Feb 27, 2024 - News

This week in history: When Bundy got caught

Serial killer Ted Bundy.

Serial killer Ted Bundy waves to a TV camera at the Leon County Jail in Tallahassee, Fla. Photo: Getty Images

Forty-eight years ago this week, serial killer Ted Bundy was convicted of kidnapping a teenager in Utah, bringing a brief hiatus to his coast-to-coast killing spree that is believed to have started in Seattle.

The big picture: Bundy, who grew up in Tacoma, ultimately confessed to slaying 30 people in the 1970s, mostly college students — including at least seven women and teens from Washington state.

  • Bundy's first known murder victim was University of Washington student Lynda Ann Healy, 21, who disappeared from her University District home on Feb. 1, 1974, per coverage by the Seattle Times.
  • Other known Washington victims from that year and the next included 19-year-old Donna Gail Manson, 18-year-old Susan Elaine Rancourt, 22-year-old Brenda Carol Ball and 18-year-old Georgann Hawkins, who disappeared just steps from her UW sorority house on June 11, 1974, per HistoryLink and archived newspaper accounts.
  • Janice Ann Ott, 23, and Denise Marie Naslund, 18, disappeared from Lake Sammamish State Park on July 14, 1974.

Flashback: It would be hard to overstate the terror that seized Seattle when detectives and the public realized young women were going missing at a rate of roughly one per month, according to the Netflix documentary "The Ted Bundy Tapes."

Bundy's Utah capture 48 years ago occurred after he moved to Salt Lake City to attend the University of Utah Law School.

  • Posing as a police officer, he lured 18-year-old Carol DaRonch outside, handcuffed her and forced her into his car.
  • She "was able to wriggle out of the car and stand in the middle of State Street near the mall in the lights of an oncoming vehicle, which stopped," the Provo Daily Herald reported.

Yes, but: He killed at least five women in Utah before being arrested in 1975 and convicted in the DaRonch kidnapping in 1976.

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