn on the day of the crime. The prosecution's expert witness,
who testified about the fiber analysis, stated that she believed that at
some point Ted and Kimberly Leach had been in contact around the time of
her death. Michaud and Aynesworth claimed that the testimony had been, "literally
fatal" to Ted's case.
Exactly one month following the opening of the trial,
Judge Wallace Jopling asked the jury to deliberate. On February 7 th ,
after less than seven hours of deliberation the jury returned the
verdict, "GUILTY." The verdict was immediately followed by jubilation
from the prosecution team and their supporters.
February 9 th marked the second anniversary of
Kimberly Leach's death. It also was the day that the sentencing trial
commenced. During the penalty phase of the trial, Ted shocked those in
the courtroom while he interviewed defense witness Carole Ann Boone.
During his questioning of Carole, the two caught everyone off guard when
they exchanged vows. According to Florida law, the verbal promise made
under oath was enough to seal the agreement and the two were considered
officially married. Shortly thereafter, the groom was sentenced to death
in the electric chair for the third time in under a year. He would spend
his honeymoon alone on Death Row in Florida State 's Raiford
Appeals and Confessions
Ted refused to give up and believed that he still had
a fighting chance to save his own life. In 1982, he enlisted the help of
a new lawyer and appealed the Chi Omega murder trial verdict to the
Florida Supreme Court. However, his appeal was eventually denied.
Shortly following the court's denial of a new hearing,
Ted decided to appeal the Kimberly Leach trial verdict. In May 1985, his
request was again turned down. However, he continued to keep up the
fight and in 1986 he enlisted a new lawyer to assist him in escaping the
Ted's execution date was initially scheduled for
March 4, 1986 . However, his execution was postponed while his new
defense attorney, Polly Nelson, worked on his appeals for his previous
murder convictions. Two months later the appeal was denied and another
death warrant was issued to Ted by the State of Florida . Still, the
appeal process continued. According to Polly Nelson's book Defending the
Devil, the last appeal was made to the U.S. Supreme Court, who
eventually denied Ted's last stay of execution on January 17, 1989 .
In Ted's eleventh hour, he decided
to confess to more crimes to the Washington State Attorney General's
chief investigator for the criminal division, Dr. Bob Keppel. Ted had
temporarily assisted Dr. Keppel in his hunt for the " Green River
killer" from Death Row in the mid 1980's and he trusted him immensely.
Keppel went to meet Ted in an interviewing room at the prison, armed
with only a tape recorder. What Keppel learned was shocking.
Dr. Keppel had learned that Ted
kept some of his victims' heads at his home as trophies. However, what
was even more surprising was that Ted also engaged in necrophilia with
some of the remains of his victims. In fact, Keppel later stated in his
book The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer that
Ted's behavior could be best described as "compulsive necrophilia and
It was a compulsion that led to
the deaths of scores of women, many who remained unknown to
investigators. Rule and Keppel stated in their books that Ted was likely
responsible for the deaths of at least a hundred women, discounting the
official count of thirty-six victims. Whatever the figure, the fact is
no one will ever know for certain how many victims actually fell victim
Finally on January 24, 1989 , at
approximately 7 a.m. in the morning Ted's memory of his atrocities would
be burned away forever by the electric chair's unforgiving currents.
Outside the prison walls stood hundreds of on-lookers and scores of news
media representatives awaiting the news of Ted's death. Following the
prison spokesman's announcement that Ted was officially dead, sounds of
cheers came from the jubilant crowd and fireworks lit the sky. Shortly
thereafter, a white hearse emerged from the prison gates with the
remains of one of the countries most notorious serial killers. As the
vehicle moved towards the crematorium, the surrounding crowd cheerfully
applauded the end of a living nightmare.
The Murder of Kathy Devine
On December 6, 1973, a young couple stumbled across
the remains of a 15-year-old girl in McKenny Park, Washington. Kathy
Devine was last seen by friends on November 25th hitchhiking from
Seattle to Oregon, trying to run away from home. Shortly after she began
her journey, pathologists said she met her death. Kathy Devine had been
strangled, sodomized and her throat cut.
Everybody believed that Kathy Devine was one of the
many victims of Ted Bundy. It took 28 years and DNA evidence to find the
Jim Carlile of The Olympian reported that
Sheriff's Captain Dan Kimball never closed the files on this old case
even though Ted Bundy had been executed and would not tell whatever he
knew about the young woman that lost her life in Thurston County in
Kathy's clothing was shown on a television news
program in Seattle and one of Kathy's sisters recognized an embroidered
patch on the pair of jeans shown as belonging to a murder victim.
At the time of the murder, William E. Cosden Jr. had
been living in the area and had been seen at the truck stop where he
worked with blood on his clothes. Cosden had been released in 1973 from
a mental hospital where he was confined after the 1967 murder of a woman.
Carlile quoted police reports in his article:
"Witnesses saw Cosden come in the night of the murder
with stains on his clothing. The witnesses called police.
After leaving the truck stop, Cosden's truck caught
fire and was destroyed three miles from the truck stop.
During initial interviews with police, Cosden denied
ever seeing Kathy Devine."
In 1986, based on additional investigative
information, a search warrant was obtained for Cosden's blood, hair and
saliva. At that time, Cosden was in prison for rape.
In 2001, these samples from Cosden were subjected to
DNA testing. It was evidence which linked Cosden to Kathy Devine. Cosden,
55, did admit to having sex with Kathy, but denied killing her.
"DNA made the case," said Sheriff Gary Edward. "This
came about as a result of technology and a lot of hard work."
Cosden is already serving a 48-year sentence for
first-degree rape. He is not likely to go free again.
"She was beautiful inside and out, but she was a
normal troubled teenager," Sally Ann Devine said of her daughter. "I
don't think she had more troubles than anyone else her age during that
time. It is nice to know that this has finally been solved. We've been
wondering for 28 years. I still feel like it's a dream and I'm going to
wake up and it'll all be over."
Ted Bundy: The Poster Boy of
By David Lohr
Mention the term "serial killer"
and Ted Bundy's name is frequently the first to pop into mind. Before he
was executed in 1989, he admitted to murdering 40 young women in almost
a dozen states during his four-year reign of terror in the mid-'70s. In
the process he became one of the most feared and prolific serial killers
in U.S. history. But what sets Bundy apart is how different he was from
the stereotype of the homicidal madman: He was so mainstream that the
Washington State Republican Party hired him, so cunning that he twice
escaped from jail, so dashing a figure that women sent marriage
proposals to him on death row.
What caused Ted Bundy to snap and
murder countless young women and girls as young as 12 years old for no
apparent reason? The devil is in the details. Many of his early victims
bore a physical resemblance to Bundy's first girlfriend, who was tall
and slender and wore her long brown hair with a part in the middle.
Bundy was born Theodore Robert
Cowell on November 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vermont. Bundy’s mother,
Eleanor Louise Cowell, was unmarried and just 22-years-old at the time
of his birth. Bundy’s father, Lloyd Marshall, apparently wanted nothing
to do with him, so he and his mother moved to Philadelphia to live with
her parents. In an unusual twist, Eleanor’s parents, out of fear that
their daughter would be criticized for having a bastard child, raised
Bundy as their own son, leaving him to believe that his mother was his
In 1950, Eleanor and Bundy moved
to Tacoma, Wash., to live with relatives. Once there, Eleanor legally
changed their names. Ted Cowell became Theodore Robert Nelson, and
Eleanor became Louise Cowell. A year after their move, Eleanor married a
military cook by the name of Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. From then on Ted
Cowell became known as Ted Bundy.
As time went by Louise and Johnnie
had four other children of their own, whom Bundy spent much of his time
looking after. Ted never seemed to form a bond with his stepfather. He
had his own ideas of how things should have been and considered himself
a Cowell rather than a Bundy. In the book The Only Living Witness,
by Stephen G. Michaud, Bundy’s adolescent years are described as unhappy
ones. As a child, Bundy was shy and often teased by bullies.
Bundy graduated from Woodrow
Wilson High School in 1965, and by way of a scholarship began attending
the University of Puget Sound. He took courses in psychology and Asian
studies, but after attending just two semesters, he transferred to the
University of Washington in Seattle.
In 1967, Bundy met a beautiful
young woman named Stephanie Brooks. The two hit it off quickly and Bundy
was soon head over heals in love. It was the first time in his life that
he ever felt close to a woman and also, according to the book The
Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, the first time he engaged in any
form of sexual activity. During the fall of 1968, Bundy once again
transferred, enrolling in Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif.
Shortly thereafter, Stephanie graduated from the University of
Washington and abruptly ended their relationship. She later explained
that she felt like Bundy had no real direction or future goals and that
she had not been not ready to commit. Bundy was devastated at loosing
his first love and was unable to concentrate on anything. Eventually his
grades suffered so badly that he decided to drop out of college.
As Bundy tried to get his life
back on track, he began traveling around the country. He eventually
decided to visit his birth town in Vermont, where he was dealt yet
another damaging blow while looking up the record of his birth: He
discovered that his sister was actually his mother, and the woman who
had raised him as her son was actually his grandmother.
During the fall of 1969, Bundy
re-entered the University of Washington and excelled in all of his
classes. He was a man on a mission, hoping to win Stephanie back.
Nonetheless, she still had no interest in rekindling their previous
romance. Undaunted, Bundy worked harder and became increasingly involved
in local politics, working on and off for various campaigns. In his
spare time he worked the phones at the Seattle Crisis Clinic, where he
soon met and befriended Ann Rule, the woman who years later would write
of Bundy’s life and crimes in her best-selling book, The Stranger
Beside Me. It was also during this time that Bundy met Meg Anders, a
divorcee who worked as a secretary. The two began dating and Meg was
soon deeply in love. Bundy treated her well and took on the role of a
father figure for her young daughter. Regardless, Bundy was not yet
ready to settle down and unbeknownst to her continued to keep in contact
with Stephanie through letters and phone calls.
Bundy spent the next two years
working on political campaigns and applying to various law schools. At
one point during this time he was commended by the Seattle Police as a
"hero" for saving the life of a 3-year-old boy whom he rescued from
drowning. With his life on track and his future looking up, Bundy
graduated from the University of Washington in the summer of 1973, and
was quickly accepted into the University of Utah Law School. However,
whether it was because of his ongoing relationship with Meg, or his job
with the Washington State Republican Party, he chose not to attend until
the following school year.
During one of Bundy’s business
trips for the Republican Party, he decided to meet up with Stephanie, to
reminisce about old times. The new Bundy profoundly impressed Stephanie
and sparks began to fly once again. The two began spending as much time
together as possible and even talked of marriage. Meg had no idea Bundy
was secretly meeting Stephanie, all the while he continued to profess
his love to her. Stephanie felt that Bundy was now the man of her dreams
and began looking forward to their future together. While neither woman
knew about the other, they were also unaware of the transformation Bundy
was undergoing. For unknown reasons, he began focusing his energy into a
murderous downward spiral, which began just three days after New Years.
Each victim was methodically chosen and each evoked Stephanie's slender
build and hairstyle.
On January 4, 1974, 18-year-old
Joni Lentz became Bundy’s first victim. Joni shared a large house in
Seattle with several roommates. No one suspected anything was wrong when
she failed to come down for breakfast. As the day drew on, her friends
grew concerned and decided to check on her. Joni appeared to be asleep
when her roommates walked in, but upon closer inspection they were
horrified when they noticed that she was lying in a pool of blood. When
they pulled back the covers, the seriousness of the situation was
amplified to that of pure terror – a bed rod had been broken off and
rammed deep into her vagina. Joni appeared to still be breathing, so her
roommates quickly called paramedics and local police. Joni was in a
comatose state when the EMT’s arrived, but she had amazingly survived
Bundy’s next known victim was
Lynda Ann Healy, a 21-year-old weather forecaster and law student at
Seattle's University of Washington Law School. On Jan. 31, 1974, one of
Lynda’s roommates received a call from Lynda’s boss saying Lynda had not
shown up for work. The roommate went into Lynda’s basement bedroom and
saw that her bed was made and her bicycle was sitting in the corner. As
day turned to night and no one heard from her, her worried parents
called the police and asked them to look into their daughter’s
disappearance. As part of their investigation the police performed a
routine search of Lynda’s room. When one of the officers decided to pull
back her bedcovers, he was shocked to discover that the pillowcase and
sheets were soaked in blood. Another officer soon found Lynda’s
nightgown, the neckline of which was crusted with dried blood. The
investigators were unable to find any evidence pointing to a suspect. As
local law enforcement kept busy searching for Lynda, Bundy kept busy
going about his everyday life with little concern that he would be
In February 1974, without warning,
and for no apparent reason, Bundy dumped Stephanie Brooks, just as she
had him years earlier. Stephanie never saw or heard from Bundy again.
Over the course of the next few
months, seven more women mysteriously vanished within the states of
Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Each case was remarkably similar: each of
the victim’s was a slender Caucasian female, wore her hair parted in the
middle, and had disappeared in the evening hours. As the investigation
of the disappearances intensified, investigators learned from several
witnesses that a handsome man, driving a VW bug, and wearing a cast on
either his arm or leg, had been seen during many of the incidents.
Several women who had been approached by him recalled him mentioning his
name was Ted.
No one knew what happened to the
girls until two bodies were found in Washington in August of 1974, just
four miles from Lake Sammamish. It appeared to investigators that the
victims, Denise Naslund and Janice Ott, had been murdered during a
crazed sexual frenzy. There was little evidence at the scene, but the
similarities between the Washington and Oregon murders quickly caught
the attention of investigators in Utah. The three states began working
together and soon agreed that one man was committing the crimes.
Investigators got their first break on Nov. 8, 1974, when a man driving
a VW bug attempted to kidnap 18-year-old Carol DaRonch from a mall in
Salt Lake City. The young woman managed to escape and was able to give
investigators a description of the man and his vehicle. As investigators
in Salt Lake City looked for their suspect, authorities in Bountiful,
Utah, were notified that a 17-year-old girl, Debby Kent, had disappeared
from Viewmont High School. A witness later reported seeing a tan
Volkswagen bug speed away from the high school parking lot.
The killings stopped for four
months before resuming in Colorado where at least four women
mysteriously vanished. Almost a month later, one of those missing women
was found just miles from where she had disappeared. Following an
autopsy, it was discovered that she had been sexually assaulted and
murdered with a blunt instrument. Back In Washington, the Taylor
Mountains were becoming well known as the burial site for the killer, as
the mountain slowly revealed the remains of several women, one of which
was later identified as 21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy.
On Aug. 16, 1975, investigators
finally got the break they were hoping for when a highway patrolman in
Granger, Utah, noticed an unfamiliar man in a VW bug. When the officer
turned on his spotlight to look at the plate, the driver sped away. A
chase ensued, but after just a few blocks the VW pulled off to the side
of the road. When the officer asked the driver for identification, he
was given a driver's license with the name Theodore Robert Bundy.
Suspecting the man was up to no good, the officer searched the vehicle,
discovering a pair of handcuffs, a length of rope, a crowbar, a ski
mask, an ice pick, and a nylon stocking. Bundy was placed under arrest
for suspicion of burglary.
It did not take long for
investigators to notice the physical similarities between Bundy and the
suspect wanted in the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. However,
they knew that they would need more evidence to support their
suspicions. Shortly after Bundy’s arrest, Carol DaRonch and several
other witnesses were able to pick Bundy out of a police line up.
Although he denied having any knowledge of the attempted kidnapping or
murders, police were convinced they had their man and launched an
extensive investigation into his background.
Over the course of the next
several weeks, several witnesses from Lake Sammamish Park came forward
and identified Bundy as the man named Ted that they had seen walking
around the area in an arm or leg cast. During a subsequent search of
Bundy’s apartment, investigators discovered plaster of Paris, a
substance used in the making of casts. It was also learned that Bundy
was very familiar with the Taylor Mountains, where several bodies of
victims had been found and that he had used his credit card to purchase
gas in the towns where some of the victims had initially disappeared.
The evidence against Bundy was mounting up, but he continued to claim
As Bundy went to trial on February
23, 1976, for the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch, investigators
scrambled to link him to the murders. According to the book The
Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule, the 29-year-old Bundy, always the
polite and handsome charmer, made a great impression on the Utah
courtroom. He was confident, unnerved, and apparently highly offended by
the charges against him. While he denied ever meeting DaRonch, he was
unable to provide a solid alibi of his whereabouts the day of the
attack. Even though Bundy was confident he would beat the charges, the
judge found him guilty of aggravated kidnapping, sentencing him to one
to 15 years in prison.
On Oct. 22, 1976, Colorado police
charged Bundy with the murder of 23-year-old Caryn Campbell. Her raped
and battered body had been found on Feb. 17, 1975, and investigators
felt they had sufficient evidence to link him to the crime. During April
of 1977, Bundy was extradited to Colorado and placed in the Garfield
County Jail in Colorado, to await trial for Campbell’s murder, which was
scheduled for Nov. 14, 1977. Faced with prison time already, Bundy had
no desire to sit through another trial and began planning his escape.
Having been given special privileges to use the Pitkin County Courthouse
library in Aspen, Bundy waited until no one was looking and jumped out a
second story window on June 7, 1977. He was recaptured eight days later
while trying to leave town in a stolen car.
Almost seven months later, on
December 30, 1977, Bundy would escape again. In the intervening months
he had eaten very little food and had shed 30 pounds, enough to allow
him to shimmy through a small light fixture hole in the ceiling of his
cell at the Garfield County Jail. Once inside the ceiling, Bundy made
his way through a crawl space and into the closet of his jailer's
apartment. He waited until all was quiet and then casually walked out
the front door. It took jailers nearly 15 hours to realize he was gone.
After making his way to Chicago, Bundy boarded a plane for Florida.
Investigators were stumped and had no idea where he had gone.
By January of 1978, Bundy had
acquired an apartment near Florida State University. He supported
himself by committing petty thefts. He went by the alias Chris Hagen,
and grew a beard in order to change his appearance. According to the
book The Only Living Witness by Stephen G. Michaud, Bundy was not
content with his newfound freedom and was unable to control his
murderous impulses. On the night of Saturday Jan. 14, 1978, he entered
the Chi Omega House and attacked four sleeping coeds one at a time by
sneaking into each victim's room and knocking the victim unconscious.
Two of the young women suffered such severe injuries that they died as a
result, while the other two survived the brutal attack. The pathologist
who performed the autopsies discovered that one of the coeds had been
beaten with a club, raped, and strangled. He also discovered bite marks
on her buttocks and nipples. In addition, she had been sexually
assaulted with a metal hair spray can. The autopsy on the other victim
showed that she had also been beaten with a club and strangled.
Bundy waited less than a month
before striking again. On Feb. 9, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach was
reported missing by her parents. Even though police were quick to launch
an extensive search, they were unable to locate her.
Just six days after Kimberly’s
disappearance, a Pensacola police officer, patrolling a residential
area, noticed a man who seemed to be casing the neighborhood in an
orange VW bug. The officer ran a routine check on the plates and
discovered that the plates had been stolen. The officer quickly turned
on his lights and moved in. The suspect sped away but after a brief
chase, pulled off to the side of the road. The officer ordered the
driver out of the car and instructed him to lie down on the ground. As
the officer attempted to apply handcuffs, a brief scuffle ensued and the
suspect attempted to run off. The officer fired one shot at the suspect
and the suspect fell to the ground. As the officer approached, the
suspect jumped up and attacked him. Another brief scuffle took place,
but this time the officer was able to subdue the man and handcuff him.
Once the Pensacola police were
able to identify the suspect as Theodore Robert Bundy, Florida
investigators immediately ordered impressions of his teeth, to compare
with bite marks on one of the Chi Omega victims. The match was
indisputable and would seal Bundy's fate once and for all.
On July 23, 1980, Bundy was
convicted on two counts of murder and sentenced to die in Florida's
electric chair. Subsequently, a third conviction and death sentence was
also obtained in the case of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, whose body had
been discovered just weeks after his arrest.
Following Bundy's arrest,
authorities in Seattle were convinced that Bundy’s first victim was
15-year-old Kathy Devine, who had disappeared on November 25, 1973, and
whose mutilated corpse was found less than a month later. While Bundy
freely confessed to every murder prior to his death, he always
maintained his innocence in that particular case. Regardless,
authorities labeled the girl a "Bundy victim" and gave it little more
thought. However, on March 8, 2002, a man named William E. Cosden, Jr.,
55, was arrested for the murder after DNA evidence, which had been
preserved from Devine's body, linked him to her murder. Cosden has
subsequently been tried and found guilty of the crime.
After nearly 10 years of appeals,
Bundy was executed on Jan. 24, 1989. During his final interview, he
confessed to a total of 40 murders. One of Bundy’s most famous quotes
regarding his crimes can be found in Dr. James Dobson’s book, Life on
the Edge: "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we
are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow."
Following Bundy's execution, in an
unusual twist, his remains were cremated at the request of his family
and spread over the mountains in Washington State, where the bodies of
several of his victims had been discovered.
The Only Living Witness,
by Stephen G. Michaud.
The Stranger Beside Me,
by Ann Rule.
Life on the Edge,
by Dr. James Dobson.