December 30, 1977: Serial Killer Ted Bundy Escapes!

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A Brief History

On December 30, 1977, serial killer Ted Bundy escaped from jail and went on to continue his killing spree.

Digging Deeper

Digging deeper, we find this murderous psychopath had actually escaped once before!  In June of 1977, having been jailed for assault and kidnapping (getting a sentence of only 1 to 15 years) Bundy was facing a murder charge and escaped from a window at the courthouse in Aspen, Colorado, running free for 6 days before being recaptured.

1977 photograph—taken shortly after first escape and recapture—from Bundy’s FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives poster

The second escape was from an actual jail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado despite possibly only having to serve a year and a half on the kidnapping case, and facing a weak case against him for murder.  Bundy sawed a hole in the jail ceiling and used the holiday decrease in manpower to climb unnoticed into the space between floors.  Incredibly, his exit from the crawlspace was up through the floor into the apartment of the head jailer!  Stealing the jailer’s civilian clothes, Bundy strolled out without incident, and the reduced staffing led to his absence not being discovered until the next day.  This late discovery certainly gave him the time he needed to get out of the area without alerting local law enforcement.

This time, his escape was to last all the way until February 12, 1978 in Florida, where he had committed several more murders and assaults, notably at a Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University.  There he killed 3 college girls and raped and/or severely injured several more, breaking jaws, fracturing skulls, and causing permanent injuries.  Prior to that he had killed a 14 year old girl.

Bundy after his convictions in the Chi Omega trial in 1979

During this latest rampage, Bundy also committed numerous other crimes, such as burglary, stealing from ladies purses at stores, and stealing cars.  Just as he did his whole adult life, this guy operated for his own pleasure and cared not a bit about decency or the well being of others.

Finally being convicted of multiple murders, Bundy was put to death January 24, 1989 in the electric chair.  Prior to execution he gave a confession to having killed at least 30 women and girls, but is suspected of having killed as many as 100!  This sick loser targeted young women that resembled a girl that had rejected him years ago, especially with long straight hair parted in the middle and pretty faces.

Hagmaier and Bundy during their final death row interview on the eve of Bundy’s execution, January 23, 1989

A manipulator and a liar right to the end, Bundy sought an excuse for his horrible actions by claiming that watching pornography made him commit rape and murder.  Question for students: Could anything be a valid excuse for his crimes?

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see the following:

Aynesworth, Hugh and Stephen G. Michaud.  The Only Living Witness: The true story of serial sex killer Ted Bundy.  Authorlink, 2012.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by Donn Dughi of Ted Bundy in a courtroom, circa 1979, from https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/103267is from the Florida Memory Project hosted at the State Archive of Florida, and is released to the public domain in the United States under the terms of Section 257.35(6), Florida Statutes.  Note: In accordance with the provisions of Section 257.35(6), Florida Statutes, “Any use or reproduction of material deposited with the Florida Photographic Collection shall be allowed pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1)(b) and subsection (4), provided that appropriate credit for its use is given.”

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.