How Was Ted Bundy Caught?

Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy (Photo Credits: Bettmann | Getty Images)

Disclaimer: This article contains mentions of murder and assault. Reader discretion is advised.

America’s one of the most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy, was first caught in August of 1975 by Bob Hayward, an officer with the Utah Highway Patrol. ABC News reported that on the night he caught Bundy, Hayward had been finishing his shift log. He then noticed a Volkswagen Beetle parked in front of a neighbor’s house. Back then, Hayward was aware that two young women were alone in the house with their parents out of town, which made him suspicious of the vehicle.

When the light of Hayward’s car fell on the Volkswagen, the vehicle immediately moved. This prompted the officer to chase him with raised suspicion. Upon catching up to him and questioning him, Ted Bundy told Hayward that he was a college student and was lost, trying to find his way back. Unconvinced, Hayward searched Bundy’s car and found a ski mask, a crowbar, handcuffs, and a pantyhose with holes cut in it.

Bob Hayward arrested Ted Bundy for having possession of burglar tools and for evading an officer. By the time of his arrest, a sketch of Bundy had been circulating after he was last seen with several women who went missing or were victims of murder. His then-girlfriend, Kendall, had reported her suspicions about him to the police. She added that he possessed medical equipment at their residence, according to Oxygen.

Meanwhile, Carol DaRonch, an 18-year-old victim of kidnapping, had earlier managed to escape Ted Bundy. On November 8, 1974, he reportedly attempted to hold her hostage after luring her into his car. She identified him after he was arrested, and he was charged with attempted criminal assault and aggravated kidnapping. However, he was only found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and was sentenced to a minimum of one to a maximum of 15 years in Utah state prison.

How many times did Ted Bundy escape custody?

According to ABC News, upon searching his car, authorities found hair samples that were matched to Caryn Campbell, a 23-year-old Colorado nurse. He was charged with first-degree murder and was awaiting trial when he claimed he would argue his case. He was allowed access to a library at the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen. On June 7, 1977, Ted Bundy jumped out of the library window on the second floor. He then fled towards the mountains.

Authorities ordered roadblocks on all ends of Aspen, ensuring Bundy wouldn’t be able to leave the place without being noticed. Ted Bundy managed to stay in a cabin in the mountains for several days. He then decided to steal a car and drive along. After an officer noticed him, he was back in custody only six days after his escape.

Ted Bundy was subsequently shifted to the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. After he was moved into that cell, Bundy began losing weight quite quickly. He was down by nearly 25 pounds. He reportedly did this to fit through an opening in the ceiling of his cell, which he made wider than it previously was.

As per ABC News, on December 30, 1977, Ted Bundy managed to escape again. It was after this escape that Bundy killed Lisa Levy, Margaret Bowman, and Kimberly Leach, his last known victims. On February 15, 1978, almost a week after 12-year-old Kimberly was abducted, Ted Bundy was arrested for the last time after an officer noticed him lurking suspiciously. He revealed his identity to authorities after two days in custody.

Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a documentary series that is streaming on Netflix.

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