In August 1975 police attempted to stop Bundy for a driving violation. He aroused suspicion when he tried to get away by turning his car lights off and speeding through stop signs. When he was finally stopped his Volkswagon was searched, and police found handcuffs, an ice pick, crowbar, pantyhose with eye holes cut out along with other questionable items. They also saw that the front seat on the passenger side of his car was missing. Police arrested Ted Bundy on suspicion of burglary.
Police compared the things found in Bundy’s car to those DaRonch described seeing in her attacker’s car. The handcuffs that had been placed on one of her wrists were the same make as those in Bundy’s possession. Once DaRonch picked Bundy out of a line-up, the police felt they had enough evidence to charge him with attempted kidnapping. The authorities also felt confident they had the person responsible for the tri-state murder spree that had gone on for more than a year.
He Escapes Twice
Bundy went to trial for attempted kidnapping DaRonch in February 1976 and after waiving his right to a jury trial, he was found guilty and sentenced to 15 years in prison. During this time police were investigating links to Bundy and the Colorado murders. According to his credit card statements he was in the area where several women vanished in early 1975. In October 1976 Bundy was charged with the murder of Caryn Campbell.
Bundy was extradited from the Utah prison to Colorado for the trial. Serving as his own lawyer allowed him to appear in court without leg irons plus gave him an opportunity to move freely from the courtroom to the law library inside the courthouse. In an interview, while in the role as his own attorney, Bundy said, “More than ever, I am convinced of my own innocence.” In June 1977 during a pre-trial hearing, he escaped by jumping out of the law library window. He was captured a week later.
On Dec. 30, 1977, Bundy escaped from prison and made his way to Tallahassee, Florida where he rented an apartment near Florida State University under the name Chris Hagen. College life was something Bundy was familiar with and one he enjoyed. He managed to buy food and pay his way at local college bars with stolen credit cards. When bored he would duck into lecture halls and listen to the speakers. It was just a matter of time before the monster inside Bundy would resurface.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, 1978, Bundy broke into Florida State University’s Chi Omega sorority house and bludgeoned and strangled to death two women, raping one of them and brutally biting her on her buttocks and one nipple. He beat two others over the head with a log. They survived which investigators attributed to their roommate Nita Neary, who came home and interrupted Bundy before he was able to kill the other two victims.
Nita Neary came home around 3 a.m. and noticed the front door to the house was ajar. As she entered, she heard hurried footsteps above going toward the stairway. She hid in a doorway and watched as a man wearing a blue cap and carrying a log left the house. Upstairs, she found her roommates. Two were dead, two others severely wounded. That same night another woman was attacked, and the police found a mask on her floor identical to one found later in Bundy’s car.
On February 9, 1978, Bundy killed again. This time it was 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, who he kidnapped and then mutilated. Within a week of the disappearance of Kimberly, Bundy was arrested in Pensacola for driving a stolen vehicle. Investigators had eyewitnesses who identified Bundy at the dorm and Kimberly’s school. They also had physical evidence that linked him to the three murders, including a mold of the bite marks found on in the flesh of the sorority house victim.
Bundy, still thinking he could beat a guilty verdict, turned down a plea bargain whereby he would plead guilty to killing the two sorority women and Kimberly LaFouche in exchange for three 25-year sentences.
The End of Bundy
Bundy went on trial in Florida on June 25, 1979, for the murders of the sorority women. The trial was televised, and Bundy played up to the media when on occasion he acted as his attorney. Bundy was found guilty on both murder charges and given two death sentences by means of the electric chair.
On January 7, 1980, Bundy went on trial for killing Kimberly Leach. This time he allowed his attorneys to represent him. They decided on an insanity plea, the only defense possible with the amount of evidence the state had against him.
Bundy’s behavior was much different during this trial than the previous one. He displayed fits of anger, slouched in his chair, and his collegiate look was sometimes replaced with a haunting glare. Bundy was found guilty and received a third death sentence.
During the sentencing phase, Bundy surprised everyone by calling Carol Boone as a character witness and marrying her while she was on the witness stand. Boone was convinced of Bundy’s innocence. She later gave birth to Bundy’s child, a little girl who he adored. In time Boone divorced Bundy after realizing he was guilty of the horrific crimes he had been charged with.
After endless appeals, Bundy’s last stay of execution was on Jan. 17, 1989. Before being put to death, Bundy gave the details of more than fifty women he had murdered to Washington State Attorney General’s chief investigator, Dr. Bob Keppel. He also confessed to keeping the heads of some of his victims at his home plus to engaging in necrophilia with some of his victims. In his final interview, he blamed his exposure to pornography at an impressionable age as being the stimulant behind his murderous obsessions.
Many of those directly involved with Bundy believed he murdered at least 100 women.
The electrocution of Ted Bundy went as scheduled amid a carnival-like atmosphere outside the prison. It was reported that he spend the night crying and praying and that he when he was led to the death chamber, his face was sullen and gray. Any hint of the old charismatic Bundy was gone.
As he was moved into the death chamber, his eyes searched across the 42 witnesses. Once strapped into the electric chair he began mumbling. When asked by Supt. Tom Barton if he had any last words, Bundy’s voice broke as he said, “Jim and Fred, I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.”
Jim Coleman, who was one of his lawyers, nodded, as did Fred Lawrence, the Methodist minister who prayed with Bundy throughout the night.
Bundy’s head bowed as he was prepared for electrocution. Once prepared, two thousand volts of electricity surged through his body. His hands and body tightened up and smoke could be seen coming from his right leg. Then the machine turned off and Bundy was checked over by a doctor one last time.
On January 24, 1989, Theodore Bundy, one of the most notorious killers of all time, died at 7:16 a.m. as crowds outside cheered, “Burn, Bundy, burn!”