TED BUNDY: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In 2008 Ann Rule published one final chapter to her book “The Stranger Beside Me” (originally published in 1980). In this chapter she answers commonly asked questions to the best of her ability with the knowledge she has obtained over the years.
Who was Ted’s biological father?
This has never been absolutely established. His mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, said simply that Ted’s father was a “sailor.” His birth certificate listed his father as Lloyd Marshall, thirty, an Air Force veteran, a graduate of penn state university. Jack Worthington was another name listed as his father. Born at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vermont, on November 24, 1946, Ted had “illegitimate” stamped on his birth certificate. Many feel that he was a child of incest, fathered by his mother’s father, a man known for his violent temper. To the best of my knowledge, blood samples were never taken to establish or refute this. DNA testing was fifty years in the future. Ted had many names: Cowell, Nelson, Bundy, and all the names he stole from other men to protect his identity when he was on the run.
Did Ted Bundy really father a child in prison?
Yes, I believe he did. A frequent visitor to Raiders Prison in Starke, Florida, told me that prisoners in the early 1980s pooled their money to bribe guards to allow them intimate time alone with their female visitors. Whoever won that lottery did have enough privacy and time to impregnate a wife or girlfriend. Furthermore, the baby girl born to Carole Ann Boone is said to resemble Ted a great deal.
Where are Carole Ann Boone and her daughter now?
I have always tried not to know anything about Ted’s ex-wife (who divorced him before he was executed) and child, feeling that if I had no information, I could never accidentally tell anyone in the media details that would invade their privacy. I have heard that Ted’s daughter is a kind and intelligent young woman– but I have no idea where she and her mother may live. They have been through enough pain.
Where are Meg Anders and her daughter, the child who looked upon Ted as a father figure back in the seventies?
I have also attempted to know very little about Meg and her daughter, who is now around forty. Meg wrote a book, using the pseudonym “Elizabeth Kendall” many years ago. Entitled “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy” and published by a small Seattle press that no longer exists, it has been out of print for years. I was surprised recently to receive a phone call from Liane Anders, Meg’s daughter. Ted had hurt her emotionally, too. In the tangled way humans respond to trauma, Liane said she felt a lingering guilt about the young women Ted killed– as if there might have been some way she could have stopped him from killing. I pointed out that she should have no responsibility whatsoever for what Ted did. She was only a little girl when it all happened, a child who once loved and trusted him. Perhaps one day, she will write about her feelings, and I hope that “Elizabeth Kendall” will see that her book is reissued.
Was Ted Bundy ever cleared of homicides he was suspected of?
Perhaps once or twice– officially. I believed that he had killed Katherine Merry Devine after picking her up in the University District in December 1973– and so did her parents and many detectives. But there was a “sleeper” suspect that Thurston County, Washington, sheriff’s detectives were also watching over the twenty-eight years her murder went unsolved. His name was William E. Cosden and he had a record for rape and a doubtful acquittal on rape and murder charges back in Maryland. In March 2002, DNA retrieved from Katherine Merry’s body and clothing was compared to Cosden’s and it was a definite match. Cosden had believed he skated away clear. He had been visiting relatives who owned a service station in Olympia when the fourteen-year-old hopped down from the ride she had gotten from Seattle. He met her there in the gas station/truckers’ stop, and she trusted him. Cosden is now safely locked away in prison.
Wasn’t Ted Bundy really nice…. underneath?
Were you ever afraid when you were with Ted Bundy– especially all alone at the crisis clinic all night long?
Again, the answer is no. I had always prided myself on my ability to detect aberrance in other humans– both because I had that innate skill and through experience and training. And I have berated myself silently for a long time because I saw nothing threatening or disturbing in Ted’s façade. He was very kind to me, solicitous of my safety, and seemingly empathetic.
The only clue I had was that my dog– who liked everyone– didn’t like Ted at all. Whenever he bent over my desk at the crisis clinic, she growled and the hackles on her neck stood up. The lesson is clear: pay attention to your dog!
Don’t you think that Ted Bundy should have been kept alive– and studied by psychiatrists while he served life in prison?
No, I don’t. Ted would have found a way to escape again, and he would have been more dangerous than ever. He fooled any number of intelligent, experienced people– including myself– and he was fully capable of doing it again and again. That was too big a risk to take.
What was Ted’s I.Q.?
It was 124 on the Standard Wechsler-Bellevue. Enough to graduate from college and obtain further degrees. However, he never tested at the genius level.
Where is Ted Bundy buried?
No one but those closest to him knows. His body was cremated, and he had asked to have his ashes scattered in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. This was probably a wise choice, as a recognizable grave would be in danger of being desecrated.
I have read in numerous print (that) in July 1986, Bundy’s execution was stayed just fifteen minutes before it was to take place. And then again in October, his execution was stayed just seven hours before. Are these accounts accurate or just media sensation? And equally important, if Ted Bundy had only fifteen minutes or seven hours to live, why did he not confess until January 1989? Did his attorneys assure him that he would not be executed? Why did he wait and not pull this card in 1986? How did he know he wouldn’t be executed then?
First of all, he did not come within fifteen minutes of execution in July 1986; it was fifteen hours. He did come within seven hours of dying in November that year. His attorneys had filed eighteen appeals. I think he had begun to feel invincible– that there would always be another chance. He could not have known absolutely, however, that he wouldn’t sit in Old Sparky on each date set. He took a chance, and he won again. However, neither I nor anyone else could say then– or now–what Ted was thinking. And this brings us to the most omnipresent question of all: What was Ted Bundy really like? I don’t know. He was so many things to different people. He was an actor, a liar, a thief, a killer, a schemer, a stalker, a charmer, intelligent but not brilliant, and doomed. I don’t think even Ted knew what he was really like.
-Ann Rule September 2008 from “The Stranger Beside Me”