Ted Bundy, the American abductor, rapist and serial killer, was arrested for the first time in 1975, and would be captured twice more after audacious jailbreaks before he finally faced the electric chair in 1989. This month’s Zac Efron film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”, which comes hot on the heels of recent Netflix documentary “The Ted Bundy Tapes,” has reignited interest around the prolific murderer who terrorised women from 1973 to 1978. True crime author Kevin Sullivan spoke to podcast “Generation Why” about his 2016 book “On the Trail of Ted Bundy”.
He recounted how Bundy “hunted” for women, often in plain sight and in crowded places.
Mr Sullivan said: “If you think about it, the normal person is not geared to suspect that something diabolical is happening around them.
“If you’re an abductor of people, I certainly wouldn’t go to a places like Lake Sammamish, where 40,000 people were.
“I would go somewhere else, that’s what normal people think, Bundy didn’t think that way.”
The author explained how Bundy, who often used ruses like pretending his car had broken down, or he needed help because he was injured, only ever encountered resistance once before he was arrested.
He continued: “The closest Bundy ever came to being apprehended was in May of 1975 when he was hunting women in Pocatello.
“He was up in a women’s dormitory at the university there.
“Some guy said to him, what are you doing here?
“He said, ‘Oh I don’t know, looking for somebody’.
“He went to see [Bundy’s] license, and he said oh I don’t have my license on me, and he threw Bundy out.
“That’s the closest he came to even having any resistance, until Carole DaRonch.”
Ms DaRonch speaks in the Netflix documentary about how she managed to fight Bundy off when he attempted to abduct her in November 1974, before he was arrested for the crime in August 1975.
Bundy had lured Ms DaRonch to his vehicle by telling her he was an off-duty police officer, warning her that someone had tried to break into her car.
She began to panic when she realised the inside passenger door of Bundy’s car did not have a handle, and Bundy handcuffed and threatened her with a gun before she managed to escape.
Ms DaRonch’s testimony was crucial in putting Bundy behind bars for the first time, when he was convicted for her kidnapping, which in turn led to his extradition on murder charges.
Mr Sullivan concluded: “Bundy was very bold, he never seemed to be concerned about the risk.
“I think he was pretty much at peace with what he was doing, and he got away with it.”