1989 Ted Bundy Final Confession: Its Changing Public Discussion Over The Years

Background:   In 1989, shortly before his execution, Ted Bundy met with WA State officials in what would be his final confession to the events that had occurred some years prior in Washington State. Although much of this confession has been published in other forms and through various media outlets, when the original transcript was released to me in its unaltered form, it contained details that caused me to wonder.

This transcript as it was originally transcribed in full by the WA State King County Sheriff Office raises questions about whether this “interview” was rehearsed.  On the surface, the transcript does not appear to contain explosive revelations but when you look at all that was hidden from the public, including the earlier involvement of the FBI than publicly admitted to [they state 1977 on their website but the records behind the scene show they were working with Bundy – the regional FBI – in 1973 and that someone from the FBI was present in Utah before Bundy was transferred to Colorado] –  this “final” confession becomes disturbing from a violation of public trust and accountability standpoint.  It also disturbs me that in the correspondence of 1984 with Bundy it is stated that the AG Office prosecuted a case at a lower level that had originally been dismissed or tried without a guilty verdict and that when the AG Office took over, Canova and Keppel, there was also in that case, per original news reports and a court filing by defense, critical exculpatory evidence that was destroyed or missing.  Evidence in the Bundy cases was also lost or destroyed.  Keppel mentions this other case to Bundy specifically stating he is proud of it.  But what I don’t understand is why an AG office would prosecute at a lower level.  I always thought the AG office was there as oversight of justice system standards and did not step in on lower level cases.  Ann Rule also wrote about this case in her book as “One Trick Pony” again for me looking at all these trying to understand why the push back at me was so severe for so many years I feel disturbed by many of these behind the scenes associations and alliances.

Facts from the original records that were hidden and never put forward to the public:

Skeletal remains were found at Taylor and Tiger Mountain… These remains were logged in and noted by several members of the search and record teams on site at the time the kill site of Taylor/Tiger Mountain was discovered. I say “kill site” because it wasn’t a “dumping ground”.  It was an active crime scene with evidence of the killer, skeletons of multiple young girls including one girl who was not known at the time [i.e. in addition to the four found there], clothing, weapons, evidence of drugging or plying with alcohol and evidence of animal activity and shallow graves.  Issaquah also was an active crime scene with nearly the same types and amounts of evidence.  There were also searches and finds at Tiger Mountain – right across the road [hwy 18] from Taylor Mountain’s crime scene. The maps of the original searches were altered in one instance from the original one when released publicly to show little finds and the other map had an area of Tiger Mountain that appeared to be whited out from the original map so that Tiger mountain did not show.

The crime scenes were very similar and Robert Keppel knew of these skeletal remains being found as original records show he was the one personally logging them in and sending them forward with his evidence numbers on them to the Superior Court of WA State – these evidence numbers allow the bones to be tracked over the years and they were sent to the ME without paperwork except “Bundy bones Taylor Mountain” in March of 1984 and then sent to Texas in 2005 where in 2008 they were positively identified by DNA to be three of the girls found on Taylor Mountain originally in 1975.  Keppel  also in the 1984 tapes asked Bundy about a super cop scenario where Bundy would confess to one cop and Bundy stated he wasn’t ready yet.  There are times in the final interview where Bundy alludes to killings as early as 1972 and Keppel glosses over it, never responding until Bundy corrects it to 1974 per Keppel’s prodding, but again, Bundy is never pressed even though witness statements behind the scenes from more than one person state he was out in the area of Taylor Mountain as early as 1972 and knew it well and many witnesses and people could have identified him if he had been put in a line up.

Keppel per his notes asked his superiors to be in contact with Bundy in 1980 and he was put into the AG Office in 1981 taking over the case but what happened in those communications between Bundy and Keppel from 1980 to 1984?  Keppel always alludes to his “personal files” and when I was coming forward I was blocked from the police of King County and Seattle – refusing to interview me stating I had to talk to Keppel or “book authors” even though Keppel at the time was retired and the cases were still open and not solved.  The internet was stating for anyone with information to come forward but I wasn’t even allowed to talk to anyone except Keppel or give my information to an investigator other than him or the book authors.  I was blocked from attorneys and from the justice system [literally – I was told that by several attorneys and a private investigator who specifically stated that “he” was blocking me] and I was put into situations during trauma memory recovery where I was being interviewed not to get information but to discredit me – it took me a long time to realize it as I trusted the justice system back then – I don’t anymore.  I was manipulated when it was very clear I had suffered traumatic memory impairment and even though details in those memories lined up to case facts never released.  The close proximity to Bundy and Liz over those years in terms of where I lived, the knowledge of things never released such as where he was parking and my complaints of rape and of being stalked all lined up.

To me that’s such a violation of police policy.  Even the AG Office was initially referring me to Keppel [even though officially he was retired] and stating in emails that he had taken materials with him.  I contacted him multiple times and he never got back to me telling people behind the scenes that there were no survivors in WA even though he knew that what I was saying lined up to the sealed record – he knew because his detective notes of that time period supported what I was saying.  The 1989 interview, where Keppel never asks Bundy about the scope and size of the Taylor Mountain killings against the specific evidence that he knows the police had to me is an indication that Keppel had an agenda other than solving crimes in WA.  He released the tape of Bundy confessing to Georgann Hawkins grisly decapitation when there was no evidence to support it and he played that scenario for years without any corroborating evidence such as a body, or clothing or anything else.  Clothing was indeed at the Taylor Mountain site, the ME had originally stated heads were the bodies, animal activity was in the area and more than one investigator and search and rescue personnel on site at the time confirmed the finding of whole bodies at the scene not the sterilized scene Keppel describes in Riverman or in his public statements.

Further Keppel’s statements over the years that nothing was found on Taylor Mountain and the search was essentially basic there are not true per the records.  These were not “kids” on site at each location of Issaquah and Taylor Mountain as has been claimed; but professional search and rescue personnel from several jurisdictions.  There were over 150 pieces of evidence at Taylor Mountain and over 100 at Issaquah.  In “Riverman” Keppel claims that Issaquah was more significant but in reality Taylor Mountain was more significant -having a larger number of bodies there and a larger amount of evidence.  Interesting that all of the evidence of Issaquah and Taylor Mountain was “lost” [Issaquah – they blamed the ME]  or denied its existence [Taylor Mountain].  And what of the searches of Tiger Mountain?  Noted at the time by Civil Air Patrol and also noted in a communication between WA State and TX when the remains were identified in 2005 to be indeed the girls discovered at Taylor Mountain. Remains which were never worked in  a timely manner.  WA State had Bundy identified by October of 1974 not because of a computer program but due to witness statements and possibly by DMV reports [they ran a broad check on all men who drove VWs named Ted after Sammamish].  They had Bundy’s name, location in Utah, his vehicle, eyewitness accounts of Sammamish as well  as Central Washington and the evidence of Issaquah by early November of 1974 and by March of 1975 they had Taylor Mountain which mirrored the types of evidence and body count of Issaquah.  Bundy was also in Utah at the time where more girls were disappearing and Utah per the original detective report of 10 of 1974 was informed that Bundy could be a suspect.  Clothing was also found at both kill sites of Issaquah and Taylor Mountain as well as substantial other evidence in both locations.

A record was back dated by a detective in August [08-01-1975] to March of 1975 asking an ME [different from the ME who originally examined the skeletal remains of Taylor Mountain]  what would be needed for a finding of decapitation.  That scenario was then put forward as the finding publicly [decapitation].  Bundy was subsequently picked up by a routine patrolman in August of 1975.

In the 1989 interview, Keppel never asks a single question related to the evidence present at Taylor Mountain or at Issaquah other than to discuss at great length Ott’s bike when a bicycle shift cable had been found at Issaquah and Ott and Naslund remains were known.  Not once does he ask Bundy about the unidentified girls found [1-2 at Issaquah in addition to Ott and Naslund and at least 1 at Taylor Mountain in addition to the four known there per original documents and this is mentioned by several people in several places].  Not specifically.  He also tells Bundy that they never found skeletal remains while mentioning five femurs, when they did find skeletal remains at Taylor Mountain– and he also never mentions all of the clothing found, the jewelry, the evidence of the killer on site, the possible drugging of victims and the abandoned homes nearby.  He never confronts Bundy with the witness statements that he had been out in that area in 1972, that they had searched Tiger Mountain, that they had found clothing and other items suggesting he’d spent time on site and so on.  Keppel also tells Bundy that they found Hawkins but that the ME lost the bodies.  The ME had remains in their office from Taylor Mountain for decades that were sent there the very month that Keppel coincidentally took over the Green River investigation – those remains were sent to the ME without any paperwork except “Bundy bones – Taylor Mountain” so we don’t know for sure who sent them but regardless, in a murder to send evidence without any paperwork seems to me to be profoundly incompetent if not outright against the law.  There are supposed to be chain of custody protocols involved in any murder case even back then.

The whole scenario of Bundy dumping clothing over the embankment doesn’t make sense against the evidence – clothing was found on site at both Issaquah and at Taylor Mountain.  Some of it matched by description what the girls were wearing and some of it was forwarded to the Superior Court of WA.   If he was trying to maneuver Bundy that would be one thing – but publicly in all the decades that followed he continued to claim that nothing was found on site at Taylor Mountain knowing full well that there was…he himself had logged it in and sent it forward to Superior Court.  The importance of the clothing has never been publicly discussed. There were not statements that clothing was found and tested or items were found and preserved for future testing but rather that empty boxes were used to pretend things were being carried out.  The FBI released a document in 1992 essentially  dismissing the Bundy cases as we’ll never know.  Behind the scenes there should have been efforts to work the evidence instead of shutting it down.  And even if they did work it to continue to support a story to the public that is patently false is not only misleading but it is a violation to public trust as people were profiting off it while the victims’ and the families were being misled and while I was suffering severely from emerging memories and PTSD – memories that were absolutely and 100% supported by and corroborated by the hidden evidence.

Keppel never asks about how long either site had been developed by Bundy.   To me, that would be more important than the bicycle.  They had already identified Ott as a victim at Issaquah.  He mentions that they found other victims but never presses him as to earlier years of killing and how long he’d been at it.  He allows Bundy to state things that Keppel knows are not supported by the evidence such as the decapitation.  There is no proof of it in either of Bundy’s sites in WA.  In fact the ME report from Taylor Mountain original search dates and detective notes states that there was no decapitation ….that “the heads were with the bodies…”     Keppel never asks Bundy how long he kept his victims there alive or whether he had used the abandoned home nearby.  [There was one at Issaquah and at Taylor Mountain]. The abandoned home nearby was critical when you consider the number of girls missing and the proximity of the abandoned homes to the kill sites.

Keppel does ask Bundy about a porno book – he spends some time on it.  Why?  I mean at this point with all the missing girls who cares?  Keppel also mentions to Bundy in the 1984 interview that there are “powerful” people in the porn industry who wouldn’t want Bundy stating that Bundy was influenced by porn.   I mean why bring it up at all in repeated discussions when there are girls missing and their cases aren’t solved?  In all the public discussions Keppel has made over the years he has emphatically denied that Taylor Mountain had anything of value except skulls and jaws and a few hair samples but that does not reflect the original records that WA State took care to hide from the public.  Hair samples were also sent to FBI for analysis so why hasn’t all of this come to the public’s attention since the cases are out for the media blitz?  It just seems to me that the natural and expected course of action in a homicide series was never followed in the Bundy cases.

After Bundy’s execution, a group of law enforcement met behind the scenes .  In this meeting the subject of a sex book came up as it had been part of a witness statement.  Keppel states that the witness statement about a sex book was “coerced” by Utah.  But in that original transcript of the witness statement which I have, there was no coercion that I could see on the part of the Utah detectives and this seems to be supported by the fact that in the original detective street notes of that era  it is noted that two sex books were taken into custody by King County police referenced to be belongings of Bundy. One of these books was described in detail.  These were never noted as put into evidence and do not appear to be in the remaining evidence lists. But Keppel’s questions to Bundy in the 1989 interview confirm he knew of it and enough so that he asked about it.  I just don’t understand why all the questions about this book or books.  I don’t see them as particularly significant above the significance of the actual evidence found on site at the locations of Issaquah and Taylor Mountain.

The entire “revelation” about Hawkins in this final interview is also very questionable when the totality of evidence is reviewed that had been hidden.  There were “stop downs” on the tape during which the interview was not recorded and then it resumed.  This doesn’t seem within the standards as we would expect today in interviews of this kind.   There was NO evidence at all of decapitation at either Issaquah or Taylor Mountain.  Skeletal remains were found on site at Taylor Mountain and at Issaquah and the remains on site at Taylor Mountain were confirmed in 2005 to be the missing girls with one skeletal set of bones never identified and not Hawkins.  Hawkins has never been confirmed as found at either location and she remains missing [update: I heard the latest 20/20 Keppel admitted after 40 years of denying it that Hawkins was found – I’d like to know why he keeps getting air time when he’s lied about this case for decades].  So decapitation all that time is conjecture only or a purposeful cover up.  There is more evidence that animals scattered remains and that Bundy held victims in his possession, like he did to me, for hours to days before killing them and he did this in WA because he did it to me.  He kept me in a suspended state of consciousness to unconsciousness and released me with memory problems and at times and places where my staggering and slurring would be perceived as my problem and not the result of an assault and abduction.  There was never any corroboration for any of the public story that was put out and essentially the opposite was true – so how did this happen and why was it empowered to happen?

Why was the scenario of Hawkins decapitation accepted as fact and why was it rushed to the media as a “confession” the minute Bundy was executed?  Within days of Bundy’s execution, Keppel was playing clips of Bundy’s “confession” for the media and it seems to me carefully orchestrating the story – how he was traumatized, how nothing was ever found or known.  It simply is not true.  Nothing corroborates it.

For one thing, it seems highly insensitive to the family and other victims. While Keppel claims Issaquah is where Bundy told him Hawkins was killed, her records that were hidden have her at Taylor Mountain.  At Taylor Mountain there were skeletal remains found that included tibias/fibulas which are leg bones.  Leg x-rays were being requisitioned by several detectives during the original search at Taylor Mountain and a leg bone with a question mark is noted on the original map near the stream.  These leg bones [tibias and fibulas] were sent without any paperwork to the ME in March of 1984 in a box of elk bones.  Why?  Who did this? Hawkins had a deformity of those bones not noticeable except on xray.  The detectives in WA State knew that.  Why would detectives requisition leg x-rays of families when only skulls were found at Taylor Mountain and why would leg bones be sent to the ME [tibias and fibulas] in 1984 marked only as “Bundy bones Taylor Mountain” if only skulls were found.

Then there is the whole scenario of Bundy and the clothing.  Bundy talks of “throwing” items out of the window in a panic while he drove or pulling over and throwing them down embankments but is that really what happened given the evidence found on site at Taylor Mountain and at Issaquah? This scenario has been put forward by Keppel and others for years until its nearly become “fact.”  But is it really?  No one saw Bundy do that and nothing at Issaquah or Taylor Mountain suggests that Bundy threw anything away.  Clothing and weapons and items and a lean to were all found on site at these locations. Clothing was found at Taylor Mountain that matched the description of what at least two of the girls found there were wearing – it was sent forward to Superior Court in WA.  There were also items like a lean-to, thermos, chemical bottles and food wrappers that suggest the killer spent time there with the girls.

The whole scenario of throwing clothing and items out of the window seems very unlikely. The implication is that these items tossed by Bundy were then somehow in the side areas of the road or off embankments and not immediately visible. How would one do that while driving when the driver in the USA is near the center line? How would one stop continually on a road shoulder at any time of day or night and not risk discovery for odd behavior something Bundy stealthily refused to do.

He was left handed so he’d have to use his primary hand for throwing and if he drove to the side of the road on the correct side he’d have to slow way down and try to toss things out the passenger window of the volkswagen and hope they didn’t drop on the road.  Or he’d have to stop multiple times to avoid all items being found in one location like a dumping ground of evidence. It just doesn’t make sense. Especially if he was in a panic which I personally doubt Bundy ever panicked when in his killing phase – his actions towards me were almost robotic and rote – his eyes were vacant while I was in captivity – it was terrifying.  There was never talking during my captivity and I was always kept either drugged or imbibed and fighting for consciousness.  Those aren’t actions of a traumatized person at all.  Those are actions of an experienced and psychopathic serial killer.   No, Bundy was a planner, cool, calm and collected when killing and that has been in his profile for years.  This reactionary type of thing just isn’t borne out by his behavior in Utah or in WA.  There are statements in the files from people who knew him, in an adult capacity who documented that he had a Jeckyll/Hyde personality.

Very little about the final interview in 1989 with Ted Bundy lines up to scrutiny including the fact that there was no decapitation at Taylor Mountain or at Issaquah but rather evidence of animal activity, possible graves,  and skeletal remains. Hawkins was never found – her body never located –  so there is absolutely no proof of decapitation so why did this scenario ever see the light of day and why wasn’t it questioned and why wasn’t more attention paid to the actual evidence in these sites and the tremendous size and scope of these sites.

Bundy has been described as a necrophiliac but how does dismembering bodies and moving heads and parts around figure in to that scenario?   If Bundy returned to check on the sites it was because he wanted to see the girls, not pieces of them, not heads or skeletons, but the girls…just like Ridgeway had done. To me, granted a lay person, that would be what necrophilia is – not running around looking for body parts and heads in multiple locations.  If anything he could have been using those two sites to keep his victims alive and move them between the two for whatever reason.  That could possibly fit with the few broken memory remnants I have of that time period but I can’t be sure.

There is nothing to support decapitation – there is nothing to support that Taylor Mountain was anything other than a major crime scene.  There is a detective report that states the ME who examined the evidence immediately when it was removed from the site stated that the “heads were with the bodies”.  It was only later in August of 1975 that Keppel notes in his own detective notes that he called another ME and asked what would be needed for a find of decapitation to be made.  This was about two weeks before Bundy was picked up in Utah.   Then, once that note was entered, Bundy was followed and picked up in Utah.  Yet, they had him identified in October of 1974 via a witness statement.

The AG Office still refuses to publicly acknowledge the truth of Taylor Mountain site. In reality there were many people there every day of the searches and there was air support and Civil Air patrol at the location.  I have the original documents of all of these reports. These are stamped “Original” and in the police format of that day and I saved all paper trail associated to them – they were all sealed away from the public and per internal memo supposed to be held there for 75 years.  Meanwhile this 1989 “confession” played out as “fact” for decades.  The media took the fabricated narrative and unwittingly promoted it as truth and the FBI supported it by their silence yet they pride themselves on crime scene analysis and interpretation – so how did they miss and fail to realize the significance of Taylor Mountain as a crime scene – especially when compared to the size and scope and Issaquah and what was the truth of Tiger Mountain?

It makes no sense to me. It raises questions about why Bundy makes the comment in this 1989 interview….”we talked”….as well as references to his killing starting sooner than 1974. He states “1972” before he re-phrases it to 1974.  Those parts of the final interview were never discussed in the public story.  What was discussed between Bundy and officials in the times the tapes were shut down in this interview and in the others? Bundy makes a comment upon his arrest in Florida that he has powerful friends per the original transcript released to me….I’ll let that statement stand on its own. (less)