The letters and documents I reference in published materials are in original form unless I state that I edited out names of people who are not public figures. A few have commented that they think I make Bundy sound more articulate than he was and more intelligent than he was. I think that is based on the misconception of Bundy put forward by authorities that he was of lesser intelligence and never finished anything he started. It is not the truth.
Bundy was not of mediocre intelligence or he would not have escaped detection as long as he did. Further, the FBI and the DOJ/Justice and Planning of WA State thought enough of him in 1973 to hire him to the tune of several thousand dollars to complete a study on recidivism, which he DID complete the design as directed to and filed a report on, contrary to what officials would have you believe. That report was many pages long and outlined not only problems but ways in which certain problems could be addressed and it also discussed a computer program very much in theory like the one eventually developed in HITS and VICAP. Additionally, WA State contends they only “went along” with Bundy as a Green River consultant but it was more than that….they actively asked for Bundy’s help with the Green River killer and even brought materials to him, discussing the case at length with him – where victims were found, in which order they were found, asking for his input on it. I personally think it was a smart thing to do as Bundy had insider knowledge being a serial killer who was active a long time much like Ridgeway – but why hide the fact that they felt he may be able to help? Instead of acknowledging his help and the insight to seek it by officials, the original storyline was that Bundy was arrogant and they were only there to maneuver him.
They also asked him about types of things that most suspects in a serial murder situation would never have been privilege to knowing let alone being asked about including other cases pending in the courts.
They may have indeed been hoping to maneuver him but much of the scenario that has been published about these interactions were geared to making the officials seem like super cops and Bundy to seem like a lesser intellect, ugly psychopath. He was a psychopath – he also had insights to offer and those insights were actually very intuitive – something officials admitted years later after the fact after their own super cop stories had made headlines. However, law enforcement did go beyond what I consider to be police tactics when they asked Bundy his opinion on suspects they were developing in Green River killings – even naming the person by name to him. Cases were discussed with Bundy like he was an insider instead of a criminal serial killer. Taping during the interviews was often shut down so things could be discussed with Bundy without being recorded. I’ve never heard of such a thing in a sanctioned type of interview between cops and killers. Yet this happened multiple times with Bundy and the FBI regularly met with him in Florida behind the scenes and was present on site in Utah BEFORE Bundy was transferred to Colorado. That is in the unredacted audiotapes from his prison interviews with Keppel.
They didn’t have to discuss other cases with him – it wasn’t professional to discuss potential suspects with him [and they did — going into details about the suspect and his life even though he was innocent]. Since when do cops discuss cases with serial killers or criminals under investigation or prosecution for serious crimes such as murder in any situation? Since when do you ask a serial killer on trial for his opinion on another serial case suspect? What if Bundy had said yeah that’s the guy alright [and the person was innocent]. I just don’t understand it – even back then. It seems out of context to how investigations are done. I hope this isn’t a normal occurrence. The WA State officials did do this – and more than just the Green River killing – at least one other case was discussed with Bundy which had gone through the courts at the time and which had nothing to do with the Green River killer or Bundy’s crimes. All people are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty and to discuss crimes currently being looked at with a serial killer on death row naming the person[s] who were being investigated to me seems like an incredible violation of civil rights and justice for those individuals let alone violations of professional conduct.
So why make Bundy out as not articulate and not intelligent to the public? If you are going to teach a profile of a notorious serial killer at universities to future criminal justice professionals it should be as accurate as possible but in Bundy’s case what has been taught if mirroring what is public information isn’t accurate at all. The evidence stated publicly as found in WA isn’t accurate to behind the scenes documents, the handling of the case as stated publicly isn’t accurate to the detective notes and witness statements of the time period, and neither is the full disclosure of Bundy’s relationships with government officials and law enforcement officials accurate to the full extent of what it really was.
Perhaps downplaying Bundy’s intelligence and ability to work with concepts such as in the recidivism study or his work on the crime commission, or perhaps downplaying his relationships with high ranking officials seems purposeful to those at the time; but it served to mask the reality of who he was at the time and that the officials had actually trusted Bundy as a colleague before he was caught as a serial killer and they trusted him enough that they gave him responsibility for sensitive projects and information….After all, Bundy was close to elected officials. He was also Assistant Director of the Crime Commission and studied white collar crime and also rape – writing and completing a study on rape in King County [and yes, despite claims it was never done it was completed and not only do I have the original report but also the witness statement that was in the files from a superior who also corroborated that Bundy had written it]. That rape paper detailed how women were not believed, how acquaintance rape was often very difficult to prove and prosecute and just how few cases of rape in the King County area were ever prosecuted at all. Bundy was doing his homework while he was active as a serial killer and I suspect also while he was evolving as a serial rapist- embedding into the very professions that would one day prosecute and pursue him and ingratiating himself into their friendships. It was a betrayal of those people in those professions who had trusted him and considered him a friend. But it is an equal betrayal of those people in the justice system who were betrayed by him to cover up evidence and to deny the victims left behind who were silenced by death their own justice from what happened. The evidence that was thrown away from Issaquah and Taylor/Tiger Mountain could have been evidence of unknown victims – the skeletal remains “lost” or “destroyed” from Issaquah and Taylor/Tiger Mountain that were never identified, at least three girls, are voices that are silenced forever – and for what? Not to mention the other evidence that could have been tested for DNA if it had been protected and preserved and chain of custody protocols followed – but it wasn’t protected and chain of custody wasn’t adhered to.
So, if Bundy was really that inarticulate and that unintelligent then why did the authorities in WA State trust him with the recidivism study and the rape paper? Why did he serve on the Crime Commission at all if he wasn’t articulate? There are certain things you can fake and certain things you cannot and Bundy’s ability to rub elbows with high ranking officials and to execute on projects such as the rape paper and the recidivism study was because he had innate intelligence. Does that make his crimes less? No. Does that make his serial killing less impactful? Does that make him less of a criminal if he’s intelligent and articulate? No, it makes him infinitely more dangerous. Trying to lessen his innate intelligence while glorifying the law enforcement position during that time period really does nothing at all towards understanding this case and Bundy’s serial killing efforts that spanned a much longer time than just beginning in 1974. He was difficult to catch because he was working behind the scenes with law enforcement, elected officials and the justice system. He didn’t learn how to avoid being caught by reading detective magazines. He learned by working among them. He was much more dangerous, deceptive and inherently evil than the public story about him. By dumbing him down as a criminal they only negated the tremendous harm and destruction he did to those who had trusted him at all levels of society.
In a series of real time crimes, rapidly evolving as Bundy’s were, it is human nature to make mistakes and fail to see a larger picture. That is true of the public as well as the police. It doesn’t reflect on them if he fooled them – he fooled a lot of people – he was a psychopath. He fooled his victims. He manipulated me constantly and I lived – but I was damaged forever as a result.
It is part of the process of how these types of deviant personas work. However, covering it up for whatever the reason the authorities had at the time is intentional action and deliberate. Those actions are not acceptable under color of law. They are not in keeping with the responsibilities of law enforcement as a whole and they do not reflect the values of serving the public. They leave the public with the opinion that Bundy was stupid and he wasn’t; that the cops were always on top of things back then and they weren’t; and that the public did not catch Bundy when per the records it was the public who identified him and the public who spoke out about him and the public who did what the law enforcement community had asked of them.
Quote from Bundy in the 1984 interview: “…it was just unavoidable to become familiar with police procedures [pause] over the years that I was on the streets [pause] and it wasn’t out of any desire to be a police officer, I mean I did work for the Seattle Crime Bureau but that wasn’t [pause] I didn’t select the job because I wanted to get close to law enforcement, that was sort of genuinely a coincidence[pause] I did not really look for that job to get inside police [pause] and in the job with King County law enforcement, with the King County deputies office, I remember filing for all the records in file cabinets on the first floor of the courthouse in the Sheriff’s office [pause] I went through all that stuff [pause] but that wasn’t because [pause] I didn’t get that job because I wanted to get inside the Feds, the police officers, but it just happened that the job opened up and [pause] there’s plenty of ways to learn how to [pause] to learn police procedures without getting close to you. Detective magazines contain a surprising amount of information, about investigative techniques, laws, methods of operation…”
Putting the above statement in context: it had to do with investigators asking him why he had wanted to reach out about the Green River killing. I personally don’t believe his entrenchment into law enforcement during his years of killing in WA State was accidental. With Bundy’s background in psychology and having honed his killing skills by 1974 to the point where he was killing at least one a month nearly every month, to me this embedding into law enforcement was a twofold objective: gain their confidence and trust and develop relationships that might provide him options if caught and secondly learn their vulnerabilities to give himself an edge. He was too much of a planner and his killing outside of the breakdown at the end, wasn’t reactionary. He was conducting surveillance on his victims beforehand, he could strike without anyone knowing or understanding that they’d seen or witnessed a crime even in broad daylight, and he had two very well developed sites in WA State in Issaquah and Taylor Mountain/Tiger Mountain which makes me wonder if there weren’t more.
In the 1984 tapes it is mentioned that WA State had 58 known victims who were young girls missing and never found or dead and not solved as cases since 1971 in King, Pierce and another county. It serves to underscore the question of why WA State and the FBI ever allowed these cases to close when Bundy was a known killer with an escalation period documented in 1974 but for all we know he’d been killing that frequently since 1973 or sooner. The records they never talk about and deny suggest his earlier activity strongly. And they did close these cases, no matter what they may say now – they went out to the media with an inaccurate fictionalized accounting of the time period in WA State and they’ve been working the media ever since totally negating the protection of these cases and all that evidence that had been found at Issaquah and Taylor/Tiger Mountain.