I am going to take this opportunity to dispute a statement in the 2020 documentary on Ridgeway done again by Keppel and his King County associates. Ridgeway was not an exclusively King County WA State killer….he traveled the I-5 corridor including into Oregon. Ted Bundy killed outside of WA State and outside of King County, traveling also to Oregon and possibly more than one location in Oregon and he was in CA several times. This I-5 travel to get victims by Bundy was known with the finding of Taylor Mountain as an out of state victim Parks was found in 1975 with skeletal remains [and not just head] as well as Rancourt [out of jurisdiction] and multitudes of evidence.
Bundy killed in Utah in more than one location and his cases in Utah should have included more than one area of investigators – yet King County interviewed Bundy about Green River killings going so far as to discuss with him a suspect that Keppel felt needed further investigation [who was innocent]. Sharing information about a person without their consent to a serial killer seems to me a violation of privacy laws. Keppel’s job as an investigator was to investigate potential people of interest not ask a serial killer about his opinion on that suspect. That Keppel did this, and that Reichert did not object or felt he could not object, is a testament to just how much Keppel controlled this investigation and went outside the bounds of normal investigation processes.
Other investigators are somehow modified and eclipsed in programs about Ridgeway and Bundy to the detriment of understanding and investigating the whole case in other states and to me, having lived through the behind the scenes control by Robert Keppel, very much controlled by him and his connections to media. Even back then, before Bundy’s execution Keppel was controlling outside access to the case and that is evident in the files by his continued and original denials of the significance of the evidence found at Taylor and Tiger Mountain/Issaquah. That is supported by how much Keppel edited information available to him as lead investigator and controlled the story to the media and to the public and even with held information from investigators at the time who needed to solve missing girl cases in their own states and jurisdictions. He put down his own colleagues in his original edition of “Riverman”, colleagues who per the records did their job honestly not like Robert Keppel who released a book “Riverman” filled with misrepresentation and outright lies to build a platform for himself as a “super cop”.
The evidence found at Ridgeway’s sites were very similar to what was found at Bundy’s sites per the list of evidence released to me of one of Ridgeway’s sites. To me, it is a very problematic take on corruption and ties between law enforcement and media outlets. There are many important aspects of a case which could actually help the public understand some of these cases which in Bundy’s case were sacrificed to focus more on the cops and super hero scenarios. There is also the treatment of victims and secondary victims and the concept of repackaging some of these cases for personal profit at the expense of families and society. For many years, decades, the public never heard at all from the survivors of Bundy’s rampage in Florida or from Liz and maybe that was their choice but Keppel never focused his own media exploitation of the case on anything other than contrived theories and sensationalism for years. There was more evidence than he originally claimed publicly found at Taylor and Tiger Mountain including the remains [skeletal] of victims and he knew it. His detective numbers were on the evidence and he personally logged it in. The “confession” by Bundy was contrived and Keppel played it for years as “fact” knowing full well that skeletal remains were found and so was clothing so Bundy wasn’t throwing anything out of the car and Taylor Mountain wasn’t a “mysterious” crime scene and neither was the Issaquah site. Taylor Mountain was denied its importance for decades and the Issaquah evidence was supposedly “lost” leading to a settlement by officials to families affected. But proof of the evidence was there all along. How do you lose and deny critical evidence in a serial killing case that spanned several states and victims. Forensic evidence is more important and factually more significant than who talked to Bundy or to Ridgeway.
In the recent documentary on Gary Ridgeway, WA State claimed that a person of interest named Foster was not a suspect after 1982 – a statement that is not true. Keppel was down to see Bundy in 1984 and he asked Bundy at length about Foster as a suspect, providing his name and details to Bundy and asking Bundy if he thought Foster could have done it. That was a full two years later than the public statement in the 2020 program. Keppel was in charge of the Green River investigation.
Keppel met with Bundy without his attorneys present. Keppel’s public take on this interview is nothing like what happened — it was creatively edited to adhere to a public image Keppel wanted to project. If Foster was no longer a suspect in 1984 then why was Keppel, at his own discretion and at his own prompting, sharing details about him to a serial killer? Bundy did not ask about Foster and did not seem to want to talk about him but Keppel kept prodding him. Keppel was there as part of the Green River Task Force so was representing that group. Their statement in the documentary about Foster is false. Bundy wasn’t asking Keppel about Foster at all in the tapes except to respond to Keppel’s probes about Foster and there is no possible reason for Keppel to bring up an innocent man to a serial killer in a good investigative meeting – it was the opposite with Keppel providing many details of the investigation that had focused on Foster and doing so with a great amount of focus on Foster as a suspect. Bundy kept trying to redirect Keppel away from Foster on that 1984 tape. Keppel also discussed people other than Foster with Bundy in a manner that was derogatory to some of those people. He talked to Bundy more like an insider than a suspect in a series of homicides. Has anyone in the King County law enforcement community ever actually reviewed the original unaltered files and tapes? I really wonder as it seems to me that they will court media on cases even when they may know behind the scenes that some of what has been put forward publicly is simply not true. It doesn’t say much about the ethics there.
Foster wanted to sue WA State for defamation and harassment per articles but was essentially powerless – he didn’t have connections and he didn’t have money. Ann Rule even mentioned him in her book on the Green River killings. Keppel and Rule did the same thing to me and from what I was told also went so far as to spread word for attorneys not to help me. It’s bullying. Instead of just referring to Foster as a person of interest in this documentary and leaving it at that the King County detectives in the documentary have to drag him through it again more than was necessary. Rule and Keppel worked together through the years in media. King county detectives could have glossed over him in the documentary [or not even mentioned him] and just said we had a person of interest but that didn’t pan out. Instead they mentioned him by name in a public program at some length. I have a real problem with these ancillary “victims” of investigations who get dragged into the public arena through detectives exploring a case and even suspects through media. I was a victim of such behavior as a survivor of the Bundy rampage and I was powerless to defend myself. At the time I didn’t have the records, and when I finally did get the records, no one would even review them or listen to me in law enforcement. Other investigators and states don’t seem to do this as much as WA State and other media programs handle it with more finesse and don’t belittle such people. WA State actions seem punitive to me. Having lived through behind the scenes bashing of me as a victim I don’t respect King County law enforcement in general. I don’t respect the way they handled my complaints for years nor their treatment of me especially given that the actual facts of the case, the actual documents, support me more than those documents ever supported the public story put out by Keppel. The treatment of the Bundy cases over the years for personal profit by Keppel when his statements are outright lies when compared to actual evidence and to have those actions supported and endorsed by the law enforcement community of King County to me is a terrible offense against the standards of the justice system. I guess they figure that if they stay silent and just let time trample over it, they are okay but the truth is there and there is more than my experiences at stake: that evidence could have represented victims and probably did represent unknown victims, who never got recognized as the evidence was tampered with, altered and destroyed. Shame on them.
The two cases Keppel was involved in that are serial have major problems in policy and procedure and these are constantly put out to media and repackaged over the years in multiple forms. Victim bashing and blaming others for stalled investigations seems to be a part of the culture around these cases. It doesn’t matter whether they liked Foster personally or didn’t. It doesn’t matter if they thought he was a suspect at one point. Their job isn’t to publicly humiliate or focus on the guy when time proved he was innocent. He wasn’t the killer. I think the public understands that people are looked at as possible suspects and then get exonerated as evidence is worked and investigations move on. It isn’t necessary to drag some of these people into media for the sole purpose of dramatization. And again….if he wasn’t a suspect after 1982 then why was Keppel grilling Bundy about the guy in 1984 – two years later? Why did King County make a statement that they stopped looking at him when it was obvious by the 1984 tape that Keppel who was still heading up that investigation was still very much looking at him? And why weren’t Bundy’s attorneys present for all this questioning about Foster in 1984. Isn’t that a violation of Foster’s rights to privacy? I know in my case both Rule and Keppel and Michaud for that matter [in Maximum Drama] defamed me without mentioning me by name but provided enough details that people I knew who watched the program knew it was me they were referring to. It was intentional, emotionally devastating and destructive to me as a victim who survived because I had absolutely no way without an investigation [which I’ve been repeatedly denied] to defend myself or fight back against the lies. The only so called “investigation” King County ever did for me [so they say] was to bury my case in Georgann Hawkins case which I can’t access and don’t have a right to and which can restrict it only to a few days when my case with Bundy spanned 4 years. King County has a major issue in corruption and the leadership in WA does absolutely nothing about it all the way up to the AG Office there. Their treatment of me over the years has been tantamount to the emotional abuse of a surviving victim and victim intimidation by tactics meant to suppress me and threaten me [we’ll refute you if you ever come out to media]. All that without any investigation of my claims and backing Keppel and his stories which are not founded in case facts.
Maximum Drama claimed what happened to me was consensual and this was a tactic they used against me behind the scenes by some officials and Rule fabricated an account attributed to me [changed name to fictitious one] and even stated to me she had put me in her book without my permission. At the time, there were no protections available to me. I was devastated and traumatized and emotional and crying all the time. I had already been through so much. Without an investigation I was powerless, helpless and abused by the very justice system that was supposed to protect me as a victim and survivor. A justice system I pay taxes for that support it.
Yet on the other hand, Keppel protects his “buddies” as he has referred in the past to them: Rule, Michaud and others. Keppel took in a 33 page single spaced document from Aynesworth in 1980 that Aynesworth gave to him written by Bundy disputing Rule’s fact checking in her book “Stranger Beside Me”. Instead of putting it into case evidence he gave it to the department psychiatrist and never diverted attention away from her book as it being totally factual: she in turn told me she helped get him his editor for “Riverman” and wrote the foreword for “Riverman” his book about Bundy which is fraudulent in many places. Michaud worked with Keppel behind the scenes as far back as 1980 and over the years and Keppel also buried a comment by Bundy in the 1984 prison interviews about Green River where Bundy claimed he had an agreement with Michaud and Aynesworth about their book which according to Bundy they did not follow through with and that much of what Bundy gave them was “fiction done to pander to a reading audience”. That snippet of the original tape Keppel made with Bundy in 1984 also never made it into public awareness and Michaud’s work was put forward as factual when in reality it is hard to know if everything Bundy said was even truthful or not. Keppel has spun the Bundy events and facts to mirror whatever Keppel wanted to project that served his purpose then and now. That is the truth of it all.
I have a great deal of respect for the job of an investigator. I don’t think it would be easy at all. However, I also have come to realize that this job brings with it a lot of power in the way evidence is interpreted and handled and in the wrong hands, or for the wrong reasons, that power can be misused and corrupted. Media attention can change people for many reasons. Watching the Bundy case over the years be repackaged and repackaged for profit and now having the actual street files which show the public story to be fabricated in many places has been a very difficult lesson for me. It’s an institution [law enforcement] that I once believed in and which I trusted and which I no longer do. I think there are policies and procedures that need to change to protect evidence and chain of custody more and accountability laws that need to change to hold people accountable to the evidence while they work it and after they “retire”. I also think that just because a person is a “person of interest” or a victim is a “victim” in the public arena more societal laws need to be put in place to protect them in how they are put forward to the public. They should have a right to their depiction and to their own release into the public sector. Any group of individuals, or an individual, in law enforcement at any level who repackages a case for profit in multiple ways needs to be put under a very high level of scrutiny for corruption. Keppel is guilty of it and he has corrupted the Bundy cases over the years with conjecture, opinions, and interpretations that do not, and have never lined up, to the actual evidence. He has controlled the case for decades in a manner to promote fraud: I can state he controls it as for over 10 years when I tried to come forward to law enforcement I was denied that right and told by Seattle police, King County police and the AG Office of WA that I could only talk to Keppel. He never responded to my attempts to reach out to him. He blocked me behind the scenes and manipulated my attempts – I was told this by multiple investigators who also tried to get the police to talk to me and review my documentation. And that attitude by Keppel continues into the Green River killer information and events and elsewhere, such as the case against Noyes Russell Howard.
We need to rethink how we view programs that are crime genre entertainment. Just look at what’s happened with the Bundy cases. Much of the “documentaries” about him contain false information or errors of omission which misrepresent and mislead about all that happened and it’s significant. And I want to say one more thing…the police did not catch Ted Bundy in WA State but the public did. The public reported him….gave descriptions of him….and his car…over and over and prior to the summer of 1974. The police discounted the public eye witness testimony in the files outright….there are statements in there discounting the witnesses when people who were in different places and at different times and locations miles from each other all described essentially the same person and the same approach and the presence of a “Ted” or a man with a VW near or with a missing girl. The public got it right. The WA police chose not to listen. Even when they had him identified by name at the end of 1974.
Again, I ask the questions as to why so much is being media saturated with Bundy programs when the records clearly show that there are problems in the public story that has been put forward over the years and major questions about conduct. I question why Keppel keeps getting media time when the years that have passed and the records hidden behind the scenes show him to be untruthful and essentially a fraud. The Bundy public story is a fraud. It’s time for changes….