Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada on July 13, 1979 · Page 29
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Reno Gazette-Journal from Reno, Nevada · Page 29

Reno, Nevada
Issue Date:
Friday, July 13, 1979
Page 29
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Reno Evening Gazette Friday, July 13. 1979-29 Strange saga of death moves to Utah Hearings due case in This Is the second In a series of six articles that trace the four-year saga of coincidence and death that created the public's image of Ted Bundy as a mass murderer. The former 4aw student, who has never been convicted of murder, is charged with the bludgeoning death of Florida State University sorority sisters Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. By JIM McGEE Gannett News Service SALT LAKE CITY - It was duringlhe crisp month of October 1974 that the same kind of sudden, violent and mysterious death which had haunted the state of Washington for 10 months began unfolding here. A pert, fiesty high school junior, Nancy Wilcox became embroiled in a family quarrel on the night of Oct. 2 and left the house. At first, lawmen pegged the 17-year-old as a runaway from her suburban home. But that was before a photograph, showing her long hair parted in the middle, appeared in a local newspaper. When it did, a waitress called to say she had seen Nancy in her restaurant shortly after the reported disappearance. The girl had come in with a young man and then departed, leaving in a light-colored Volkswagen, the waitress said, adding he had a mustache. Nancy was never seen again. Two weeks later, on Oct. 18, Melissa Smith, 17, failed to return to her home in a city seven miles south of Salt Lake City. Her nude body was found in a canyon 10 days later. Melissa, who parted her hair down the middle, had been raped at about the same time someone had tightened a nylon stocking around her throat. On the last day of October, murder struck again in the town of Salem, about 50 miles south of Salt Lake City. Laura Ann Aimee, a 17-year-old high school junior, didn't come home for dinner. The day before Thanksgiving, her-nude, beaten body was discovered down an embankment. The similarities were obvious. Laura had been strangled with a nylon stocking tied around her neck. She, too, wore her long hair parted down the middle. Suzanne (not her real name) shuddered when she saw the headline in the Salt Lake City Tribune. The young woman was sitting near the newspaper rack of a library in Seattle, her eyes skipping through a story about the brutal death of a police chief's daughter in Utah. It had been several weeks since her boyfriend, Ted Bundy, had departed for Utah and in that time, she had tried to ignore her suspicions. But now, as she read the story about Melissa Smith, the old anxieties came flooding back, stronger than ever. She had Introduced Ted Bundy to Utah. During their six-year romance, she had been Bundy's excuse for visiting on sever-, al occasions. , So it was no real surprise to her that Ted would choose Salt Lake City and the state university there to open another chapter of his life and renew his pursuit of a law degree. String of killings linked to Ted Bundy The fall of 1974 had been a month of great change for Ted Bundy. Before he packed his belongings into his Volkswagen and headed out of Seattle, he with- drew from the University of Puget Sound Law School for "personal reasons," leaving behind a spotty academic record. His arrival in Salt Lake City in early September happened to coincide with the time the Associated Press was dispatching stories from Seattle about a grisly discovery two miles from the popular recreation area of Lake Sammamish. An elderly grouse hunter had stumbled over the remains of two young women, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund. Both women had vanished from the lake in July, the stories said, in the company of a man named "Ted," who was driving a Volkswagen. All that was very far away from the busy campus community thai surround-, ed the University of Utah. And it was there, a short walk from the law school, that Bundy took a small second-floor apartment. That fall, Ted Bundy was as eligible a companion as any handsome young law-student in Salt Lake City, with his trim, muscular body, wavy brown hair and dark piercing eyes. And he fit easily into the social life of a college student, taking dates to football games and drinking parties. Casual friendships with neighbors and classmates came easily and he dated at least one girl on a regular basis. As in Seattle, many of Ted's acquaintances considered him witty, intelligent and easy to like, a good companion. But one girl he dated regularly noted some peculanties. She thought it odd, for. example, that Bundy's idea of a Joke seemed to involve his jumping out from a dark place or sneaking up behind her and then laughing at the startled fear in her eyes. And he occasionally popped off with , something out of the blue, like the time he said he saw no difference between right and wrong, or when he announced in a casual voice: "I like virgins. . .and I can get them anytime I want to." Suzanne -would understand the other woman's vague apprehensions. To begin with, she found the more obvious similarities between her former fiance and the suspect's description unsettling, almost like a very bad joke. His name was Ted, he drove a Volkswagen, and he generally fit the physical description lawmen had broadcast after Interviewing witnesses at Lake Sammamish. There were other things, too, such as the time she found a sack of women's clothing in his apartment. It was this onslaught of memories and a vague sense of recognition that prompted Suzanne to call the Seattle police in October 1974 and give them Ted's name. Her tip was given low priority, however. Now Suzanne was looking at the headline about Melissa Smith. She called the Salt Lake City police again. This time detectives ran a routine exami-nation.They got a photograph of Bundy, They found out he was living in Salt Lake City and attending law school. They wrote out a brief report and stuck it in their files. It wasn't until much, much later, long after reports of even more dead bodies, that Suzanne's phone call made any difference. . "Officer Roseland" fled in his Volkswagen. . Two hours later and 20 miles away. ' a group of students at V-iewmont High School in the suburb of Bountiful were feeling the surge of excitement that comes with every opening curtain. . One audience member, Debra Kent, 17, left the performance early and was never again seen. After several days, detectives were left with a set of clues that suggested both incidents were related. First, they had found a key to a pair-of cheap handcuffs. It had been lying in the high school parking lot and fit the set of handcuffs that were taken from Carol DaRonch's arm. Then there was the description provided by an art teacher, who had talked to man fitting the .description of "Officer Rose-land." And there was one other thing. Debra Kent, Carol DaRonch and the art teacher at Viewmont High School each had shoulder-length hair, which they wore parted down the middle. NEXT: tie Ted"? Could "Utah Ted" be "Seat- rape VINELAND, N.J. (AP) - A Ku Klux Klan leader and a Nazi leader must return here in two weeks for preliminary hearings on charges they raped an undercover Jewish Defense League member. The cases have been postponed so the Klan's grand dragon for New; Jersey caaget a public defender. Edwin Reynolds, 23, a Millville machinist who claims to be the Klan's grand dragon in New Jer-' sey, said Thursday he couldn't geti justice in this South Jersey city because the municipal judge is Jew-, ish. "That's the way things are in the United States," said Reynolds. Judge I. Harry Levin postponed for two weeks a probable cause' hearing for Reynolds and John Duffy, 25, a maintenance worker from Wilmington, Del., who claims' to be leader of the Nationalist So- cialist Liberation Front, a Nazi faS tion. ' . Both men are charged with rap- ing and beating a 19-year-old South Philadelphia woman,, identified in the press only as "Annette," who says she is a JDL member who sniprl nn tht N.'a7is nnrl tho Klan - Bundy illness interrupts trial j Bagels Carol DaRonch was one who would get away. - . On Nov. 8, 1974, in the Salt Lake City suburb of Murray, she accepted a .ride from a man posing as a policeman "Officer Roseland." The man had wavy brown hair and wore a dark sport jacket. Near the high school, Roseland abruptly pulled over, his light-colored Volkswagen, grapped Carol's left wrist and snapped a handcuff around it. Terrified, the young woman fought.fero-ciously. At one point, Roseland pulled a gun: at another, he chased her with a crowbar when she escaped his grasp and ran from the car. Fortuitously, an elderly couple drove by, and the driver screeched to a halt at the sign of the commotion. Carol was able to scramble to the car and lunge into the front side. .You tan drive right up to our front door! WE'VE GOT JUST THE TICKET FOR YOUR TRIP OLYMPUS , :tijufi:1 The Olympus Trip 35 is the ideel camera for your vocation trip. It fits in your pocket or purse, and it gives you the exciting world of 35mm photography . ..; . automatically! Never have your seen so much camera for so little money. It has a goof-proof focusing system that's visible in a big bright viewfinder. CAMERA FLASH CASE STRAP MIAMI (AP) The trial of Theodore R. Bundy on charges of murdering two sorority sisters was interrupted today because Bundy became ill. He reportedly was stricken with a stomach virus. "Mr. Bundy is ill. We have a doctor on the way to visit him," said Judge Edward D. Cow art. "I hope everyone realizes the presence of the defendant is an indispensable item under our system of jurisprudence." Cowart said he would await a report from the physician before announcing when the trial would resume. The jury remained sequestered. Cowart refused on Thursday to let the jury hear that a pantyhose mask once was found in Bundy's car. That decision eliminated one of the four sets of pantyhose involved in Bundy's trial on charges of murdering Florida State University students Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman at the Chi Omega house on Jan. 15, 1978. The judge's ruling was the second to keep testimony away from jurors. Earlier, Cowart said police could not testify that Bundy told them he sometimes felt "like a vampire" and had fantasies that he feared were taking over his life. Bundy, a Tacoma, Wash., resident, also is accused of abducting and killing 12-year-old Kimberly Leach in Lake City, Fla., on Feb. 9, 1978, and of murdering Caryn Campbell, a nurse from Michigan who was slain near Colorado's Aspen resort in 1975. 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