The Only Living Witness: The True Story Of Ted Bundy
The Story Page 21
The rest of what we were able to establish about Ted's movements during these months comes principally from his own and police records.
- January 31, the night Lynda Ann Healy was abducted from her basement bedroom, Ted attended his contracts class at UPS in Tacoma. He would have been back in Seattle in the early evening.
- March 12, when Donna Gail Manson left her dorm room at Evergreen State College on her way to a jazz concert and was never seen again, Ted Bundy's dated law school notes indicate that he did not go to school. For the preceding months, these notes show a pattern of regular attendance, but they grow sketchy toward the end of March and stop altogether in early April.
- April 17, the date Susan Rancourt left her dorm advisers' meeting and vanished at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, a VW similar to Ted's was seen parked at Taylor Mountain, where Ted's third dumping ground was later discovered.
- May 6, when Kathy Parks disappeared 250 miles south of Seattle in Corvallis, Oregon, Ted filled his VW's gas tank in Seattle and cashed two checks for a total of $20, sufficient money to cover the cost of a 500-mile round trip. During this period, Ted's gas-credit-card slips reveal that he did an extraordinary amount of driving, far more than would be expected of a money-short law student whose car-pool responsibilities were restricted to a single sixty-mile round trip from Seattle to Tacoma each week.
He chose April to inform Liz that he had decided to transfer to Utah; typically for Ted, he did so in a dramatic scene with tears and hand wringing. He didn't tell Liz that he had arranged the move four months earlier. Ted was also going to need a summer job, so he drove down to Olympia and secured work at the Washington State Department of Emergency Services.
The DES was a catch-all agency. Its duties included coordinating local disaster relief and search and rescue teams. One of its functions was to help in the hunts for Lynda Healy, Donna Manson, and Susan Rancourt. The search for Kathy Parks was Oregon's responsibility. Brenda Ball, Georgann Hawkins, Denise Naslund, and Janice Ott were still alive at this juncture.
But the emphasis at DES in the summer of 1974 was upon a different sort of emergency. The OPEC oil embargo had severely disrupted fuel supplies in Washington. At the time, there was no such thing as a federal or state Energy Department, and so it fell to DES to help bring order out of chaos by allocating the state's dwindling fuel resources.
Ted's arrival at the office in May of 1974 caused the customary stir among the female employees. The males, too, found him charismatic. One who remembers Ted cutting a handsome figure that summer is Larry Diamond. "Frankly," Diamond told me, "he represented what it was that all young males anywhere ever wanted to be. He held that image. I wanted that image, and because of that I was jealous of him. I think half the people in the office were jealous of him. The males and all of the women were taken by him, down to the crease in his trousers. If there was any flaw in him it was that he was almost too perfect."
Bundy, who was assigned to work on the DES biennial budget, became something of a mentor to Diamond. He was more familiar than Larry with politics and politicians. He showed Larry how things got done within the state GOP administration. But Bundy didn't share too much of himself, even on subjects as universally popular among men as the curve of a particular woman's leg or her bust dimensions. "He could have damn near any woman he wanted," Diamond recalled. "Most men talk of women in the sense of fantasy. He didn't. It was almost like he compartmentalized them. "Ted," Diamond continued, "was almost one-dimensional if I think about it. It's like there ís a very beautiful storefront that's attractive and lures you in. But when you get inside to see the merchandise, it is sparse to say the least."
A more fateful encounter for Ted Bundy that summer was with Carole Boone, later to become his wife and mother of his child. Carole would one day remake her life for Ted; her subsequent loyalty and devotion to his cause would beggar reason.
In the summer of 1974, she was a lusty-tempered free spirit regarded generally as the most competent staff member at DES. She is remembered by other DES employees as a sister/mother figure who did her work well but who also was not above starting a rubber-band fight, or leading a circle of her closest co-workers on three-hour liquid lunches in the Voodoo Room at the nearby Bailey Motor Inn. She had the wit and intelligence to do almost anything.
At the time she met Ted Bundy, her personal life was in tatters. A favorite uncle had recently died. She was newly divorced from her second husband. She was trying to raise her son, Jamey, and she was in the midst of a messy affair with "a large, unpleasant man," as she later described him to me. "I liked Ted immediately," she later recalled. "We hit it off well. He struck me as being a rather shy person with a lot more going on under the surface than what was on the surface. He certainly was more dignified and restrained than the more certifiable types around the office. He would participate in the silliness partway. But remember, he was a Republican."
According to Carole, Ted made it clear he'd like to date her, but their relationship deepened not into love at first, but into friendship and affection for each other. Part of the attraction was Ted's sensitivity to Carole's emotional problems. "I guess I was closer to him than other people at the agency," she said.
Carole noticed that from early June onward Ted's health seemed to deteriorate. During three weeks in August, according to her, he lost fifteen pounds. She attributed his poor health to the complex DES budget, which he had to finish before leaving for Utah in September. It hadn't helped that a cleaning woman had thrown out a cardboard box filled with Ted's budget files.
She noticed, too, that Ted was receiving a number of acrimonious calls from Liz. She tried not to eavesdrop on them; just as Ted would politely walk away when she fought by phone with her lover. But Carole could see that the calls from Liz made Ted nervous and cranky.
Ted and Liz had reached another crisis. According to Liz's book, she was waiting for some firm commitment from Ted before he left for Utah. She feared that their relationship would dissolve as Ted established himself in a new town and met new people especially women.
The previous autumn, she had discovered a bag of women's clothing in his apartment. At other times she had noted the container of plaster Ted had taken from Ped-Line as well as a pair of crutches. Liz had been too embarrassed to say anything. Then she observed a progressive ebb in his sexual ardor, beginning in the spring of 1974.
Now, his erratic and sometimes bizarre behavior was beginning to frighten her.