Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Bundy

The Murder of Kathy Devine

Katherine Devine
Katherine Devine

On December 6, 1973, a young couple stumbled across the remains of a 15-year-old girl in McKenny Park, Washington. Kathy Devine was last seen by friends on November 25th hitchhiking from Seattle to Oregon, trying to run away from home. Shortly after she began her journey, pathologists said she met her death. Kathy Devine had been strangled, sodomized and her throat cut.

Everybody believed that Kathy Devine was one of the many victims of Ted Bundy. It took 28 years and DNA evidence to find the truth.

Jim Carlile of The Olympian reported that Sheriff's Captain Dan Kimball never closed the files on this old case even though Ted Bundy had been executed and would not tell whatever he knew about the young woman that lost her life in Thurston County in 1973.

Kathy's clothing was shown on a television news program in Seattle and one of Kathy's sisters recognized an embroidered patch on the pair of jeans shown as belonging to a murder victim.

William E. Cosden Jr. mugshot, 1975
William E. Cosden Jr. mugshot,
1975

At the time of the murder, William E. Cosden Jr. had been living in the area and had been seen at the truck stop where he worked with blood on his clothes. Cosden had been released in 1973 from a mental hospital where he was confined after the 1967 murder of a woman.

Carlile quoted police reports in his article:

"Witnesses saw Cosden come in the night of the murder with stains on his clothing. The witnesses called police.

After leaving the truck stop, Cosden's truck caught fire and was destroyed three miles from the truck stop.

During initial interviews with police, Cosden denied ever seeing Kathy Devine."

In 1986, based on additional investigative information, a search warrant was obtained for Cosden's blood, hair and saliva. At that time, Cosden was in prison for rape.

William Cosden, serving 48-year prison term
William Cosden, serving 48-year
prison term

In 2001, these samples from Cosden were subjected to DNA testing. It was evidence which linked Cosden to Kathy Devine. Cosden, 55, did admit to having sex with Kathy, but denied killing her.

"DNA made the case," said Sheriff Gary Edward. "This came about as a result of technology and a lot of hard work."

Cosden is already serving a 48-year sentence for first-degree rape. He is not likely to go free again.

"She was beautiful inside and out, but she was a normal troubled teenager," Sally Ann Devine said of her daughter. "I don't think she had more troubles than anyone else her age during that time. It is nice to know that this has finally been solved. We've been wondering for 28 years. I still feel like it's a dream and I'm going to wake up and it'll all be over."

 

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