Bundy’s 1975 Arrest

On August 16, 1975, Ted Bundy was arrested in Granger, Utah for evading capture from a local police officer. In the police report listed below, Robert Hayward explains details of Bundy’s capture, including the “burglary tools” found in his car. Mention of this his missing passenger seat is also included.

“UTAH Highway Patrol Incident Report

Type of Incident: Attempt to Evade

Reporting: Sgt. Robert A. Hayward

Division: Special Operations

At about 2:30 A.M. on Saturday morning, August 16 [1975], a gray Volkswagen went by me while I was sitting in my patrol car in front of my house. I looked at the license plate and did not recognize it.

About ten minutes later…as I was going up Brock Street in Granger, a car took off north bound on Brock Street at a high rate of speed…I was in pursuit…at a high rate of speed. We ran the stop sign at Brock and LeMay and again at the entrance to the 35th South off Brock Street…I had the red spotlight on him when he ran the stop sign at Brock and LeMay, but he just went as fast as possible.

Bob Hayward, Utah State Trooper

…I pulled up on him fast, and he pulled over into a gas station. He produced his drivers license which identified him to be Theodore Robert Bundy, 565 1st Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah, dob 11/24/46. The man wearing dark pants, a dark turtle neck with long sleeves, and sneakers. He stated that he was lost in the subdivision, but he had been there and again came back in about ten minutes…

I looked in the front seat and there was not a seat on the passenger side, so I looked a little closer and discovered the front seat was lying in the back seat on its side. On the floor were some tools such as a jimmy bar about 14 inches long…

I called for a County car to come over and they sent a Deputy and a Sergeant. They talked to Mr. Bundy and he told them he had been out west to the drive-in theater to see “The Towering Inferno.” We checked at the theater and that movie was not playing, so he just said he was lost.

The deputies looked in the car and asked if there was a gun in it. I said not to my knowledge, but that I had not looked that closely and perhaps we should check farther. After that, they came up with a few other items of interest that a person coming from a movie normally would not carry such as an ice pick, a pair of handcuffs, silk stockings with holes cut in for the eyes and nose, and other items that a burglar might carry.

Ted’s “burglary kit” found during the search.

They called for a detective car and Deputy Ondrak came over and took the items into custody. We impounded the car and I took Mr. Bundy to the County Jail and booked him on the charge of ‘Attempting to Evade a Police Officer.’ The time of booking was approximately 3:30 A.M.”

 

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Bundy: The Hero

It’s rare that a brutal, violent criminal will commit humane acts worthy of approval. However, there are two stories that have long circulated about Ted Bundy suggesting he had a kinder side. In the summer of 1970, Bundy spent some time at Green Lake with friends, a popular park in central Seattle that offered trails, boating, dog walking, and swimming. Reports from that warm day indicate a 3-year-old child wandered away from his parents and was later spotted drowning in the deep water. Ted jumped into the lake, fully clothed, to rescue the child. This anecdote has been repeated many times and more than one version has been circulated. The original story was published by Ann Rule in her book, “The Stranger Beside Me.” In another instance, Ted was shopping with his girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer, when he took off running, much to her surprise. Liz was confused until she saw him chasing off a would-be thief who was attempting to steal an older woman’s pocketbook. He later received a commendation from the Seattle Police Department for catching the purse snatcher. This story was quoted in Kloepfer’s book, “The Phantom Prince.”

Both reports were given by people who knew Ted intimately, so their truth is likely. However, these tales give rise to the question “How can someone so violent and cruel save a life or rescue someone from a thief?” Prior to his criminal trials, Ted was diagnosed with narcissistic personality and antisocial personality disorders. Antisocial personalities are characterized by their complete disregard for others and narcissism connotes an inflated sense of self-importance. Both of these disorders contrast any acts of heroism or selflessness. It’s hardly likely that Bundy would have done anything for anyone but himself. Still, although he wasn’t diagnosed with having a hero complex, this could explain his selfless acts. People who strive for recognition often want to flaunt their bravery to those around them. In both instances, Bundy was surrounded by people. He clearly wanted to appear to be a valuable asset to the community and to be admired by members of his community. Bundy later sought recognition in 1984 when he offered to help the Green River Killer task force find their killer.

It’s evident that being perceived as a good guy and someone to be trusted was very important to Ted. He had a very difficult time revealing his true murderous feelings to anyone. It was far more important to show the nice guy “persona” to those around him, not only for his own self-esteem, but also to easily manipulate others. This also explains why he proclaimed his innocence until almost the very end of his life. It was extremely challenging for Ted to open up and admit to his crimes. So much so that in some of his final interviews, he is difficult to hear, whispering just loudly enough to be caught on the audio tape recording his confessions. Once we put these acts into context, it’s clear that Bundy committed them primarily to help himself. Had there not been anyone around to witness his behavior, it’s highly unlikely he would have lifted a finger to assist those in danger around him.

Ted’s Love Bites

In the normal practice of love-making, it is sometimes arousing to gently bite your partner. There is something forbidden about it, something animalistic. Certainly many people in consenting couplings have enjoyed a tender nip on the earlobe, maybe on the shoulder, without fear of horrific pain. Though not much is known about Ted’s sex life, his former fiancée Liz Kloepfer, wrote that Ted was a passionate lover who was into “normal sex,” except when he wasn’t. She recounts times when he encouraged her to engage in sex acts that weren’t satisfying to her and when she balked, he finally stopped mentioning them. One can only imagine the violence his victims endured before the final act of strangulation came upon them. Though many of his early victims’ bodies had decomposed before police located them, the women he brutally murdered in Florida bore evidence of aberrant and bestial violence. On sorority sister, Lisa Levy, police identified a savage bite mark left behind on her left buttock. This evidence would later be used to convict Bundy in the first of his two trials in the Sunshine State.

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Bundy had a very unusual bite and was convicted on this evidence.

Odaxelagnia is described by Wikipedia as “a sexual paraphilia concerning individuals who derive sexual pleasure and arousal through biting or being bitten.” According to the Forensic and Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Practices, odaxelagnia is “mild sadism used in necrophilia.” One thing we know about Ted, through his own admission, is that he was a true necrophiliac. He returned to his victims’ bodies over and over until there was nothing left with which to engage. The biting of his victims would be considered normal behavior for someone who enjoys intimacy with the dead. Many biters fantasize about chewing, biting, or otherwise using the mouth or teeth aggressively or destructively. German serial killer, Fritz Haarmann, killed his juvenile victims by tearing out their throats with his teeth. Fictional murderer, Francis Dolarhyde from Thomas Harris’ book, “Red Dragon,” had dentures made so he could bite his victims while in his imagined dragon form. However, most juvenile biters will tend to outgrow this behavior once they’ve learned new ways of dealing with their anger.

 It has been observed that bite marks can provide both physical and biological evidence against the perpetrator of the wound. However, bite mark evidence has recently come under scrutiny. This type of evidence is no longer seen by many as a valid tool to convict criminals. Jo Handelsman, the former assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology policy noted that “bite mark evidence lacks scientific foundation.” She also stated that results and accuracy were “widely varied.” There has been an unusually high error rate falsely identifying suspects as the guilty party. The trial of convicted offender Paul Aaron Ross was overturned due to questions about bite mark evidence and the Innocence Project claims more and more guilty verdicts have been vacated as the use of bite mark evidence has been questioned and reanalyzed.  images (3).jpg

Chris Fabricant from the Innocence Project states that “bite mark analysis is subjective speculation, masquerading as science.” In 1989, Steven Chaney was convicted of a double murder and sentenced to life in prison based mostly on bite mark evidence found on one of the victims. Dentist Jim Hales told the jury the evidence was conclusion to the point of “one in a million” chance anyone else could have bitten the victim. He later stated that his conclusion was scientifically unsound. Further testing has provided myriad false positive results when attempting to match bite marks to a suspect’s teeth because human skin cannot accurately record a bite mark since wounds stretch, swell, and heal.

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Though Bundy was executed in 1989 for the murder of 12 year old Kimberley Leach, not Lisa Levy, it’s interesting to consider how he was convicted at his 1979 trial. We know he was a horrific murderer, necrophile, and rapist, but how much to we really know about Bundy’s love bites? 

Resources:

Webb, David. Journal of Forensic Sciences. “Forensic Implications of Biting Behavior.” 

“Aggrawal, Anil. 2009. “Forensic & Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes & Unusual Sexual Practices.”

Augenstein, Seth. July 24, 2015, Forensic Magazine. “Is This the End of Bite-Mark Evidence?”

Kaplan, Sarah.  October 13, 2015, Washington Post.“Texas inmate’s 1989 conviction overturned after bite mark evidence discredited.”

My Relationship with Ted Bundy

I’m involved in an abusive relationship with a dead man. Let me clarify that statement. I am constantly thinking about, imagining, and reading about a violent serial killer. His ice blue eyes and wavy brown hair call forth feelings of both compassion and revulsion. I am both drawn to and repelled from this handsome charmer, moonlighting as a bloodthirsty necrophile. Ambivalence lingers as I contemplate the dirty deeds of Theodore Robert Bundy, even twenty-eight years since his execution in Florida’s electric chair at age 42.

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What a smile!

 

As if we were lovers, my thoughts often turn to him as I imagine the things we share in common. We both grew up in the Methodist church, were involved in scouting activities, and we were withdrawn and shy in high school. Despite being raised on the opposite sides of the country (he in Washington state and me in North Carolina), I’ve always felt a connection to Ted’s family upbringing and working class family. His mother clearly loved him, as did mine, and his siblings looked up to him.

As the eldest children in our families, we both understood the pressure placed on us. The first child always feels they’re treated as a guinea pig as their parents learn what boundaries to put on them. Parents always give only so much rope to test the waters in those early years. However, when Ted was sneaking out and peeping in his neighbor’s windows as a teenager, I was happily tucked in my bed at night. The thought of violence towards another individual couldn’t have been further away from my mind.

Conversely, the time I spend imagining how Bundy would have related to certain events and where he buried the still-missing bodies of so many women, it takes its toll on other relationships in my life. My husband notices when I seem far away and friends can tell when I’m less than involved in our conversations. Some people distance themselves when they hear about my interest in serial killers, and Bundy specifically. Explaining his acts of depravity and unsavory proclivities discourage some acquaintances from getting to know me better. Even when I am determined to envelope myself completely in social interactions, my mind drifts back to the memory of a certain cold stare in Ted’s interview with Dr. James Dobson.

Bundy Dobson

January 23, 1989: The day before his execution

 

Despite being averse to everything he did, including the political party he joined as a teenager, I am still drawn to the image of Bundy as a smart, driven law student with a quick wit and one-hundred watt smile. The relationship I have with this long deceased man is dysfunctional at best and morbid at worst, though I don’t see it ending any time soon. He will continue to haunt me through the years to come, and his words and deeds will hold me in his thrall.

Bundy Quote Analyzed

“I don’t like being locked up for something I didn’t do, and I don’t like my liberty taken away, and I don’t like being treated like an animal, and I don’t like people walking around and ogling me like I’m some sort of weirdo, because I’m not.” 

Long before Ted Bundy admitted to committing several murders for which he was charged, he denied every single charge against him, including kidnapping and murder. He was innocent, dammit, and had clearly been arrested on trumped-up charges! He threatened police and jailers over his reputation being smeared and shouted out during his trials, denying any accusation of wrong-doing.

Bundy in prison in Florida.

Bundy in prison in Florida.

Like any sociopath, Bundy was all about appearances. Despite him having very little depth of character, he was used to showing his “good guy” image to the world. He simply couldn’t stand the idea of people seeing him in a negative light. To admit guilt was to admit being less than perfect. It’s also a lot harder to charm people if they’re already wary of you. If nothing else, Bundy was a master manipulator.

Bundy was also an addict. He was addicted to murder, rape, and the power they afforded him in his private life. To be in prison for any amount of time was to deny him his addictive substance. Very few women were around him while he was locked away and it helps explain his 2 successful escapes from prison in Colorado.

It took over a decade before Bundy gave up on trying to convince people of his innocence. By then, his execution was near and he had no more appeals. He no longer had to worry about what people thought of him or whether he was reviled by humanity for his evil deeds. He confessed to several murders as his mask of innocence fell for the last time and humanity breathed a sigh of relief.

The “Ted Murders”

It has always astounded me that Bundy used his real name when introducing himself to victims. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the victims were isolated, but when he was seeking out women at Lake Sammamish in the summer of 1974, he gave his name to several women. Most of those women didn’t leave the location with him and were able to report him to the police after Janice Ott & Denise Naslund were discovered missing.

Ted murders

Ted murders

This type of bravado in the face of potential witnesses aligns with standard psychopathic behavior. The individual committing the crimes believes he’s can outsmart police. It thrills him to dangle identifying information before authorities and to still get away with his crimes. Psychopaths don’t experience fear the way most of us do. They constantly need more and more risk (much like an addict, which described Bundy perfectly) to experience any kind of excitement.

One thing Ted did love was being noticed. He enjoyed being the center of attention among his peers. No doubt this was another reason he used his first name when other people could hear him. He wanted the notoriety, but didn’t want to be caught. While other killers write to the media or call the police to get famous, Bundy wanted a different type of notoriety. He clearly got aroused from seeing his name in the newspaper or on television because he was the only person who knew he was to blame.

What Ted didn’t know was his girlfriend in Washington State turned him in twice and his coworker (Ann Rule) turned him too. Ted didn’t think people noticed each other or missed a person when they weren’t around. He didn’t understand how giving his name could have been a bad idea because his grasp on reality was muddled. However, it explains how he was eventually caught. Thank goodness for small wonders and in this case, a big mistake.

Ted’s Last Meal

As is tradition in many countries, in the United States prisoners on death row can request a last meal before they are executed. In the event that they don’t choose a special meal, they are given a standard meal. Each state generally has a limit on the amount of money they will allow for the meal itself. Florida currently allows a $40 limit and Oklahoma limits it to $15 per meal.

Traditionally, the last meal was thought to absolve the executioner of guilt in the death of the criminal. The promise was meant to keep the deceased from haunting the person who put the guilty party to death.

Traditional death row breakfast in Florida in 1989.

Traditional death row breakfast in Florida in 1989.

Ted was executed in the early morning hours, so he was given steak (medium-rare), eggs (over-easy), hash browns, toast, milk, coffee, juice, butter, and jelly. However, since he didn’t eat his meal, perhaps he is still haunting the lives of those who sought to put him to death.