Joni Lenz's roommates had not been particularly worried when they didn't see her in the morning of January 4, 1974. But when she still wasn't up and around that afternoon, they went into her basement bedroom to see if she was sick.
A horrifying sight confronted them.
Ann Rule in her now famous classic book on the subject, The Stranger Beside Me, wrote that Joni, 18, had been badly beaten. A bed rod had been torn away from the bed and savagely rammed into her vagina. Shortly after the discovery, Joni was transported to the hospital in a comatose state, suffering from damages that would affect her for the rest of her life.
However, she was lucky to be alive. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted Bundy, who reigned terror across the United States between 1974 and 1978. There were an estimated 35 more victims after Joni who were not so fortunate. Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in The Only Living Witness suggest that perhaps 40 young women may have fallen prey to Bundy, but only Bundy knew for sure. It is a number that Bundy has carried with him to his grave.