1903: Arthur Alfred Lynch condemned 1795: Unspecified Robespierrists

1989: Ted Bundy, psycho killer

January 24th, 2009 Headsman

Qu’est-ce que c’est?

It was 20 years today that Ted Bundy, the signature sexual psychopath in a golden age of serial killers,* rode the lightning in Florida’s Starke Prison.

Executed Today is pleased to mark the occasion with a conversation with Louisville crime writer Kevin M. Sullivan, author of a forthcoming2009 book on Ted Bundy … and a man who knows how the world looks from inside Bundy’s ski mask.

Ted Bundy is obviously one of the most iconic, written-about serial killers in history. Why a book about Ted Bundy? What’s the untold story that you set out to uncover?

The desire, or drive, if you will, to write an article about Ted Bundy and then create a 120,000 plus word book about the murders, was born out of my crossing paths with his infamous murder kit. Had Jerry Thompson [a key detective on the Bundy case -ed.] left Bundy’s stuff in Utah that May of 2005, well, it would have been an enjoyable meeting with the former detective, but I’m certain it would have all ended quietly there. Indeed, I doubt if I’d even considered writing an article for Snitch [a now-defunct crime magazine -ed.], much less a book about the killings. But it was having all that stuff in my hands, and in my home, and then being given one of the Glad bags from Ted’s VW that made it very real (or surreal) to me, and from this, a hunger to find out more about the crimes led me forward.

Ted Bundy’s gear, right where you want it — image courtesy of Kevin M. Sullivan. (Check the 1975 police photo for confirmation.)

Believe me, in a thousand years, I never would have expected such a thing to ever come my way. I can’t think of anything more odd or surreal.

ET: You mentioned that you think you’ve been able to answer some longstanding questions about Bundy’s career. Can you give us some hints? What don’t people know about Ted Bundy that they ought to know?

I must admit, when I first decided to write a book about the crimes, I wasn’t sure what I’d find, so the first thing I had to do was read every book ever written about Bundy, which took the better portion of three or four months.

From this I took a trip to Utah to again meet with Thompson and check out the sites pertaining to Bundy and the murders in that state. Next came the acquisition of case files from the various states and the tracking down of those detectives who participated in the hunt for the elusive killer.

Now, no one could have been more surprised than me to begin discovering what I was discovering about some of these murders. But as I kept hunting down the right people and the right documents, I was able to confirm these “finds” at every turn. And while I cannot reveal everything here, It’s all in the book in great detail. Indeed, you could say that my book is not a biography in the truest sense, but rather an in-depth look at Bundy and the murders from a vantage point that is quite unique. I wish I could delve further into these things now , but I must wait until it’s published.

The Bundy story has a magnetic villain and a host of victims … was there a hero? Was there a lesson?

The real heroes in this story are the detectives who worked day and night for years to bring Ted Bundy to justice. And if there’s a lesson to be learned from all of this, it is this: It doesn’t matter how handsome or articulate a person might be, or how nicely they smile at you, for behind it all, there could reside the most diabolical person you’ll ever meet! We need to remember this.

But how can you act on that lesson without living in a continual state of terror? Bundy strikes me as so far outside our normal experience, even the normal experience of criminality, that I’m inclined to wonder how much can be generalized from him.

Actually, (and I might say, thank God here!) people as “successful” as Ted Bundy don’t come our way very often. I mean, the guy was a rising star in the Republican Party in Washington, had influential friends, a law student, and certainly appeared to be going places in life. Some were even quite envious of his ascension in life. However, it was all a well-placed mask that he wore to cover his true feelings and intentions. On the outside he was perfect, but on the inside a monster. He just didn’t fit the mold we’re used to when we think of a terrible killer, does he?

Now, there are those among us — sociopaths — who can kill or do all manner of terrible things in life and maintain the nicest smile upon their faces, but again, just beneath the surface ticks the heart of a monster, or predator, or what ever you might want to call them. Having said that, I’m not a suspicious person by nature, and so I personally judge people by their outward appearance until shown otherwise. Still, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to see the “real” individual behind the person they present to us on a daily basis.

You worked with case detectives in researching your book. How did the Ted Bundy case affect the way law enforcement has subsequently investigated serial killers? If they had it to do over again, what’s the thing you think they’d have done differently?

They all agree that today, DNA would play a part of the investigation that wasn’t available then. However, in the early portion of the murders, Bundy made few if any mistakes, as he had done his homework so as to avoid detection. As such, even this wouldn’t be a panacea when it came to a very mobile killer like Bundy who understood the very real limitations sometimes surrounding homicide investigations.

I can’t help but ask about these detectives as human beings, too. Clearly they’re in a position to deal with the heart of darkness in the human soul day in and day out and still lead normal lives … is a Ted Bundy the kind of killer that haunts or scars investigators years later, or is this something most can set aside as all in a day’s work?

They are, first of all, very nice people. And you can’t be around them (either in person, or through numerous phone calls or emails) for very long before you understand how dedicated they are (or were) in their careers as police officers. They are honorable people, with a clear sense of duty, and without such people, we, as a society, would be in dire circumstances indeed.

Even before Bundy came along, these men were veteran investigators who had seen many bad things in life, so they carried a toughness which allowed them to deal with the situations they came up against in a professional manner. That said, I remember Jerry Thompson telling me how he looked at Ted one day and thought how much he reminded him of a monster, or a vampire of sorts. And my book contains a number of exchanges between the two men (including a chilling telephone call) which demonstrate why he felt this way

How about for you, as a writer — was there a frightening, creepy, traumatic moment in your research that really shook you? Was there an emotional toll for you?

Absolutely. But the degree of “shock”, if you will, depends (at least for me) on what I know as I first delve into each murder. In the Bundy cases I had a general knowledge of how Bundy killed, so there wasn’t a great deal that caught me by surprise, as it were. Even so, as a writer, you tend to get to know the victims very well through the case files, their family members or friends, and so on. Hence, I’ll continue to carry with me many of the details of their lives and deaths for the remainder of my life. And so, lasting changes are a part of what we do.

However, I did a story a few years back about a 16 year old girl who was horribly murdered here in Kentucky, and this case did cause me to wake up in the night in a cold sweat. Perhaps it was because I have a daughter that was, at the time, only a few years younger than this girl, and that some of what transpired did catch me off guard, so to speak, as I began uncovering just what had happened to this very nice kid.

Watch for Kevin M. Sullivan’s forthcoming The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History from McFarland in summer or fall of 2009.

* In fact, the term “serial killer” was coined in the 1970′s by FBI profiler Robert Ressler, as an improvement on the sometimes inaccurate category of “stranger killer”.

Additional Bundy resources from the enormous comment thread:

Also on this date

Entry Filed under: 20th Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Electrocuted,Execution,Florida,History,Infamous,Murder,Popular Culture,Serial Killers,Sex,USA

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6,841 Responses to “1989: Ted Bundy, psycho killer”

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  1. 6801
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    If you’re buying a car or an air conditioner, then yes. But book? Absolutely not.

    Personally, I will always answer questions, but that’s me. However, I don’t blame others for not doing the same. Writers don’t owe it to us to answer questions. That said, if you were purchasing the book at a signing, I’m sure she would answer a question or two. But does she owe it to you or me or anyone? No.

    The particular question you have is simple and is answered in the book. She gives the source, but is not responsible for the source. She just reported it. To say she needs to explain to you anything about it is absurd. To say that she should or you won’t purchase the book is a subtle form of control, and it’s not a good thing.

    Again, I enjoy answering folks, but let someone threaten me with not buying the book, or otherwise use control to get what they want, I won’t do anything for them.

    This is how it works, and this is how it should work.

  2. 6802
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    How about “But a book?”

  3. 6803
    Lexi Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Concerning your comment earlier, you said “I’m not interested in Ted’s jail house friendships. ” I am interested. Should a bibliographer only write about things that interest them or try and cover all aspects and facts? Shouldn’t the decision on what to include be a more objective? (asked respectfully :-) )

    Thank you.

  4. 6804
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Hi Lexi,

    Okay, let’s get started. You asked:

    “Should a bibliographer only write about things that interest them or try and cover all aspects and facts?”

    In my view, Bundy’s jailhouse experience while waiting to die has nothing to do with his upbringing and that which helped him transform into a killer; it had nothing to do with his reign of terror; it had nothing to do with the exhaustive manhunt for this elusive killer; and it had nothing to do with his final confessions which are in fact a part of the entire case.

    Now, you may be interested to learn what Bundy did for those years on death row. Well, he did very little; and certainly nothing of real importance. Some might disagree with me, but I know quite a bit about it and there’s just not much to it. The only things of interest have to do with those he dealt with concerning the murders with the confessions and the dealings he had with others like Ron Holmes, Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, etc.

    Given this, I had no interest to bore almost all the readers by putting in what is known in the business as “fluff”. Therefore, I only placed within the book that which was of true interest to the case, and to me, and to almost everyone who reads my book.

    Outside of a direct connection to the case, I have no interest with Bundy’s day to day mundane activities, and I believe most readers are the same way.

    This is what determines what goes into a book. :)

  5. 6805
    Richard A. Duffus Says:

    You didn’t tell us your were clairvoyant! Without examining any facts you can conclude that Bundy’s relationships in prison are irrelevant?

    Here’s an example from the Rolling case of what you call fluff:

    “Singlehandedly he [Lewis] has obtained what 2½ years of aggressive police work, millions of dollars and more than 100 of Florida’s best criminal investigators couldn’t—a confession in the Gainesville student murders case. And Bobby Lewis did it, say those who know, with characteristic ease.” (Valentine’s Day, 1993 issue of the Miami Herald)

    This also gives us the reason that law enforcement wouldn’t deal with Lewis. He could get the answers that they were paid to get but couldn’t. He made them look bad. This is true of any of the professionals involved in the case.

    You seem to think that Bundy sat in his cell with his hands folded in his lap waiting for the next professional to interview him. He in fact had an active mind and a need to stay busy. Prison officials were well aware that Bundy was executing a hidden agenda. Remember that they warned Keppel about that. That, in and of itself, is sufficient reason for any biographer to start probing to try to uncover that agenda.

  6. 6806
    KYGB Says:

    Bobby Lewis is insignificant in the Bundy case. The guy is a footnote in the story of Ted Bundy. Actually, he more like an asterisk in a footnote in the overall scheme of things.

  7. 6807
    KYGB Says:

    Judith Yates a reporter for the Nashville True Crime Examiner filed this story on October 8th 2012. The story is about inmates who father children. It contains the following excerpt…

    Quote on

    Ted Bundy, the convicted serial killer, fathered a child during visitation with Carole Boone; he was on Florida’s death row where conjugal visits were not allowed (An officer, who was employed on the row supervising Bundy, explained to this writer: Bundy secretly ejaculated into a balloon, passed it in a kiss to Boone, who held it between her breasts as she rushed to a fertility doctor. There was no staff bribe, as long suspected).

    Quote off

    I tend to not buy the Florida CO’s story, you’d think that this was a case of a CO trying to clear the “good name” of correctional officers at FSP

  8. 6808
    Kevin M Sullivan Says:

    I’m with you , KYGB: this story has bogus all over it. I’m sure Bundy paid and they looked the other way for a few minutes.

  9. 6809
    Diana Says:

    If you, or Rebecca Morris, or any other author doesn’t want to answer questions to a perspective purchaser, that’s your choice! No, you don’t owe an answer to anyone…but it you publish “facts” in your book and a customer wants to verify how you got these facts, and they ask you…it would be in your best interest to answer that question. I don’t care if it’s a car, an air conditioner, or a 55 gallon drum full of acid…or a book… if I have questions and I dont get answers, I’m NOT going to buy the product. That’s just the way it goes. Especially in today’s technologically advanced world where communication is achieved so much easier than it was 10, 20, 30 years ago. If I wrote a book and I wanted to sell it…I would be open to answering any question to perspective buyers that I could answer. The book market today is a different place than it was. Today we can email an author or send them a message on Facebook…we can get direct response…unlike 15 years ago when all we could do was send a letter in the mail and hope for an answer. But hey, it’s all about how you want to do it. Again, it’s a matter of simple business. You can attempt to please the customer and hope for a sale…or not. It’s your call. Especially when we’re dealing with authors who aren’t that well known (Rebecca Morris for instance). They should do all they can to get their product out there.
    So, anyway…

    Back to a Bundy question! Does anybody know if the skulls of Ott and Naslund had blunt force trauma on them? Were they bludgeoned like most of the others…or were they purley strangled?

  10. 6810
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Hi Diana,

    I always answer questions. It’s in my nature and I’m always happy to do so.

    I’m certain Ott and Naslund suffered trauma to the head, but I’ll check my own book (LOL!) and get back with you. If I don’t have it in my book, try Googling it. Other mentions will pop up.

  11. 6811
    Ted Montgomery Says:


    Your reasoning is flawed. No author owes any reader an explanation of what they’ve written, just as no reader is obligated to buy an author’s book. Usually, the author’s research is vetted by an editor assigned to the book by the publisher. Most reputable publishing houses verify the integrity of an author’s research and sources, so that job is already done before you, as a reader, have the book in your hands.
    I have first-hand experience with this, as does Kevin, of course. In fact, my fifth book will come out this fall. I will happily engage readers during interviews and on book tours, but it’s often an onerous task to have an ongoing conversation about the work and to try to “defend” or “justify” your research to readers like you. I’m sure you understand.
    That Kevin has kept up with the nearly 7,000 posts on this forum is truly an amazing feat.

  12. 6812
    Diana Says:

    That’s a bit harsh wouldnt you say? My “reasoning is flawed”? Bundy’s reasoning was flawed! Does that put me in the same catergory? Dang! I never wanted to be a sociopath! If only my reasoning were the exact same as yours…then I’d be okay.

    I am entitled to my opinion just as you are to yours. I explained in my previous post that the author doesn’t technically owe an answer to anyone… but that it would do them and their book a better service if they were to answer questions from customers like me. There is nothing wrong with that reasoning and I’m not the only person to think that way.

    And yes, in some cases authors do have to justify some things in their work! If a bunch of people start asking about something that was written because they find it to be unfactual, the author can and should explain where they got their source. We have discussed books on here in the past that we wouldnt buy because we dont believe what the author has written… this just happened a few months ago about some Bundy book and YOU agreed that it was hogwash and that he stole quotes from some authors while embellishing facts to fit what he wanted to say! Are you gonna buy that book????? Hell no! You’d sure as hell need one huge explainatation from the author about this material before you’d even consider reading it, wouldn’t you???

    Also, I agree that Kevins tenacity to stay with this thread is not only an amazing feat but an appreciated gesture by Bundyphiles everywhere! It’s great to have a regular place to discuss all things Bundy.

    But don’t try to be condescending to me or my “thinking patterns.” That’s just unnecessary and actully very Bundy-like. I come here to enjoy in the Bundy chat just like anyone else and I don’t need to be attacked over my opinions just because you don’t agree. I have brought up many interesting points and discussion waves over the years on here. YOU and your thinking patterns are no more important to this thread than me. peace ted.

  13. 6813
    Ted Montgomery Says:

    Hi Diana,

    So sorry that you think I’m attacking you. That’s really not my intention at all, and if it came off that way, please accept my apology.

    I was just trying to point out that you have a commercial “contract” with an author; the author creates the work, and you pay a price to read that work. The transaction is totally at your option, of course. Once the author provides the work, s/he has fulfilled his obligation to the reader. Like it or not, the price you pay for the book does not entitle you to an ongoing conversation with the author, any more than the purchase of a movie ticket entitles you to a conversation with the screenplay writer, or the downloading of music entitles you to a discussion with the creator of that music.

    Actually, the example you cite gives further credence to my point. We were able to figure out – through discussion and nimble use of the Internet – that that author’s book wasn’t credible. I didn’t buy it based on that fact, and I’m pretty sure you didn’t either. We found out about the relative credibility of that author’s work before we purchased the book.

    I’m way, way, down on the list of people who have made frequent and invaluable contributions to the dialogue on this forum. I don’t feel like my opinions are any better or worse than yours, or anyone else’s here. In fact, I’m often humbled by the intelligence and wisdom displayed by many of the frequent posters to this forum.

    But try not to compare me to a serial killer. That’s just not something anyone on this forum should do.

    Hope we’re good now, Diana.

  14. 6814
    Richard A. Duffus Says:

    When dealing with non-fiction, I believe there is a reasonable expectation by readers that an author will in some way clarify, defend, embellish, or otherwise expound upon their work(s). Many do that. Rule and Keppel, for example, participated in forums in the nineties. That’s also one reason authors do book tours.

    (Readers, by the way, have a reciprocal expectation to conduct themselves with proper decorum and respect to authors willing to expose themselves to this process.)

    Although it is good business to do so, authors are not obligated to meet this expectation. But accepting the claim that an author is excused from that expectation solely because editors have “vetted” the grammar, spelling, and supporting sources is an imprudent decision. Writing and publishing are imperfect activities. Errors always slip through. First editions can be identified by errors that were corrected in the subsequent edition.

    Just open the first edition of Kevins’s book to the last two pages. It’s that simple.

    The first sentence of the last paragraph reads, “Bundy’s death did not lesson the need others felt to understand, if possible, this diabolical sociopath.” Huh? Somebody didn’t learn their lessens.

    On the prior page Sullivan states Bundy, “admitted to two additional murders, including the killing of Denise Oliverson.” Yet a phone call to the Grand Junction police I made in 2009 revealed that the Oliverson case was still open. According to them, Bundy did not specifically confess to killing Oliverson.

    Given these easily found errors, do you trust this editor?

  15. 6815
    Ted Montgomery Says:


    Keppel and Rule were on book tours promoting their books when they participated in those forums. That’s an accepted practice in the process of promoting your book. As an author yourself, I’m certain you understand this. But if you’re asking an author to apologize for a typo in a book that was published five years ago, you probably have too much time on your hands.

  16. 6816
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:


    Grand Junction talked with Mike Fisher and they were aware of what Bundy said. They may have even heard the tape. But they didn’t have a body and someone simply decided to not close the case based on what Ted said. In my view, that was silly. Bundy was being forthright with all the investigators and everyone (but Grand Junction) knew it.

    As for the rest of the investigative world pertaining to Bundy, it’s a closed case.

    Yes, all books can have the silly typo that keeps hiding until publication.

  17. 6817
    jane Says:

    In non-fiction books, I do believe the author has an obligation to back up their facts with footnotes. The reader has a right to know the basis of what is being presented as fact and what is being presumed by the author.

    Whether they have to do it online or by answering emails is another case entirely. I don’t think they have to. But if I’ve been schnookered into paying for a book in which I’m not satisfied with the author’s conclusions, I certainly wouldn’t buy another book by that author. And it would be perfectly legitimate to make my dissatisfaction publicly known to other potential buyers – it’s free speech and my opinion.

    I must add that I detest the word “Bundyphile” as I’ve seen contributors referred to here. I read a lot about Hitler’s reign of terror too but I am not a “Hitlerphile” or “Naziphile.” I detest Bundy and won’t even refer to him as Ted, but he’s like some demented Rubrik’s cube puzzle that my mind turns over and over tryng to figure out.

  18. 6818
    ted montgomery Says:

    Jane, bravo! You just explained in far fewer words what I took two posts to try to explain. You also gave a succinct and understandable explanation of the free market system that perfectly applies to this discussion we are having.

    The author offers a product and the consumer (reader) makes a decision about whether she should spend some of her own money to purchase that product. If she does and enjoys the product, she’s likely to do it again; if she doesn’t like the book, she can choose not to patronize that author again the future.

    I bought my first and only Led Zeppelin album when I was in junior high, and I hated it. But that didn’t mean Robert Plant and Jimmy Page owed me an explanation on how they came to write the songs on the album.

  19. 6819
    Richard Duffus Says:

    Ted, you’re missing the point. I’m not asking anyone to apologize for typos. I am pointing out that your argument that, because a book has been vetted, it can be assumed to be infallible is wrong.

    Kevin, Grand Junction has jurisdiction and, until they close the case, it can only be said that Ted arguably confessed to the murder.

    Jane, that’s a good point about footnotes. In most cases they let the reader vet the book rather than just trust someone else to have done that. It’s the reason i used footnotes. Unfortunately eBooks are killing off the footnote. That’s why I don’t have an eBook.

  20. 6820
    Diana Says:

    Wow, this little off-topic detour took on a life of it’s own! I see everyone’s viewpoints. I’m simply saying that I feel that if a non-fiction book has “facts” in it that haven’t been proven to be true, I have a right to ask the author where that information came from (if it isn’t in a footnote- or even if it is in a footnote that is questionable). And I do think that the author should answer the question as they are one who are telling you that it’s true. Who else can be held accountable? It’s the author’s work…they should stand behind it!!!

    Now, just to further embellish… I had some questions for Ann Rule (a NY Times Bestselling author). I emailed her and she replied to me several times. I know that she didn’t have to…but she did and that’s what makes her so great- she stands behind what she writes and gets into further detail with you if you ask her about it. I have also emailed Steven Michaud with some questions… he also replied to me (although I think he did it because he was looking for more promotion on his TERRIBLE SECRETS book. lol.)

    I guess, what it all comes down to is Class. An Author who answers readers questions (and ITS so easy to do with today’s technology) is top class! They don’t have to, but they do.

    And Ted…I wasn’t really comparing you to a serial killer… just using a little sarcasm based on Bundy literature and his known personality. :)

    And Jane, I don’t mean the word “Bundyphile” in an insulting way at all. It’s just a word to describe people, like all of us, who KEEP going back to that rubik’s cube that is Ted Bundy…because we just keep wondering WHY and trying to figure it out.

    Kevin, if Grand Junction refuses to close the case… what do they expect to do- keep having their investigators look into it even though the FBI considers her a Bundy victim? You may not know, but I’m just curious.

  21. 6821
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:


    Yes, of course, Grand Junction has a right to leave the case open, but I think it’s foolish. Not only did Bundy admit to killing her by name, but he gave a brief description of her death and said he dumped her into a river prior to crossing over the Utah state line.

    Bundy killed her and everyone knows it.

  22. 6822
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:


    Grand Junction isn’t out looking for anyone. It was unwisely kept open and the file on her was basically put away. No one there is even thinking about it.

    Indeed, if they have a cold case detective, he or she probably believes Bundy did it, but because the department has taken this stand, they won’t touch it.

    Of course, they need to read my book, as it’s been proven that Ted Bundy got gas in Grand Junction only moments before Oliverson disappeared! So here we have ted Bundy right in that small town, and years later he admits to getting her and they reject it. How dumb is that?

    This is from my book:

    But like so many other unlikely places before that Sunday, April 6, 1975, Grand Junction would not escape intact as Theodore Bundy drove slowly and with a singular determination through the town. It wasn’t long before he caught a glimpse of a pretty young woman riding her yellow bicycle in the southern end of the city. Just a short time earlier, Bundy charged $3.16 against his Chevron credit card at a gas station in Grand Junction;

    Kevin M. Sullivan. The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History (p. 133). Kindle Edition.

  23. 6823
    Richard A. Duffus Says:

    “Not only did Bundy admit to killing her by name”

    He referred to her by name in what context? If he said he believed it was her that’s a lot different than if he said it was her. Both refer to her by name but only one is with certainty.

    Do you have the transcript?

  24. 6824
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    From my book:

    When Fisher met with Bundy for the last time, he made good on his promise of giving details concerning the Colorado murders, including information on the Caryn Campbell and Julie Cunningham homicides. However, he refused to speak of Denise Oliverson, the pretty young woman he nabbed in Grand Junction, as she bicycled to her parents’ home on a pleasant Sunday afternoon. “He told me again,” Fisher related, “of his tiredness and his wanting to get back to his cell for rest. I explained simply that he had promised to resolve all the questioned murder cases and now at the last minute he wasn’t keeping his side of the deal.” Although clearly frustrated at Bundy’s refusal to talk about Grand Junction, Bundy did have this parting shot as the investigator was preparing to leave: “I’ll get back to you about that, I promise.” And Bundy would not disappoint him. As he was being escorted to the execution chamber, and now only minutes from being strapped into the electric chair, Bundy would ask for a tape recorder. Sitting in a waiting room, his head already shaved, he admitted to two additional murders, including the killing of Denise Oliverson:

    Kevin M. Sullivan. The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History (p. 244). Kindle Edition.

  25. 6825
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Bundy knew exactly who he had killed. Just as he knew the name Susan Curtis, who she was and where he nabbed her (Utah). Curtis was the other name Bundy gave at that time.

  26. 6826
    Petr Henderson Says:

    I think there is a bit of a misunderstand here. It’s not that unusual for a investigating agency to keep a missing person case, even where authorities believe they have a solid confession, open.

    In Washington the case of Donna Manson is still open. Her DNA profile says; Sample submitted – Tests complete

    In Idaho the case of Lynette Culver is open. Her DNA profile has also been collected.

    In Colorado both the cases of Julie Cunningham and Denise Oliverson are open. But only Denise’s DNA profile has been collected and uploaded.

    The fact that cases remain open does not mean they are being actively investigated. Most police agencies no longer close files for those who remain missing even if they have a confession. Some may feel that’s a waste of time, by in the age of DNA I think it foolish not to. Decades old cases, once lost or closed, are being added to NamUs each month.

  27. 6827
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Actually, I believe the Lynette Culver case is closed. They didn’t need a body to close the case. Bundy told investigators things about Lynette that only the killer would know by speaking with her. Russ Reneau reported back to the Idaho DA and the rest is history.

  28. 6828
    Peter Henderson Says:

    It appears you are wrong Kevin. Lynette’s agency case number is 70920, NamUs case number MP 9765. The lead investigator is Pocatello Police Detective Brown. As I said that does not mean he is doing a active investigation just that her DNA has been collected in case remains are found. Just because a person confesses to a murder does not close the case for most police agencies as long as the person remains missing. Maybe it did in the ‘70’s, but not today.

    After all one of the most important parts, letting a family bury their loved one with respect, is still open.

  29. 6829
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Well, no matter. They must have different rules for release of information, as I had no trouble obtaining hard copy info from them. Usually, when a case remains open, you just can’t get anything from the written record, although you can often find investigators who will talk.

    Where I’m not wrong however, is that no one that I spoke to, from the Idaho AG’s office to the Pocatello PD, believes the case is still open. Everyone familiar with the case sees it as closed; and this includes the DA’s office. So it must be open through some odd technicality in the law and nothing more. You don’t need a body to close out a case.

  30. 6830
    Richard A. Duffus Says:

    Perhaps you misunderstood me. The transcript I was looking for is that of the recording Bundy made just before his death. It is the best evidence.

    In the absence of that evidence, there is much confusion about that confession:


    “Bundy also told a detective that he kidnapped a woman in Grand Junction and dumped her body in the Colorado River, Fromm said.

    “’He killed so many woman I don’t think he remembered her name,’ he said.”


    “Before his execution in Florida in 1989, Bundy confessed he had dumped a body in a river outside of Grand Junction, but he offered no other details when pressed.”


    “Bundy said he believed the Colorado victim was Denise Oliverson … ‘I believe the date was in April 1975, ‘ Bundy said. ‘The young woman’s body would have been placed in the Colorado River five miles west of Grand Junction. It was not buried.”’

    “‘Then he told us he abducted her (Oliverson) and he told us he buried her,’ Lindvall said.”


    “But that year, one year shy of the nation’s Bicentennial, Grand Junction suffered an unprecedented rash of homicides. Eight people were murdered including three young children, several young women and young mothers.”

    On top of that, I’ve established that Bundy got the month of the Hawkins murder wrong and you have claimed that Bundy was such a seriously confused person that he couldn’t tell west from south when leaving Ann Arbor and couldn’t distinguish between the Hawks and the Flames when he was observing people at the Omni Center..

    So we have a hopelessly confused killer who thinks it might have been Oliverson (and not one of those other women) that he killed maybe in April then buried her and dumped her in the river. The accuracy of this confession becomes a matter of opinion rather than of fact and it should be so presented.

    Remember that everyone thought Katherine Merry Devine was a Bundy victim until the truth came out.

  31. 6831
    Peter Henderson Says:

    I don’t want to be overly argumentative and I’m sure that investigators from both state and local police feel the murder of Lynette Culver is solved. They feel 100% positive that the person responsible is dead, but her case is not closed.

    While the Pocatello PD is listed, it’s possible the real contact person is a county or state medical examiner The same is true for Denise Oliverson and Donna Manson.

    Solved does not necessarily mean closed. Any number of “solved” cases are currently on NamUs, far more then when you wrote your book. In fact Donna Manson was just added on November 27, 2013, Denise Oliverson on August 24, 2011 and Lynette Culver on March 18, 2011. This may seem foolish to you but remains found long before Bundy’s killing rampage, but unidentified, have been identified in the last few years

    A internet friend, Hal G. Brown, the Deputy Director for the Delaware Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has told me that in Delaware many cases listed as being inactive or closed by local or state police are in reality his.

  32. 6832
    Diana Says:


    That was some nice research you have there! Those articles are indeed very interesting. One minute Bundy was saying he dumped Oliverson in a river and the next he said he buried her.

    I wonder why Bundy would give two different accounts like that. He was smart enough to realize that they could remember what he had told them in the past… so why change the method of disposal??? Thoughts???

  33. 6833
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:


    Mike Fisher has a (or had a , as he lost some Bundy items during a storm years ago) copy of the tape sent to him by the warden of the prison. But more than that, Mike discussed Oliverson by name with Bundy and Bundy said he would get back with him concerning her. he did by way of the tape recording. Mike let Grand Junction know about it.

    As I said yesterday, it has been proven without doubt that Ted Bundy was in little grand junction at the same time she was taken per the proof of his credit card. He and Mike discussed her by name. There is no doubt here.

    As to a transcript there isn’t one to my knowledge. It was a tape made by Ted Bundy for “that Colorado investigator”, and the warden let Mike hear it over the phone and then sent it to him.

    Mike Fisher is an honorable guy, and I didn’t need to hear the tape myself to know it was true. Plus, I’d already determined Bundy was in GJ at the same time as I have in my files a copy of his gas receipts.

    Case closed (pun intended) as far as I’m concerned.

  34. 6834
    Anne Says:

    In his last confession Bundy admitted to killing Denise Oliverson and Susan Curtis. You can find the transcript of the tape on the Intrnet. It was published in a newspaper. Sometimes he changed hos Mo. He said he drowned Lynette Culver in a bath and apparently he used a knife on Kimberley Leach. I don’t think he would have had much to lose when he made those last minute confessions.

  35. 6835
    Anne Says:

    Another thing: do you think Bundy always used a blunt instrument to make his victims unconscious? I think most of the bodies that were found ( except Kimberley Leach) had been hit across the head. I think he used the same method on Lynda Healy as well although he claimed he strangled her to provoke unconsciousness but there was blood on her bed and on her nightdress, behind her neck so he probably used a blunt instrument as he did not want to risk waking her neighbours.

  36. 6836
    Peter Henderson Says:

    Kevin, by choice you told us that you never contacted the families of the victim’s.

    That decision is probably why you can so cavalierly opine that, “Case closed (pun intended) as far as I’m concerned.”

    I am just a interested amateur, but I have been in contact with the families of a number of long time missing people. And I can attest that virtually to a person, given a choice; Find the killer but never the missing person — Or find the missing loved one but never solve the case — they would choose the latter

    You have deleted previous comments related to this point. I have been polite and am interested if this one will also go into a black hole.

    Enough for today – peace out.

  37. 6837
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Deleted comments? I can’t delete any comments at this site. If anything gets deleted it’s done by the headsman.

    I’m not cavalierly towards anyone or anything pertaining to this case. My decision to not contact victims is out of respect to them. And my calling a case closed has to do with a confession that brings to light what happened to that person, but it has nothing to do with finding a body.

    Most cases that are open with the cops are open because they don’t know who killed the individuals. It has nothing to do with the body recovery. If an ME wants to keep a case open because the body has not been found, fine. But these are not the usual open cases.

  38. 6838
    Headsman Says:

    Just to dispel any possible misunderstanding on this one specific point, Kevin is not an administrator on this site. Any comment moderation ultimately falls on me.

    I can’t think of the last time I’ve actively removed a live comment other than spam, but I’ll follow up directly with Peter on this subject. In general, I’m not looking for reasons to get involved that way.

    There are also less than perfectly accurate spam sniffers that interdict comments when they’re suspected spam. (4.7 million spam comments in the site’s history!)

    The spam police has its occasional false positives and false negatives; for instance, I had to manually approve Richard’s recent post because comments with many links make the algorithm suspicious. I’m probably not as diligent at monitoring it as I could be. Again, though, if legitimate comments were automatically interdicted and never approved, that too ultimately falls on me.

  39. 6839
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    I knew you hadn’t removed any comments.

  40. 6840
    Kevin M. Sullivan Says:

    Hi Anne,

    Bundy did whack a lot of his victims in the head with the crowbar. Some he strangled to death, and some of those he strangled to death had already been hit in the head.

    And even though he did drown Culver in the bathtub, he may have hit her on the head once he was inside his room at the Holiday Inn and then drown her. We just don’t know.

  41. 6841
    Richard A. Duffus Says:

    To wrap up Diana’s thread I think I’ve shown that the process of vetting by a publisher is flawed and that Diana’s position that there should be an interaction between the author and reader in the non-fiction world is correct. It is a healthy process for both.

    I corrected by e-mail another author who made a gross mistake in a Bundy book (vetted and published by a reputable publisher). The author was most grateful that I pointed it out, promised to correct it in the next edition, and then went further offering a insightful explanation of how it had come about. We were both enriched by the interaction.

    In this case we examined a statement presented as fact and discovered it is based upon hearsay. The source of that was a detective but, as Kevin has previously pointed out when he claimed the FBI erred accepting as valid an eyewitness sighting of Bundy in Riverton WY, detectives can be wrong.

    The error itself is not a big deal. I agree that Bundy was probably confessing to Oliverson’s murder, although I would cast it as an opinion rather than as a fact. But it does demonstrate that an author/reader interaction helps everyone get to the truth. Isn’t that what non-fiction is all about?

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