Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Ted Bundy

Risky Attacks

It was on November 8th, 1974, when police investigators were to get the break in the case for which they had been waiting. That Friday evening, a strange but handsome man in a book store at a Utah mall approached 18-year-old Carol DaRonch. The stranger told her that he had seen someone trying to break into her car and asked her to go along with him to the parking lot to see if anything had been stolen.

Carol thought that the man must have been a mall security guard because he seemed so in control of the situation. When they arrived at the car, she checked it and informed the man everything was there. The man, who identified himself as Officer Roseland, was not satisfied and wanted to escort her to police headquarters. He wanted her to ID the supposed criminal and file a complaint. When he led her to a VW bug, she became suspicious and asked for identification. He quickly showed her a gold badge and then escorted her into the car.

An important witness, Carol DaRonch, testifies
An important witness, Carol DaRonch,
testifies

He drove off quickly in the opposite direction of the police station and, after a short while, he suddenly stopped the car. Fear had set into Carol DaRonch. The "police officer" suddenly grabbed her and tried to put handcuffs on her. DaRonch screamed for her life. When she screamed, the man pulled out a handgun and threatened to kill her if she didn't stop. DaRonch found herself falling out of the car and then suddenly pushed up against the side of it by the madman. He had a crowbar in his hand and was ready to hit her head. Terror-struck, she kicked his genitals and managed to break free. DaRonch ran towards the road and caught the attention of a couple driving by. They stopped and DaRonch frantically jumped into their car. She was crying hysterically and told them a man had tried to kill her. They immediately took her to the police.

Sobbing, with the handcuffs still dangling from her wrists, she told the police what one of their men had done. But there was no man with the name of Roseland that worked there. Immediately police were dispatched to the place where DaRonch had struggled for her life just an hour earlier but the madman was long gone. However, the police were able to get a description of the man and his car and a few days later, from off the girl's coat, a blood type. The blood was type O, the same as Ted Bundy's, as police were later to learn.

That same evening, the director of a play at Viewmont High School was approached by a handsome man who asked for her assistance in identifying a car. Yet, she was far too busy and refused him. Again, he later approached her and asked for her assistance, and again she refused him. Something seemed odd, almost scary about the man, but she ignored it and kept on with the work at hand. It disturbed her to see the man again in the back of the auditorium and she wondered what it was he really wanted.

Debby Kent, who was watching the evening performance along with her parents, left early to pick up her brother at the bowling alley. She told her parents that she'd be back to pick them up shortly, but she never did. In fact, she never made it to the car, which stood empty in the school parking lot. Debby Kent was nowhere to be found. What police did find in the parking lot was a small handcuff key. Later, when police tried to fit the key that they found into the handcuffs worn by DaRonch earlier that night, it was a perfect match. Almost a month later, a man would call police to tell them that he had seen a tan VW bug speed away from the high school parking lot the night of Kent's disappearance.

On January 12, 1975, Caryn Campbell; her fiancé, Dr. Raymond Gadowski; and his two children took a trip to Colorado. Caryn hoped she could enjoy the break away from work and spend more time with the children, while her fiancé attended a seminar. While relaxing in the lounge of her hotel with Gadowski and his son and daughter one night, she realized she had forgotten a magazine and returned to her room to retrieve it. Her fiancé and the children waited for her return in vain. He knew she was a bit ill that night and went back to the room to see if she needed help. Caryn was nowhere in sight. In fact, she had never made it to the room. By mid-morning, confused and worried, Gadowski informed the police of her disappearance. They searched every room in the hotel but they found no trace of Caryn.

Almost a month later and a few miles from where she had disappeared, a recreational worker found Caryn's nude body lying a short distance from the road. Animals had ravaged her body, which made it difficult to determine the precise cause of death. However, it was evident that she received crushing fractures that could have been fatal.

Like many of the victims found in Utah and Washington, she had suffered from repeated blows to the head possibly made by a sharp instrument. According to Richard Larsen's book Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger, the blows were so violent that one of her teeth was actually separated from the gum line in her mouth. There was also evidence that she had been raped. It was believed that she was murdered just hours after she disappeared. Apart from Caryn's brutalized remains, there was little evidence to be found at the scene.

A few months after Caryn Campbell's body was discovered, the remains of another person were found ten miles from where the bodies of Naslund and Ott were located. It was Brenda Ball, one of the seven women who had disappeared earlier that summer.  The cause of her death was blows to the head with a blunt object.

Police searched the Taylor Mountains where the bodies were found. It would be only a couple days later when another body would be discovered. The body was that of Susan Rancourt, who had also disappeared earlier that summer. The Taylor Mountains had become the burial sight for the madman known as "Ted." Two more bodies were found that month; one of them was Lynda Ann Healy. All of the victims suffered from severe head contusions from a blunt instrument, possibly a crowbar.

Police continued unsuccessfully to look for the killer. Five more women were found dead in Colorado under similar circumstances. They were not the last to fall victim to Ted's killing spree.

 

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