A photograph taken by a tourist at Lake Sammamish on 14/7/74, the same date that Ted Bundy victims Janice Ott and Denise Nausland went missing. It’s widely speculated that Bundy is in the parked VW Bug at the centre of the photograph.
Liz furnished the name of a woman that Ted had dated during the summer of 1972, a woman who had caused her to to break up with her lover briefly. This woman, Claire Forest, was slender, brunette, with her long straight hair parted in the middle. When she was contacted by detectives, Claire Forest remembered Ted well. Although she had never been seriously interested in him, she said, they had dated often in 1972.
“He didn’t feel that he fit in with my… my ‘class.’ I guess that’s the only way to describe it. He wouldn’t come to my parents’ house because he said he just didn’t fit in.” Claire recalled that she had once taken a drive with Ted, a drive over country roads in the Lake Sammamish area. “He told me that someone, an older woman- I think he said his grandmother- lived around there, but he couldn’t find the house. I finally got fed up with it and asked him what the address was, but he didn’t know.” Ted of course, had no grandmother near Lake Sammamish.
Claire Forest said that she had had intercourse with Bundy on only one occasion, and although he had always been tender and affectionate with her before, that sex act itself had been harsh.
“We went on a picnic in April on the Humptulips River, and I had quite a lot of wine. I was dizzy, and he kept trying to untie the top of my bikini. He couldn’t manage it, and he suddenly pulled my bikini bottom off and had intercourse with me. He didn’t say anything, and he had his forearm pressed under my chin so hard that I couldn’t breathe. I kept telling him I couldn’t breathe but he didn’t let up the pressure until he was finished. There was no affection at all. Afterward, it was like it never happened. We drove home and he talked about his family… everyone but his father.”
“I told him that I sometimes wondered if he used me to touch base with reality, like the night Carol DaRonch was kidnapped and Debbie Kent vanished and he called me at midnight. Or taking me out for hamburgers after what happened at Lake Sammamish.
‘Yeah, that’s a pretty good guess,” he said. ‘It’s like it’s over. I don’t have a split personality. I don’t have blackouts. I remember everything I’ve done. Like Lake Sammamish. We went out to Farrell’s for ice cream after eating hamburgers. It wasn’t like I had forgotten or couldn’t remember, but it was just over … gone … the force wasn’t pushing me any more. I don’t understand it. The force would just consume me. Like one night, I was walking by the campus and I followed this sorority girl. I didn’t want to follow her. I didn’t do anything but follow her and that’s how it was. I’d be out late at night and follow people like that … I’d try not to, but I’d do it anyway.”
‘What about Brenda Ball? I remember you took my family and me out for pizza that night and then hurried away only to be late for Tina’s [her daughter] baptism the next day. Is that where you were?”
He mumbled something that I couldn’t understand and then said, ‘It’s pretty scary, isn’t it?”
‘But the police are saying that the murders started in 1969—that’s the year we met. What was it that made it start in ‘69?”
‘The police are years off,” he told me.
‘I thought if you ever got free, you’d never so much as jaywalk to stay free … and now this in Florida,” I said.
‘I know. Me, too. I loved my freedom. But I have a sickness … a disease like your alcoholism … you can’t take another drink and with my … sickness … there is something … that I just can’t be around … and I know it now.”
I asked him what that was and he said, ‘Don’t make me say it.”
—Elizabeth Kloepfer, The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy
43 years ago today, Ted Bundy abducted Janice Ott and Denise Naslund from Lake Sammamish in King County, Washington.
July 14, 1974: (Sunday morning) Turns up at Liz’s. They have a “big fight.” Ted leaves. Chevron card has purchase, Seattle, $3.40. 12:30 p.m. Lake Sammamish. Abducts Janice Ott (23) and Denise Marie Naslund (19).
Lake Sammamish Park aerial showing where Ott and Naslund were taken in relation to where witnesses say Ted parked his car. From “A Visual Timeline”
Bundy’s employment records for that summer show that he called in sick on the Friday before and the Monday following the two murders and Lake Sammamish. A friend later reported that “Ted said he spent the time wandering the shores of the lake, feeling depressed.” (Rolling Stone, 1978)
One “insider” theory that developed during the trials and interviews of Ted Bundy was that he was potentially gay, something that was never addressed by Ted himself, but strangely suggested by multiple people who knew him and offered the opinion of their own volition.
In a report filed in October of 1975, a policeman noted Bundy to be gay, as if this were a known fact as plain as his name or eye color.
Ted admitted to visiting a gay bar located in Salt Lake City.
A male law enforcer claimed that he and Ted would “talk quite often”, and that those talks gave him the impression that Ted was gay.
Marleigh Lang, the roommate of one of Ted’s girlfriends, insisted that Ted’s relationship with his girlfriend was purely beneficial to him financially and socially, as she was much more affluent than he was. Lang notes that the relationship was disingenuous, and that she got the impression he was queer.
One of the witnesses who described Bundy after the Lake Sammamish abductions said that the way he spoke “sounded like a f*g”.
One of Ted’s high school professors was openly gay, and another was described as being very effeminate. The latter apparently had a good student-teacher relationship with Ted and labeled him an “open thinker, very responsive.”
Although each of these points individually are presented to be true, most are opinion-based and I don’t claim this post to be of any persuasion on the matter. I just wanted to share some of the points the officials were looking into for some reason while trying to understand who Ted was, collected from some books.
From Violent Mind by Dr. Al Carlisle, a discussion he had with Mrs. Sybil Ferris about Ted Bundy:
…She was very open about Ted.
I’m a woman of 70 years and I know what goes on but he doesn’t have it.
What was he like when you first met him?
I don’t know if he was high on dope or liquor, but he was sure a peculiar person.
In what way?
He was going with a girl from San Francisco. He would portray himself to be a really big politician to try to get in good with her family. He borrowed Havilland China and Sterling Silver and linen from me, and he had her there for dinner, and he was going to show her what a fine cook he was, and what a man he would be around the house. He got her drunk and they spent the night there.
He borrowed my car several times to go out on night trips. I was scared to death when he was gone. There was something up because he just wasn’t running true to form of where he was going or what he was doing.
He got him a job at the Olympic Hotel and went through the men’s employee lockers and found some old tuxedos. It was waiter’s clothes: pants, coat, and other things. He got them fixed up and he would dress himself up as if he were a headwaiter in some restaurant. He lived for a short while with an elderly couple and they were going to go to Norway. They finally had to ask him to move. He got a job at Safeway for a short while and just quit, not even going back to work to tell them he was leaving. He borrowed a hundred dollars from me. I tried to get him to pay me back but he always had some reason why he couldn’t pay me back right then. He never did pay me back.
One of the men Ted was going around with got some furniture from me to sell for me but I never got the money for it. He is a very, very peculiar boy. He was just kind of sneaking around. He’d be on the telephone when you’d least expect him to be on the telephone. He would tell me he was going to be one place and he would be somewhere else.
He left the area on a plane one time. He said he was going to Colorado to be a ski instructor there. Something happened and he came back. He went to Pennsylvania and drove his uncle’s Cadillac and came back flat broke looking for a job. All in all, he’s just a very weird boy.
I talked to his mother once. I asked her if she would appeal to him as a man to return the hundred dollars I loaned him. His mother said, “He doesn’t live here anymore and we’re not responsible for anything he does.”
He would use a British accent. I worked with him at the Seattle Yacht Club when he was a busboy and I got him a job at the Olympus Hotel. Then he got a job at Safeway. Then he got into politics. I called and told them he was a strange boy and a little on the crooked side.
He was six weeks at the Yacht Club and they let him go. He wasn’t supposed to eat the food, but he was always in the pantry eating all the fresh foods and whipped cream he could get and all the fancy foods he could eat. He would grab them and take them to his locker. He was always in trouble with them.
Did he ever seem to be an easy person to get close to, or was he distant?
Oh, he was distant! He had kind of a running game of his own. He didn’t have too much to do with his family. He borrowed my car a couple of times saying he was going home. Ted never talked about his family or showed much affection for them. I moved him twice using my car to haul his things to a new location. Ted spent quite a bit of time at a friend’s house, an antique dealer who had been in prison.
Ted told me he was studying Chinese at the University of Washington. When the draft seemed to get close, he told me he was going to skip out and go to Taiwan.
I have been suspicious from the day those two girls were killed at Lake Sammamish with that “Ted”. I remember seeing him in an Albertson’s store in Green Lake with a cast on his arm. I was going to do something about it, but I was afraid to do more than what I had already done.
Did he seem strange? Mentally ill or criminal?
He seemed to have mental problems, although I couldn’t place him in any diagnostic category. He had a very expensive overcoat with a fur collar that came from the Yankee Peddler, one of the men’s best dress shops in the University District. He had a key to the men’s dormitory at the University of Washington long after he left there. He carried the key with him and he used to go in there and sleep on the lounge couches when he didn’t have any place to go and he would take clothing and things from the dorm.
I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt because I felt he needed help. I felt there was something very, very wrong in his life. It seemed as if he was quite an unloved child the way that it hit me. I just kind of felt I could help him, but I finally decided I was just knocking my head against a wall and I just had to stop it and I couldn’t have him taking my car and keeping it out until 3:00 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. in the morning and telling me he would be back at midnight and me sitting up waiting.
Where did he say he was taking the car?
He told me he was going on trips. He would be gone all these hours and would come back all hepped up. He did this two or three times. I thought he might be trafficking dope.
Yesterday, I went to a little (well, big) get-together with some friends at Lake Sammamish for a birthday celebration for my friend’s 33rd birthday.
We’ve been in talks for a while of having a kamayan since March and we’ve finally found the perfect opportunity to do it.
For those that don’t know what a kamayan is, it’s a Filipino style of eating with your hands. Basically, you use your left hand to grab whatever food you want from the table, and then you pinch it together with some rice with your right hand, and you feed yourself. I think it’s also referred to as a Boodle Fight
The food is traditionally served on giant banana leaves and the spread of food usually consists of barbecue, lumpia, and whatever else wants to be served by whoever’s cooking. For our kamayan table, we had beef and chicken skewers, lumpia, chicharon, slow cooked pork shoulder, corn, ribs, garlic rice, and an assortment of grilled vegetables.
I think it was the first time for everyone to eat kamayan from a table with food spread all over the place, but it was really cool seeing everyone enjoy themselves and just going in. There was one person in particular that was at the party that remained at the table for the majority of the feast while everyone else were just laying around in the shade or just sitting on benches because they were so full.
It was a really fun experience and I want to do something like this again. I didn’t cook for this kamayan, but I’m now inspired to host my own and I’ve got some ideas up my sleeve for what I want to serve.
Anyway, congrats to my friend on turning 33 with many more great years to come!
Linda Ann Healy (21) - 5517 12th Avenue NE, Seattle
Date : February 01, 1974
Ted abducted her from her basement bedroom. Her skull was found on Taylor Mountain, 20 miles east of Seattle. Ted dismembered her head and took it home. Forensic indication : bludgeoned. Linda was the morning voice of radio listeners. Every morning she announced the ski conditions for the west Washington area.
Donna Gail Mason (19) - Evergreen State College, Olympia
Date : March 12, 1974
Donna disappeared between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm that night as she was on her way to a jazz concert on campus. Her body was never found. Ted told Bob Keppel that he burned her skull to ashes in Liz’s fireplace.
Susan Elaine Rancourt (18) - Central Washington State College, Ellensburg
Date: April 17, 1974.
Ted abducted Susan around 10:00pm that night. She was on her way to a meeting at Munson Hall and was planning to see a German movie afterward. Her skull was found on Taylor Mountain.
Roberta Kathleen Parks (20) - Oregon State University Campus, Corvallis
Date : May 06, 1974
Ted abducted Roberta around 11:00pm that night. The circumstances of her abduction are unknown. Ted probably lured her to his car. Her skull was found on Taylor Mountain.
Brenda Carol Ball (22) - Flame Tavern, Burien
Date : June 01, 1974
Brenda was seen at the Flame Tavern by people who knew her where she stayed until closing time at 2:00 am. She was last seen on the parking lot speaking with a handsome brown-haired man who had his arm in a sling. Her skull was found on Taylor Mountain.
Georgeann Hawkins (18) - Seattle University District
Date : June 12, 1974
Georgeann was known as George by her friends and had a Spanish test coming up. That’s the informations Ted learned during the time Georgeann was in his car. Ted lured her by using a briefcase and some crutches. She agreed to help him carry his briefcase to his car, which she did. He then knocked her unconscious with the crowbar. He dumped her body at the Issaquah site.
Janice was a juvenile probation caseworker at the King County Juvenile Court in Seattle at the time of her disappearance. Ted was seen by multiple witnesses talking to Janice on the beach. She followed him willingly to his car to help him with his sailboat after asking him if there was room for her bike. Skeletal remains were found at the Issaquah site.
Denise was at the park with her boyfriend and a few friends that day. She was accosted by Ted to the toilet block only a few hours after Janice Ott abduction. She was last seen around 4:30 pm, leaving with a man. Remains were found at the Issaquah site.
Sunday, July, 14, 1974 - Denise Naslund was spending the afternoon in Lake Sammamish State Park with her boyfriend and friends when she walked towards the restroom in the park, never to return again. That afternoon, around where she disappeared, a man who wore a cast and asked for help with his boat approached a couple of women. They were unable to assist the attractive young man. However, Denise Naslund was the kind of girl to help someone in need, especially someone with a broken arm–an act of kindness that cost her life. Denise Naslund was not the last woman to disappear and be found dead.
Some of the miscellaneous garments recovered on site.
The hands-and-knees search of the hillside.
The railroad tracks and the grassy area just beyond the tracks, as described by Bundy during his confession.
The arrow point near the road where the bones of three victims were found. It would be a 10-minute drive from the Lake Sammamish.
An Issaquah police officer carried shovels into an area north of Interstate 90 and east of Issaquah after a hunter found the remains of a human body.
Police continued to search the area near this small road off Interstate 90 after the discovery of the remains of three persons. Two have been identified as those of Janice Anne Ott and Denise Marie Naslund, last seen at Lake Sammamish State Park July 14. The top of the photo, bisected by Interstate 90, is west. The park is about a 10-minute drive from the small road in the foreground, part of the old Sunset Highway.
This is a unique photo of a serial killer on the prowl, long before his capture.
It was taken in the summer of 1974, on the day Bundy abducted two women from the Lake Sammamish park in the photo to rape, torture and kill them.
Bundy was accidentally photographed sitting in his Volkswagen parked under a tree, right where he had tried to lure a different girl earlier. She trusted her instincts and evaded him. Later she was able to describe the car and the location to the investigators; in a stroke of luck, they located an accidental snapshot of the car on that very day.
Shockingly and disappointingly, his license plate had been obscured by a police patrol car - the troopers were there because of a drunken biker gang, and traffic had been blocked due to the incident for a while, cutting off Bundy’s way out. Bundy appears to be waiting for the road to clear, sitting inside the car on a hot day. The photographer had been taking a snapshot of the police intervention, and unknowingly caught the man inside the car instead.
Shortly before the execution Bundy saw the photo. He quickly started denying that it showed his car - but Detective Keppel, who interviewed him in his death row cell to catch some last-moment information, did not pay much attention to Bundy’s denials; instead, he noticed that the killer immediately recognized the photo and the place, and rather than wonder about it for even a second, he nervously rattled out the reasons why there “had to be many light colored VW bugs” in the park on that day.
Years later, Keppel said: “If it was possible to raise his stress level at that point, I could tell the photograph did. He attacked the evidence like the attorney he had always wanted to be.”
“Since my name came before the police within a matter of weeks after the Lake Sammamish thing, I suppose they can be faulted for not actually coming out to talk to me. But on the other hand, they can’t be faulted because they were working from a huge list. They had hundreds and hundreds of leads. Which one do they pick? Do they pick the law student with no criminal background, who was probably even known by some of the prosecutors working the case? Or are they going to go after the types, you know, the guys in the files… the real weirdos? The guys going around exposing themselves or whizzing around in a Volkswagen saying, ‘Hey baby, you want to go for a ride up in the mountains with me?’”
Liz Kloepfer interview with Bob Keppel and Nick Mackie on February 21, 1978
Liz Kloepfer :He called collect (on February 16 at 5:00 p.m.) and my daughter accepted the charges. I told him he shouldn’t be calling me, that my phone had a trap on it, and he said he was in custody. I asked him, “Where?” And he said, “Florida.” And later in the conversation, he said, he repeated over and over again, that this was really going to be bad when it broke, that it wasn’t going to break until tomorrow morning in the press but it was going to be really ugly. I asked him if he was referring to the murders of some sorority girls in Florida. And he said he wouldn’t talk about it. And I told him that I asked an FBI agent about those murders up here ‘cause I was concerned about them. And he didn’t want to talk about it. And, uh, then in the conversation he told me that he wished that we could sit down and talk about things, without anyone listening, about why he was the way he is, and I said, “Are you telling me that you are sick?” And he said, he was very defensive, and he told me to back off, and what he was referring to was how he had hurt me so many times.
We talked for about an hour. On Thursday. And then he was going to hang up and call his mother and call back, and when he called back we didn’t accept the charges and then we took the phone off the hook. Then the next Saturday morning at 2:00 he called again, collect, and he said he wanted to talk about what we’d been talking about in the first phone call. And I said : “You mean about being sick?” And he said : “Yes.” Then he said that he was going to try to clear things up in a way that he could go back in Washington close to his family…that he… I can’t remember exactly how he got into talking about it… the crimes… he told me that he was sick and that he was consumed by something that he didn’t understand and that, uh, that he just couldn’t contain it, I asked him - oh, go ahead.
He said that he tried, he said that it took so much of his time, and that’s why he wasn’t doing well in law school, and that he couldn’t seem to get his act together, because he spent so much time trying to maintain a normal life and he just couldn’t do it, he said that he was preoccupied with this force. Ah, he told me that, I asked him if I somehow played a part in what had happened, and he said that no, for years before he even met me he’d been fighting the same sickness and that when it broke we just happened to be together. Uh, he mentioned an incident about following a sorority girl, uh, he didn’t do anything that night, but uh, he just told me that’s how it was, he was out late at night and he would just follow people like that, but that he’d try not to but he just did it anyway. Uh…
He did talk about Lake Sammamish, he told me that he was, he started by saying that he was sick, and he said: “I don’t have a split personality, and I don’t have blackouts.” He said : “I remember everything I’ve done.” And he mentioned the day, July 14th, when two women were abducted from Lake Sammamish and we went out to eat that night about 5:00 and he was saying that he remembered that he ate two hamburgers and he enjoyed every bit of it. And that we went to Ferrell’s after and he said that it wasn’t that he had forgotten what he’d done that day or that he couldn’t remember, but just said that it was over.
Bob Keppel : The incident was over?
Liz : Yeah, that’s the implication I got.
Keppel : Did he mention the incident specifically?
Liz : Yes.
Keppel : What did he say?
Liz : He just mentioned the day. He didn’t…
Keppel : He mentioned July 14th?
Liz : He said, “The day of Lake Sammamish.”
Keppel : “The day of Lake Sammamish” is what he said?
Liz : Uh huh… Uh…
Keppel : Did he specifically say that he had done something to some women that day?
Liz : No. No. I knew what he was talking about, and he knew that I knew it, so he didn’t relay any… uh, he said that he would answer any question that he could, and I asked him about the night that Brenda Ball disappeared because he’d been with me and my family and he’d left early in the evening and then the next day was late to my daughter’s baptism and I asked him if that’s where he’d been, and he mumbled something and I couldn’t understand the answer and then he said, “It’s pretty scary, isn’t it?” And I said : “Yeah.” (laugh).
I asked him, I mentioned that there was a phone call that he made to me from Salt Lake City when a woman down there was abducted. It was late at night and I’ve always thought, well, he couldn’t be out abducting women because i’d talked to him on the phone that night, and I asked him if he didn’t sometime call me or come over to touch base with reality after he had done some of these things, and he said, “That’s a pretty good guess.”
I asked him specifically about the Florida murders. And he told me that he didn’t want to talk about them, but then in the phone conversation he said that he felt like he had a disease like alcoholism or something like alcoholics that couldn’t take another drink, and he told me that it was just something that he couldn’t be around and he knew it now. And I asked him what that was and he said : “Don’t make me say it.”