It is interesting to me that over and over emphasis in media is placed on what Ted Bundy said….”new” audio from his prison interviews and so forth. I am all for the victims finally speaking after decades of authorities overwhelming the media and no voice at all. But what about the investigation flaws of back then that left critical evidence never worked and the remains of young girls thrown away? The throwing away of evidence, concealing of critical documents, and denial of critical evidence by the authorities? The cover up that involves agencies like the FBI and Attorney General Office that are supposed to represent and protect the public – over 300 pieces of evidence and witnesses never made it into the public “story” the officials put forward. In the Bundy case they betrayed the public trust. That deserves public release in media and a public discussion and awareness.
Important point: Authorities connected to this case over the years have made a lot of money constantly releasing and re-releasing bits and pieces of the case and editing their own roles in it even going so far as to state they were ignorant of the advances that forensics would make over the years and that is why evidence was ordered destroyed and not protected. I hope the public grows aware of these tactics and challenges them on it: in 1989 DNA was already in its infancy and being used in the courts at trials and in fact was used at a trial just down the road from where Ted was being held BEFORE he was executed so they knew very well that forensic techniques were developing. Additionally, older cases than Ted’s or cases in the same age range have been solved over the years by good old fashioned detective work and in Ted’s case the cases were shut down and evidence “lost” “destroyed by internal memo” and otherwise not protected. There are some major accountability issues here and they are widespread in several states — WA State especially has major problems. It’s initial public story over the years that nothing was ever found on Taylor Mountain can be proven by original case files to be patently false and then suddenly in 2020 they start subtly changing it to reveal that skeletal remains were found when all along this was categorically denied – the WA State story is always shifting – the actual attorneys who represented Bundy in the courtroom never talk in documentaries – why? Why aren’t people questioning where the vial of blood came from that authorities “found” in 2011 after all those years that prevented the rest of the case evidence from being worked [proclamation was only DNA would be used when DNA degrades over time and evidence hadn’t been protected]? Nothing was ever stated as to where it was found, how it was kept or even if it had been carbon dated to prove its age and with Bundy cremated how was the DNA profile created? Why would they have even drawn his blood when he was initially captured? Wouldn’t that have required a court order? Where is that court order? Why wasn’t the blood evidence used at Bundy’s trial if they had it?
Bundy was a serial killer and the total of his victim count was NEVER determined so it seems to me incredibly offensive that any evidence connected to his cases in any state was ordered destroyed and/or never worked except for officials who “interviewed him” about profiling asking his help but looking the other way when it came to his potential victims.
Information such as: the questionable late entries by detectives months after Taylor Mountain kill site [Keppel back dated a record]which alter the ME findings or the fact that skeletal remains were found and documented on Taylor/Tiger Mountain but denied publicly for decades, that remains found on Taylor Mountain were never sent for DNA testing until after I was coming forward and had been for several years [the remains were sent to TX in 2005 but they were found in 1975 on Taylor and Tiger Mountain] or the fact that FBI and high ranking officials in Utah and in WA State were on friendly terms and professional terms with Bundy during his killing years – in WA State FBI was working with him on a project in 1973 and in Utah he attended a party at the Prosecutor’s home in the fall of 1974. Bundy was paid several thousand dollars for his recidivism study, which involved Justice and Law and Planning Committee and involvement with the local FBI and his billings were authorized by “Confidential Secretary I” or “Confidential Secretary II” and he did finish this project the design report for the study and he did get paid for it. I have all the records associated to it. Why is Bundy the person superseding Bundy the killer and the girls who were thrown away by the authorities? What about all the other evidence from Bundy’s crime scenes that is no longer there per internal memos and records: bras, jewelry [gold earring and silver clasp] clothing [some matched what girls were wearing], the bong [Bundy smoked dope] and so on. Why weren’t the witness statements that positively identified Bundy as with missing and murdered girls in WA State ever used to charge him since authorities had these in their possession per the hidden files before Bundy was ever transferred to Colorado.
Documentaries are great vehicles but it seems to me that it is piecemeal release to date of “new” evidence in that much of the “old” evidence is being used still as the standard. It also is of interest as to how Bundy cases and those involved have changed their media positions over the years from those “who knew him best” “he’d only talk to one” and “we’ll never know” changed and softened to how concerned they all were overall with the victims Bundy killed. Really? I guess that is why the remains taken off the mountain at Taylor Mountain were denied for decades, why the evidence of Issaquah and Taylor mountain, over 300 pieces, was conveniently “lost” and why Utah and WA State never shared with the public the true nature of the evidence they both had in their possession and shared per the records with each other that could have and should have placed Bundy under arrest sooner than the actual date – they had him identified by Liz per the records in October of 1974 and not just by phone call but by interview and that information was called over to Utah and is in the records by the officer who talked with her. He was killing in Utah at the time. People are convicted on far less evidence than what WA State had against him. I am all for the victims who survived Bundy having a chance to talk but this is years later and to me a token effort being given by a group of officials who for years have monopolized this case in the media, releasing and repackaging the case for their own profit at the expense of the case and those victims who didn’t survive. Especially in my eyes, Keppel, whose book Riverman is a misrepresentation of the case and the evidence and who has consistently controlled and manipulated this case for his own personal profit for decades. According to the AG Office he was given personal ownership of records when he moved over there in 1981. I find that offensive and frankly, corrupt. Refusing to work my case claiming I only wanted publicity when I line up to the evidence, my memory fragments matched concealed records, and for nearly two decades I refused any and all publicity only repeatedly asking them to investigate it as I lined up and had documentation of that time period. No…nothing being put forward by WA State is sincere in its efforts or truthful.
Also why is it that so much gets released about what Bundy said and so little gets released about the evidence that should have been investigated???? Bundy was a serial killer not at all unlike Ridgeway. He got glamorized by the media initially and was viewed initially as “traumatized by a former girlfriend” when in reality he was a methodical serial killer who was committing crimes against women at least as far back as 1972 which is documented by records – because the authorities wanted to portray his killings as starting in 1974 “all of a sudden” in order to cover up the fact that he had been working closely with high level officials and the FBI long before his killing of one girl a month in 1974. He was living in Tacoma in the summer of 1974 before moving to Utah per the records, while still maintaining a room at his former rooming house and no missing or murdered girls south of King County were being investigated as possible correlations to the King County activity. And how did he afford to do this? How did he afford law school? He didn’t have top percentile grades and his parents weren’t rich and he worked menial jobs yet he managed to get accepted to an area of study very competitive? I’d like to see how those years were being paid for.
Where is the media interest in the cover up and about the missed opportunities of that time period in the police and FBI area of responsibilities? Bundy was identified by October 1974 by a witness – Ted was identified as a name at Sammamish in July; the car was identified; the kill site of Issaquah was found by September 1974 and Bundy was killing in Utah. Additionally, Taylor Mountain in March of 1975 was found with over 150 pieces of evidence and skeletal remains and was very similar to Issaquah in the amounts and types of evidence found at each site. Tiger Mountain, across the road from Taylor Mountain was also searched in march of 1975 and evidence was found there by Civil Air Patrol and documented in their reports and records and that never gets discussed. Many professionals were present on Taylor and Tiger Mountain during those searches in March of 1975 and they knew the extent of what was found – yet even when the public story was false these people remained silent or perhaps their protests were silenced. Why?
Yet all that ever seems to get put on the Media is the sensational taping of Ted, how great the investigators were, how antagonistic Bundy was to them behind the scenes – which is totally false, the real transcripts and audio show that investigators acted like he was celebrity and insider rather than a serial killer and the tapes were often shut down so things could be discussed off tape – a practice to me that is highly unprofessional and suspect – and no discussion at all about why all this evidence against Bundy was never worked and denied publicly for decades. Just once I’d like to see a full accountability by the authorities and less emphasis on Ted and what he says or doesn’t say as he told many half truths and the evidence of that day doesn’t. It stands as a testament to the truth – that the authorities failed the public.
Examples of what is still missing from public disclosure and discussion:
The unredacted audiotapes of the 1984 interview in Prison with Bundy where he states that he gave Michaud and Aynesworth a copy of a 33-page single-spaced critique of Ann Rule’s book, “Stranger Beside Me” a paper which argues there were multiple errors. This document is in Keppel’s detective notes of 1980 so it existed and he took it into his own possession at KCSO but it has never made it into the public evidence awareness. So, why not and where is this document? What did it say? For years, Rule’s book has been taken as fact so what was being contested? Obviously, Bundy was a pathological liar but no one but Bundy knows exactly what he was lying about and he is not here anymore so to have only a few select group of people determining what is “truth” and refusing to put out publicly other documents that change or alter that public truth seems counterproductive to understanding that era at all.
The unredacted audiotapes of the 1984 interview in Prison with Bundy where he tells Keppel that what he gave to Michaud and Aynesworth was a lot of fiction meant to pander to a reading audience and that he had an agreement with them. Whether he had an agreement or not, whether parts of those interviews were fiction or not, we don’t know because Bundy was always lying and manipulating but to present the tapes they had publicly as “fact” is not entirely truthful to the statements Bundy made behind the scenes. It isn’t Michaud or Aynesworth’s fault and no one will ever know for sure, but Bundy’s statements that he provided fiction related to those 100 hours of tape should be part of the public record in reviewing and evaluating all that had happened back then. Instead, over the years, Bundy’s comments about providing a “good amount of fiction” were never put out publicly. The balance of evidence has not been fully disclosed and weighted. The behind the scenes quid pro quo activity among the major players is evidenced by the records that were hidden.
The unredacted audiotapes of 1984 where it is discussed that the FBI was present in Utah before Bundy escaped and before he was transferred from Utah. The unredacted tapes that discuss the judge in Utah not wanting to transfer Bundy to Colorado but bowing to pressure to do so. The original documents that show Bundy was involved in a project with the FBI in 1973 and he comments in the 1984 interview that he had gotten close to the “feds” just according to him not intentionally. The original witness statements, the original detective notes that suggest some were altered and changed after the initial report, the tapes that indicate areas where taping was shut down at times so officials could talk to Bundy without being recorded and so on. The public story by the FBI is that they weren’t involved until 1977 – yes they were, they were working with Bundy at the regional level in 1973 and they were with him in Utah before he was transferred. The FBI also helped facilitate his contact with the Green River Task Force when Bundy was in prison. Those facts can’t be disputed as they are in the evidence.
What about the public release of the skeletal remains found on Taylor Mountain that proved decapitation had not taken place there at least on the known victims? What about the ME report that Keppel noted in his own detective notes from the initial search that state clearly the “heads were with the bodies” from the ME. What about the nearly 300+ pieces of evidence taken from Taylor Mountain and Issaquah that have never been put out and discussed publicly? What about the remains of five girls at least from Taylor Mountain and Issaquah who were “lost” and at least two-to-three of those were never identified? What about the “blood” “found” in Florida after an order was given to destroy evidence? Since when is evidence destroyed in a serial case where not all victims are yet known and who gave that order to destroy the evidence? What about the internal memo that states evidence was to be destroyed in WA State in 1981 and in 1999? What about the efforts made behind the scenes from 2010 forward to move critical evidence into a sealed area away from public disclosure? What about the internal memo that states girls’ human remains from Taylor Mountain were sent to the ME in March of 1984 without paperwork and also a box of elk bones with a human tibia and fibula were also sent to the ME at that time. Coincidentally at the same time the AG Office of WA took over the Green River investigation. What about the discussion of Green River suspects with Bundy – giving specific information to Bundy about that person [who was innocent] since when do cops do that with a serial killer? That’s not normal police procedure and it should never be condoned but WA State looks the other way.
What about all the 58 missing and murdered girls whose cases were not fully worked against Bundy during that time period before his execution? What about the DNA “find” of 2011 and why wasn’t it questioned? If they drew blood before he was executed in 1978 why wasn’t it used against the semen found in the Florida crime scenes? Who ordered it drawn in 1978 and why did they do that? Where is the provenance of that blood over the years – instead the FBI just “finds” it and releases it after decades with absolutely no forensic explanation – it just appeared and the public is supposed to accept it as it is another excuse not to work cases against original files. DNA degrades over time and none of the evidence was protected by chain of custody per original records – it was very lax at best and much was “lost”. DNA was in use before he was executed… Where is the documentary on these things? Why aren’t people questioning this? We all trust our institutions of justice to do the right thing including me, but after receiving these original records I’ve learned a disheartening lesson in that the trust empowered to the justice system is at times misplaced and people in power abuse their power. The Bundy cases are a classic example of this.
The story continues to be carefully placed with what is “known” and “known” sources and the public narrative continually shifts over the years but the reality is that the original case files are NOT being presented to the public nor are they being scrutinized and they should be: too much information has been denied its day in the court of public opinion and processing. It raises serious questions about conduct and violations of the law. It makes me question whether the officials that always constantly appear in the Bundy programs are not really objective investigators but rather gate keepers of its secrets. They have been carefully orchestrating a story around those years that is not borne out by the actual case evidence. The only thing actually borne out by the original records is the officials’ repeated manipulation of what the evidence actually showed.