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Example Case Study on Ted Bundy

Case Study on Ted Bundy

What goes through your mind when you hear the name Ted Bundy? Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 and grew up thinking his mother was his older sister and his grandparents his biological parents. When Ted’s mother remarried a cook by the name Johnnie Bundy, the last name of Bundy would soon develop a chilling reputation.

As a boy, Ted was very shy and was teased by his classmates. Although Ted had an uneasy start, he maintained a high grade point average throughout his school years. In 1965, Ted graduated from high school and won a scholarship to the University of Pudget Sound, then later transferred to Washington University. As Ted attended college his main focus was on his schoolwork, but in the spring of 1967, he became interested in Stephanie Brooks.

Stephanie was a young beautiful girl from a wealthy family from California. To Ted she was everything he had ever wanted in a woman. Not only was this Ted’s first love, but also the first woman he was sexually active with. Ted saw them together forever and was infatuated with her, but Stephanie felt otherwise. She wanted someone who could fit into her lifestyle.

In 1968, shortly after Ted had graduated from college, Stephanie broke off her relationship with Ted. He became deeply depressed and never recovered from the break-up. Ted wrote to Stephanie many times, trying to convince her he was right for her, but she turned him down. Ted was obsessed with Stephanie Brooks and could not get her out of his mind. Many believe this obsession was a key factor that led Ted to many of the gruesome crimes he would commit during his life.

To make the situation worse, in 1969 Ted learned who his real parents where. After gaining this information, Ted’s character began to change. He went from being shy and introverted to a more focused and dominant character. Bundy enrolled in the University of Washington once again and studied psychology. He became one of the top students of his class, was well liked by his professors, and was driven to achieve to prove himself to the world, and more importantly, to Stephanie.

Around this time, Ted met Meg Anders whom he would be involved with for a period of almost five years. Meg was a divorced mother who was shy and quiet. She was deeply in love with Ted, and thought him a perfect father figure for her daughter. Meg wanted to marry Bundy, but Ted was not ready for marriage because he felt he had a lot to accomplish. Often times Meg felt Ted was seeing other women, but was still hopeful everything would work out between them.

Ted’s future looked promising as he sent out applications for law schools, and became active in politics. Bundy helped a Washington governor to be re-elected which allowed Ted to form bonds with politically powerful people in the Republican Party. He did volunteer work at a crisis clinic on a work-study program and was commended by the Seattle Police Department for saving the life of a drowning three-year-old boy.

In 1973 while Ted was on a business trip in California for the Washington Republican Party, Ted met up with his past love, Stephanie Brooks. Stephanie was amazed that Ted was much more confident and mature, and that he had a bright future ahead of him. Ted and Stephanie would meet on several more occasions, and she would fall in love with him. Marriage was on Stephanie’s mind and just as their love seemed to be growing, Ted suddenly became cold to Stephanie. His interest in her came to a sudden stop in February of 1974 and he broke off all contact with her. He rejected Stephanie as she had rejected him in previous years. When Ted left Stephanie in 1974, she was never to see or hear from Ted Bundy again.

On December 6, 1973, a young couple stumbled over the remains of a fifteen-year-old girl in McKenny Park, Washington who was identified as Kathy Devine. Friends last saw her when she set out to hitchhike to Oregon. Running away from home, Kathy met her death along the way. She was strangled, brutalized and her throat cut. Investigators went to work immediately on the case, but little evidence remained. A month after the discovery of Kathy Devine’s body, another dead girl was identified as Joni Lenz. Unfortunately, she would not be the last girl to be murdered.

On January 31, 1974, Lynda Ann Healy did not show up for work. The police, notified of her absence, arrived at Healy’s house to find her mattress covered in blood and a bloody nightgown. But, no body was found. Investigators had no leads on the disappearance of Lynda Healy.

In the spring and summer of 1974, seven women students suddenly disappeared within the states of Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Among the cases of the women, there were some striking similarities. All the girls were white, thin, single, wearing slacks at the time of disappearance, had long hair parted in the middle, and all had disappeared in the evening. Police interviewed college students who told of a strange man who wore a cast on either his arm or leg who would be struggling with books asking young women for assistance. Other eyewitnesses reported a strange man who parked in the campus’s parking lot wearing a cast and asking young women for help with starting his car. His vehicle was identified as a VW bug.

In August of 1974 in Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington, the remains of missing girls were found. The police, with difficulty, finally identified the girls as Janice Ott and Denise Naslund who had disappeared on July 14th.

Janice Ott was last seen talking to a handsome man young man, who requested her assistance to load his boat because of a broken arm. A couple over heard Janice and the man talking, and had heard the name Ted. Friends last saw Denise when she was going to use the restroom at the park. She never returned.

On October 18, 1974 Melissa Smith, daughter of Utah’s Police Chief, disappeared. She was found nine days later, strangled and raped.
On Halloween of 1974, seventeen-year-old Laura Aime vanished. She was found dead on Thanksgiving Day in the Wasatch Mountains. She had been beaten with a crowbar and raped. Once again, there was little evidence to work with.

Utah Police noticed similarities between their murders and those in Oregon and Washington. With the help of the eyewitnesses from each state, evidence began to build. Several witnesses reported the same strange man wearing a cast who called himself Ted. Soon police made a composite drawing of the possible killer. When one of Meg’s friends, saw the story of Melissa Smith’s murder and the composite picture, right away she suspected Ted of committing the crimes. Meg agreed that the composite did look like Ted, but could not believe the man she loved could commit such terrible crimes. Meg, hesitant, contacted the police in the fall of 1974 and gave them the name of Ted Bundy along with four others. However, the police filed his name to check out more likely suspects.

On November 8th, 1974 the killer struck again, fortunately without a kill. A man who identified himself as a mall security guard approached eighteen-year-old Carol DaRonch at a bookstore in Utah. He asked her to accompany him to the parking lot to see if any items had been stolen from her car during an attempted break-in. Carol agreed, checked her car and said everything was in order. He then informed her he needed her to ID the suspected criminal and file a complaint, so he escorted her to his car which was a VW bug. Although suspicious, she went along with the man. Soon after their departure from the mall, he stopped and tried to put handcuffs on Carol. He got out a handgun and threatened to kill her. She found herself pulled out of the car by the man with a crowbar in hand. Carol kicked the man in the genitals and managed to get free. She flagged down a car on the road and went to the police station where she reported everything. This was their first big lead. The police found bloodstains on Carol’s coat, which was type O, the same as Ted Bundy’s.

On that same evening, Debby Kent was leaving an evening performance to pick up her brother at a bowling alley. She told her parents she would be back shortly but was never seen again. The police picked up clues on this case. A small handcuff key was found which opened Carol DaRonch’s handcuffs, plus an eyewitness said a tan VW bug sped away from the parking lot.

On January 12, 1975 Caryn Campbell, along with her fiancé and his two children took a trip to Colorado. One night she returned to their room to retrieve a magazine. Caryn’s fiancé went to check on her because of her long absence, but could not find her. He notified the police and they searched but had no luck in finding her. Almost a month later, miles from the hotel, workers found the nude body of a woman identified as Caryn Campbell. She had suffered multiple blows to the head. Once again little evidence was found at the scene.

Months later, the remains of another woman were found only ten miles from where Naslund and Ott were located. One of the bodies was Brenda Ball, one of the seven women who disappeared earlier in the summer. Another girl from the missing seven, Susan Rancourt, was discovered a couple days later in the Taylor Mountains. As police searched the mountains, two more bodies were discovered, one of which was Lynda Ann Healy. All the women found suffered from severe head contusions. As police looked for a killer, they found five more women in Colorado who died in the same manner as all the others.

Finally on August 16th, 1975 Utah Highway Patrolman, was patrolling outside of Salt Lake County, and spotted a tan VW bug. When the Highway Patrolman tried pulling over the bug, the driver turned off his lights and began speeding away. With much difficulty, the patrolman finally got the driver to pull over. He was identified as Theodore Robert Bundy. As two other troopers approached the VW bug, they noticed the passenger seat was missing and discovered a ski mask, rope, ice pick, wire, handcuffs, and a crowbar in his car. Ted Bundy was arrested for suspicion of burglary.

Following Bundy’s arrest, police found many similarities between him and the man who attacked Carol DaRonch. The handcuffs found in his car were the same brand as the ones used on her, the car description was the same, and the crowbar was similar to the weapon that threatened Carol. Police also suspected Ted Bundy of kidnapping Melissa Smith, Laura Aime, and Debby Kent. But the police knew they needed much more evidence to support a case against Bundy. Later Carol DaRonch and other eyewitnesses were brought in to view a line up. Investigators were not surprised when they all picked Ted Bundy. Soon after, a full investigation was launched on the man known as Theodore Robert Bundy.

In 1975, Meg Anders, Ted Bundy’s girlfriend, was brought to Washington’s Crime Unit building for questioning. Meg was under a great deal of pressure, but offered the investigators all the information she knew. During the questioning, Meg recalled that Ted often slept during the day and went out at night. She did not know where he went and she could not account for Ted on the nights of the murders. In a later interview with Meg, investigators found out Ted had plaster to make casts, and more importantly, Ted had visited Lake Sammamish Park in July where Janice Ott and Denise Naslund were reported missing. After several days of interviewing Meg, investigators decided to interview his first love, Stephanie Brooks. She told of how he could be loving and affectionate, but suddenly have a mood swing and become cruel and insensitive. Police learned Ted was having a double life of lies and betrayal. Meg and Stephanie knew nothing of each other. More and more evidence was coming in and investigators found out by checking his credit cards that Ted Bundy was at local gas stations in areas where girls were reported missing. Several friends reported he had a cast on his arm, but there was no medical record of him breaking it. This information helped lead to the conviction of Ted.

On February 23, 1976 Ted went to trial for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. Pleading innocent, Ted thought there wouldn’t be enough evidence to convict him. Carol told of her horrifying night and identified Ted Bundy. Although Ted said he had never seen the defendant, he had no alibi and was found guilty of the kidnapping. He was sentenced to one to fifteen years in prison, with the possibility of parole.

While in prison, investigators found hairs in Ted’s VW bug that after examination by the FBI, results showed they were similar to two murdered women’s hair. Furthermore, the remains of Campbell showed impressions on her skull, which matched up with the crowbar that had been found in his car earlier. Finally on October 22, 1976 Ted was charged with the murder of Caryn Campbell.

In 1977, Ted Bundy was transferred to Garfield County Jail in Colorado where he was to stand trial for the murder of Caryn Campbell. While Ted and his lawyer planned their presentation, Ted became upset and felt his lawyer was not qualified to represent him. He fired his lawyer thinking he could do a better job. Acting in his own defense allowed Bundy to visit the Aspen courthouse library to do research for his trial. What authorities didn’t know was Ted Bundy was planning an escape. On June 7th, while doing “research” at the library, Ted found an open window and simply jumped out to his freedom. While trying to flee Aspen, he was recaptured six days after his escape. Bundy was still allowed to do research, but now had to wear handcuffs and leg shackles.

Seven months later, Ted Bundy again planned an escape, which was more successful. On December 30th, Bundy climbed into the ceiling of Garfield jail and waited in the ceiling above a jailer’s apartment. He then descended down and walked out the front door to his freedom. His escape would go undiscovered for fifteen hours.

When the police finally learned of his escape, Ted was already on the road to Florida. Changing his name from Ted Bundy to Chris Hagen, he settled in a one-room apartment in Tallahassee, Florida. Bundy used his time by walking on the F.S.U. campus and slipping into lectures. Even though Ted had the necessities to live, the number one thing he missed was companionship.

On Saturday night, January 14th, Nita Neary, a sorority sister, got home late from a party. Upon her return, the door to the sorority house was wide open. When entering, a man in a knit blue cap pulled over his face ran out of the house in a hurry. Nita’s first thought was a burglar, but when she went up, she found two roommates soaked in their own blood. They were still alive, but severely injured.

When police arrived, they found two more girls murdered while they lay asleep. One of the sorority girls murdered, Lisa Levy’s autopsy report showed she was beaten on the head with a log, strangled, and raped. The other girl, Margaret Bowman, suffered from similar injuries. She had been so badly beaten that her brain was partially exposed.

Investigators learned nothing from interviewing the sorority girls. The only information they picked up was the profile of the killer. However, less than a mile away from these murders, another attack was reported. Police found Cheryl Thompson at her apartment beaten and raped, but alive. Authorities were able to get a blood type from the attacker, sperm samples, and fingerprints. Still much of the evidence tested proved inconclusive. The only hard evidence they obtained were hairs and teeth impressions left on the victim.

On February 9th, 1978, twelve-year-old, Kimberly Leach was reported missing by her parents. Eight weeks later her body was found in a state park in Suwannee County, Florida. Since the body had already to decompose, there was little evidence to be found.

When investigators asked children around the school ground where Kimberly was last seen, they learned of a strange man who sat in a white van. One girl recalled a man who said he was a fireman and when her brother came, he wrote down the license plate number of the van to give to his dad, who was Chief of Detectives of the Jacksonville Police. The license plate was later found stolen as well as the van. Children brought in to look at mug shots identified Ted Bundy as the man in the white van.

By this time Ted was on his way, traveling past West Pensacola in a stolen VW bug. An officer thinking he looked suspicious pulled over Ted Bundy. Although Ted put up a fight when he was being handcuffed, the police officer over powered him. Finally, Ted was brought into custody and the investigators matched evidence gathered to Ted Bundy.

On February 22, 1978, Ted went on trial for the murders of the sorority girls. Again acting on his own defense. Bundy fought hard for his innocence, but there was too much evidence. Bundy was later charged for Kimberly Leach’s murder and found guilty. On July 31st, Ted Bundy was sentenced to die in the electric chair.

Ted Bundy later in prison confessed to murdering 28 women. Many believe the number he killed was much higher, however no one will ever know how many women Ted Bundy actually killed. That number he would take to his grave. Ted Bundy after several appeals was finally executed on January 24th, 1989.

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