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Ted Bundy - The Trial

Crime Files

Ted Bundy - The Trial

Life in Prison

The First TrialBundy went on trial in Utah, on 23 February 1976, for the aggravated kidnapping of DaRonch and, despite a relaxed and confident manner, he was found guilty and sentenced to a one to fifteen jail sentence in Utah State Prison, on 30 June 1976.Determined Colorado investigators, dissatisfied with this outcome, decided that they had enough evidence to have him tried for the murder of Caryn Campbell, and they filed charges against him on 22 October 1976, which led to his extradition to Colorado in April 1977.

Clearly not relishing yet another trial, Bundy began to make plans to escape. He decided that he would represent himself at trial, and was granted library access to research his case.

He managed to jump out of a window, whilst on a library visit, on 7 June. Police cordoned off the entire surrounding area, and Bundy was captured eight days later when he broke cover to leave town.Despite additional security he managed to escape again, on 30 December 1977, by climbing through a suspended ceiling panel in the Garfield County Jail, where he was being held pending trial.

His escape was not noticed until the next day, by which time he had taken a flight to Chicago, and then travelled on to Tallahassee, in Florida.Now using the alias Chris Hagen, Bundy supported himself almost entirely by petty theft and, apparently unable to quell his murderous impulses, he struck again at a Florida State University sorority house on 14 January 1978. Four students suffered severe sexual abuse, and two died as a result of the assaults, which had escalated even by Bundy’s standards: one of the women had been violated with a metal hairspray canister, another had her nipple almost severed.

The two survivors were extremely fortunate, but so was Bundy: local investigators were unaware of him, and evidence collected from the crime scene proved inconclusive.Bundy struck again on 9 February 1978, taking 12-year-old Kimberly Leach from her school, before sexually assaulting and strangling her. She was to prove his last victim; on 15 February, in a manner very similar to his 1975 arrest, Bundy was apprehended after a scuffle with a policeman, when the VW Beetle he was driving was stopped for having stolen licence plates.The Second TrialBundy’s second trial took place on 25 June 1979 in Miami, Florida; and the charges related to the attacks and murders of the Florida University Sorority students. 

The testimony of one of the survivors proved damning for Bundy, who mounted his own defence, as did the dental evidence that linked him conclusively to the attacks.The jury returned a verdict of guilty and, on 30 July 1979, the judge sentenced Bundy to death twice for the murders, by means of the electric chair.

Bundy continued to maintain his innocence.The Third TrialHis third trial related to the murder of Kimberly Leach, and commenced on 7 January 1980. Bundy decided against self-representation, and his defence counsel pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Bundy had lost all traces of his confident demeanour by this stage, and the volume of forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony linking him to the crime convinced the jury to again return a guilty verdict. Another sentence of death by electrocution was handed down on 7 February 1980.