Early Victim of Ted Bundy 1970 Speaks Out : The “She Said” of the Story

There are two parts to this discussion: the first is an overview of several issues and events and the second part is a specific discussion of what Bundy did to me as a victim during the four years he stalked me and repeatedly kidnapped me.  My story is entirely supported by the evidence that was sealed away.  I could not have known of it and it is impossible to retrofit yourself into situations and locations decades later.  I am that survivor Bundy talked of to authorities behind the scenes.  The problem is that they never wanted the “she said” part of the story to be heard by the public as it raises questions about the conduct of the authorities at the time and the hiding of evidence.  This is discussed in other blogs.

My emails date and time stamped precede the records by many years.  They line up directly to case facts many of which were in the sealed area – there are over 50 direct points of correlation in my experiences back then all of them predating the records release to me by years if not decades.  I am the only surviving multiple kidnap victim I know of that has multiple documents to support my statements and memories that contained details of the case that had never been publicly released.  Sealing away critical evidence in a homicide series of investigations when a potentially important surviving victim and witness is coming forward is called Spoilation of Evidence.  It is also considered corruption and I question whether it is a violation of the law for obstruction of justice and tampering with evidence. The movement of documents into a sealed area was occurring in 1981 [ordered destruction of files] and 1999 as well as 2012 per internal memos released to me.  WA State [also per internal memos] ordered evidence destroyed and failed to protect other evidence critical to the cases.

website high school photo

             Sara:  Ted Bundy Victim [high school, 1972]

I resembled closely Laura Aime, Georgann Hawkins, and other Utah victims and WA State victims – Laura Aime was the same age I had been and she had a very similar haircut and his actions towards her per witnesses were very similar to what he did to me per witnesses of that time period whose testimony was suppressed. I resembled several other victims and so did my friends at the time – eerily so.  I also knew Georgann Hawkins as a friend and he parked outside of my apartment window which faced the alley behind the Theta house the night he abducted her – he had been stalking me for months and was parking there regularly at night as the parking spot was hidden from view by a large bush that shielded the spot from the alley and it was away from the main street. He even mentioned this location exactly to authorities and questioned them whether anyone had “seen him” that night – there was a reason for it – he had parked outside of my window.  Stalking wasn’t anything we knew about in college back then – in my experience anyway I had no idea what the term meant nor the dangers – I knew I was in danger personally but kept silent out of fear of retaliation and out of fear of not being believed or supported as the stalking had gone on for years and his initial rape of me in high school was violent – I didn’t have a solid base of friends who’d known me a long time as new to the area and my family was dysfunctional and in the throes of a bitter divorce battle between the parents.  Ted intimidated me by an initial rape when I was new to the area and just 16 in high school, by an apology for it pretending it was “not intentional” and he was a “friend” and by using his psychology training to constantly keep me off balance, afraid of him, unsure of myself and my own instincts for nearly four years.  He is noted in my yearbook as me knowing him.  It may be part of the reason my memories are so shattered and scattered and out of alignment initially though some of that was due to repeated head trauma.  When Bundy was free in the summer of 1975 one of his actions was to try and find my room mate who had lived with me in that apartment that was behind the Theta house.  He was looking for me.  Her family reported his coming to their home but the police never followed up.  Again, that is another tie back to me and my statements. 

The following is a summary of what he did to me:  This is the “she said” of the story —  behind the scenes I’ve been accused as being “consensual” and discounted as only wanting publicity and publicly denounced as a survivor by Keppel and Rule and others – but they had their own agendas and reasons to protect their own theories especially Keppel who has misrepresented this series of Bundy cases for years… I’ve been coming forward to authorities for two decades asking for their help in closing a few cases that I know to be associated to his stalking of me.  Bundy was a serial killer – not unlike any other; there are other serial killers who left surviving victims that they held in their possession even while killing other victims.  Robert Hanson of Alaska told investigators he had released a few victims who convinced him that they would never tell.  Other serial killers besides Bundy used imbibing with alcohol or drugs to incapacitate victims and/or lessen their ability to testify or to be believed.  That is what Bundy did to me over that four year period and he even called out the imbibing and/or drugging to Keppel and Reichert in the 1984 interview as something that Ridgeway may have done. Neither cop followed up on it – but Keppel especially never put the pieces together even though he had access to many documents which ran counter to his publicly stated theories.

Why they released the victim, or why Bundy chose to release me over and over, is a choice the killer makes and the victim has nothing at all to do with it.  He specifically told investigators behind the scenes he’d been releasing a victim [releasing is the term used in the behind the scenes reports –the action of release indicates capture -you don’t release someone who is consensual – release implies by its nature captivity].

Why a killer releases one victim and kills another is anybody’s guess – their reasons are their own – perhaps to toy with the life of one victim or perhaps to not have to kill a victim knowing that the victim is so traumatized they are of little risk.  I don’t know.  In Bundy’s case and in thinking of the years he stalked me from high school on, I wonder about his statement to the FBI about going on a “dry run” and “releasing” a victim.  I never knew of it but it lines up to my experiences and my memories predate the records by many years.

But I do know that Bundy’s actions towards me were driven by his own pathology and that I was a victim of that pathology with no control or say in any of it.  I suffered tremendously back then and hid it from everyone – largely because I could not remember.  I had head injuries and he was drugging me in captivity.  My memories, the few I have left that are shattered and scattered, are time and date stamped and they provide irrefutable proof as they line up to the sealed evidence.  My symptoms of severe PTSD documented are also irrefutable proof that my experiences were real – the memories were shattered, broken like glass and out of order – scattered and out of alignment – these symptoms are common not only to severe trauma but also to moderate to severe head injury.  Some of the areas of memory still are though the progression of what happened and overall is now much clearer than what it was over 20 years ago.

Overview of my experiences:  Entirely supported by the original sealed case records

  1. Bundy did not constantly hit his victims while in captivity – at least he did not do that to me.  Bundy used drugging and alcohol imbibing in WA State just as he did in Utah and that is supported in my memories going back to 2001 as well as what was found on site in Issaquah and Taylor Mountain. He was using drugs and alcohol on me during the time I was held incapacitated – I was NEVER not bound during captures; only unbound right before release when I could barely walk and could hardly remember anything but bits and pieces and felt like I was coming out of a surgery.  In his interview with WA State officials in prison in 1984 related to the Green River killer’s ability to keep victims under control Bundy makes the following comment, “…maybe he’s using drugs to sort of take the edge off any retaliation and you asked….I’m sure you’ve looked at their autopsies to determine that and even that is not conclusive…”  Interesting comment in that Bundy had drugs in Utah that he showed Liz, I complained of it since 2001 and the autopsy reports of at least one of his victims in Utah showed the use of alcohol to imbibe her – she had alcohol poisoning.  This is a very important part of Bundy’s MO when girls were once within his possession and I believe it is at least part of the reason he would release me so he could recapture me periodically – he knew I wouldn’t be able to report him because I was imbibed or drugged during the capture and assaults. He worked with a medical supply company – he was actively thinking about his killing and using every resource at his disposal including manipulating friendships and allies. The rape paper he wrote also details the use of alcohol to lessen the ability of a victim to speak out against her rapist.
  2. He hit me on the head during the initial capture of me, usually coming up on me from behind; but once I was in his possession I was bound and/or restrained until release and I was never fully aware.  A few times he did hit me on the head while in captivity if I came to and jolted all of a sudden or if I was coming out of the unconsciousness state and was trying to stand or get away.  It was all about control and hitting me once I was restrained and contained during capture, at least by memory,  seemed to me by feelings associated to those memories, to be done out of anger and containment of me or out of frustration.  I was young and active back then and metabolized any drugs [even antibiotics] rapidly.  His dosing of me didn’t always work the way he intended.  He also brought me out when there was activity he wanted to do and he needed me to be semi-aware of it and able to be responsive.  But I never had control ever – and I was never free, never unbound, until I was eventually released – and there was never any talking.  It was always silent. He never told me ahead of time what he was going to do – he just did it.  I was never fully aware of all that happened to me when I was released – I could barely walk and my memory was severely impacted. I was coming forward for decades.
  3. I was in and out of consciousness nearly all the time while held by him and bathed and wrapped in blankets to revive me at times.  I remember feeling the blood in my forearms being ice cold.  It makes me wonder if I was in shock and he was bathing me to revive me or to try and eliminate evidence.  The capture location is hazy at best but I remember a lot of wood, bare sparse furnishings, very little lighting and it smelled musty.  This is all in the memory bits and pieces that were given to authorities over the years.  It lines up to abandoned homes that were found near each of Bundy’s kill sites in WA.  Bundy kept several of us in captivity for several hours if not days – in my case, hours. My memories date and time stamped going back years refer over and over to loss of consciousness while in captivity and to his actions with me as a victim which included bathing and repeated types of sexual assault which were very repetitive and organized in terms of progression and what he did and how he did it.  It was ritualistic. Autopsy reports on a Utah victim show that she also had been bathed and kept for days – another Utah victim was held overnight and another victim from Oregon held overnight.  My memory was correct in that regard – it surfaced before I had the records.
  4. Records sealed away for decades support me in the above statements.  There was no decapitation in either of Bundy’s WA sites that were found and to my knowledge no decapitation of victims in Utah – and I doubt, based on the actual case files, if there was ever necrophilia.  His intent to me, having lived through it multiple times, was to keep the victim alive somewhere secured, out of view, and immobilized by drugging or imbibing.  There were times when the girl abducted was not drugged or imbibed but bound – such as the ski instructor in Utah per the behind the scene record – but in my case and at least three other cases never publicly discussed we were bound and forcibly imbibed with alcohol or drugs.  I personally was never held captive long enough to arouse alarm in terms of a police notification but I came close to it.   I was also never fully conscious during all of it and I was released in a manner where my slurring and staggering would be perceived as part of a party atmosphere and not as anything suspicious.  There  were abandoned homes near each site in WA. These homes were searched, red matter collected from basement walls as evidence and sent forward as evidence – yet Bundy was never charged and this evidence was never worked and denied as existing in the public story where much was made of Bundy being “traumatized by his girlfriend” and leaving no evidence – none of this is true.
  5. Small bottles were found at the sites of both Issaquah and Taylor Mountain where the victims were found [skeletal remains] – at Issaquah they are noted as small bottles and at Taylor Mountain they are noted as chemical bottles.  There was NO decapitation at either site but there was evidence of animal activity and scattered remains. Liz found him with a date rape drug in Utah and that is in her book.  A thermos is found by a skull, snug tie and rope, chemical bottles and skeletal remains of girls are found –  and yet authorities claim publicly nothing of importance was found at Taylor Mountain in a murder investigation…
  6. There was evidence of the killer on site at each location and evidence of potential bondage and that the victims had been kept alive possibly for at least awhile.  At Taylor Mountain a lean to had been found, a thermos, food wrappers, chemical bottles and girls’ clothing including bras.  Further, some of the clothing items collected at Taylor Mountain and sent forward to Superior Court of WA were nearly identical in description to what a few of the girls were wearing. At Taylor Mountain a thermos was found in close proximity to a skull.
  7. In the autopsies of victims in Utah,  there was evidence of plying with alcohol and one victim at least per autopsy was shown to have alcohol poisoning and she’d been held for several days in his possession.  There was evidence of bathing per a victim autopsy in Utah, something I had been stating for years before that information had been released.  There were abandoned homes nearby – I question whether they were ever thoroughly checked for evidence that the missing girls had been held there.   My memories clearly included a location that “smelled musty” and this had been stated years before the records were released to me.  Evidence of bondage, evidence of drugging or alcohol [even bongs which raise suspicions of marijuana use something Ted was known to do].  A lean to was found in addition to the homes.  And then there are the multiple witness statements that Ted knew the area well as far back as 1971 and 1972 and that by his own admission he was “sick” before he met Liz in 1969 and he “acted on it” in 1971, 1972, 1973.   In fact in one of those witness statements the person described Bundy driving with him past the exact entrance to the Taylor Mountain kill site in 1972.   These are all in the original case files and they corroborate each other as do the official findings of those searches of Taylor Mountain and Issaquah.
  8. My experiences that I had been coming forward with were mirroring what he’d done to victims in Utah and WA State knew it.  He had been using me as a repeat victim, toying with my life and releasing me in a state of awakening where I was unable to remember what had happened to me and barely able to walk and the release of me was always at night and around parties where people would think my stumbling was due to alcohol and not due to kidnapping and sexual assault.  Bundy told Hagmaier behind the scenes that he was picking up a woman and releasing her unharmed but he never named the person – that is documented in the original transcripts:  it was me and I wasn’t a woman but a girl of only 16 when it started and 19 when in spring of 1974 I began fearing for my life and was already suffering from severe rape trauma, stalking trauma and PTSD.  WA State had the autopsy reports from Utah, they knew the specifics, they knew there was a survivor somewhere and they knew all the evidence found at Taylor Mountain including skeletal remains.  My locations lined up; my characteristics and proximity lined up;my memories time and date stamped matched the sealed records.
  9. Bundy was known to have weapons.Contrary to what has been put forward by WA State, he was known to have a knife and had been reported to have a gun by at least one witness who was credible at the time.  He also used a weapon for strangulation. That strangulation type of weapon was found in Utah at the crime scenes of at least two victims and is documented in their autopsy reports. That specific type of strangulation weapon was taken into custody in the spring/summer of 1975 by WA State officials and forwarded to the Superior Court – it was taken and recorded as coming from Bundy.    Evidence at the scenes also showed weapons.
  10. A knife sheath was found on site in WA State at one location.  An oriental knife was reported as stolen in WA State and then returned and the person implicated was Bundy.  There was a sheath found at one of the WA Sites.  There were gun shell casings found at Taylor Mountain and witness statements that gun shots were heard in that area.  Victims had evidence of wounds in very specific spots in their anatomy when found – their skeletons showed these wounds.   A weapon had been used on them, more than strangulation.  Strangulation also was done not manually but with a weapon used for that purpose– a very specific type that is noted in the records as found in Utah and also one was found in WA State. That ligature weapon was taken into custody in spring or summer of 1975 in WA State and associated to Bundy.  It matched by description a similar ligature noted with at least one Utah victim.  Again the correlations – WA State had the evidence and failed to act. This is never discussed publicly.
  11. I told a person connected to this case that I had an unnatural fear of knives long before I received the records which verified weapons associations to Bundy.
  12. Bundy talked behind the scenes to authorities about a woman [I was a girl of 16 when this all started] that he had been kidnapping and releasing to test his skills. These statements are in the original transcripts and had been given to the FBI. I was that woman [only I was just a girl]  and I line up to the case in over 50 points of reference, characteristics and proximity and locations over four years.
  13. I had been stating for years that he had been surveilling my parents’ home, that we’d had things stolen, including pots and pans which were expensive and a set of such pots and pans was noticed by Liz and also was found at Bundy’s apartment in Utah. Bundy was known to surveille some of his victims before abducting them and entering their homes ahead of time clandestinely. I could not have known of this back in 2001 when I started coming forward.
  14. Records sealed away indicate that Bundy may have been researching victims he took in 1974 earlier than 1974.  Evidence shows that there was activity in Linda Healy’s area within a few doors of where she lived before she disappeared.  There were break in attempts at several locations on young girls and one time it was called in to the police to come out as there were fingerprints on the window ledge that could have been collected but they did not come out.  There was activity in that area noted by police as far back as 1973.  There were over 50 girls missing and murdered or unidentified in a three county area around King County during the early years of the 1970s and one of those girls was found at a lake only 10 miles from the trail head of Taylor Mountain where Bundy’s kill site of 1975 was found.  How many of these sites had he been developing?  We’ll never know since they violated public trust and contaminated the evidence and destroyed evidence and lied about evidence.  Keppel knew of these missing girls as he had the records of that time period but these records were with the Seattle police and he was with King County and there were some political competitive issues between these jurisdictions back then that make me wonder whether the Bundy cases were compromised in WA State long before the 1974 series of disappearing girls began.
  15. And then on top of all of this, you have the political ramifications of a serial killer being embedded into the justice system of at least 2 states [WA and Utah] and developing friendships with the very people who would be trying to solve his murders and find him.  How fortunate for him that so much evidence was destroyed or “lost” so that his real total will never be actually known.  It may not have ever been anyway, but there were many girls thrown away with that evidence whose voices for justice are now forever silenced by the very justice system that should have been working to protect them even in death.  Records suggest strongly that Georgann Hawkins was found during the initial searches and that her remains were either “lost” or deliberately thrown away and yet for decades WA State has denied this without any consideration of her family.  Keppel even mentions this to Bundy in the unredacted original conversation in 1989.
  16. For specific correlations related to locations I lived in, my movements during the four years 1970 to 1974 and 1974 to 1976 please see that blog post.

Some may feel at this point it is a lost cause to revisit Bundy cases but the truth is, it is very important.  The evidence sealed away raises questions about policy and procedure and cases that are still open in WA State and elsewhere that are not closed.  WA State issued an edict stating that only DNA would be considered in 2011 but DNA would degrade in any remnant of a site or remains and evidence found now unless it was in a property room and WA State made sure that would never happen when they ordered evidence to be thrown away per internal memo.  Per the records there is not much that remains.  In other states and cases forensic science has advanced to the point where DNA is only a tool – there are many other types of forensic science in use and if evidence in the Bundy cases had been preserved and protected as well as the case information then the unsolved cases around him could have been worked effectively.  This is a travesty of justice.

WA State has continued to silence me over the years, coming in behind media, attorneys and other even while it puts out its false narrative. But there is a story here…and it is very important to the understanding of what Bundy did to victims while he held them in captivity during those years 1970 to 1974 because that is what he did to me and it started not in 1974 but in 1970 when I was 16.  That activity in 1970 is also supported by the records that were in WA State possession and which should have been worked.  He stalked me continually for four years, he abducted me, he followed me out of state and around WA State and he killed someone I knew.  He terrorized me to the depths of my being and it took me decades, absolutely decades, to even begin to heal.

He was active as a killer and rapist long before 1974.  Not only was he raping me during that early time period but records show he had been reported for rape by another woman in 1972 and that he was already using the imbibing with alcohol at that time.  That imbibing too was in my memories and earliest recollections of him in 1972.  Our statements support each other even though I never knew of her nor she of me and even though I’ve never met her.  I knew what car he was driving in 1971 [never released] and I knew other important details never released.  These cases should have been worked.  There may have been another kill site in WA that was never found because officials stopped looking.  There was the body of a young girl found at Echo Lake, earlier than 1974, who was never identified and that location is only 10 miles from the Taylor Mountain trail head.  The authorities have damaged this case beyond belief.  It is tragic.  I don’t know if Bundy killed her but he was active before 1974 and to deny that is not only not intuitive to solving cases, but is callous to the many girls whose cases are not solved – in three counties alone in the early 1970s there were 58 girls missing and murdered and cases not solved per the records.

I started this blog to reach out to the public because the issues of this case are critically important to the health of our justice system:  it’s bigger than Bundy.  This needs to be public because it is a case which can create changes in the laws and accountability of agencies like AG Offices and the FBI.  I wrote to the FBI and to the DOJ begging them to investigate it and they responded to me that they were not going to do it as it “wasn’t their area or responsibility”.  So whose responsibility is it to investigate internal corruption?  This is an abuse of power issue.  Abuse of power is abuse of vulnerable victims.  [see that blog post] I am grateful to everyone who reads my blogs and reaches out to me or who writes to authorities to obtain justice in these cases.  I need your voice to stand up for the victims – not just me but the girls who were unknown at those kill sites as evidenced by unidentified remains and multiple items of clothing and jewelry that they callously threw away.

                                                      They were somebody’s children….