Related topics

Investigator: Bundy May Have Killed More Than 100

January 26, 1989 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) _ Serial killer Ted Bundy, executed this week, may have killed more than 100 girls and young women in murderous sex rages from coast to coast, says an investigator who tracked him for 15 years.

″My feeling is he has killed way over 100,″ said Bob Keppel, who as a King County detective investigated the eight ″Ted″ killings that occurred in western Washington in 1974, the first that were connected to Bundy.

In a frenzy of last-minute confessions that brought Keppel and a parade of investigators from other states to Florida State Prison, Bundy confessed to all eight and 15 more nationwide, and provided information on dozens of others.


Keppel, now a Washington state attorney general’s investigator, acknowledged that exact numbers may never be known and offered no details to support his estimate at a news conference Wednesday.

He did play excerpts from a chilling tape recording of a confession Bundy made Friday to the killing of University of Washington student Georgann Hawkins, one of the ″Ted″ victims.

The slayings were so called because witnesses recalled seeing a handsome young stranger named ″Ted″ in areas where several victims disappeared.

Bundy described a trademark ruse in which he outfitted himself with crutches or a sling or cast, then asked young women for help in carrying books or other items to his car, where he knocked them unconscious and drove away to murder them.

″I ... asked her to help me carry the briefcase, which she did and we walked back up the alley,″ toward his car, Bundy said on the tape. ″When we reached the car, ... I knocked her unconscious with the crowbar. ... There were some handcuffs there, along with the crowbar. ... I handcuffed her and put her in the passenger’s side of the car and drove away.

″She was unconscious but very much alive.″

He said Ms. Hawkins regained consciousness, and described driving her to the foothills near Issaquah, 15 miles east of Seattle, where he killed her. But Keppel stopped the tape before Bundy recounted the gruesome details - out of respect, he said, for the victim’s family.

″It’s bad. That’s about all I can say,″ Keppel said.

″I was shocked,″ he said of the way the victims were treated, adding that investigators hadn’t known Bundy’s methods because the victims were found weeks and months after their deaths, and many bones had been scattered by animals.


Bundy, 42, was executed Tuesday for the 1978 kidnap, rape and murder of 12- year-old Kimberly Leach. He was also convicted in Florida of the 1978 murders of two sorority sisters.

Investigators who spent time with him during his last days compared notes and when they added cases up, realized Bundy had been involved in up to 50 homicides.

Florida State Attorney Jerry Blair said FBI agent Bill Hagmeier told him that Bundy’s confessions closed the books on 13 killings in Washington, Utah and Colorado; provided information that may never be confirmed on 14 more cases in Washington, Utah, Idaho, California, Vermont and Pennsylvania; and touched on at least 20 more slayings in various states dating back to 1969.

Arthur Norman, a forensic psychologist on Bundy’s defense team in 1986 and 1987, said after the execution that Bundy earlier admitted killing two women in New Jersey in May 1969. But a Bundy lawyer, Polly J. Nelson, said Bundy had denied killing anyone during his time in Philadelphia.

Norman said Bundy, after many hours of talking, admitted the 1969 murders of Susan Davis, 19, of Camp Hill, Pa., and Elizabeth Perry, 19, of Excelsior, Minn., on the New Jersey shore, The Oregonian newspaper of Portland reported.

Ms. Perry’s father, Ray P. Perry, who lives in Seattle, said the possibility of Bundy being connected with his daughter’s murder had briefly crossed his mind recently, ″considering what’s been in the papers.″

But he added that he needs more than a report of a confession before believing Bundy committed the murder.

Bundy, who grew up in Tacoma, was a 22-year-old student at Temple University in Philadelphia at the time. He returned to the Seattle area in the summer of 1969.

Keppel said Bundy, a law school dropout and one-time Republican activist in Washington state, remained cold-blooded and manipulative to the last as he meted out information on his victims in hopes of delaying his execution.

″The whole thing was orchestrated from the very beginning,″ Keppel said of the law enforcement officers invited by Bundy to prison late last week.

The only sorrow Bundy felt at the end, despite his tears, was for himself, Keppel said. He added that the murderer’s final interview, laying some of the blame for his madness on a youthful ″addiction″ to pornography, was nonsense.

″Pornography is maybe one-one-thousandth of the whole problem he had,″ Keppel said, calling Bundy’s interview with James Dobson, a religious broadcaster and psychologist, ″totally self-serving.″

Keppel has interviewed Bundy several times during the past few years, and said he would take the information gathered in his latest sessions and present it to other law enforcement agencies in hopes it will help solve some still- unexplained murders.