Theodore Robert Bundy: Capture, Escape & Execution

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

You are on trial for murder, what is there to smile about, Ted?
Ted Bundy looking creepy as ever in handcuffs and a prison jumpsuit

Uh Oh, back again with the Ted Bundy bull crap. We’ve only just begun…I’m kidding this is the last installment of this insane story. So, Bundy was captured, escaped, committed more murders, was recaptured, and finally sentenced to death. It is truly crazy and you almost wouldn’t believe it if you didn’t hear about it so much in the media. This dude really got around: Vermont, Seattle, Utah, Idaho, Florida, and Colorado. I’m sure there are other states and murders that only Ted Bundy knew about, wouldn’t surprise me. Sit bad, relax, and enjoy. Heads up, this might be another long one.

On August 16, 1975 Ted Bundy was arrested by highway patrol office Bob Hayward in Granger, Utah. The officer noticed Bundy driving around a residential area and found it suspicious that Bundy took off at high speed once he spotted the patrol car. Officer Hayward decided to search Teddy’s car after noticing that the front passenger seat had been removed and placed in the back of the car. He was like hold up wait a minute I need to take a deeper look into this suspicious shit. In the trunk of the car the officer found what is now known as Ted Bundy’s “murder kit”. The kit contained a ski mask, a second mask made out of pantyhose, a crowbar, handcuffs, trash bags, rope, an ice pick, and other items. The office Hayward assumed these were items used for burglaries and started questioning Bundy. Bundy explained that the ski mask was for skiing, he had found the handcuffs in a dumpster, and the rest were common household items. Yeah, a likely story bitch. Who just drives around with an ice pick and masks in their car!? That is not normal.

The officer found this was enough to take Bundy in and he was arrested on suspicion of burglary. Once at the police station Bundy was questioned. After a couple of hours, the police realized they did not have enough evidence that he had been involved in burglaries and were not able to hold him. Ted Bundy was able to walk out of the police station. Bundy later said that searchers missed a hidden collection of Polaroid photographs of his victims, which he destroyed after he was released. Son of a bitch! If they had seen the photographs it would have been over for Ted Bundy that very same day. Well, I use the term “over” loosely because even after he was finally locked up, he found a way to get out. The police report eventually made it onto the desk of detective Jerry Thompson, who realized that the car and suspect matched the description given to them the day Carol DaRonch was almost kidnapped.  

I guess that was suspicious enough for detective Thompson because Salt Lake City placed Ted Bundy under twenty-four-hour surveillance. Detective Thompson flew to Seattle with two other detectives to visit Liz Kendall, who phoned them some time before when women first started disappearing in SLC. Kendall told the detectives that a year before Bundy’s move to Utah she found items that “she couldn’t understand” in her home and Ted’s apartment. These items included crutches, plaster of Paris, and a meat cleaver that she had never seen him use for cooking. Kendall also told police that Bundy kept surgical glove and a knife in the glove compartment of his VW Beetle. She had also found a sack full of women’s clothes in his car on one occasion. Bundy was perpetually in debt, and Liz suspected that he had stolen almost everything of significant value that he possessed. When she confronted him over a new TV and stereo that he had in his apartment, he told her, “If you tell anyone, I’ll break your fucking neck.”. GET OUT NOW SIS! GET AWAY FROM THAT MAN! She said Ted would also get visibly upset when she talked about cutting her hair which was long, straight, and parted down the middle. Wait, was he killing women who reminded him of Liz Kendall!? 

She also claimed that sometimes when she woke up in the middle of the night, she would find Bundy under the covers with a flashlight examining her body. Kendal told police that Bundy kept a lug wrench taped about half way up the handle in the trunk of HER (also a Volkswagen Beetle) car which she thought was a little suspicious. When she asked him about it, he claimed it was there for protection. Detectives were able to confirm that Ted Bundy had not been with Liz Kendall on any of the night the women across the Pacific Northwest had vanished, or on the day that Janice Ott and Denise Naslund were abducted. No alibi, huh, Teddy?  Shortly after this first interview, Kendall was interviewed by Seattle homicide detective Kathy McChesney, and learned of the existence of Stephanie Brooks and her brief engagement to Bundy around Christmas 1973. 

That September Bundy sold his Volkswagen to a Midvale teenager, probably not a smart move but whatever. It was quickly impounded by police, taken apart, and searched by detectives. They found hairs matching samples taken from Caryn Campbell’s body. Upon further testing they were also able to determine that other strands of hair collected from the Beetle belonged to Melissa Smith and Carol DaRonch. FBI lab specialist Robert Neill later concluded that the presence of hair strands in one car matching three different victims who had never met each other would be “a coincidence of mind-boggling rarity”. On October 2, 1975 Salt Lake City police put Bundy in a line up and Carol DaRonch immediately identified him as “Office Roseland”. The teach and student who were at the high school the night Debra Kent disappeared were also called in and both recognized him as the “stranger” in the parking lot. There was not enough evidence to link Ted Bundy with the kidnapping of Debra Kent but by now police had enough evidence to charge him with the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. Aw Teddy boy, you fought the law and the law won. 

Ted Bundy was charged with aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal assault in relation to the Carol DaRonch incident. He was released on $15,000 bail, that was paid by his parents. In hindsight the WORST thing you could do is allow Ted Bundy bail. Oh yes, you guys should feel so lucky, usually I don’t add pictures in my actual articles and you are getting a lot with this Bundy thing. I’m going to put his Utah mug shot below, it is a little fuzzy though. I’m also not sure why some information is blocked out, like the whole world knows who this man is.

Ted spent his time in between his arrest and trial living at Liz Kendall’s house. At this point Kendall was just playing along with the whole thing out of fear for her and her daughter’s life. She often told Ted that she believed in his innocence, which was of course a bold-faced lie. At this point Seattle police also had enough evidence to charge him with the Pacific Northwest murders but decided to continue keeping him under close surveillance. Liz Kendall later wrote; “When Ted and I stepped out on the porch to go somewhere, so many unmarked police cars started up that it sounded like the beginning of the Indy 500.” Did Bundy just not notice or was he playing dumb? In November 1975 Utah detective Jerry Thompson, Washington detective Robert Keppel, and Colorado detective Michael Fisher met in Aspen, Colorado they exchanged information with thirty detectives and prosecutors from five different states. This meeting would later be known as the “Aspen Summit”.

I wonder if Teddy had any idea that the walls were starting to close in on him. When the detectives left the meeting, they were certain Ted Bundy is the man they have been looking for but agreed that more evidence would be needed before he could be charged with any of the murders. You have to remember; they really wanted these charges to stick. In February 1976 Ted Bundy finally went on trial for the Carol DaRonch kidnapping. Bundy waived his right to a jury and a four-day bench trial ensued. After the trial Judge Stewart Hanson Jr. deliberated for a weekend before returning a verdict. He found Ted Bundy guilty of kidnapping and assault. In June that same year Bundy was sentenced to one to fifteen years in the Utah State Prison. In October Ted was found hiding in bushes on the prison yard with an “escape kit”. He is just warming up for his escape, ya know testing the waters. He had road maps, airline schedules, and a social security card. He was sent to solitary confinement for several days.  

In late October 1976 Colorado authorities charged Bundy with the murder of Caryn Campbell. After a time of resistance Ted Bundy waived extradition proceedings and was transferred to Aspen, Colorado in January 1977. On June 7, 1977 Bundy was transferred to the Pitkin County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing. He elected to serve as his own attorney, and as such the judge allowed him to be removed from handcuffs and leg shackles. During a hearing recess Ted Bundy was allowed to visit the courthouse’s law library to research his case. Regular attorneys have this right while defending a client on trial so Ted Bundy got that same right as his own attorney. While blocked from his guards’ view behind a bookcase, he opened a window and jumped to the ground from the second story, injuring his right ankle as he landed. After shedding a layer of clothing Ted Bundy simply walked out onto the Aspen streets. He continued to walk freely through Aspen as news broke of his escape and roadblocks were being set up on the outskirts of Colorado so the fugitive could not leave the state. Bundy walked towards the Aspen mountain and broke into a cabin at its summit. Once inside the cabin he stole food, clothing, and a rifle. The next morning, he left the cabin and began walking towards the town of Crested Butte but this dumbass got lost in his forest. For two days he wandered aimlessly on the mountain, missing two trails that led downward to the town. Guys, how can you be that dumb. Seriously, what an idiot, he deserves it. On June 10th he broke into a camping trailer near Maroon Lake while there he stole food and a ski parka. When he left the trailer, he meant to continue towards the town of Crested Butte but he got turned around and started to walk back towards Aspen.  

After dodging road blocks and search parties for three days Bundy found a vacant car on an Aspen golf course. Cold, sleep deprived, and suffering from a sprained ankle he stole the car and drove right back into Aspen. Two police cars noticed the stolen vehicle was weaving in and out of lanes and driving erratically. Believing it was a drunk driver they pulled the car over. But it wasn’t a drunk driver in the car, oh no no no, it was Mr. Ted Bundy. He was captured after being a fugitive for six days, while searching the stolen vehicle police found maps of the mountain area around Aspen that prosecutors were using to demonstrate the location of Caryn Campbell’s body. Bundy was able to get his hands on this since as mentioned before he was acting as his own attorney. This showed authorities that his escape was not spontaneous but had been well thought out and planned. 

Back in jail at Glenwood Springs Bundy ignored his new legal team and friend’s advice to stay put. Stating that the case against him, already weak at best, was deteriorating steadily as pretrial motions consistently resolved in his favor and significant bits of evidence were ruled inadmissible. So basically, he could have been acquitted of the Caryn Campbell murder, it was a strong possibility. He could serve as little as a year in prison for the Carol DaRonch incident, and soon walk out a free man. Furthermore, if he did beat the murder charge in Colorado other prosecutors from different states might have been deterred and would not have perused indictments.  Did he listen, nope, Theodore Robert Bundy had to do things his way, the hard way. He started work on his next escape plan by obtaining a detailed floorplan of the jail and a hacksaw blade. Both of which he received from other inmates. Bundy also accumulated $500 that had been smuggled in over a six-month period. The cash most likely came from Carole Ann Boone, remember her?  

While the other prisoners were showering in the evenings, Bundy was in his cell cutting a one square foot hole between the steel reinforcement bars in the ceiling. He lost roughly thirty-five pounds so he would fit through said hole and made many practices runs where he would explore the space in the ceiling. For week some inmates complained to guards of some noises that seemed to be coming from the ceiling while they were trying to sleep, these complaints were never investigated. By late 1977 Ted Bundy had made national headlines and his upcoming trial cause excitement and controversy in the small town of Aspen. Because of this Bundy filed to have his trial moved to Denver. On December 23, 1977 an Aspen trial judge granted Bundy’s request to have his trial moved. Instead of being moved to Denver like asked, the courts had it moved to Colorado Springs, where judges were known to be harsh and hostile towards murder suspects. That Aspen judge was petty and I am so here for it.  

On the night of December 30th while many guards were off for the holidays and nonviolent prisoners on furlough with their families (I didn’t know that was a thing) Ted Bundy put his escape plan into action. He piled books and files on top of each other in his bunk and covered them in such a way that is simulated a person sleeping in the bed. He climbed through the crawl space and broke into the chief jailer’s office gaining entrance well…. through the ceiling. The chief jailer was out with his wife for the evening. Once inside the office Bundy quickly changed into street clothes, he found in the jailers closet and simply walked out the door of the jail to freedom. After stealing a car, Bundy drove eastward out of Glenwood Springs, but the car soon broke down in the mountains on Interstate seventy. A passing motorist gave him a ride into Vail, a town about sixty miles to the east of Glenwood Springs. From there he caught a bus to Denver, where he boarded a morning flight to Chicago. This was insanely planned out, down to the very last detail. The jails crew members did not discover that Bundy was mussing until noon time on Christmas Eve. By this time Ted had been gone for about seventeen hours and was already in Chicago. From Chicago, Bundy traveled by train to Ann Arbor, Michigan, five days later, he stole a car and drove to Atlanta, where he boarded a bus and arrived in Tallahassee, Florida, on the morning of January 8. He rented a room under the alias Chris Hagen at the Holiday Inn near the Florida State University campus. This was the day that Ted Bundy died and Chris Hagen was born.

Ted’s initial plan was to find steady work and refrain from any criminal activity so he would stay under the Florida polices radar. He put in an application at a local construction site but quickly had to ditch his plan after the company asked him to produce more identification than he had to offer. He starts stealing credit cards from women’s purses left unattended in shopping carts to fund his new lifestyle. Guys, he was only in Florida for one week before going back to his old ways, I guess he stopped caring about staying below the radar. At around 2:45 in the morning on January 15, 1978 Ted Bundy FSU’s Chi Omega sorority house through a rear door with a faulty lock. This is hands down his most notorious crime out of his criminal career, you mention Chi Omega and Ted Bundy is the first person that comes to people’s minds. Bundy came across twenty-one-year Margaret Bowman asleep in her bed. Bundy began to bludgeon her with a piece of oak firewood he picked up before entering the bedrooms. He then strangled Bowman to death with a nylon stocking. He next entered the bedroom of twenty-year-old Lisa Levy beat her unconscious, strangled her, tore one of her nipples, bit deeply into her left butt cheek, and sexually assaulted her with a hair spray bottle. 

In a connection bedroom he attacked Kathy Kleiner, breaking her jaw and deeply lacerating her shoulder; and Karen Chandler, who suffered a concussion, broken jaw, loss of teeth, and a crushed finger. Both women would survive the attacks. Kleiner later stated that Bundy stopped attacking the women prematurely after car headlights shone into the bedroom, startling him. All four attacks took place in just a fifteen-minute span and in ear shot of approximately thirty witness, all who claimed to have heard nothing. Ted Bundy’s night of terror was not over, after leaving the Chi Omega house he went eight blocks down the road and broke into the basement apartment of FSU student Cheryl Thomas. He ruthlessly beat her, dislocating her shoulder and fracturing her jaw and skull in five places. She was left with permanent deafness, and equilibrium damage. Cheryl Thomas was an aspiring dancer and this attack left her unable to dance again. On Thomas’ bed, police found a semen stain and a pantyhose “mask” containing two hairs “similar to Bundy’s in class and characteristic”.  After the attacks Bundy stole a van from the FSU campus and drove one hundred and fifty miles to Jacksonville. 

On February 8, 1978 in a parking lot, he approached fourteen-year-old Leslie Parmenter, the daughter of Jacksonville Police Department’s Chief of Detectives, identifying himself as “Richard Burton, Fire Department”, but ran away when Parmenter’s older brother arrived and confronted him. That afternoon Ted drove to Lake City, Florida where he stopped by the local middle school the next morning. Twelve-year-old Kimberly Leech left class and went back to her home room to retrieve her purse that had been left behind, she never made it back. Seven weeks later, after an intensive search, her partially mummified remains were found in a pig farrowing shed near Suwannee River State Park. She had been raped, with her underwear found near the body containing semen, and her throat had been slit. On February 12th Bundy had a weird suspicion that police were closing in on him, he stole another car and drove back towards Tallahassee. Three days later, at around 1:00 am, he was stopped by Pensacola police officer David Lee near the Alabama state line after a “wants and warrants” check showed his Volkswagen Beetle was stolen (Bundy sure did like his Volkswagens). When told he was being placed under arrest, Bundy kicked Lee’s legs out from under him and took off running. Lee fired a warning shot followed by a second round, gave chase and tackled him. The two struggled over Lee’s gun before the officer finally overpowered and cuffed Bundy. 

In the stolen vehicle were three sets of IDs belonging to female FSU students, 21 stolen credit cards and a stolen television set. Also found were a pair of dark-rimmed non-prescription glasses and a pair of plaid slacks, later identified as the disguise worn by “Richard Burton, Fire Department” in Jacksonville. Lee transported his suspect to jail, unaware that he had just arrested one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, from the back seat of the patrol car he heard Bundy say, “I wish you had killed me.” In June 1979 Bundy went on trial for the Chi Omega murders after a venue change to Miami. The trial was covered by 250 reporters from five continents and was the first to be televised nationally in the United States. MY PARENTS APPARENTLY DIDN’T WATCH IT! Bundy had a team of FIVE court appointed attorneys but handled much of his own defense. During in an interview one of Bundy’s defense attorneys told reporters; “Ted facing murder charges, with a possible death sentence, and all that mattered to him apparently was that he be in charge.” a pre-trial plea bargain was negotiated in which Bundy would plead guilty to killing Levy, Bowman and Leach in exchange for a firm seventy five-year prison sentence. At first Bundy went along with the plea deal as a way to avoid the death penalty but at the last minute, he changed his mind and refused the deal. Stating that it would force him to plead guilty in front of the whole world to crimes he didn’t commit.

At trial, crucial testimony came from Chi Omega sorority members Connie Hastings, who placed Bundy in the vicinity of the Chi Omega House that evening, and Nita Neary, who saw him leaving the sorority house clutching the oak murder weapon. Incriminating physical evidence included impressions of the bite wounds Bundy had inflicted on Lisa Levy’s left buttock, which forensic odontologists (I had to google that) Richard Souviron and Lowell Levine matched to castings of Bundy’s teeth. Bundy was smart but apparently wasn’t smart enough to bite Levy before her death. He bit her postmortem causing her blood to pool, leaving a permanent impression of Bundy’s teeth. On July 24, 1979 after deliberating for just seven hours the jury found Theodore Robert Bundy guilty of the murders of Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. He was also found guilty of three counts of attempted murder for the attacks on Cheryl Thomas, Kathy Kleiner, and Karen Chandler, along with two counts of burglary. Judge Edward Cowart sentenced Ted Bundy to death for both murder convictions.    

Six months later Ted Bundy went on trial in Orlando for the murder of Kimberly Leach. The jury deliberated for just eight hours before finding Ted Bundy guilty of murder. Important material evidence included clothing fibers with an unusual manufacturing error, found in the van and on Leach’s body, which matched fibers from the jacket Bundy was wearing when he was arrested had help to seal the conviction. During the penalty phase of the trial, Bundy took advantage of an obscure Florida law providing that “a marriage declaration in court, in the presence of a judge, constituted a legal marriage”. As he was questioning former Washington State DES coworker Carole Ann Boone who had moved to Florida to be near Bundy, had testified on his behalf during both trials, and was again testifying on his behalf as a character witness to marry him. This whack ass hoe said YES and Ted Bundy declared in court that they were legally married. Imagine saying yes to marrying a man in the middle of his own MURDER trial! I don’t know about you but that is a pretty big turn off for me. On February 10, 1980 (My birthday! Well, nine years before my birthday but my birthday none the less!) Ted Bundy was sentenced to death by electrocution for the third time. 

In October 1981, Boone gave birth to a daughter and named Bundy as the father. Conjugal visits were not allowed at Raiford Prison, inmates were known to pool their money in order to bribe guards to allow them intimate time alone with their female visitors. Their daughter has never been in the public eye and only a handful of people know her true identity as she changed her last name once she turned eighteen years old. It has been widely speculated that her birth name is Elizabeth Rose Bundy. In July 1984, Raiford guards found two hacksaw blades that Bundy had hidden in his cell. A steel bar in one of the cell’s windows had been sawed completely through at the top and bottom and glued back into place with a homemade soap-based adhesive. Several months later, guards found an unauthorized mirror hidden in the cell, and Bundy was again moved to a different cell. You were not about the slip through the cracks again Ted Bundy, pun intended. While on death row Ted Bundy confessed to more than thirty-five murder and in an attempt to push back his execution date met with FBI profiler  Robert Keppel to help catch The Green River Killer, who we now know is Gary Ridgeway. Bundy reached out to Keppel in October 1984 to offer his “expertise in serial killer psychology. He even came up with the nickname  “The Riverman” for Ridgeway. People who worked with Bundy said that his profile of Ridgeway was eerily accurate. Gary Ridgeway would remain at large for another seventeen years, before being captured in 2001. Boone had championed Bundy’s innocence throughout all of his trials and felt “deeply betrayed” by his admission that he was, in fact, guilty of all suspected murders.  

Special Agent William Hagmaier of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit was present for all thirty-five of Bundy’s death row confessions and often met with him for other interviews. That show on Netflix “Conversations with a Serial Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is based off of taped interviews and conversations with the notorious serial killer. You should check it out, it is an excellent docuseries. Hearing Bundy’s voice on the recording will send chills up your spine. Hagmaier was with Bundy on the eve of his execution and stated that Bundy talked about committing suicide telling Hagmaier; “He did not want to give the state the satisfaction of watching him die”. Theodore Bundy was executed in Raiford electric chair (known as “Old Sparky”) at 7:16 a.m. EST on January 24, 1989, he was forty two-years- old. Hundreds of onlookers standing outside the prison sang, danced and set off fireworks in a pasture across from the prison as the execution was carried out, then cheered as the white hearse containing Bundy’s corpse departed the prison. He was cremated in Gainesville, Florida and his ashes scattered at an undisclosed location in the Cascade Range of Washington State, in accordance with his will. The Cascade Range of Washington State is where confessed to leaving most of his victims’ bodies. Ok, you creepy son of a bitch. 

We did it, we did it, we did it…yay! We have finally come to the end of Ted Bundy’s long story and life (well his life was kind of short). Thank you so much for hanging in there with me. As always it is greatly appreciated. There are few people in the world who I think are truly evil and Ted Bundy is one of them. Sure, I think people have made mistakes, and have done horrible things but are they truly evil to their core, probably not. Ted Bundy is though; he is one of the most notorious and evil people to ever walk the face of the earth. A sick, vile, disgusting human being that will not be missed. Although, history and the media will never let us forget him. 

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. This was an awesome article about Bundy. I thought I knew everything about what this monster did, but I was wrong. This article is about everything you want to know about him.

    Liked by 1 person

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