How notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was able to escape from custody not just once, but twice
Bettmann / Contributor via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — After a killing spree that left young women in fear for their safety and authorities baffled, Ted Bundy had finally been captured.During the 1970s, the notorious serial killer had murdered dozens of women on a rampage that took him across the Pacific Northwest and eventually to Florida.But on Nov. 8, 1974, one woman was able to escape his grasp. Carol DaRonch, then 18, was at a shopping mall in Murray, Utah, when she was approached by Bundy, who was posing as a police officer.Bundy told DaRonch someone had attempted to get into her car and asked her to come with him to the Murray Police Department to sign a complaint. The two drove off in Bundy’s Volkswagen Beetle, but he eventually pulled over and tried to put handcuffs on DaRonch.Watch the full story on ABC News’ “20/20” FRIDAY at 9 p.m. ET.DaRonch said Bundy managed to get one handcuff onto one of her wrists and threatened her with a gun. She jumped out of the car and flagged down a passing vehicle. An elderly couple drove her to the police station where she was able to give police a description of Bundy and his car.On Aug. 16, 1975, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Bob Hayward was finishing his shift log when he saw a Volkswagen Beetle parked in front of a house where he knew two young women lived.Hayward said he put his headlights on bright and Bundy took off. After being chased by Hayward, Bundy eventually pulled over, and Hayward began questioning Bundy about his car, where he found handcuffs, a ski mask and pantyhose with holes cut in it.Hayward arrested Bundy and charged him with evading an officer and having possession of burglary tools. Bundy was later put into a police lineup, and though he made attempts to alter his appearance, DaRonch was able to identify him in the lineup as the man who attacked her.Bundy was then arrested and charged with attempted criminal assault and aggravated kidnapping. After his trial in 1976, Bundy was found guilty of aggravated kidnapping and sentenced to minimum of one to a maximum of 15 years in a Utah state prison.Ted Bundy jumps out of a window and into freedomMeanwhile, detectives had found evidence linking Bundy to the Colorado murder of Caryn Campbell. In a search of his car, police found hairs, one of which was matched to Caryn Campbell, a 23-year-old nurse found murdered near Snowmass, Colorado, in February 1975, a month after she went missing while vacationing with her fiance at a ski resort.Bundy was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Campbell. He was transferred from Utah to a jail in Aspen, Colorado, to stand trial.Bundy was allowed to assist in his own defense, so he had the right to use the law library, which was located on the second floor of the same building as the Pitkin County Courthouse. The judge decreed that Bundy didn’t need to wear leg shackles or handcuffs, so he was allowed to walk freely into the courtroom and to the law library.“Over the months, I had noticed a number of opportunities to just walk right out,” Bundy is heard later saying in a recording of a phone call with prison psychologist Dr. Al Carlisle. “I’d thought a great deal about escape, and I don’t know if I had the guts to do it, quite frankly.”On June 7, 1977, Bundy finally took the opportunity while locked in the law library by sheriff’s deputies.“The guard went outside for a smoke. The windows are open, and the fresh air is blowing through. And the sky was blue, and I said, ‘I’m ready to go,’ and walked to the window and jumped out,” Bundy told Carlisle. “Honest to god, I just got sick and tired of being locked up.”Bundy jumped from the second-story window of the building and ran straight for the mountains.“I had no plan. I had nobody helping me. I had no money. I had no nothing,” Bundy said to Carlisle of his escape.About 10 minutes passed before anyone realized Bundy had escaped. Roadblocks were put up at both ends of Aspen, and the sheriff’s department searched each vehicle that left town.Bundy fled into the mountains, where he broke into a cabin, staying for several days. Bundy eventually walked back into Aspen, where he stole a car that was unlocked and had the keys in the ignition. A deputy pulled over Bundy after spotting the car weaving along the road, and six days after his escape, Bundy was back in custody.Ted Bundy makes his second daring escapeBundy was then moved to the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In his cell was a grate that was not secured. There was also a light fixture that was due to be welded but had not yet been in the time Bundy was behind bars.In the months he spent at the jail, Bundy began losing weight.“When I visited him in Glenwood, I noticed that he had lost a lot of weight,” John Henry Browne, Bundy’s former defense attorney, told “20/20.” “I’d say he’d lost 20 or 25 pounds. I would think this would’ve come to the attention of the jailers perhaps. Why is he doing this?”Bundy carved an opening that was in the ceiling of his cell wider than it was so that he could fit through, and he arranged some law books and pillows to make it look like there was a body in his bed.“He crawled through the ducting just like in a movie,” Browne said. On Dec. 30, 1977, Bundy came down into one of the jailer’s apartments, who wasn’t there, put on civilian clothes and escaped into the night.Ted Bundy’s final stopFor a second time, Bundy had managed to escape from police custody in Colorado. After leaving the jail, he boarded a flight to Chicago, took a train to Ann Arbor, Michigan, drove south to Atlanta and got on a bus to Tallahassee, Florida.Bundy was added to the list of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. It was in Florida where Bundy killed his final known victims, Margaret Bowman, 21, Lisa Levy, 20, and Kimberly Leach, 12.On Feb. 15, 1978, more than a month after the murders of Bowman and Levy at Florida State University’s Chi Omega house and a week after abducting Kimberly from her junior high in Lake City, Florida, Bundy was arrested for the final time.In Pensacola, Florida, at 1:30 a.m., an officer noticed a car loitering suspiciously. The officer ran the plates and discovered the orange Volkswagen was stolen. After a scuffle, Bundy was arrested but refused to identify himself. Once in custody, Bundy told officers he was an FSU student named Kenneth and gave them a stolen driver’s license.After two days in custody, Bundy finally revealed his true identity to authorities.In July 1979, Bundy was found guilty of first-degree murder for killing Bowman and Levy, three counts of attempted murder in the first degree for attacking Karen Chandler, Cheryl Thomas and Kathy Kleiner. He was sentenced to death in the electric chair.The following year, in February 1980, Bundy was convicted of kidnapping and first-degree murder for the death of Kimberly Leach and was again sentenced to death.On Jan. 24, 1989, Bundy was strapped into the electric chair at Florida State Prison, and at 7:16 a.m., he was pronounced dead.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.