Theodore Robert Bundy: Murder & Mayhem

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE MENTIONS RAPE, SEXUAL ASSUALT, NECROPHELIA, MURDER, CHILD MURDER, AND HUMAN DISMEMBERMENT!

Ted Bundy with girlfriend Liz Kendall
Ted Bundy listening as his indictment was being read aloud in Florida.

Blah blah blah welcome to a true crime special blah blah blah. Part two of Ted Bundy, the murder and the mayhem. Guys, I think I will have to make this a three part thing, I’m so sorry there is just so much to cover. In this article we will talk about the murders he committed . In the next article we will talk about his capture, trial, sentencing, and confessions. Just the things he did are…. unfathomable. I have read and watched stuff about him over and over again and I am often still left in shock. Just I mean…. THE AUDACITY of this asshat. He was apparently handsome enough to get a lot of women at the time but he wanted to bang dead bodies, weird flex but ok. Anyway, let’s get on with the show and the mess that was Bundy’s mid to late 1970’s killing spree. My parents lived through this whole shit show, my Mom would have been a senior in high school at the time of his capture and my Dad a University student. NEITHER OF THEM REMEMBER ANY OF THE NEWS COVERAGE! HOW AM I YOUR CHILD!? I would have been all over that! I love both of my parents dearly despite their lack of interest in serial killers. This will probably be a long one….so just hang in there!

Before we get started have you guys seen the picture of Ted Bundy and female friend doing the dishes but they are washing a PAPER plate? It’s like bish what!? You know what? Let me just insert it here for you so you can see the picture if you already haven’t. 

There is no solid consensus on when or where Ted Bundy starting killing young women as he has told many different stories to many different people and refused to give up details about some of his earliest crimes. Even as he confessed in GRUSOME detail about his later murders in the days leading up to his execution. He once told a psychologist Art Norman his first kidnapping was committed in 1969 in New Jersey but he did not commit his first murder until 1971 in Seattle. He would later that he actually killed two women in Atlantic City in 1969 while visiting his family in Philly. Dude is all over the place so the world may never know the real truth. Circumstantial evidence has linked him to the kidnapping and killing of eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr in 1961, when Ted would have been only fourteen years old. This is claim that Bundy would vehemently deny until his dying breath.

I often wondered how Bundy got away with his murders for so long because it seems so insane that he could stay so ahead of the police for so long. But keep in mind this was before DNA profiling and before police stations around the nation could keep in contact with one another almost 24/7. If Ted Bundy had killed now, I don’t think he would have gotten away with it for very long at all. Look at other serial killers who evaded capture for a very long time; BTK, Samuel Little, The Golden State Killer, they all killed during a time with DNA profiling was not even something that had been around. DNA samples were always collected but not tested. It is years later they catch these dudes when they crack open the old DNA samples sometimes twenty some year old and finally put them through forensics testing. To us it seems silly and like shot police work but authorities did the best they could with the resources they had available to them at the time (we are talking about the 1960’s and 1970’s after all).

Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974 (around the time Bundy ended his relationship with Brooks) eighteen-year-old Karen Sparks (A.K.A Joni Lenz, Mary Adams, and Terri Caldwell) a young dancer and University of Washington political science student was fast asleep in her basement apartment when Bundy made his way inside through an unlocked door. After making his way to the bedroom Ted Bundy took of a piece of Sparks’ metal bedframe and began bludgeoning her in head and face with it. All while her roommate was asleep with the door closed in the other room and was totally unaware of what was happening to her friend. After beating her within inches of her life and rendering her unconscious Bundy took the same metal rod from the bedframe and vaginally penetrated Karen Sparks with it, causing severe internal injuries. Ted Bundy left just as quickly as he came (get your minds out of the gutter). Sparks laid there is a pool of her own blood for approximately eighteen to twenty hours before being discovered by her roommate who called authorities. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital where she remained unconscious for ten days. Karen Sparks would end up surviving her horrific attack. Honestly, by that point I might have just asked for him to kill me. She would go on to suffer permanent brain damage, fifty percent loss of her hearing, forty percent loss of her vision, have constant ringing in her ears, and epileptic fits. Like I said, I would probably rather be dead, poor thing.  

In the early morning hours of February 1, 1974 Ted Bundy broke into the basement bedroom of UW student Lynda Ann Healy. What does this tell you? Don’t live or sleep-in basements…my husband and I are staying in my parent’s basement right now, guess who is going to move back into her old upstairs bedroom? Bundy beat Healy unconscious with an unknown object before taking off her pajamas. He dressed her in blue jeans, a white blouse, and boots before he just simply carried her off into the night. During the first half of 1974 female college students were disappearing at an alarming rate of one per month. Panic had set in on college campuses all over the Pacific Northwest, women started traveling in packs, amping up security in their homes, and just overall staying on high alert. Remember the 1970’s was a different time, women traveled alone at night, talked to strangers, left doors unlocked, and were just carefree. On March 12, 1974 nineteen-year-old Donna Gail Manson left her dorm at Evergreen State College to attend a jazz concert on campus, but she never arrived. On April 17, Susan Elaine Rancourt disappeared while on her way to her dorm room after an evening advisors’ meeting at Central Washington State College. Two female Central Washington students later came forward to report encounters, one on the night of Rancourt’s disappearance, the other three nights earlier, where a man wearing a sling on his arm would approach the women and ask for help carrying a load of books to his brown/tan Volkswagen Beetle. Guys, I saw that car with my own eye balls! Many moons ago when my husband and I were dating we went to the Crime and Punishment museum in Washington D.C. and right there in the lobby of the museum is Ted Bundy’s Beetle! I saw Bundy’s real life car….his ACTUAL car with my own damn eyes. My husband didn’t find it nearly as thrilling as I did. I could have touched it that is how close it was but you know you aren’t allowed to touch shit on display at museums.

As usual, I digress. On May 6th Roberta Kathleen Parks left her dormitory at Oregon State University to have coffee with friends. After she didn’t show up her friends tried to get a hold of her, they were never able to reach her. Detectives from the Seattle police department grew increasingly concerned. There was little to no physical evidence, and the missing women had very few similarities, apart from being young, attractive, white college students with long hair parted in the middle. On June 1, 1974 twenty-two-year-old Brenda Carol Ball went missing after leaving the Flame Tavern near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Witnesses said they last saw Carol in the parking lot of the tavern talking to dark haired man wearing a sling on his arm. In the early morning hours of June 11th UW student Georgann Hawkins disappeared while walking down a well-lit alley between her boyfriend’s dormitory and her sorority house. After homicide detectives failed to find any trace of Hawkins, they released her disappearance to the media. Soon after the broadcast aired witnesses came forward to report seeing a man that night who was in an alley behind a nearby dormitory. He was on crutches with a leg cast and was struggling to carry a briefcase. One woman told police that on the same night Georgann Hawkins disappeared that man asked her to help him carry the case to his car, a light brown Volkswagen Beetle. She had an uneasy feeling and told him that she was unable to assist him. Smart girl, very smart girl! Love that gut instinct! 

During the time the college students were disappearing Ted Bundy was working as Assistant Director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission. While working here he wrote a pamphlet for women on rape prevention. After leaving the commission, he worked at the Department of Emergency Services (DES), a state government agency involved in the search for the missing women. At DES he met and dated Carole Ann Boone, a twice-divorced mother of two who, six years later, would play an important role in the final phase of his life. This dude is twisted, like he is a sick son of a bitch! Carol isn’t all together either. Reports of the six missing women and Sparks’ brutal beating appeared prominently in newspapers and on television throughout Washington and Oregon. Fear spread among the population; hitchhiking by young women dropped. Pressure mounted on law enforcement agencies, but the lack of physical evidence severely stumped their investigation process. Police could not provide reporters with the little information that was available for fear of compromising the investigation. More similarities between the victims were noted: The disappearances all took place at night, usually near ongoing construction work, within a week of midterm or final exams; all of the victims were wearing slacks or blue jeans; and at most crime scenes, there were sightings of a man wearing a cast or a sling, and driving a brown or tan Volkswagen Beetle. 

Things were about to get crazy, Teddy boy got very confident and decided that he wanted to commit his crimes in broad daylight at very crowded areas. The dudes got some big balls, I will give him that, but that is all I will give him. On July 14, 1974 Lake Sammamish State Park was full of people enjoying the nice Saturday weather, amongst that crowd of people was Ted Bundy. Five female witnesses described an attractive young man wearing a white tennis outfit with his left arm in a sling, speaking with a light accent, perhaps Canadian or British. Introducing himself simply as “Ted” (how stupid can you be to use your real name when trying to kidnap people. At least say your name is Bob or something), he asked their help in unloading a sailboat from his tan or bronze-colored Volkswagen Beetle. Four refused; one accompanied him as far as his car, saw that there was no sailboat, and hauled ass out of there. Like she hit the deck running, you go girl. Three additional witnesses saw “Ted” approach twenty-three-year-old Janice Ann Ott and heard him telling her his sail boat story. Janice Ott was last seen leaving the beach with Ted Bundy. About four hours later nineteen-year-old Denise Marie Naslund left her friends on the beach so she could go to the restroom. She never returned back to the group.  

King County Detectives were finally armed with a detailed description of their suspect and his car. They came up with a sketch based off of what eye witnesses from Lake Sammamish told them and posted them all over the Seattle area. The sketch was also released in the newspapers and on television. Guys….this is the sketch…. this is Ted Bundy…. 

Annnywayyy, Liz Kendall, Ann Rule, a DES employee, and a UW psychology professor all recognized the profile, the sketch, and the car, and reported Bundy as a possible suspect. How they recognized him from that sketch is beyond me but more power to them. However, detectives were receiving up to two hundred tips per day and found it unlikely that a clean-cut law student with no adult criminal record could be the perpetrator. You have got to be shitting me, at least bring the dude in for questioning! On September 6, 1974 two grouse (which apparently is a type of bird) hunters stumbled across the skeletal remains of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund near a service road in Issaquah about two miles (three kilometers) from Lake Sammamish. An extra femur bone and several vertebrae were found among the remains. Bundy would later confession that those belonged to missing female Georgann Hawkins. Six months later students from Green River Community College found discovered skulls and jaw bones belonging to Lynda Healy, Susan Rancourt, Roberta Parks, and Brenda Ball on Taylor Mountain where Bundy frequently hiked, Donna Manson’s remains have never been recovered. 

On August on 1974 Ted Bundy received a second acceptance letter from the University of Utah Law School. So, he packed his bags and moved to Salt Lake City, leaving his girlfriend Liz Kendall and a trail of murder behind him. He figured he needed to get the hell out of Washington I guess, maybe he got scared that the police might catch him. Shortly after Bundy arrived in Utah a new string of kidnappings and murders started happening. Two of these murders would not be linked to Ted Bundy until he confessed to committing them shortly before his scheduled execution. On September 2nd a still unidentified hitch hiker was raped and killed in Idaho, her body would later be recovered from a river. On October 2, 1974 sixteen-year-old Nancy Wilcox was abducted from a suburb in Salt Lake City, her remains have never been found. On October 18th seventeen-year-old Melissa Anne Smith, daughter of a Midvale (a suburb in SLC) police chief disappeared after leaving a pizza parlor. Her nude body was discovered nine days later in a nearby mountainous area. An autopsy revealed that Melissa Smith may have been kept alive for up to a week after her kidnapping.  

In August 1974, Ted Bundy received a second acceptance letter from the University of Utah Law School. So, he packed his bags and moved to Salt Lake City, leaving his girlfriend Liz Kendall and a trail of murder behind him. He figured he needed to get the hell out of Washington I guess, maybe he got scared that the police might catch him. Shortly after Bundy arrived in Utah a new string of kidnappings and murders started happening. Two of these murders would not be linked to Ted Bundy until he confessed to committing them shortly before his scheduled execution. On September 2nd a still unidentified hitch hiker was raped and killed in Idaho, her body would later be recovered from a river. On October 2, 1974 sixteen-year-old Nancy Wilcox was abducted from a suburb in Salt Lake City, her remains have never been found. On October 18th seventeen-year-old Melissa Anne Smith, daughter of a Midvale (a suburb in SLC) police chief disappeared after leaving a pizza parlor. Her nude body was discovered nine days later in a nearby mountainous area. An autopsy revealed that Melissa Smith may have been kept alive for up to a week after her kidnapping. On October 31, 1974 another seventeen-year-old, Laura Ann Aime disappeared after leaving a café around midnight. Her naked body was discovered by hikers in American Fork Canyon on Thanksgiving Day. Both teens had been beaten, raped, sodomized, and strangled with nylon stockings.

On the afternoon of November 8th, eighteen-year-old Carol DaRonch was shopping at Fashion Place mall in Murray, Utah when Ted Bundy approached her. He identified himself as “Officer Roseland” of the Murray Police Department and told DaRonch that someone had attempted to break into her car. He asked her to accompany him to the police station to file a complaint. Believing he was an office dressed in plain clothes she agreed. DaRonch later said that she thought it was odd that “Officer Roseland” was driving a Volkswagen Beetle instead of a squad car, but thinking that he might have been undercover as a shopper at the mall she got in the Beetle with him. A little into their trip Carol DaRonch pointed out that they were driving on a road that did not lead to the police station. Bundy immediately pulled the car onto the shoulder and attempted to handcuff DaRonch. During their struggle, Bundy inadvertently fastened both handcuffs to the same wrist, and DaRonch was able to open the car door and escape. Later that same day seventeen-year-old Viewmont High School student Debra Jean Kent, disappeared after leaving a theater production at school to pick up her little brother from a friend’s house.  

In November, Liz Kendall called King County police a second time after reading that young women were disappearing in towns surrounding Salt Lake City. Detective Randy Hergesheimer of the Major Crimes division interviewed her in detail. By then, Bundy had risen considerably on the King County hierarchy of suspicion, but the Lake Sammamish witness considered most reliable by detectives failed to identify him from a photo lineup. I wonder why, have you guys seen that shit sketch you drew!? Ted Bundy also had the kind of face where he could literally just part his hair a different way and he would look like a whole new person. A very generic and bland face if you ask me…. I guess that could have had something to do with it as well. In December, Kendall called the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and repeated her suspicions. Bundy’s name was added to their list of suspects, but at that time no credible forensic evidence linked him to the Utah crimes. In January 1975, Bundy returned to Seattle after his final exams and spent a week with Kendall, who did not tell him that she had reported him to police on three occasions. Well Shit, I would hope she kept her mouth shut about that. Like she would be dumb enough to be like “Hey Ted, I call the police on you, not once, not twice, but three times!”. 

In 1975 Bundy shifted much of his criminal activity from Utah to Colorado. He keeps on the move, keeps changing things up, I guess that is pretty smart. On January 12, 1975 twenty-three-year-old Caryn Eileen Campbell disappeared while walking from the elevator to her hotel room at the Wildwood Inn (now the Wildwood Lodge). Her nude body was discovered a month later next to a dirt road just outside of the Inn. She had died as a result of multiple blows to her head from a blunt instrument that left distinctive linear grooved depressions (do you like those big words that I googled?) on her skull; her body also bore deep cuts from a sharp weapon. On March 15th twenty-six-year-old Julie Cunningham disappeared while walking from her apartment to meet her friend for a dinner date. Guys, no bullshit I had a friend growing up named Julie Cunningham and it already freaks me out a little when I hear about this. The coincidence is just too eerie for me. On April 6, 1975 twenty-five-year-old Denise Lynn Oliverson disappeared near the Utah-Colorado border while riding her bike to her parents’ house. Her bike and sandals were later found under a viaduct near a railroad bridge.  

This one really bothers me because it is a child, like it just really upsets me. This is hard to stomach, it’s just so disgusting and vile. On May 6th Bundy lured twelve-year-old Lynette Dawn Culver from Alameda Junior High School in Pocatello, Idaho. He drowned then sexually assaulted her in his hotel room. That poor innocent child, she didn’t hurt anybody like what the f*** Ted Bundy!? He disposed of her body in a river just north of Pocatello. That May, three of Bundy’s Washington State DES coworkers, including Carole Ann Boone, visited him in Salt Lake City and stayed for a week in his apartment. Bundy subsequently spent a week in Seattle with Liz Kendall in early June and they discussed getting married the following Christmas. I don’t think she was actually going to marry him I personally think she kept the relationship going in hopes of getting more information on him to take to the police. Bundy never told Kendall about his ongoing relationship with Boone nor a concurrent romance with a Utah law student known as Kim Andrews or Sharon Auer, depending on the reports.  

On June 28, 1975 Susan Curtis vanished from the campus of Brigham Young University. Curtis’ murder became Bundy’s last confession, tape-recorded moments before he entered the execution chamber. The bodies of Denise Oliverson, Julie Cunningham, Nancy Wilcox, Debra Kent, Lynette Culver, and Susan Curtis were never recovered.  

In Washington state investigators were still struggling to analyze the Pacific Northwest murder spree, that had ended as abruptly as it began. In an attempt to try and make sense out of the now overwhelming data they had complied, detectives turned to a now common but at the innovative strategy of compiling a database. They would use a King County Payroll computer to put together said database as that was the only machine available for their use. I am guessing this thing was a monster of a computer, I can’t even imagine what it looked like. After inputting the many lists, they had compiled names of classmates and acquaintances of each victim, Volkswagen owners named “Ted”, known sex offenders, and things like that, they queried (another fancy word I googled) the computer for coincidences. Out of thousands of names only twenty-six popped up on four different lists. Can you guys guess what one of the names was? I’m just going to go ahead and tell you because you will never get it. THEODORE ROBERT BUNDY! I know, total shocker, right? Detectives then input a list of their one hundred “best” suspects and (drum roll please) Ted Bundy showed up on that one as well. In fact, he wasn’t just on the list, he was at the very top! He was king of the castle on that list. It was around that time that word of Bundy’s arrest came from Utah.

Damn guys we made it. That was really long and I am so sorry as I usually like to keep things relatively short. I really have nothing to say to end this portion of Ted Bundy’s infamous career. I suppose I could tell you that if you thought this was bad things are only going to get worse. Thanks for hanging in there with me and keep an eye for the third and final part about this dog shit of a human being’s crime spree. Ted Bundy also ruined people wanting to help people on crutches or people wearing a cast/sling on their arm with carrying crap to their car. So, F*** you Bundy! 

Sources:

“A Stranger Beside Me” – Ann Rule

“Ted Bundy – Victims, Family & Death” – Biography

“Serial killer Ted Bundy strikes again” – HISTORY

“Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes”- Netflix

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1 Comment

  1. What a monster this dude was. Intelligent but a killer. There is no room in our society for monsters like Ted B.
    Another great article. A bit long, but very interesting.
    Enjoyed it very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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