The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida on December 24, 1978 · Page 35
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The Orlando Sentinel from Orlando, Florida · Page 35

Orlando, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, December 24, 1978
Page 35
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Sentinel Star. Sunday. December 24, 1978 i-O S ,yN iSr Qr. from his injuries and he was accepted for the following fall term. That summer, Buhdy worked at the state Office of. Emergency Services in Olympia. On Aug. 30, Bundy resigned and moved into a sec ond-floor apartment at 565 First Avenue in Salt Lake City. Bundy's attendance at school was 'poor. He' squeaked through the first year with Cs and Ds, hustling professors for makeup exams. On Aug. 30, 1975, a year after he left Seattle and a month before his arrest for kidnapping, two Mormon missionaries named JoTin Homer and Larry Andersen baptized Bundy into the faith. "I wouldn't hesitate to fix him up with my sister," Andersen said later, after Bundy's arrest. By the time Bundy was released on bail in November and allowed to return to Washington pending the trial in Salt Lake City, there was not a single piece of solid evidence tying him to any of the Ted murders. The women who had reported being approached that day at Lake Sammamish insisted Bundy was not the man who called himself "Ted." But the circumstantial evidence, the credit card slips, the days off from work, the handcuffs, were enough for a conviction in the minds of most of the people who read about Ted Bundy. When he walked into the University of Washington library, women students threatened to strike unless he was removed. Bundy climbed onto a Seattle bus and screams erupted from two women in the back. To conceal the best-known face in Washington, Bundy grew a beard. This beard was later offered as proof of the "master of disguise" theory. Summit meeting On Nov. 12, 29 detectives and prosecutors from Utah, Washington and Colorado held a three-day "summit" meeting at a Holiday Inn in Aspen. One by one, detectives walked up to the podium and recited what they knew about Ted Bundy. One Washington detective remembers jotting down each small bit of evidence on a note pad. "Each little thing didn't mean anything," the detective recalls. "But I stared down at that list and I was sure he was the one." Spectators started lining up in front of the Salt Lake County Courthouse at 7 a.m. on the morning of Nov. 21 for a seat at the preliminary hearing on case 74-1 0181, the State of Utah v. Theodore Robert Bundy. One of those waiting in line was Louis Smith, the father of Melissa Smith. Bundy, Smith said, had "become an obsession." At 10 a.m. Bundy and O'Connell walked into the courthouse. After blaming reporters for the "circuslike atmosphere," Judge Paul Grant ordered the hearings closed to the press and the public. Five days later, after noting that DaRonch was "impressionable and easily led," Grant ruled there were sufficient grounds to try Bundy for aggravated kidnapping. When the case came to trial on the morning of Feb. 23, 1976, even the walls of the courthouse men's room told you that Ted Bundy was facing more than a simple kidnapping charge: "Girls, for a good time call Ted Bundy," read one bit of graffiti. Judge Stewart Hanson called the court to order at 10 a.m. Bundy's family huddled a few rows behind the defense table. The DaRonch family sat on the prosecution side of the room. Wearing a light blue suit, a white shirt and white tie, Bundy asked that a jury trial be waived. Sitting erect in the witness chair, his hands folded In his lap, Bundy faced the prosecutor one morning of the trial. Circling the witness stand for hours, Yocum went through his entire repertoire accusing, cajoling, provoking. Bundy answered each question in a firm, clear voice, addressing the prosecutor as "Dave" or "Mr. Yocum." He reminded some people of a man interviewing for a job. The day of the DaRonch kidnapping, Bundy explained, his car had broken down. This was corroborated by a canceled check from a gas station and a receipt for an ignition part. That night, he said he had gone out for a few drinks and a movie. "Did you check the ads to see what movie was playing Nov. 8?" Yocum asked Bundy. "Well, 1 wouldn't want to tell you something that's not true," Bundy answered. "Are you telling the truth about seeing a movie on Nov. 8?" Yocum asked. "Yes, sir," Bundy answered. "I'm under oath." Bundy then said that he had found the handcuffs at the city dump and had kept them as a curio. He had placed them in a paper bag so they "wouldn't rattle." He said he wore the nylon stocking mask under his ski mask to keep warm. He said he had been using a crowbar to repair the' front seat. r 0 J "When you're in a hurry, getting a Volkswagen seat on its runner becomes a rather tragic affair," Bundy -said. "I felt devastated after that first hour of cross-examination," Yocum recalls. "I remember sitting in my office and thinking, 'He's tearing me apart. I can't let this happen.' The guy intimidated me. I was not dealing with your average career criminal with a sixty IQ. This was a guy with an IQ of 122 or 125 very bright. He was answering the questions the way he wanted, no matter how I asked them. I just couldn't find a chink in his armor." At 2 o'clock, Yocum walked into the courtroom with a blunt question he was convinced would crack open the case. Why, Yocum asked Bundy, did he run from Sergeant Hayward that night in Granger? It was like turning on a tape recorder. "I decided to explore an area of the city I hadn't been in before," Bundy said. "And, well, it's kind of embarrassing, but I was feeling pretty good and all of a sudden I became frightened, paranoid. I can't describe to you the feeling, but I knew that what I was doing was definitely illegal, that I was smoking dope. And also, you know, 1 have always been paranoid about it because I was a law student ... I would be damned if I was going to let myself be caught with, that in the car. I didn't tell the truth because I don't imagine they would have been too thrilled by my explanation that I had been smoking dope in their neighborhood." Yocum hit Bundy with a dozen more questions.. Skirting the questions, Bundy kept telling his story. "Mr. Bundy," Judge Hanson repeatedly instructed,; "would you please answer the question?" Bundy would pause and look up at the judge. "What was the question?" Bundy would ask. Yocum left the courtroom triumphant. Guilty as charged On the morning of March" 1, Judge Hanson found Ted Bundy guilty of kidnapping Carol DaRonch. The Utah police had walked DaRonch through an identification strong enough to convince Hanson. Bundy may be the first person in Salt Lake history framed for something he did. On June 30, Bundy was brought in shackles before Judge Gordon Hall. Wearing prison overalls with DIAGNOSTIC stenciled across the back, Bundy was sentenced to 60 days and fined $250 for evading a police officer. Then, after changing into a plaid shirt and jeans, he was led across the hall to face Judge Hanson. , The spectators only noticed a slight tremble when Hanson sentenced Bundy to a l-to-15-year term in a state penitentiary. On Oct. 26, Bundy was arraigned on charges of being a fugitive from Colorado, the first step toward extradition. "I have never killed, never kidnapped, never desired to injure another human being," Bundy said. "I am prepared to use every ounce of my strength to vindicate myself." On March 5, 1977, the preliminary hearing began before Judge George Lohr at the Pitkin County Court- house in Aspen. The prosecution's only direct link between Bundy and the murder was a woman named Liz Harter of Chico, California. The night Caryn Campbell disappeared, Harter had told detectives that she had seen a "strange man" near the elevators at the Wild-wood Inn. Later, she had picked Bundy's picture out of seven photographs. "How certain were you when you made that identification?" Milton Blakey, one of the special prosecutors,, asked Harter. "In between certain and uncertain," Harter answered. Blakey asked her to point out the man in the courtroom. Harter pointed to a Pitkin County under-sheriff. "That looks like the man near the elevator," Harter said. The following day. Judge Lohr ruled that probable cause existed "notwithstanding the circumstantial nature of the evidence." Reluctantly, Lohr granted Bundy's request to represent himself and bound him over on a charge of first-degree murder. Taken to the Pitkin County Jail, Bundy asked for a pencil and a pad of paper. On May 1 1, he filed a motion demanding better food, more exercise and a regular haircut. Lohr granted Bundy's requests, ordering him transferred to the Garfield County Jail in Glen-wood Springs. On May 18, Bundy filed three more motions. -fie wanted the Utah cases suppressed as evidence in the murder trial, the suppression hearing closed and the death penalty ruled unconstitutional. On June 7, Bundy arrived at the Pitkin County Courthouse for a hearing on his motions. After a 10:30 recess, he was left alone for a few minutes in the courtroom. Bundy paused for a moment by a second-' story window and then jumped. Walking so he would not draw attention, Bundy ambled four blocks to the v. tit ; 1-4 f i I .v' :ttt- - Roaring Fork river. Diving under a bush, he pulled off his turtleneck sweater, changed the part in his hair and then headed back through the center of town. He reached the tree line in 15 minutes. For six days, deputies, dogs and helicopters searched for Ted Bundy. Denver police offered a pack of bloodhounds, but Aspen Airways refused to ferry them without proper kennels. Spending the first night in the rain, Bundy broke into an empty cabin on Conundrum Creek. He stayed there for 24 hours, wolfing down a can of tomato sauce and a box of brown sugar. The morning of the third day, he grabbed a .22 rifle out of the cabin and headed up the creek, hoping to cross the Continental Divide. He took a wrong turn and stumbled back to the cabin with a sprained ankle the following evening, passing a civilian armed with a rifle. "I'm looking for Ted Bundy," the man with the rifle said. "Good luck," Bundy said. Discovering that the searchers had been in the cabin, he slept in the brush. Cutting north, he crossed a golf course and found a Cadillac with the keys in the ignition. Bundy was pulled over as he tried to slip out of the county. A Band-Aid plastered on his nose and a hat pulled low over his eyes, Bundy ducked behind the steering wheel. "Hi, Ted," deputy Gene Flatt said. Bundy's escape had made him a folk hero In Aspen. Radio KSNO programmed a Ted Bundy Request Hour, playing tunes like "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" and "Movin" On." There was a Ted Bundy look-alike con- ,v "5 r. . A- jfe. ir i . 1 n If I 1 AMOOMtM Prau Bundy is charged with murdering coeds Margaret Bowman, left, and Lisa Levy. r 5 s,,vw' I ff-; Resting on the defense table during hearing. test at the Wildwood Inn. Winners were offered a year in the Pitkin County Jail, with an option to escape. One shop sold T-shirts reading: TED BUNDY IS A ONE-NIGHT STAND. That night, Bundy placed a collect call to Dick Lar-sen.a friend in Seattle. "You're going to have to watch the Rose Bowl game," Larsen said. "Not here," Bundy said. Four hours later, inmates complained to a guard that somebody was moving through the crawl space between the ceiling and the roof. On Dec. 30, Ted Bundy fashioned a sleeping form in his bunk with the mound of legal documents generated by the Campbell case. Applying a few final touches with two copies of Penthouse, a yoga book and Shirley MacLaine's You Can Get There from Here, he then dismantled the lighting fixture in the ceiling. Squeezing through the 18-inch hole, he squirmed through the crawl space. He kicked in the top of a closet in jailer Bob Morrison's apartment, grabbed two shirts and walked out of the jail. A stolen car, police later said, carried Bundy to Edwards, Colo. He then hitched a ride to Vail, hopped a bus to Denver and jumped on a plane to Chicago. He celebrated New Year's in the club car of a Michigan-bound train. Three days later, Ted Bundy sat in a bar in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and watched the Rose Bowl game. The University of Washington, Bundy's alma mater, beat Michigan by seven points. In Washington, the FBI put Bundy on the Ten Most Wanted list; some 250,000 were printed saying Bundy was "wanted for questioning in connection with thirty-six sexual type murders." This is 10 more than the record holder, Juan Corona. "I'm not sure exactly where we got the figure from," an FBI spokesman said later. "We talked to the Seattle people and the Utah people. In reality, it's probably not much more than 20, give or take a few." The FSU murders Again and again the doorbell rang. Throwing on her housecoat, Henny Levy shuffled down the hall, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. Two deputies were on her doorstep. "I'm sorry to bother you early Sunday morning," one of the deputies said. "But could you call this number?" The deputy handed Levy a Slip of paper and left. Sergeant James Sewell of the Florida State University campus police answered Levy's phone call. "I'm sorry to have to tell you this, but there's been a terrible tragedy," Sewell said. "Your daughter has been murdered." "You've got to be joking," Levy said. "This must be some kind of joke." "I'm sorry," Sewell said. "It is not a joke." Levy fell silent for a moment. Then Sewell could hear a soft sob. It was the morning of Sunday, Jan. 15, 1978, and the killings had spread to Tallahassee. It was a cold morning, and Nita Jane Neary had the lapels of her coat pulled up around her ears as she punched the combination lock at the back door of the Chi Omega house, a sorority on tree-lined Jefferson Street. Neary froze when she heard footsteps pounding down the red-carpeted staircase. A man wearing a brown jacket with a blue ski cap pulled down to the bridge of his nose brushed past Neary. Tucked under his arm was a club, the end wrapped with a sock. Neary raced upstairs to a friend's room. "He's gone now," the friend said. "If something's missing I'll call the police in the morning." Then 21-year-old Karen Chandler stumbled out of her room into the hallway. Blood streamed down her face. "What's the matter with you?" Neary's friend asked. Chandler couldn't answer. The friend rushed into Chandler's room. In the other bed, Kathy Kleiner lay unconscious, her skull fractured. The friend tried to bind Kleiner's wounds with her hands. "Are they sick?" the friend remembers thinking. "What's the matter with them?" Most of the 40 women who lived in the house now crowded the hallway. Shouting for somebody to call an ambulance, Neary's friend raced in to Lisa Levy's room. The dark-haired 20-year-old was crumpled on her bed. Her nightgown was spattered with blood. The friend shook Levy once, twice. She checked her pulse and breathing. Nothing. An FSU policeman bounded up the stairs. "You better go in there," one of the women said,' pointing to Margaret Bowman's closed door. Like Levy, Bowman had been bludgeoned and strangled with a pair of panty hose. The killer had torn at her nude body with his teeth, raping her with an oak tree branch. He had neatly tucked in her sheets before he fled. "Two, Levy and Bowman, are dead," the policeman told FSU Chief Investigator Steve Hooker when he arrived. Another officer rushed up to Hooker and grabbed his shoulder. Six blocks away, the killer had battered 22-year-old Cheryl Anne Thomas with 2 by-4. Like the other survivors, Chandler would remember nothing of the attack. Hooker closed his eyes for a moment and then started barking orders. One investigator was ordered to secure the crime scene. Another was sent to check the other sororities. Two more were dispatched to stop any pedestrians in the area and to write down the license-plate numbers of every car parked on the surrounding blocks. Monday afternoon, detectives started moving chairs, tables and reel-to-reel tape recorders into an empty office building on Seventh Avenue. Wearing gleaming cowboy boots and a gray and blue checked suit, Ken Katsaris, sheriff and chief law enforcement officer of Leon County, strode into his new "special command post." This crime will be solved," Katsaris told a meeting of county, city and campus detectives. "This is important," Katsaris told one detective at this meeting. "This could mean my jobv" The previous sheriff, Katsaris reminded him, had serious problems at the polls when he could not crack a triple murder. On the third day, the task force received a letter from Frank Tucker, the prosecutor in Aspen who bad indicted Bundy. "Look for Ted Bundy," the letter said. "He's your man." The same day, a detective from Olympia, Washington, called. "Ted Bundy," the detective said. "He's down there." Driven by the fear that the killer would strike again, the detectives put in 20-hour days. A hypnotist was summoned from Tampa to interview the three survivors. Nothing. An army of investigators canvassed the area around Chi Omega. The owner of every vehicle parked near the scene of the murder was tracked down. Nothing. Detectives combed a computer list of men with violent records known to be in the area. Nothing. Each victim's friends were questioned. Nothing. The state crime lab on Adams Street studied over 1,000 bits of evidence. Nothing. A case involving an FSU student who had been battered with a board the previous May was reviewed. Nothing. Two weeks after the murders, Katsaris cut the task force from 40-to-13 investigators. "It's too confusing to have 35-to-40 investigators as the leads narrow down," Katsaris told reporters. The whole city grew tense. A rumor spread that the five victims had all been at a disco called Big Daddy's the night of the murder. The disco quickly canceled an ad campaign proclaiming: "You never know who youll meet at Big Daddy's." NBC was forced to cancel a showing of Stranger in the House, a television movie about a man who kills three women in a sorority house. Locksmiths and gun shops did record business. Arrest of Bundy At 1:30 on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 15, patrolman David Lee pulled over an orange 1972 Volkswagen a mile from the Pensacola city limits. "I don't know why I decided to follow him," Lee said later. "I saw him going out of the city limits. It was an instinct." As Lee called in a license plate check, the driver of the Volkswagen produced a driver's license and a birth certificate identifying him as Kenneth Misner, a former FSU track star. The radio crackled and the dispatcher said that the car had been stolen in Tallahassee three days before. Lee snapped handcuffs on the driver's right wrist. As he reached for the left wrist, the driver slugged him, fleeing as Lee fell to the pavement. Lee fired once; the driver kept running. Lee fired a second warning shot. The driver froze. "I wish you would have killed me," the driver said as Lee loaded him into the squad car, later adding, "This case ought to help you make sergeant." A search of the driver produced 21 stolen credit cards. He was booked on theft charges. Later that morning, the Pensacola police received a oall from Ken Misner. Bundy, Pag -0

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