Tuesday, March 3, 2020

HOW MANY DID TED BUNDY KILL? PART ONE

               RESEARCH ON THE ORIGINS OF ALL                             FIGURES ASSOCIATED WITH BUNDY

      It's a question law enforcement, the media, true crime researchers, and the casually curious ask about most serial killers: How many did he/she kill?   Though the most infamous serial killers have acquired notoriety from a combination of factors, such as the nature of their crimes and press coverage, rather than solely from their victim count, the question is still a popular one.  Establishing the productivity of a killer contributes to their legacy and their mystique, and evokes comparison to other, similar offenders.  With Ted Bundy, who maintained evasiveness of murder estimates attributed to him throughout the years (including his final days), we have several references important to the discussion of his sum total.  Those references, familiar to Bundy case experts, are presented here, along with additional details and discoveries, which have been highlighted in red.  (Pardon the difficulty I'm experiencing in getting formatting to seamlessly transfer from the web version to cell phone viewing.)

                                                       

                                                        "36"

      The first number associated with Bundy is 36 murders.  According to Dick Larsen's book, this figure was first released by the FBI when they placed Bundy on their Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List and announced he was being sought for questioning in 36 sex slayings.  As explained by spokesman and chief agent John Reed of the Seattle FBI office on February 10, 1978, during a press conference, The FBI received that information from local police jurisdictions in the Western states.  The FBI had gotten involved in the Bundy case at the request of various LEOs when Bundy became an interstate fugitive forty-three days earlier. - Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger
      Further background provided by Ann Rule in The Stranger Beside Me diminishes 36, however: The FBI figure had included several unsolved cases pulled in from left field, including some in northern California - cases that the detectives who'd dogged his trail didn't believe had strong links to Ted.
     
      In 1991, serial killer Gerard Schaefer, whose span of murders lasted from 1969-1973, gave an interview from Florida State Prison, and referenced the victim count of 36 attributed to Bundy.  He claimed that Bundy, who had been incarcerated on death row with Schaefer, admitted to him that Schaefer's murders were an inspiration to him, and that, wanting to be "the best," Bundy was compelled to trump Schaefer's alleged number of 34.  Concerned that Schaefer's victims included ones undiscovered and unaccounted for, Bundy aimed for 36 to ensure he bested Schaefer.  (The statements of Schaefer, who claimed Bundy exclusively disclosed to him other details from his murders that no Bundy professionals were ever privy to, should be viewed through the lens of skepticism.)

      The number 36 was frequently associated with Bundy until his final confessions in 1989.  A problem of inaccuracy was overlooked, however: the FBI estimate did not include Bundy's 3 Florida murders, only homicides compiled from Bundy's activity in the western United States.  
     

                                     "THREE DIGITS" AND "100"

      The next figure linked with Bundy involves various connotations of the word "digit."  The reference to Bundy's victim count possibly equaling numbers in the three digits transpired during his Pensacola/Tallahassee interrogations by Chapman, Patchen, and Bodiford.  Norm Chapman introduced this conversation while testifying in a suppression hearing during the Chi Omega trial, but due to a faulty recording device used during the interrogations, did not play the source tape. Instead, Chapman testified only in outline to the content of the tape, which has resulted in multiple translations of the incident.  (Note: Other intact recordings were played in court, some interview transcripts read, and still more discussions - those captured by a hidden, backup surveillance bug when Bundy requested the main recorder be turned off - were summarized, because of the bug tape failure.  All interrogations were ultimately ruled inadmissible.)  Here are those varying reports (1.a-c):

1.) a)  From Winn & Merrill's Ted Bundy: The Killer Next Door (1979), dialogue between Pensacola P.D. Detective Norm Chapman and Bundy, in which "murders" are euphemistically referred to as "problems":

      "Ted, I'm fixin' to leave, [...].  I just want to know, you know, how big a case I've been working on.  I just want to know how many problems you have, or how many times you have been involved in this problem?" 
      "I can't tell you."
      "Ted, are we talking about two-digit figures or three-digit figures?"
      "We're talking about three-digit figures."
      "Are we talking about more than a hundred or less than two hundred?"
      "I'm not answering any more questions."

1.) b)  From Richard W. Larsen's Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger (1980):

      Again the surveillance tape recorder, operated by [Leon County Sheriff's Office Chief of Detectives Captain Jack] Poitinger, had failed during an intriguing question-answer session the detectives had one night with Bundy in the Tallahassee jail.
      The detectives asked about the FBI reference to thirty-six unsolved cases of murder. 
      "We asked him . . . if that was an accurate figure, as far as he knew," Poitinger said later.  "And he said the figure 'probably would be more correct in three digits.' " That would remain, perhaps forever, an enigmatic, disputable version of what really was said and meant.  ("Ted was just playing with them," John Henry Browne, the Seattle lawyer, said later.)

      Ironic statement from Browne who, decades later in 2016, would write his own book (The Devil's Defender: My Odyssey Through American Criminal Justice from Ted Bundy to the Kandahar Massacre) about his role as Bundy's Seattle public defender and make numerous media appearances claiming Bundy had also confided to him that he'd killed 100 people.

1.) c)  From Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me (1980):

      According to the FBI information and several reporters who were deluging the Pensacola detectives with calls, they had caught a man suspected of thirty-six murders, a figure they found hard to believe.
      When Chapman asked him about that during the post-taping conversation, Ted had reportedly replied, "Add one digit to that and you'll have it."
      What had he meant?  Was he being sarcastic?  Did he mean thirty-seven murders?  Or, no, it couldn't be . . . did he mean a hundred or more murders?

      Of Norm Chapman's incident summary and Bundy's alleged statement, Rule wrote, One must decide whether to believe police detectives or Ted Bundy as to their authenticity.  I have been unable to substantiate through other sources if "add one digit and you'll have it" were indeed the words Chapman used during his testimony.  (If anyone has access to the 15,000-page Chi Omega trial transcripts and can hunt through the Friday, July 6, 1979, proceedings, or if depositions in which similar testimony was recorded are available, this question could be answered.)
      In the 1986 updated edition of her book containing a new chapter, Rule continued to speculate on Bundy's cryptic admission, Had there really been [....] - a hundred and thirty-six victims, or, God help us, three hundred and sixty victims?  Or had it been, for Ted, a game to play with his interrogators in Pensacola?

2.)  It's possible the incident in question has been misreported in all the above accounts.  The 1978 Pensacola interrogation transcripts, as made available in The Ted Bundy Research Group on Facebook, offer an alternative version and contradict the notions that Bundy himself introduced three-digit figures and that it occurred off-tape.  In fact, the dialogue reveals, rather, that the investigators were the ones convinced of and pushing the three-digit narrative.  What follows is an isolation and abridgement of a February 22, 1978, recorded interview segment pertaining to Bundy's total murder victim count.  While a separate, similar conversation certainly might have taken place off the record, as Chapman testified to, it is also possible that both Chapman and Patchen (who preceded Chapman on the witness stand) highlighted key points from the entirety of their February 15-22, 1978, interrogations of Bundy, not limiting their testimony merely to the few, individual interview dates presented in court.  (The Winn & Merrill account matches most closely to the transcript, suggesting that either the authors and/or Chapman may have even referenced the transcript . . . and that no such separate conversation about three digits transpired.)
      Discussion regarding homicide quantity is covered on these numbered pages of the transcript: pgs. 177-202 (end of transcript); specifically, pgs. 177-184, pg. 187, pgs. 190-192, pgs. 197-199, and pg. 202.  (If you are following along via the PDF, the pages break down as follows: pgs. 337-362 [end of transcript]; specifically, pgs. 337-344, pg. 347, pgs. 350-352, pgs. 357-359, and pg. 362.)

pgs. 177-178 of the transcript/pgs. 337-338 of the PDF:
Chapman: [....] If a person was to estimate, this is something I've not even told you, Ted, I want, if you want us to get up and walk out of this room and never see you again it [sic] that's all you've got to say.  And I want you to answer one question before I go.  [....] And it is certainly not anything that would incriminate you in any way.  But I want to know for myself the magnitude of what we are handling.  If a person, general speaking, was interested in about how many [fantasies] that you had, where the act officially took place or the act did take place or how ever you want to call it was completed all the way around, how many _____?  Give or take any number you want.  [....] Tell me the magnitude of this case is, Ted, I have got to know.  You have alluded to it many times.  [....] There is nothing that could be used in court, certainly the paper says 37.  Who gives a shit.
[....]
Chapman: [....] And you were gonna tell me.
Bundy: I don't know.
pgs. 181-182 transcript/pgs. 341-342 PDF:
Chapman: [....] There people speculate that you, that you had 37 of these fantisys [sic] and bullshit.  You, yourself have told us _______ that that's not even scratching the top.  [....]
Bundy: I should not have said that - - - I - not an accurate figure.
[....]
[Tallahassee P.D. Detective Don] Patchen: Before it's over, will you give it to us?
Bundy: You gis [sic] will known [sic].  It will be known.
Patchen: When, Ted?
Bundy: I don't know.  Maybe it will not be known.
pgs. 190-191 transcript/pgs. 350-351 PDF:
Chapman: [....] Give us a more or less.  Just so we're in the ballpark, are we dealing with two digit numbers or three digit numbers [....]
Patchen: You said you gone tell us.  [....]
[....]
Chapman: [....] Two digits or three digits?  Come on.  Tell us, Ted.  It is obviously a three digit number.  Obviously.  That's what we have felt all along.  You told us all along it was a three digit number.  It's a three digit number, isn't it, Ted?  A simple yes or no.
Bundy: Ah, I'll just go back to my cell, I guess.
Chapman: [....] It's worth my time to stay here [in Tallahassee] and work one more night for a three digit number [....]
pgs. 197-199 transcript/pgs. 357-359 PDF:
Chapman: [...] Ted, tell me.  It's a three digit number.  (Pause)  It's not a three digit number?  Yes, it is a three digit number.  Yes - - you - - Ted, you just told us it was a three digit number True.  We're going with a three digit number.  You know it's a three digit number, Ted.  Sure, it's a three digit number[....] it's not that hard to realize that it was a three digit number.  And when you told me a three digit number, you (confirmed) [...].  We know it's over a hundred.  We know for a fact, by your admission, there's **(53) bodies that've never been found.  At least.  At least fifty three bodies that've never been found.  I knew I was dealing with something like this from day one.  I knew it.  I don't (doubt) there's many, many more than that.  How many more are there, Ted?  Huh?
Bundy: ________
Chapman: That's enough to make you stagger.  [....]
[....]
Chapman: For me staying here tonight and finding out that one thing.  That one thing is worth the whole trip.
**Note: Nowhere in the transcript does Bundy himself pitch the number 53 that Chapman mentions here.  Chapman miscalculated that, if there were at least 100 victims attributable to Bundy, 37 of which had already been speculated by the FBI, that 53 still remained; however, by this logic and math, Chapman meant to say 63
pg. 202 transcript/pg. 362 PDF:
[Leon County Sheriff's Office Detective Steve] Bodiford: 100 plus, was that the truth?
Bundy: I didn't _____

3.)  That which was unspoken by Bundy on pg. 197 of the transcript/pg. 357 of the PDF during Chapman's statements (as highlighted above in red) was explained by Bundy a few years later in his interviews with Hugh Aynesworth, as transcribed in Michaud & Aynesworth's Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer (2000):

HA: How many people would this man kill?  How many would you guess?  Don't look at me that way.  One digit or two?  I'll hold up my fingers.  I'll play (Norman) Chapman [...].  He even got three, didn't he?
TB: Well, he got to three.  I was waiting until he got to four before I nodded.
HA: Did you nod at three?
TB: I nodded three.  I thought that was outrageous enough.  Uh, no, uh... what's the digit?  Oh, it's... I don't know (sighs, pauses), uh...    
   
      The Michaud/Aynesworth coverage exposes that the convolution of the three-digit admission lore likely originated from a mere affirmative nod by Bundy during the Pensacola interrogations. 
     
4.)  Bundy continued to dismiss the theory of 100+ victims when privately questioned by Polly Nelson in 1988, as described in her book Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer (1994):

      [...] when I asked him about reports that he had killed over one hundred people, he actually chuckled and shook his head at the naivete of nonmurderers: "They have no idea what it takes to do one, what it takes out of you."
      Nelson goes on to give us yet another collective figure proposed and linked to Bundy: I asked him if the figure of thirty-five, which I'd seen in other accounts, was correct.  He paused, stared at me, and scanned his censor to decide whether to admit to such a detail [...].
      He finally nodded and mumbled, "Yes."

5.)  It's hard to know when the number of 100 first started getting tossed around, but it very likely was derived from the discussion of three digits.  Otherwise, why not a more precise figure, like 76, or 93?  Besides the other sources (like John Henry Browne) noted above, King County Detective cum Washington State Attorney General's Office Chief Criminal Investigator Bob Keppel has also ascribed to and perpetuated the notion of a three-digit kill count, expressing in several 1989 media appearances, "My feeling is [Bundy] has killed way over 100," though he doesn't make mention of this theory in his book.

                                                        

                                                         "30"

      Lastly, we have the official number of 30, as amassed during Bundy's January 1989 pre-execution confessions to investigators and finalized by the March 1989 Multi-Agency Investigative Team Conference, which was attended by all lead law enforcement officials involved in Bundy's multi-state homicides, as well as FBI specialists.  The findings of this conference were published in the 1992 Multi-Agency Investigative Team Report, available throughout the Bundy social media community.  The comprehensive list of Bundy's victims is outlined on pg. 12 of the Report/pg. 14 of the PDF.  Here is a duplication of that list:

      Homicides To Which Bundy Confessed To:
      California:  Confessed To 1 Homicide Case,  Never Identified

      Colorado:
      Caryn Campbell  1-12-75---Located
      Julie Cunningham  3-15-75
      Denise Oliverson  4-6-75

      Florida:
      Margaret Bowman  1-15-78---Located
      Lisa Levy  1-15-78---Located
      Kimberly Leach  2-9-78---Located

      Idaho:
      Unknown Hitchhiker  Early September 1974  [*]
      Lynette [sic] Culver  5-6-75---Based On Bundy's Description Of Victim

      Oregon:
      Confessed To Two Homicides, Only One Identified
      Roberta Parks  5-6-74---**

      Utah: Confessed To Eight Homicides, Only Five Identified
      Nancy Wilcox  1-2-74
      Melissa Smith  10-18-74---Located
      Laura Aime  10-31-74---Located
      Debra Kent  11-8-74
      Susan Curtis  6-27-75

      Washington: Confessed To Eleven Homicide Cases, Only Eight 
      Identified
      Lynda Healy  1-31-74---Located
      Donna Manson  3-12-74
      Susan Rancourt  4-17-74---Located
      Roberta Parks  5-6-74---**
      Brenda Ball  6-1-74---Located
      Georgeann Hawkins  6-12-74
      Janice Ott  7-14-74---Located
      Denise Naslund  7-14-74---Located

      ** Abducted From Oregon,  Located In Washington

[* Update: Based on information provided during Bundy's interview with Idaho investigators, as well as his gas receipts, this date was determined as 9-2-74.  Though this date is not noted in the above victim list, the Multi-Agency Investigative Team Report does recognize the Idaho hitchhiker murder in its timeline of Bundy's recorded activities.]

      So, according to the Report, the equation is:
      CA (1) + CO (3) + FL (3) + ID (2) + OR (2) + UT (8) + WA (11) = 30
      However, there is a major error in the calculation: Roberta Kathleen "Kathy" Parks is counted twice, both in the Oregon and Washington lists!  History has attributed 30 murders to Bundy based on a miscalculation of what amounts to 29 victims.  Bundy did confess to having killed 2 in Oregon, but it was never clarified whether he was including Parks in his own Oregon vs. Washington sums, nor was the disparity addressed by him or investigators.
      There are further problems with the victim list, which are developed within the provided context of some of Bundy's final interviews with authorities.  (Excluded are his conversations with Colorado and Idaho, as the cases attributed to Bundy in those states are not disputed.)

1.)  Washington State.  The following passages taken from pgs. 430-437 of Robert D. Keppel, Ph.D.'s The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer (1995), detail the introduction of the number 11 during Bundy and Keppel's Friday, January 20, 1989, debriefing:

pgs. 430-431:
      [.... Keppel:] “Just so I can get an idea about timing as far as in the next hour, can we get some sort of feeling, if you can’t remember names, maybe timing or events or something that will give me an idea of how many people we need to talk about, so I can get an idea of the scope?" 
      Obligingly, Ted said, "Uh huh.  Let’s see.  Yeah.  In Washington?" 
      "Right." 
      "Yeah." 
      "We’ve got the one from Oregon up there, and that’s our case too." 
      "Well, let’s see. I think it’s—I think it’ll be eleven." 
      Shocked at Ted’s answer, I wanted clarification. "Eleven altogether?" 
      "Yeah."
      [....]
      "Give me an idea of which ones you’re talking about." 
      [....] The original number of Ted cases known to law enforcement authorities was 8, not 11 as Ted had just announced.  [....]
      He nervously continued, "Well, I could—give you probably most of the names, or some names and some locations."
      "All right." I eagerly awaited the information. 
pg. 432:
      Keppel: "[....] So I know about those eight.  And you’re talking about three others.  How far back in time?  You got January seventy-four through July of seventy-four.  Are there more within that time frame that I don’t know about in the state of Washington?" 
      "Yes, there are," Ted proclaimed.  [....]
pgs. 436-437:
      Keppel: "Okay, ’cause the order of things are kind of like Healy, Manson, Rancourt, Ball, Hawkins, Ott, and Naslund.  That’s eight [counting Sparks].  Plus Parks is nine.  Are you counting her [Sparks] as one of your eleven?” 
      “No.  No.  She’s not in that.  See, I didn’t—that’s not one.  No,” Ted exclaimed, leaving the living victim out of his count.
      “So now you’re talking about probably three others that I am not familiar with?” I asked [...].
      “Yup.  Yeah,” Ted said with assurance. 
      “Are they in King County jurisdiction?” I asked, attempting to narrow the scope. 
      “Well, let’s see.  Ummm . . . one is and the others aren’t.  That’s the way it is.  Yeah,” he said [...].

      The Bundy-Keppel interview resumed on Sunday, January 22, 1989 (following Bundy's interview with Utah Detective Dennis Couch, which is covered below), and the subject of numbers picked up again, per pgs. 443-446 of the book.  The proceeding passages invalidate the total of 11 victims associated with Washington State:

pgs. 443-444:
      [....] Since Ted had broached the subject previously, I wanted him to focus on the three Ted murders I didn’t know about, so I said, "Okay, you mentioned the eight before and you gave me three more.  And I don’t know what three you’re talking about.  Can you help me a little bit with those?"            
      "Which three?  I was trying to figure that out myself," answered Ted, honestly trying to remember.       
      "And what did you come up with?" I asked.
      "This is what I came up with.  It was an earlier one.  Nineteen seventy-three," Ted admitted.
      Bundy outlined the murder of an unidentified, undiscovered Tumwater, WA hitchhiker.
pg. 446:
      [....] He tried to explain his mix-up with the number of Washington victims.  "Okay, the other two I don’t know, Bob.  I was thinking about it.  You know, you threw out a number and I think what happened is a number lodged in my head, and you said eight.  I thought eleven.  You know, we didn’t sit down and say, okay, one is --------, two is -------, three is ---------, four is . . ." Ted complained. Funny, he wouldn’t previously talk about numbers, and now that’s what he was complaining about. [....] "For some reason I’d been thinking—I hadn’t really stopped myself and for some reason I was thinking the number in Washington was eleven.  I don’t know how many individuals," Ted finally said.  Even though the transcripts and tape were made available to the FBI and the news media, everyone still says that Ted admitted to murdering 11 in Washington State, but in reality, he withdrew his estimate.  He claimed not to remember how many individuals he had killed.  He withdrew his estimate of 11 because he and I both knew that he had murdered a lot more women in Washington state than 11.  (Keppel's last sentence is debatable.)

      The Tumwater hitchhiker was the last Washington victim Bundy could account for in this final interview with Keppel (having already denied his involvement in other murders Keppel had specifically questioned him about two days earlier, on Friday), which should have brought the state's total to 9, not 11.   

2.)  Utah.  The victims attributed to Bundy in Utah via the Multi-Agency Investigative Team Report totals 8.  Below is the portion of Bundy's Sunday, January 22, 1989, interview addressing Utah numbers, transcribed from the YouTube video "Ted Bundy Interview Utah Confession Full, Remastered" on Peter Masterson's channel.  It should be noted that Salt Lake County Sheriff's Department Detective Dennis Couch approached the interview with knowledge of 5 Utah cases (2 confirmed homicides, 3 suspected homicides) and was primarily concerned with discussing those of the 5 in which girls were still missing, one of whom was Nancy Baird.  However, due to Bundy's denial to Couch of any culpability in the Baird murder, the final Utah victim list per the Multi-Agency Investigative Team Report excluded Baird, but instead included Susan Curtis, whom Bundy confessed to killing two days later on the morning of his execution.  Utah authorities had not connected Bundy to the disappearance of Susan Curtis until his confession, and she was not discussed during the Couch interview.

1:02:30
Couch: That's my first and foremost reason for being here, for those three girls [Kent, Wilcox, and Baird] that're missing and....
Bundy: And some more.
Couch: From Utah?
Bundy: Yeah.
1:24:05
Couch: How many in Utah are we talking about?
Bundy: I'm trying to count.... We talked about.... Did we talk about that?
Couch: No.... mm-mm.  I mean, I mentioned a figure and you said it was more than that.
Bundy: That was.... yeah.... that's what I felt like, it was more.
Hagmaier: [indiscernible question]
Couch: Five.
Bundy: Yeah.
Couch: Well, I mentioned the fact there was three missing and you said it was more than that.
Bundy: Oh yeah.
Couch: How many more?
Bundy: Two.
Couch: Anything about those two you could tell me?
Bundy: One was a teenage girl.  I don't remember her name.  I don't know who it was.  It could've been one of these [girls in the photos], but I don't know which one she was.  No, I don't think it was.  I don't know the name.  [indiscernible]  
Couch: Would you like to talk to me again if we have any more time between now and....
Bundy: Well, yeah, we need to talk again if we have time.  Maybe get some better maps, if you can.  And I need some sleep, my mind is just, uh....
[....]
Bundy: I'm not bullshitting you about.... my mind.... after a few of these, my mind just seizes up.  I just can't say anymore, in some way.  [....]

      By the 1:24:05 marker in the interview, Bundy was fading rapidly, not nearly as alert or lucid, and taking much longer pauses between answers.  He had also seemingly fallen asleep for several minutes prior and had begun confusing the victims' names and murders.  Is it possible Bundy was not intentionally being vague, but rather that he was confusing the number of girls still missing (5) with his total Utah homicides?  Significantly, the conversation (albeit, imprecise and ambiguous) reveals that Bundy stated 2 more unidentified were missing in addition to the presumed 3; that accounts for 5 missing.  Adding Smith and Aime, whose bodies had been previously discovered, and the Utah murders would total 7, not 8.
      However, the official total for Utah was not determined from the Couch interview; indeed, Bundy acknowledged responsibility to Couch for only Kent and Wilcox.  Rather, Salt Lake County Sheriff Pete Hayward clarified at a January 24, 1989, press conference that Bundy, subsequent to his interview with Couch, 
       made a comment to one of the other investigators [likely Hagmaier] that there were eight homicides here in the state of Utah.  We do not not know who those other four victims [in addition to Wilcox, Kent, Smith, and Aime] might be.  [....] We did this morning receive information just prior to the execution that Bundy had given the name, uh, the location of a fifth victim [Susan Curtis] to the investigator from the Governor's Office in Florida, and they are forwarding that up to us immediately.
(The video "Ted Bundy Execution Press Conference with SLCSD Sheriff, Pete Hayward (1-25-89)" [misdated] is available courtesy of Captain Borax's YouTube channel.)

3.)  Following his Sunday night, January 22, 1989, interrogations with Couch and Keppel, a mentally fatigued Bundy then confirmed the number of 30 homicides during his next interview with FBI Special Agent Bill Hagmaier.  This was to be his final conversation with law enforcement, his execution taking place two days later.  The portion of that interview with Bundy's reference to 30 has been transcribed below from the audio recording provided by Richard A. Duffus, which is available for listening on Duffus's DarksiderPress.com website, under "Hagmaier/Bundy Interviews," as "Tape 9 (1989)".
 
Hagmaier: Just for sake of giving the scope of your involvement and your obvious expertise in speaking from your own experiences and obviously those of others who have shared secrets, if I can use that term, with you.... you've been involved in.... we talked about this a few months earlier....  how many homicides?
Bundy: Well.... we went over this a little bit earlier.... and, uh.... oh, we came up with thirty.  I mean, we added that up.... It's late at night, like you said, but I think that's a fairly close figure.  
Hagmaier: Okay.  Without trying to pick your brain too much and under the duress that you've been in, your obvious circumstance and the late hour, would you just try to summarize what states they were in and what periods of time, before we can move into more academic things?
Bundy: Well.... I just really will summarize it, uh.... California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Florida, between nineteen seventy-three and nineteen seventy-eight.

      Bill Hagmaier, who attended all of Bundy's pre-execution interviews with investigators, was responsible for itemizing and compiling the victim count throughout Bundy's final weekend.  He undoubtedly referenced his notes in his last meeting with Bundy to refresh Bundy's waning memory of his own statements about numbers, and they jointly arrived at the tally of 30.  But in examining the three interviews with Keppel, Couch, and Hagmaier, we can deduce that Bundy's recollections are controvertible.  Described by both Keppel and Couch as exhausted, Bundy waffled with his answers, offered no basis for some of the extra victims he introduced other than "I was thinking/I felt like it was more," and eventually conceded that he just didn't know.  Perhaps Bundy provided more conclusive, less confused information to Hagmaier that affirmed some of these tallies, and researchers are not privy to such information; but he still could qualify 30 only as "a fairly close figure."  These circumstances must be considered when determining acceptance of the victim count officially and historically assigned to Ted Bundy as 30.

4.)  Though the Report does not recognize the mathematical error/oversight of what should be 29 rather than 30 victims, nor the Washington State discrepancy of 11 vs. 8 (or, 9), it does acknowledge: Of the homicides examined at the BUNDY Multi-Agency Investigative Team Conference, BUNDY claims responsibility for thirty.  As a result of information provided by BUNDY and an independent verification of that information by investigators, it was possible to associate BUNDY with twenty cases.  And, indeed, only 20 victims are identified in the Report.  (Note: though Parks is counted twice in the total of 30, she is only counted once in the 20 identified.)
      Adding to the base number of 20 confirmed homicides attributed to Bundy are only other cases which he discussed during his final weekend: the Idaho hitchhiker and the Tumwater, WA hitchhiker.  These 2 are excluded from the 20 since neither Bundy nor law enforcement could identify the victims.  Bundy provided no information on the remaining 7 cases (remember, Parks was counted twice, so the total is 29, not 30).  Hypothetically subtracting Parks from the Washington total, rather than the Oregon total, those undisclosed break down as: CA (1), OR (1), UT (3), WA (2).   If we discount all the undisclosed ones, the victim total is now at 22.  Including both the unnamed CA and OR cases, which are the most likely of the unconfirmed ones to have some recall validity due to Bundy's lower estimates in those states, the victim total stands at 24.
      (To clarify, the WA list would be: the Tumwater hitchhiker, Healy, Manson, Rancourt, Ball, Hawkins, Ott, Naslund = 8.  Earlier, I had noted that the recounting of Washington based on Bundy's final conversation with Keppel should be 9 [not 11], but that's because Parks was included by both Bundy and Keppel.  Without her, the WA total of victims Bundy accounted for would be 8, including the Tumwater hitchhiker, plus 2 undisclosed = 10.)

      Continuing the theme of dismantling the victim count, Part II of this article will theorize that murders attributed to Bundy, even at the admitted-to 30, are generally estimated too numerously.  As the goal of this research project is to present the most accurate information possible, I welcome all corrections and constructive criticism.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

LAKE SAMMAMISH TIMELINE AND EVENT SUMMARY

      What follows is an accessible guide to the estimated time table of key events on Sunday, July 14, 1974, and the women Ted Bundy approached that day at Lake Sammamish State Park.  Most of the times given should be accepted as approximations, as lakegoers generally don't pay close attention to time on a leisurely summer Sunday.  The primary source for this research are the individual eye-witness statements given to police.  Note: In each of the eye-witness accounts, which are briefly summarized (sans the various suspect descriptions), Bundy was always observed as wearing an arm sling, which was part of the ruse he employed that day to lure unsuspecting women into his car.  He requested assistance from at least six women at Lake Sammamish (possibly seven, counting an unidentified girl who has not been previously reported in Bundy biographies); the two who obliged lost their lives.

      The names of those who interacted with Bundy at the park are in blue, bold print; observers are in bold red; the deceased in bold purple; friends/family of the deceased or Bundy appear in bold green.  Though Bundy was not known to any of the parkgoers, he is identified in this timeline as "Ted" during those events authorities and history attribute to him, rather than "the man" or "the suspect" per police reports of 1974.  The whole of the witness statements in the Lake Sammamish Files suggests at least one other man fitting Bundy's description was also at the lake that day with his arm in a sling and possibly a cast; not all of those statements have been included in this article, but with those that have, the individual of interest is referred to as "the man" since identification is not confirmed as Bundy.  (I have attempted to provide thorough information and analysis, but acknowledge that reading the voluminous 590-page Lake Sam Files PDF is an ongoing process; if I have overlooked important content that could enhance this piece, please notify me.)

                                                 TIMELINE


That morning (per The Phantom Prince): Ted drops by Liz Kloepfer's apartment as she's preparing for church and asks her plans for the day.  He insists on knowing which beach she will be visiting; she decides on Carkeek Park.

After 11:30 A.M.: Janice Graham arrives at Lake Sammamish State Park.

12:00 P.M.: Renee Schoenhals observes a white male with his arm in a sling talking with a motorcycle group.  Schoenhals and her family are sitting behind the concession stand near the restrooms, fifty feet away from the motorcycle gang and the man.  Twice during the next twenty-five minutes, the man walks away and returns.

12:00-12:15 P.M.: Janice Ott arrives at the park riding her yellow, ten-speed, girls model Tiger bicycle.  Her arrival on the beach is observed by DEA Agent Jerry Snyder, 15 year-old Sylvia Valint (now Sylvia Meixner), and housewife Theresa Sharpe, who were all lounging nearby on the beach, separately.  Ott's location on the beach is described as "100 yards from the Rainier Brewing Company function," "200 yards directly in front of the east restroom," "very close to the water," and  "between the two lifeguards, in front of the floating dock".  Each witness later positively identified Ott from a photo.

12:20 P.M.: Janice Graham, 22 years old, is approached by Ted as she lingers at the bandstand.  They exchange hellos, and Graham moves away slightly.  Ted asks if she'll help him for a minute.  He explains he is waiting for friends but can't find them, and wants to load his sailboat on his car. Graham agrees to help.  During their walk to his car, Ted is chatty and asks some friendly, conversational questions of her, explains he injured his arm (which is in a sling, no cast) playing racquetball, and stops many times to hold his hurting arm against his body.  At the car - which Graham observes as a newish-looking, metallic brown VW Bug parked in the lot between the bandstand and restrooms - Graham notices there is no sailboat and no trailer on the car.  Ted explains, "It's at my folks' house; it is just up the hill."  Graham declines to accompany him further, as she is meeting her parents and husband at the park.  She inquires the time, and he responds, "12:20."  Graham tells him she is already late to meet her family at 12:15.  Ted breezily replies, "Oh, that's okay.  I should have told you it wasn't in the parking lot," and thanks her.   He walks her halfway back up toward the park, apologizes, and politely thanks her again.  They part ways, with Ted turning right toward the bandstand, and Graham going left to the concession stand.

12:30 (per Sharpe, who regularly checks her watch): Janice Ott, 23 years old, is approached by Ted as she is lying on the beach.  The five- to ten-minute conversation between Ted and Janice - as overheard by, pieced together, and paraphrased from the statements of primarily Sylvia Valint and Theresa Sharpe, with Jerry Snyder also observing the interaction) - goes as follows:

Ted: Excuse me, could you help me put my sailboat onto my car?  I can't do it by myself because I broke my arm.
Janice: Well, sit down.  Let's talk about it.
[Ted sits down on the beach.]
Janice: Where's the boat?
Ted: It's up at my parents' house in Issaquah.
Janice: Oh, really.  I live up in Issaquah.  Well, OK.
Janice: Can I bring my bike with me?
Ted: Sure, okay.
Janice: My name's Jan.
Ted: I'm Ted.
Janice: I don't know how to sail.
Ted: It will be easy for me to teach you.
Janice: Is there room in the car for my bike?
Ted: It will fit in the trunk.
(Janice pulls her other clothes over her bikini and gathers her knapsack.)
Janice: Under one condition: that I get a ride in the sailboat.
Ted: My car is in the parking lot.
Janice: Well, I get to meet your parents then.
Ted: Who do you know in Issaquah?

12:30: Janice Graham, at the concession stand eating a snow cone, observes who was later identified as Janice Ott pushing her bicycle while accompanying Ted to the parking lot.  At 12:45,
Janice Graham meets up with her parents.

1:00 (per Battemaor 1:30 (per Little and Sargent): Denise Naslund, 18 years old, arrives at the park with boyfriend Kenneth Little, their dog, and their friends, another couple Robert Sargent and Nancy Battema.  The group choose a grassy picnic spot in "the main picnic area [...] halfway between the bathroom and the Rainier bandstand," "two hundred feet in front of the restroom near the end of the parking area."

1:00 (per Little), "en route to the park" (per Sargent), or "at the park" (per Battema): Denise Naslund consumes four valium, five milligrams each.  (She also consumes some alcohol throughout the day and part of a marijuana joint.)

3:00: Patricia Turner arrives at the park with her boyfriend and another couple.


3:00: Renee Schoenhals again notices the man with his arm in a sling, this time while she is walking towards the kite flier.  They meet each other on a path and he is about a foot from her. [see Bonus Material]; [see Notes]

3:00 or 4:00 (per Stewart) / 3:00-3:30 (per Culbertson): Tammie Stewart and Patrick Culbertson, a couple who are on the grass together by the concession stand, observe a white male with a sling on his arm walking around them for ten minutes.  An unidentified girl, described as wearing blue jean cut-offs, a bikini top, and white earrings with her light brown hair in a shag cut, sits or lies down on the grass four to five feet away from Stewart and Culbertson.  The man stares at both Tammie, who is also lying down, and the unidentified girl as he circles the area.  The unidentified girl is approached by the man, who kneels down and spends about fifteen minutes (per Stewart)/three minutes (per Culbertson) talking to her, inaudibly.  When Culbertson next notices the man five minutes later, the unidentified girl is gone and he doesn't see the man again.  [Note: It is unclear by Culbertson's statement if he meant the man was also gone at this point.]  Stewart later reported the girl was neither Ott nor Naslund.  [see Bonus Material]

3:30 or 4:00 (which is erroneous timing): Betty Barry (a Seattle Police employee) observes Denise Naslund inside and leaving the ladies' restroom, exiting and talking with another, unknown girl.  Barry later positively identified Naslund.

4:00: Sindi Siebenbaum, 16 years old, is approached by Ted one hundred yards from the restrooms as she's returning to her friends.  He walks toward her and says, "Excuse me, young lady, could you help me launch my sailboat?"  In the course of a five- to ten-minute conversation, Ted, who appears nervous, speaks rapidly, and gestures with his hand, explains he sprained his arm and can't find anyone to help him.  Siebenbaum declines his request, as she has people waiting.  Ted tells her the sailboat is up on the beach (but appears to mean up towards the restrooms) and that it will only take a few minutes.  Siebenbaum again refuses, but Ted persists, tugging on Siebenbaum's arm [per the Files document "Summary of Events July 14 to September 7"].  She finally departs and sees him walking toward the restrooms.

4:00: Denise Naslund falls asleep on the beach.  At the same time, her friend Bog Sargent returns to the group with concessions, and her boyfriend Ken Little wakes Naslund up.  Little then dozes off at 4:15.

4:00: Janice Ott's husband Jim Ott, attending medical school in Riverside, CA, begins calling his wife at her apartment, unable to reach her [per Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me].

4:00-4:05: Jacqueline Plischke arrives at the park on her bicycle and notices Ted looking at her.

4:00-4:30: Jacqueline Craven goes to the women's restroom and, while waiting for her adult daughter, observes a man with his arm in a sling walking back and forth in front of the restroom.  She and her daughter leave the restroom area about 4:30; she didn't recall if the man was still there.  (Craven's time span at Lake Sammamish with her family: 3:30-4:45.)  [see Bonus Material]

4:15: Patricia Turner, 18 years old, notices Ted heading toward her and following as she is walking alone on the sidewalk from the beach toward the concession stand.  He approaches her and says, "I need to ask a really big favor of you.  You can see I'm not very useful of my hand, would you please help me launch my sailboat?  I normally wouldn't ask this favor, but my brother is busy and unable to help."  Ted points in the direction of the parking lot.  Turner replies that she is in a hurry, and Ted says, "That's okay."  Ted lingers for a few seconds.  Turner departs for the concession stand and sees Ted walk away into the crowd.  (The Turner party leave Lake Sammamish at 4:45.)

4:20: Jacqueline Plischke, 20 years-old, is approached by Ted on the beach at the water ski area.

Ted: "Hello, I was wondering if you could help me put my sailboat on my car?"
Jacqueline: "I'm not very strong."
Ted: "It's better that I asked someone who was alone."
Jacqueline: "I'm waiting for someone."
Ted: "Oh, I see."

Ted then turns and walks toward the bath house.  Plischke's visit to the park lasts for only twenty minutes (4:00-4:20); she checks her watch ten minutes after this encounter with Ted and notices it is 4:30.  She reported that Ted was not nervous, pushy, or disappointed.

4:20 or 4:30: Nancy Battema asks her friend Denise Naslund what time it is.

4:30-4:40 (per Sargent): Denise Naslund gets up, leaves her group of friends without a word (Ken Little is napping), and walks towards the restroom.

5:00-5:30 (per The Phantom Prince) / 6:00 (per Kloepfer's police interviews): Ted calls Liz to ask her out to dinner.  He arrives at her apartment ten minutes later.  Ted is famished, exhausted, and feeling sick with a cold.  Following a hamburger dinner at a bowling alley, they have ice cream at Farrell's.  Upon returning to Liz's apartment (although Kloepfer's police interviews state before they left for dinner), Ted insists on transferring Liz's ski rack - which they'd used to transport Ted's bike on their previous weekend's rafting outing to the Yakima River - from his car back to her own.  Fifteen minutes later, Ted departs.
      [Note: Kloepfer told police she arrived home from her afternoon at Carkeek Park at 6:00 P.M.  In her book, she states she had just gotten out of the shower when Ted phoned.  Therefore, it's a reasonable assumption that if Kloepfer's recall of the time to police in 1975 is more accurate than her 1981 book, she came home, took a shower, and Ted's call came sometime after 6:00, with his arrival at her apartment being around 6:30.]

8:30: Ken Little, Bob Sargent, and Nancy Battema abandon their search for the missing Naslund and depart Lake Sammamish.

9:00: Ken Little arrives at Eleanore Rose's house driving Naslund's car to tell her her daughter is missing.


                                                   BONUS MATERIAL
      The eye-witness suspect descriptions varied as to Ted's height, weight, build, age, hair, voice, and, perhaps even, clothes.  Investigators and news reports settled on the suspect's general apparel as dressed in all-white: white shorts, white shirt, white sneakers.  However, take a look at this compilation of wardrobe identifications from each mid-afternoon eye-witness's statement and notice that several people remembered the man they encountered as being shirtless.  Reiterating, it appears from other witness statements in the Files that a second, possibly third, man with his arm in a sling was also at the park that day.  Decide for yourself if the additional descriptions provided of the shirtless stranger match Ted - or if we can altogether strike these witnesses' testimonies from the Timeline.  (Again, the arm sling was noted by every witness, even though recall of its specific characteristics fluctuated.)

That morning, Kloepfer (per police interviews): White T-shirt, yellow shorts
12:20 P.M, Graham: A white, short-sleeved tee shirt with red trim (crew-type neckline) and blue jeans (possibly long length)
12:30 P.M, Sharpe: white T-shirt with some type of design, white shorts similar to a swim suit
12:30, Valint: white tennis shoes, white socks, white shorts, white T-shirt
12:30, Snyder: white, boxer-type shorts; beige pull-over shirt
3:00, second encounter by Schoenhals: No shirt, long pants.  (No description was provided for the first encounter.)
Additional description: "5'10", medium build, dark blonde hair, curly, not long or bushy, average looking, medium tan, [....] clean shaven."
3:00 or 4:00, Stewart: Wore cut-offs; a white or yellow shirt was tied around his waist; white low-topped tennis shoes.
Additional description: "twenty-four to twenty-five years old, 5'6", medium build, 150 pounds, blondish-brown curly hair covering ears and down the back of his neck, dark tan.  [...] no glasses."
3:00-3:30, Culbertson: Pants; white shirt hanging out back pocket.
Additional description: "5'7", 145 pounds, thirty years, medium build, thin frame, light brown hair, parted in the middle, wavy down to back of his neck, blue eyes, thin nicely shaped nose, cheeks were hollow, pointed chin, hair over ears, nice tan [....] he was foreign-looking, like British, and he was good looking.  He walked slowly and lightly.  [....] he bent over a little bit when he walked.  [....] He was not real hairy."
4:00, Siebenbaum: "[....] wearing sort of a bleached-white boxer swimming suit and elastic for a waist band."  [She doesn't mention a shirt in her statement, but says:] "His body had a full tan, not real dark, but he was tan.  [....] I don't recall him having any noticeable body hair."
[Note: Though Siebenbaum's statement omits any reference to Ted's shirt, a Files document entitled "Summary of Events July 14 to September 7" states Siebenbaum's description of the suspect included, "His shirt was long sleeved, left arm rolled up, in sling, faded light green, unbuttoned."  Perhaps this addition was provided on an information sheet as of yet unlocated in the Files.]
4:00-4:30, Craven: Wore boxer-style swim trunks with Hawaiian print, with possibly a white waist band; no shirt.
Additional description: "5'7"- 5'8", 170 lbs., good build, tan, but fair complected.  [....] He had some hair on his chest, but was not 'hairy'.  [....]"
4:15, Turner: White shorts, a white T-shirt
4:20, Plischke: [No description of clothes.]
6:30, Kloepfer (per police interviews): Gray turtleneck, long pants


                                                              NOTES   
      Regarding "3:00, Renee Schoenhals" above in Timeline: On pg. 16 of the Lake Sammamish Files PDF, on a document entitled "Facts Regarding Janice Anne Ott", the following information, as summarized from Renee Schoenhals's police statement, is misleading and, likely, inaccurately recorded:
      3pm Schoenals [sic] walking toward kite flier met on path.  one hour later - 4:00 P.M. - seen with  long hair girl.  girl had on blue halter-top, seen jumping on motorcycle.  Driver had on leather jacket and dirty long stringy hair.  Schoenals [sic] heard girl say no I cant leave let me off.
      The report is not implying the motorcycle driver is the suspect - Schoenhals had given a clear, very different description of the suspect [see Bonus Material]; but the report does imply that at 4:00, the suspect is seen "with long hair girl" (who matches Naslund's appearance).  Conversely, according to Schoenhals's statement on pg. 554 of the PDF, after she encounters the man on the path at 3:00, "I did not see him after that."
      Quite possibly, it is this incorrect report which accounts for the sighting often mentioned in Bundy biographies of Denise talking with Ted outside the restrooms.  Furthermore, despite Schoenhals's description of a girl resembling Denise, her police statement - unlike Betty Barry's - does not include a positive identification of Naslund.  In fact, the only two witnesses (Barry and Jacqueline Craven) who observed significant activity in closest proximity to the restrooms, never cite an interaction between Naslund and "the man."
      Another important factor in possibly invalidating Schoenhals's testimony as it connects to Bundy is that she describes the man she encountered as shirtless [see Bonus Material].
      If I have overlooked an eye-witness report that does reveal interaction between Bundy and Naslund, or if anyone can provide clarification to or correction of my assertions, please notify me.

                                               
                                                 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
- The PDF "Ted Bundy - Lake Sammamish - All Files in One" courtesy of The Ted Bundy Research Group on Facebook
- "The Police Interviews, Liz Kloepfer, 1975" courtesy of "Hi, I'm Ted: A Killer In The Archives" blog and Facebook page
- The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Elizabeth Kendall (a.k.a, Liz Kloepfer)
- Jerry Snyder testimony supplemented by Kevin M. Sullivan's The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History





















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