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:

On this day..

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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8,477 thoughts on “1989: Ted Bundy, psycho killer”

  1. Jack says:

    It’s my belief that many individuals including lots of the Bundy authors have more information on the complex relationship between Ted and Diana.

    The fact of the matter is that she was his personal attorney that ended up becoming some kind of lover to him. Whether that means they experienced fully physical intimacy with each other, can’t be said or out-ruled. But she knew the scope of his evil and she engaged him on a deeply personal level.

    Any author who would attempt to chronicle “Bundy’s Last Girlfriend” would be met with a swift libel lawsuit from the Weiner’s. Which, in my opinion, there was never more than innuendo about it peppered throughout all the books. It wasn’t something that could be proved and to claim it was to court outrage.

    What is hard for me to wrap my mind around is that this was a successful married woman, carrying on with a devil of a man whom she worked for. Very complex.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      So true, Jack. Although I’ve never asked other Bundy authors about controversial things pertaining to some of the folks connected to the case that they’ve heard about, I can tell you that during my years of research, I’ve heard things straight from the investigators mouths about various players in this great drama, that I could never put to print, for to do so could cause trouble for me and the ones who told me. Of course, I’ve always considered this a shame as this info would be of interest to most folks, but that’s just the way it is.

  2. KYGB says:

    Who was Diana Weiner and why was she involved in the Ted Bundy case? She was an attorney from Sarasota, Florida. She graduated from law school in 1984 and practiced law there with her husband. Nevin Weiner was a public defender in the Sarasota area before he moved into private practice. Nevin Weiner maintains a law firm in Sarasota and his wife is a partner in that firm to this day. The Weiner’s were social friends of Dr Art Norman in Sarasota
    In 1986, Art Norman invited Diana Weiner to assist him when he interviewed Ted Bundy on death row. Norman felt the presence of a good looking female would help “soften Ted up”. Diana was equal to the task and accompanied Norman in his session with the convicted killer. Her uniform of the day was described later as “very little, with nothing on underneath”. The attorney that handled the bulk of the work for Bundy’s appeal, Polly Nelson, put Diana Weiner on the visitor list and a 2 ½ year relationship started.
    Diana Weiner became Ted’s personal attorney, handling Ted’s prison disciplinary issues and other personal business not related to Ted’s appeal. Diana Weiner is the daughter of Messianic Rabbi. Her paternal grandfather was the victim of a political execution in Columbia over his refusal to convert to Catholicism. To say that she is an opponent of capital punishment is probably understating her personal beliefs.
    Diana Weiner made many trips from Sarasota to Raiford to visit Ted on the row. She had 70 visits with Bundy at FSP, many of them wearing her uniform of the day. Bob Keppel described her role as “Bundy’s lawyer, girlfriend/whatever”. Long dark hair, stunning figure, and well featured good looks went well with Diane’s new black Mercedes as she pulled into the prison parking lot for visitors. One can only imagine the jail house gossip on the row when Bundy spent time with his personal attorney.
    What kind of hanky panky went on between these two on the row? Who knows, although there were reports of Diana “flashing” Ted and another complaint about inappropriate back rubbing. There were many visits alone and a lot of stuff could have gone on with those two in the back. Eventually, prison administration put a stop to the solo visits, etc.
    Bundy’s appeal was handled by the law firm assigned that task. Polly Nelson and the brilliant Jim Coleman did all that work. Weiner and Ted worked on their own scheme to save Ted’s life. The “bones for time” scheme was hatched by TRB, but Weiner and Ted did all the work on that ill-fated scheme. “Bones for time” was fated to fail from its inception, but Ted had his zealot, Weiner assisting him every step of the way in implementing this silly ploy.
    Diana also drafted Ted’s last will, in which he willed all his possessions to Weiner. It wasn’t much, personal papers, $700 bucks and a few old ski mags (There was no mention of Ted’s wedding ring in the material I read). This was a final slap in the face to Carole Boone. The relationship with Diana and Ted’s admissions of guilt are the reasons that Carole refused to talk to Ted at the end. Even so, the Fla Attorney General sued for the “Ted” material a few months later. Nevin Weiner defended Diana against the State’s case. As a result of the lawsuit, Bundy’s papers were given to Fla and eventually Bob Keppel and King county.

    1. Fiz says:

      Hi, KYGB, long time no see! I wonder if Diana would have been so touchy feely with TRB if she had heard his blood chilling “conjectures” to Mr Michaud and the last minute confessions to Bob Hayward and all the other law enforcement officers just before his execution. I wanted a shower using a wire brush to clean myself after reading them.

    2. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Great post, KYGB…

      Mike Fisher witnessed some shenanigans when he walked in to the interview room and saw her rubbing her hands Bundy all over the upper portion of Bundy’s body. I believe Matt Lindvall was with Mike and witnessed this as well. Stunning.

  3. markb says:

    i agree with you, Mr. Duffus. In 2 years of researching Bundy, i had asked the same question: Where’s all the porn? “the joy of sex”? a couple of playboys under the bed? bundy did speak of disposing of porn. but “porn addicts” tend to pile the stuff up. i’ve seen this several times over the years in people i’ve known.

    i don’t know the truth of TB and porn, but i think it’s been overblown. i do know that when it came time for him to try to explain his behavior to the world – and mainly to his mother, it worked great as an excuse: it’s because i was snatched by a powerful force that i couldn’t resist…

  4. lmb says:

    I’ve been reading a book called Amongst the Lowest of the Dead which is quite interesting. Its a book about capital punishment but has a section on Bundy and it documents the last hours with a minister he selected to sit with him in the hours before his execution. It talks about his final hours and what they talked about etc. There are a few interesting tid bits about Diana Weiner – does anybody know what the actualy nature of his relationship was with her (if I am right he left everything to her including his wedding ring). It also mentions that Dr Ontow Lewis (also has a book with some bundy info) sat with him in his final day and apparently he asked that the notes from his meeting be passed to Carole Boone as a way of perhaps explaining some of the reasons he was what he was but Dr Lewis refused to part with her notes. I found that interesting as in some ways it would appear he had something in him that wasn’t all psychopath – I wouldn’t say conscience (we know he cant have one when he did what he did) but him needing to tell her something or explain would suggest that deep within him lay something that was human. If he was truly without remorse I wonder if he would have needed to do that. The book is definitley worth a read (you can get most of the excerpt bar a few pages free on google books)

    Lastly, I know the opinion of many is that he was fooling Dr Dobson in his last interview when he blames porn for his actions. I wanted to ask, is it possible this did have an impact on him (he was always responsible for his own actions of course) and did act as an accelerant?. As far back as Michaud and Aynesworth he talks about porn and detective magazines so I do believe they played a part in fuelling what was already a growing flame. Interestingly several other serial killers talk about the same detective magazines (a killer I forget his name but he was a cop and again killed a lot of women) read the same kind of magazines. I think Ed Kemper also mentioned this. There seem to be a lot of serial killers who were born in the 50s era who talk a lot about detective magazines yet by todays standards they are probably pretty tame. It’s just interesting to me folk are quite quick to dismiss the porn link and while I fully accept that doesn’t make them do what they did there is definitley some kind of link.

    1. Brad says:

      I do believe that pornography had an effect on Bundy.

      Did it CREATE the monster? No, of course not. Bundy became what he was via a number of factors that authors like Kevin Sullivan, Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, Ann Rule, et al point out in their excellent works.

      But I refuse to dismiss porn as at least a minor contributing factor out of hand as some (primarily porn industry activists) have. Some of these people point to several acts Bundy did as a small child, saying this occurred before he discovered porn. These people forget that as a small child he WAS exposed to porn – his grandfather Sam Cowell’s “private” stash that Ted knew about.

      1. Kevin Sullivan says:

        Hey Brad..

        Had Bundy been like most boys, teens, and young adults, he would have been thinking sex only. But it was his mixing violence with his fantasies that really gave him a thrill. But even behind this mixture of sex and violence towards women, leading all the way to murder, we still have a big question mark as to why Bundy became the diabolical killer he ultimately became. And for that, I don’t think we will ever find an answer. One of the great mysteries, as it were. :)

        1. Brad says:

          Absolutely true.

          1. Where’s the porn?

            Any theory that hard core pornography had an effect on Bundy’s development as a serial killer is predicated on the assumption that Bundy actually had used hard core pornography. Other that the fetid whirlwind of words passing through Bundy’s lying lips, there is no evidence to support that assumption:

            His mother reported that “all she ever saw of pornography were a couple of Playboys under the bed.”

            His girl friend, never mentioned that Bundy had used pornography. She had once even gone through his most personal files.

            Police officers who had stopped him on three random occasions reported finding nothing more than cheerleader magazines.

            Fellow prisoner Bobby Lewis asked author Sondra London, “If Bundy loved pornography so much, how come in the ten years I saw him on a day in, day out basis, I never ever once saw him with pornography in his hand?

            Rapist and murderer Richard Daniel Starrett, who had, like Bundy, cited the influence of pornography on his crimes, at least had the credibility of having been found to be in possession of “935 books and magazines … that depicted nudity and sexual violence … 116 posters depicting bondage, violence, or sex, 18 calendars depicting sex or violence, and books on sex crimes, as well as dozens of hardcore videos.”

            Bundy spoke out of both sides of his mouth about detective magazines. Regardless what he said to Michaud and Aynesworth, in a January 1977 letter to Ann Rule he expressed his disdain for detective magazines.

            Without evidence, this line of thinking is nothing more than one conjecture built upon another.

  5. George Mcfadden says:

    If you bothered to read the hundreds of pages where bundy explains what he did and why he did it(and i understand he lied a lot) things are very clear.Your mistake is intermingling your personal experiences with that of a vicious killer who had tenuous knowledge of due to a relationship with another convict.Very niave.There is no doubt why ted killed who he killed.If you want to tell a story.tell it as it is and tell it well.It has nothing to do with you personally.By the way those sketches are fakes too

    1. George Mcfadden says:

      One more thing.When ted was arrested in78 they found cheerleader magazines in his car.Its on the evidence list for all to see.You can stare at a dime all day long,Richard,but it will always be a dime,never a quarter.

    2. I have bothered to read all of that and a whole lot more. Did you ever think that, if he lied a lot, things cannot possibly be “very clear.”

      My personal involvement came at Bundy’s behest. He was seeking someone who could understand him, someone of a similar age and background. He wanted to find someone with whom he could explore his true feelings and someone who, for the rest of us, could articulate those feelings.

      If my connection with Bundy was tenuous perhaps you can explain why I have letters in his handwriting, some of his family photographs, and photographs of his other art. You also have to explain how I could have known about souvenir photographs, buried bodies, and the medallion he was wearing during his interview with Dobson. You also have to explain who, besides Ted, knew that he had at least once disguised his handwriting. You also have to explain how the “fisherman story” was leaked, That’s just some of it.

      If, as you say, you know why Ted killed who he killed, why don’t you let everyone else know? I’m sure there are still families and friends who are looking for that information.

      I am telling the story as it is – not as others want it to be. One knows one has found the truth when nobody, including myself, likes it.

      If the sketches were faked, who did it? Here’s a hint. Bobby could not draw that well. That means you’re saddled with a conspiracy theory. I’ll give you some help. The co-conspirator is a lefty He has to be a prison guard even though any guard found to be in cahoots with Bobby would lose his job. He had to be an artist. He had to be willing to fork over cash to frame one of the pieces of art. And the sole purpose of this conspiracy was to fool me into buying art worth ten dollars apiece for ten dollars apiece. Dumb!

      Regarding the cheerleader magazines, give me a break!

  6. George Mcfadden says:

    Richard i bought your book and read it with great interest..I think we can agree that ted bundy was unique in many ways.However we have a man who killed30-50 women within a general stereotype.He engaged in necrophiliac practices with their dead and rotting corpses on multiple ocassions.Plus he had normal so to speak sexual relations with women.You never spoke to bundy personally.Your theory such as it is backed by nothing but a personal agenda of your own

    1. If you learned but one thing from the Bundy case it should be never to trust appearances. You overlook the fact that, gays are inexorably encumbered by a pervasive social condemnation. This affects how and if they express their true sexuality. Some openly act on their feelings regardless; some act in the shadows to avoid social condemnation; some slip on the guise of being straight. They seek not only to avoid social condemnation but also to receive society’s affirmation. They may marry and rear children. They may never act on their true feelings. They appear to others to be straight.

      People “cannot be expected to see or suspect ‘repressed homosexuality,’ especially if the symptoms are manifested in the form of males becoming ultra masculine and violent, and/or if they are having sex with as many females as possible.” [“The Homosexuality Factor in Social Violence” by Pierre J Tremblay]

      Do you know of anyone who was known to have engaged in disguise? Here’s a hint: His fellow prisoners called him a “master of disguise.”

      I see that you consider someone who harbors a “well-masked anger toward women” [Carlisle], murders them, and engages in necrophiliac practices with their corpses to be a normal heterosexual. How sad!

      Of course I never spoke with Bundy personally. We corresponded. I’ve published those letters.

      Regarding a “personal agenda,” you’re just throwing words around. They sound good but lack any substance. Be specific. What agenda? Are you trying to say I arranged for these murders so that I could later connect with the killer and say “I told you so?”

  7. On Tuesday I posted a brief comment presenting certain facts and my resulting conclusion in a discussion on Sullivan’s Facebook page. The comment was both appropriate and relevant to the subject, Ted Bundy’s interview with James Dobson.

    Sullivan’s response was to immediately block my access to his page and to remove my comment. He has the right to do that. It is his page.

    The exercising of a right comes with consequences. I believe that, in this instance, Sullivan’s actions undermine his integrity as an author. He has demonstrated that, if he has the power to do so, he will not hesitate to conceal facts he does not want his readers to know and suppress points of view he does not want his readers to discuss.

    One has to trust those who offer to educate or enlighten us. Those who engage in concealment or censorship do not deserve that trust. One can only wonder what else they are hiding.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      I’m not hiding facts, Richard. You’ve trashed the last three books I’ve written and we’re not friends. Friends don’t trash their friends books. They don’t have to agree with them, but they don’t trash them, giving each one one star! And to be honest, I thought I had unfriended you after you trashed my second book, and I was surprised when your comment showed up. What would you do, Richard, if you’d have written three books and I trashed them? Open your eyes and see this for what it is.

      1. “I thought I had unfriended you after you trashed my second book, and I was surprised when your comment showed up.”

        So you made a mistake. Deal with it as it is. Don’t cover it up. This is not the first time you’ve done that. That you also removed facts from the thread will persistently suggest that you had an ulterior motive.”

        “What would you do, Richard, if you’d have written three books and I trashed them?”

        What would you do if you had been invited by a forum moderator to discuss your book and you were instead met with a fusillade of unfounded personal attacks? I am not delusional, I am not touched in the head, and I am not so stupid that a poorly educated prisoner can play me. You were right. I did not like that one.

        You unfriended me, it wasn’t the other way around. This is personal for you, not for me. I have reviewed you books harshly but honestly.

        In my first review I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I overlooked you tendency to speculate, particularly about the escapes.

        My review of your second book cited your failure to accept new evidence. You limited your evidence to what you found in your original research. You ignored statements from bona-fide witnesses and other new evidence that came up later. You can’t write history with an eraser. So I demonstrated that, fully researched, what you called a rabbit trail turned out to be a roadway that ran to the end of Bundy’s life. There’s nothing personal in criticizing you for that.

        You third book would have been a three-star except for your overstating the scope of your work and violating your own rule about speculation. You should have left the Hagen stuff out. Again that is a legitimate criticism. It is not personal.

        I was astonished by your Gainesville story. You well knew of my involvement with the killer but did not even seek my advice. Any good researcher of this case would know that officials and others in Gainesville feel, “that talking about [the killer] glorified him somehow … and it’s painful for the family members who survived the loss of their loved ones.” That means that authors should refer to the killer only as a “deranged drifter” and ignore his back-story. Bobby and I expended a lot of effort fighting for these families so, of course, I had to chew you out for your bull-in-a-china-shop approach.

        I think you should open your eyes.

        1. Me says:

          Damn, aren´t you a pedantic little ****
          Nobody in his right mind would let someone who has already trashed 2 of his books, and thus clearly has a personal agenda, stay friended in FB, just for him to do some more thrashing. If you didn´t like the first book, review it and don´t buy another one. If you buy 3 (Three!!) books and you trash them all its clear that you are just a pathetic little person stalking the writer. For him to defriend you and delete your (no doubt very negative, if not slanderous) comment isn´t a sign of it “being personal”, thats all in your, seemingly paranoid, mind. Its a sound decision. You on the other hand clearly have a personal problem with the writer, hence the stalking on FB and now here.

          The last paragraph of your comment doesn´t even warrant an response, you seem to consider yourself in charge of what other people can and cannot write about?

          Maybe open your eyes yourself, and consider a visit to someone with whom to talk through your personal problems instead of roaming the internet to leave bad reviews of writers you´ve already thrashed twice before, but who´s books you apparently keep buying.

          1. Making but one single post when invited by a thread that appeared in one’s own newsfeed is not stalking you on Facebook.

            Posting in a public forum is not stalking you.

            Making a factual post is neither negative nor slanderous.

            Removing a factual post under a pretense is concealment.

            Giving advice is not being in charge of what other people can and cannot write about.

            Criticizing authors who cover subjects about which one is knowlegeable is not indicitive of a personal agenda.

            Calling one delusional or touched in the head is being personal.

            Saying one has a personal problem with you or that one is enveloped in abject bitterness toward you is being personal.

            Calling one a pedantic little **** is being personal.

            Saying that one is so naive that one was played by a poorly educated prisoner is being personal.

            Calling one paranoid is being personal.

            You must be taking to the man in the mirror.

  8. Antony says:

    Hi Kevin,

    I’ve followed this thread for quite some time now. I’ve read all 3 of your Bundy books and thought it was time to reach out to you and thank you for your efforts and praise your works as I’ve been interested in Bundy for quite a while.

    I’m sure if I thought about it, I’d have a million questions but they seem to have mostly been answered here.

    I wish you the best, and thank you again!

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Thank you, Antony for the kind words about my books! It’s always good to hear nice things. :)

      Btw: I’m just now seeing your post, and that’s why I’m so late getting back to you.

      Take care,

      Kevin

  9. Bob says:

    Kevin,
    I’m just about done with Dielenberg’s book. In the book, there is a 2015 interview where Bob Hayward states that he drove fast to Brock Street and saw (as he would soon learn) Ted sitting in his VW in front of a house where two teenaged girls were staying up late because their parents (friends of Bob) were out of town.
    Is there any indication that Bundy knew they were alone and intended to attack them, or did he just happen to stop to smoke a joint near that house then “rabbited” when Hayward appeared out of nowhere?

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hey Bob…

      I’m just now seeing this so sorry for the delay in getting back with you.

      I’ve heard the stories of the girls, but personally, I don’t place a lot of stock in them. Bundy was absolutely searching for a victim that night, as he had the passenger seat removed and laying on the backseat. His murder kit was out with the contents spilling out. He was ready for action, as it were. He lied, of course, and later denied that he was hunting for a victim.

      All that said, I believe he was lost and tired, and that he fired up another joint. Hayward, who was coming home, and whose neighborhood had experienced a rash of burglaries, was determined to check the VW out. That’s what I believe happened, and despite the other stories, I went with that for The Bundy Murders.

  10. maria says:

    Hello everybody!

    Just wanted to ask if anyone came across the transcripts of the Utah confession tape. English is not my mother language and with that quality I am only able to discern maybe half of it or less. So transcripts would help a lot. Doesn anyone know where to find them? Google doesn’t help much.

    1. Bob says:

      Kevin,
      This is an email test.
      I sent an email to you on 28 February, 2018 and have not received an acknowledgement.
      This seems highly irregular to me, based on our past correspondence when you normally responded promptly.
      Have you received my messages? I’m trying to determine if my computer is functioning properly.
      Are you on vacation, are you ill? What’s the story?

      Bob

      1. Kevin Sullivan says:

        Hey Bob. No, I never received your email. Send it to me again, and I’ll get back with you!

  11. Bob says:

    Kevin,
    I’m just about done with Dielenberg’s book. In the book, there is a 2015 interview where Bob Hayward states that he drove fast to Brock Street and saw (as he would soon learn) Ted sitting in his VW in front of a house where two teenaged girls were staying up late because their parents (friends of Bob) were out of town.
    Is there any indication that Bundy knew they were alone and intended to attack them, or did he just happen to stop to smoke a joint near that house then “rabbited” when Hayward appeared out of nowhere?

      1. CoreyR says:

        I’ve also wondered about this. As usual, a place where there’s two girls alone… with Bundy nearby… is too coincidental for me. Highly possible he’d been stalking them, like he had with the Dunwoody St girl (Cheryl Thomas?) in Florida in ’78. I always believed he was casing the place out, unsure as to how many people were actually in the home which is why he still hadnt had any luck by 2am (or whatever time it was when he ‘rabbited’). No proof at all of course, just what I think.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      One thing that is evident from watching that 2015 drive along with Bob Hayward, is that a few things he says during that interview don’t quite line up with the record. This is not unusual for folks who are talking about events four decades after the fact. Mistakes are made, and you have to figure this out as best as possible. I have no personal info on the “girls” as he mentioned, so who knows?! Bundy was hunting that night; that’s a certainty. But when Hayward spotted him I don’t think he was casing a house because of some girls. I think he was sitting there trying to figure out his way home and was smoking a joint.

      1. CoreyR says:

        Really?? That’s what HE told the court. Dressed in dark clothing, with the passenger seat in the back, and his murder kit with him, suggests he might’ve been doing anything other than figuring out how to get home.

  12. KYGB says:

    One last report from Northern Kentucky…

    On Saturday, March 3, props from “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” will be sold from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a warehouse at 706 York St., Newport, KY. The props include vintage clothing and a wide variety of things associated with the filming will be sold. The movie now ends the shooting that was done in Northern Kentucky.

  13. Judy T says:

    Hope this link works, Zac Efron shared some photos and a tiny film footage bit, I’m surprised at how much he looks like Bundy in the role.
    http://www.indiewire.com/2018/02/extremely-wicked-shockingly-evil-and-vile-zac-efron-photos-ted-bundy-1201932416/

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hey Judy…

      Hey, he’s jumping out of the courthouse window! Lol!!!

      Thanks for the link!

      1. markb says:

        gee, that kinda looks fun, bouncing up and down like that.

        1. Fiz says:

          It wasn’t when Ted did it for real – he did a number on his ankle.

        2. Kevin Sullivan says:

          It does indeed lol!

  14. Judy T says:

    Just a quick question for you Kevin-in all the books I have read on Bundy there are conflicting reports about Ted being left at the home where he was born-the Burlington place…do you know whether she left there with Ted when she had him or did she leave him there alone and return for him a few months later? I would guess that she left with him because it is spoken of as a birth place for unwed mothers and not an adoption agency, however, maybe they did have mothers who were able to leave their babies there for adoption to be handled as well?
    Thanks in advance,

    Judy

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hi Judy…

      I don’t believe I was able to conclusively determine if she left him for a time or not. I believe I mention both scenarios in The Bundy Murders, and that’s about it. There are a few areas like this pertaining to his early life, where a bit of a question remains, and that’s unfortunate. At the time, having a definitive answer one way or another wasn’t all that important to me so I didn’t spend a lot of time on it. I hope this helps. :)

      1. Judy T says:

        Just wondered out of curiosity if you had ever found this bit of information. Thanks for replying.

        1. Kevin Sullivan says:

          You know, I knew that if I spent some real time investigating, I could absolutely discover the truth. But the issue was this: In writing The Bundy Murders, it was a 2 1/2 year marathon -nights, weekends, with little spare time – of exhaustive research, interviewing, and writing. And so, it was in my view, imperative to cut away anything I deemed not important enough to pursue. He was a baby, and while I understand bonding, I didn’t think that, even if she left him, it was a contributing factor to what happened. So I quickly passed by it. :)

          1. markb says:

            Kevin: there just ain’t no way one person can ferret out every detail on TB. I have been worrying over this question ever since I started researching and I feel like I’ve got a definitive answer now, but did this affect Bundy and help him to turn out the way he did? Only God knows the answer to that. I think it did contribute, but it’s just my opinion. and opinions are like belly buttons, everybody’s got one and everybody’s is different.

          2. Adeline says:

            As to causes of psychopathy, generally abused and neglected children who develop ASPD display less premeditated and cold crimes and more rage filled, violent ones. The higher the (psychopathy) personality scores, the more genetic influences are to blame. Here’s an interesting study if you haven’t read it yet. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2242349/

          3. CoreyR says:

            That initial bonding process between an infant and its mother that develops over the first three months of its life is so crucial and important to the development of the baby – it’s where a human first learns love, nurture and emotion. Bundy was deprived of this at this crucial juncture at the beginning of his life. While this doesn’t make everyone a ‘serial killer’, I firmly believe this was the ‘seed’ on which all his abnormal ‘festering of the mind’ watered the seed (by that I mean whatever antisocial and violent things he witnessed in his grandfathers home from there on). He always said he didn’t understand normal human emotions, but he certainly was drawn to terrorising of females early. While I totally get Kevin not wanting to get bogged down in all this, to a psychiatrist these beginnings are very telling.

    2. markb says:

      I’ve been trying to find a definitive answer to this question. Like a lot of things about TB, it’s hard to absolutely pin down. Myra MacPherson was a journalist who spoke with Louise Bundy and Louise’s sisters and wrote an article for the May 1989 Vanity Fair issue. MacPherson wrote: “For 2 months, Ted was left at the home, without his mother, as the Cowells seriously debated whether to give him up for adoption.” then MacPhersons writes “It was her father, Louise says, who wanted her to keep the boy.”

      so the way that’s phrased tells me that the story came from Louise herself. and yes, the home was an adoption agency.

      1. Judy T says:

        Thanks for replying. So it would seem he was left there. Just one more thing in a long list of things that a lot of people think are reasons why Ted became what he became. I’m not sure what I believe when it comes to why he was the way he was, all i know for sure is he was pure evil and apparently NOT AT ALL NORMAL…

        1. markb says:

          I don’t think he was ever normal. he was a psychopath and I am not an expert, but from what I’ve read, p-paths are p-paths from the time they’re born. Louise always insisted that he was normal until he left her home. maybe he did seem normal to her, who grew up in a home parented by two mentally ill people.

  15. Bob says:

    Hello Kevin and Everyone who still supports this “Idea Fest.”

    I can’t express the joy and intellectual satisfaction I have received since the day when, out of the blue, I discovered this discussion, this treasure trove, this encyclopedia of information. Kevin I trust you intend to support and nurture this fond of knowledge and forum of free and open expression. I truly believe that, while there is probably not much left out there to learn about Bundy, there are still many amateur detectives who have not read the books and may have interesting insights on the case.

    Kevin hang in there, you are doing a great job and, I have some interesting (at least to me) visuals and ideas to share with the group.

    Bob

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hi Bob,

      Yes, I’m still at the helm, and can you (and everyone!) believe we’ve just entered the 9th year of this thread?!!!!!
      Unbelievable!

      And yes, I plan on being here another 9 years if it goes that long!

      1. Larry G says:

        Kevin, I’ve been lurking for 10 years, posted 1 or 2 questions, bought every one of your books, religiously still stop by here every few weeks. Larry G says….let’s keep it going! And thank you for everything you’ve done for so long!

        1. Kevin Sullivan says:

          Thank you, Larry G! I really do appreciate the kind words. And thanks for being a faithful lurker lol! I know you’re not the only one. I look forward to “chairing” this discussion for many more years, and I’m glad you’ll be sticking with us. :)

  16. Bridget says:

    I thought everyone might like to know that my local station here in Pensacola is doing an interview with Norman Chapman. The detective who interviewed Bundy while he was in custody here in Pensacola.

    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10156101308639347&id=72274029346

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Thanks Bridget!

  17. Kevin Sullivan says:

    13 cases of pure evil, where human monsters came calling, and found an unlocked door…

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07961Z5HH

  18. Judy T says:

    Wow. I just heard that Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon on the Big Bang theory is going to play in the new Ted Bundy movie! Apparently he is going to play the role of Larry Simpson, the prosecutor in Florida. Will be interesting to see him in a role that is serious.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Well, that’s interesting. Thanks Judy! :)

      1. Judy T says:

        You’re welcome. I usually don’t watch the more recent t.v. series, I am old school and like to watch reruns of reruns of reruns from the seventies and eighties shows lol, but The Big Bang Theory is one of my exceptions.

        1. markb says:

          and now, james hetfield, singer/guitarist of metallica will play Bob Hayward. they are building this into an EVENT.

          1. Judy T says:

            Wow, I can’t wait to see the movie. It might just turn out to be the best one yet with the great list of actors they already have. James Hetfield being in it is a surprise as well. Saw him in concert with Guns and Roses years ago in 1992, Metallica opened for them. I am no longer a fan of that kind of music, but it will be interesting to see if he can act.

  19. Jack says:

    Kevin, is there any reason why Mike Fisher doesn’t appear (identified) in any photographs? Among the plethora of Bundy books, many detectives from Keppel to Thompson to Dunn to Chapman are presented in photos. Mike is like the comedian from the eighties with the paper bag over his head: the unknown comic. I’m asking because over the years, I’ve seen numerous photographs of Bundy in custody in Colorado and among them he’s always presented with a short looking man with big glasses and a bigger mustache. I’ve always suspected that this was Fisher, as the lawman looks like he isn’t about to let Bundy out of his sight for a second. What is confusing is that in one of the photographs (the famous one taken the day he leapt out of court) this same officer is wearing blues, which could also mean to me he might just be a deputy of some sort. In other photos, such as the one I’m offering below, he is wearing a south-western button-down. So how about it? Is this the Fish? And, if so, do you know any reason why Fisher never presented himself for photography in the many years and books that were written about this case?

    https://www.denverpost.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ap17102780363926.jpg?w=620

    http://storage.torontosun.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/suns-prod-images/1297944787370_ORIGINAL.jpg?size=520x

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hi Jack…

      That’s an excellent question, and one I’ve never been asked before!

      There is a really good picture of Mike in the the first edition of The Only Living Witness. It’s the hard copy, and he’s sitting at his desk. There’s also a good pic of Jerry Thompson standing and either making copies, or standing at a file drawer.

      I had the same thought when I first saw that pic you posted (years ago), but that’s not Mike, as it appears that’s the uniform-type shirt that the guy behind him is wearing as well. I took a pic of that staircase when I was in the courthouse in 2015 and it hasn’t changed a bit.

      You’re correct – there aren’t enough pics of Mike out there. The same goes for Jerry Thompson.

  20. Kevin Sullivan says:

    Hi All!

    What follows is from my new book, Through an Unlocked Door…

    “Before ascending the wooden steps, Rolling, already dressed all in black, pulled out a brown ski mask and slipped it over his face. He then put on gloves, all the while keeping his eyes on #113. Inside, Sonja and Christina were fast asleep, Christina on the first-floor sofa and Sonja upstairs. It was now 3:00 a.m. Very quietly Rolling climbed the steps and retrieved from his bag a screwdriver and a penlight. After trying to pry open the door, he discovered the door was unlocked.”

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07961Z5HH

  21. KYGB says:

    News on the Bundy Movie beat……

    Actor Zac Efron will start shooting a thriller movie called “Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil And Vile” which is about the late serial killer Ted Bundy’s life but from the view of his former date Elizabeth Kloepfer.
    The movie will start shooting in the Northern Kentucky area as well as in Cincinnati Ohio this month.
    Efron will play the role of the late Ted Bunday and Lily Collins will play the role of Elizabeth Kloepfer.

    Filming is being done as we speak in the Covington suburb of Elsmere KY.

    Maybe they will use Rev Kev Sullivan in some capacity!

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hey KYGB!

      I have been noticing for some time now, quite an uptick in my Bundy books being sold in the Cincinnati area. Methinks something is up lol!

  22. Tony B says:

    Speaking of the victims: some guy on Reddit is claiming Donna Manson was a distant relative of Charles? I’d never heard that before and was wondering if there might be anything to it.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      I’ve heard that, and I don’t think there’s any thing to it. It’s no doubt one of the many millions of unfounded rumors that plague the Internet.

  23. markb says:

    one thing i’ve wished for while researching TB is for someone to just haul off and knock the hell out of him. really hard. what can i say, i’m a hillbilly.

    i think Mr. Parmenter would have been up to the task. alas.

    (this was supposed to go with the video below)

  24. Brad says:

    For Kevin:

    I just finished watching the Showtime documentary series “Cold Blooded – The Clutter Family Murders”, and was struck by how badly misrepresented the Clutter family was in Truman Capote’s book “In Cold Blood” and the movie (1967) and TV miniseries (1997) that were based on the book. It never ceases to amaze me how in so many true crime books, the victims are seemingly pushed into the background.

    What does this have to do with Ted Bundy? Basically my point is that the same goes for him and his victims. By design, of course, to report on the crimes, the focus should be on the perp. And Bundy is, by himself, a fascinating case study is criminal psychopathy. But what about his victims? I hate that they are so often portrayed (not by you in any of your books, of course, but by society at large) as little more than “Bundy’s Women”. They were not BUNDY’S WOMEN, they were individual distinct human beings, with lives, loves, cares, families of their own and should be viewed as such.

    I know you said that you are through with doing books on Bundy, but maybe you could consider doing one about one or a couple of his victims. Tell their life stories, before Bundy. Or maybe suggest the topic to a fellow author. Maybe pick the victims (seemingly) most talked about, such as Georgeann Hawkins, Denise Naslund and/or Melissa Smith.

    Please don’t take this rant as somehow a criticism of your work. It certainly isn’t. I’ve enjoyed your books. I just think it’s time these women and girls had their stories fully told.

    What do you think?

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Hey Brad,

      No, I don’t think you’re being critical of me or my work. And you’re not the first to suggest a greater look into the lives of the victims. When I was writing The Bundy Murders, I purposely added lots of info on them (where possible), and a good number of folks who’ve read the book recognize this.

      Again, after 3 books and over 600 pages, I have finished my writing on Bundy, the victims and the case. I still do documentaries, radio shows and podcasts, and that’s fine, but there won’t be any more Bundy books from me. And as to suggesting others writers look into it, that’s not what writers do.

      Perhaps one day someone will write a book about the victims, but that might prove problematic. Numerous friends of the victims won’t talk, even today. Getting enough NEW info to fill a book would be difficult indeed. For the foreseeable future, the occasional article or blog with turn up something – just as I have new, never-before published testimonies from those who knew Bundy in all three of my books. But outside of that, I don’t expect very much to come forth. Maybe i’m wrong, but we’ll see.

      Oh, and one more thing: If Bill Hagmaier ever writes that book we talked about once, I’ll be the first in line to get it lol!

      Take care!

      1. markb says:

        Man, i hope Hagmaier does write a book! and i would like to hear something from diana weiner.

        those are two people with very unique POV’s.

        1. Kevin Sullivan says:

          Between the two, I’d rather see Hagmaier write his book.

          1. CoreyR says:

            Agreed. All Weiner does is perpetuate the Ted mythology. Of all the women attracted to Ted in their weird way, she’s by far the most irresponsible and unethical. In the position she held and the power she wielded, she should have had her head screwed on and not given into his charms. She’s part of the minority that excuses what he did.

          2. Kevin Sullivan says:

            Yes, I’ve heard the stories directly from the investigators who dealt with her, and they are eyebrow raising lol! Of course, I never put any of these things into print.

            I do find it interesting that Bundy left everything to her after his execution, and yet, Bob Keppel ended up with most if not ll of it. I can’t recall now all the particulars of that situation.

      2. CoreyR says:

        Writing anything of substance about Bundy’s victims is impossible – thy were all taken long before they’d really achieved anything in life – how much can you write about someone from the ages of 12 to 26? It’s a sad truth, but true nonetheless.

    2. markb says:

      i agree that there ought to be more said about the young women victimized by TB, but there just isn’t much way to do more than has already been done. as a writer working on a TB project, i would love to say more about them, but the only way that i can think of would be to try to talk to families and people who knew them. And i am not willing to bother those people. they are sick, i’m sure, of anything pertaining to TB.

      the only thing i’ve thought of is to try to intelligently speculate on the lives they might have lived. i have also written some about the times in which they lived, that aftermath of the 60’s that was still in the air in the early 70’s.

    3. Meaghan says:

      I agree that famous murderers’ victims are often overlooked and it’s a crying shame.

      I saw a wonderful article on the 50th anniversary of Richard Speck’s mass murder of those nurses, and it was all about the nurses’ lives instead of their deaths and Richard Speck’s actions.

      The reporter found old photos of them and interviewed family members and presented each person, a promising young woman, a life snuffed out, and it was really beautiful. The article really did a great job but the victims’ families shouldn’t have had to wait 50 years for it.

  25. Kevin Sullivan says:

    For those of you who missed this…

  26. CoreyR says:

    It never ceases to amaze me just how many places he got to. He went EVERYWHERE.

    1. Kevin Sullivan says:

      Yes, he was quite the road-killer. Very mobile.

  27. Kevin Sullivan says:

    Here’s a new Bundy video I shot while in Jacksonville, FL

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