CRIME FILE - Famous criminal:
On 4 January 1974, Joni Lenz became one of the few women to survive Bundy’s brutal attacks, but her vicious rape, with a bedpost, caused her massive permanent damage, that was both physically and psychologically traumatic.
21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy, a slender, pretty, long-haired law student, was not as fortunate; her disappearance on 31 January 1974 did not initially alarm the police, despite the concern of her parents, but they were forced to review their stance when seven other young female students, all bearing a striking resemblance to one another, disappeared inexplicably over the following few months. The bodies of two of these girls were later identified as Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, who both disappeared on 14 July. Eyewitnesses on the day remembered a strange man named Ted, with an arm in a plaster cast, who drove a VW Beetle.
Bundy moved on to Utah, taking another four victims during October and November, one of whom turned out to be the daughter of the local police chief, and no effort was spared to track down the killer. Utah police noticed that the brutal signature of rape, sodomy and blunt force trauma was similar to the Washington State cases reported earlier in the year, and they sought assistance from their colleagues there, constructing an accurate composite of “Ted” from eyewitness accounts.
During this time, Meg Anders, Bundy’s partner of five years, recognised that the description matched that of Bundy, but when she contacted police they were duped by Bundy’s handsome, affable persona, and he was not regarded as a serious potential suspect.
Bundy’s botched abduction attempt of Carol DaRonch from a Utah shopping centre on 8 November 1974 gave police their first major break, providing further corroboration of Bundy’s identity, as well as a blood sample that resulted from his struggle with DaRonch. Debby Kent was not as fortunate, however, and she was killed by Bundy later on the same day that DaRonch had made good her escape.
For the following two months no further victims were identified, until Caryn Campbell was brutally murdered in Colorado on 12 January 1975, showing every sign of having suffered Bundy’s gruesome MO. Police were coming to realise that the Taylor Mountains in Washington State were a favoured dumping ground for Bundy’s victims, and extensive searches uncovered a further three bodies, all victims having died from blunt force trauma. Despite this success, police forces in four states seemed no closer to catching Bundy.