Ted Bundy posed as police officer and pretended to have fractured arm to lure women victims into his car
Ted Bundy still remains one of the most notorious serial killers of America, who was put to death by electric chair in 1989 after he confessed to 30 murders between 1974 and 1978. But it is believed the number of his victims is way more than he admitted. He mostly attacked women between the ages of 18 to 24, who were attending college. Though most of Bundy’s victims did not survive to tell their horrifying encounter with the monster, there were a few who narrowly escaped death through their own will power, listening to their instincts and a bit of luck. Reelz’s upcoming two-part documentary, 'Ted Bundy: The Survivors', will focus on those survivors. According to the documentary, Karen Sparks was his first victim who was brutally attacked inside her shared basement home in Seattle, Washington, in January 1974. The then 21-year-old Karen was sleeping in her room on January 4, 1974, when Bundy broke in through the backdoor and attacked her.
Bundy used a metal rod to thrash her brutally before sexually assaulting her with a speculum. “He rammed it up to my vagina and it ripped my bladder,” Sparks recalls in Part 1 of the documentary, titled 'Eyes of Evil'. His intention was to kill her but failed to do so as he heard the sound of her roommate, who was sleeping in the next room. He also left his assault tool in her room while fleeing.
The regret to not kill Sparks left Bundy with a lot of anger, which he eventually used in his evolution as a criminal. And just a few weeks later in the same neighborhood, another young woman went missing whose name was Lynda Ann Healy, a hard-working college student majoring in psychology. But this time, he did not repeat his last mistake and after brutally beating her, he abducted her, leaving no trace of her on the crime scene. “I have a theory, he did that because he was not going to make the same mistake that he had with Sparks. I think he was disturbed from the fact that she did not die,” Kevin Sullivan, author of ‘The Bundy Murders’, said.
While Shirley Lynn Scott, crime writer, stated: “The guy [Bundy] was evolving, learning from his mistakes. He left the tool in Karen’s room, but this time he did not leave any tool. He even did not leave Lynda there.” And this was just the beginning of Bundy’s terrifying deeds. From posing as a police officer to an injured man to a survey conductor, Bundy did all to lure his victims. “Bundy changed patterns to start picking his victims,” Scott added.
Four months after the Sparks attack, Bundy targeted another student of Central Washington State College, Ellensburg, in April, after posing as an injured man who was struggling with a stack of books. When the young woman offered him help, the criminal gave her the keys of his Volkswagen Bug and asked her to open the door. He wanted her to lean and put the books inside the vehicle. “She felt not good around him. But Bundy kept saying ‘come on come on put the books in’ and suddenly barked at her, ‘get in the car now.’ This terrified her and she ran away,” Scott said in the documentary.
The same year in July, Bundy visited Lake Sammamish and tried to lure women as he roamed around with one of his “fractured hands”. He approached the women asking for help to get something from his car and seeing his plastered hand, a number of women obliged. While one was lucky to escape death, two others identified as Dennis M. Naslund and Janice A. Ott paid with their lives. Their bones were found in September 1974 just outside of Seattle.
The serial killer, who easily hid his real evil face behind a charming smile and well-coiffed hair, also posed as a survey conductor to prey on a woman. Sandra Swartz was outside when she was approached by Bundy who asked her “silly questions” for a survey. “I soon noticed that his tape recorder was not on. I told him you are weird and left,” Swartz said.
But Carol DaRonch was not as lucky as Swartz, who had a near-death experience with Bundy. As the then 18-year-old DaRonch was visiting a mall, a nicely dressed man approached her. He was none other than Bundy himself, who introduced himself as a police officer and told her that someone had tried to break into her car. DaRonch accompanied him to the area where she parked her car but found nothing amiss. But Bundy insisted that she should come to the police station with her. Though DaRonch had an instinct that the person was not right as he smelled of alcohol and was driving a Volkswagen Bug instead of an official patrol car, she still obliged as he had a realistic looking badge. And that’s where her nightmare began. DaRonch got into his car, and he drove away. But she soon realized that things were wrong and began to panic. Bundy handcuffed one of her wrists and threatened to kill her. However, the woman “fought with all my life” and managed to escape from the clutches of the predator.
The good news for DaRonch came a few months later when a highway police officer arrested Bundy for reckless driving in August 1975. He also found suspicious items in his car and when DaRonch was called for identification, she immediately recognized him. On September 1, 1976, he was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and faced up to 15 jail terms. But that was not the end for Bundy, as he escaped jail in Colorado after being transferred there to face a murder trial. The serial killer was on the loose again.
'Ted Bundy: The Survivors' will release on Reelz on Saturday, October 3 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT while its Part 2, named 'Ending the Evil' will premiere on October 10 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.