Nineteen-year-old Donna Gail Manson disappeared from the Evergreen State College campus on March 12, 1974. Ted Bundy confessed to Donna’s murder two days before his execution, but her remains have never been found. This is her case file.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Donna Manson, 1974. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

Field Investigation Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Dept.
March 18, 1974; 1700 hrs

Deanna Ray called to request assistance on an attempt to contact the parents of her roommate, Donna Manson. Miss Ray has not seen Manson since 1900 hours on March 12. Parents are Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Manson, Auburn. Complainant says she has checked every possible place for Miss Manson with negative results. Miss Ray obtained the phone number in Auburn from Evergreen. She tried to call the residence with negative results. She can get a photograph of Donna if this department wishes one.
Central Dispatch send teletype to Sheriff’s Office in Auburn, requesting assistance with the attempt to contact, negative results as of March 18 at 1700 hrs.

Supplementary Report
Thurston County Sheriff Dept.
March 19, 1974

Received field investigation report on Donna Manson, apparent missing person from the Evergreen State College since March 12, 1974. Contacted Auburn PD to determine if teletype had been received and if Donna’s parents had been contacted. Was told by the Dispatcher that he would check and call back. The Dispatcher called back and advised no one was home, but the father was enroute to the college.

Contacted Mr. Manson, he provided the following personal information:
PARENTS: Lyle and Marie Manson. Mr. Manson employed as a music teacher for the Seattle School District.
VICTIM: Donna Manson, DOB 6/9/1954, age 19. White, 5 ft., 100 lbs, long brown hair, blue eyes
CLOTHING: When last seen, wearing red/orange/green striped top, green slacks, long black fuzzy maxi coat.
JEWELRY: Possibly wearing the following: brown agate ring, stone ½” oval shaped. Bulova/Caravelle wristwatch.
BACKGROUND: Donna graduated from Auburn High School in 1972, then attended Green River Community College. She toured Europe during the summer of 1972. This was her first year at the Evergreen State College, and her major was PORTALS (Personal Options Reaching Towards Affective Learning Skills). Her tuition is paid by her parents.

Mr. Manson advised Donna was last home on the weekend of February 23-24. They received a letter from her dated February 28, and she called home on March 10. During the period she was home, and when she called she seemed to be in good spirits. She discussed going to the beach with her mother, and tentative plans were made to go during her school vacation. He advised that Donna had never went away before without saying something to them. He described Megan Ellis as being Donna’s closest girlfriend. Megan had visited at their residence with Donna. He advised that Donna went to Selleck, WA on February 8-10 to visit with old school friends from the Green River Community college. A Jan P. went with her.

Mr. Manson, Gary Russell (College Security) and this officer searched Donna’s room. No notes or letters were found from her or to her giving a reason for her disappearance. Her suitcases were there, very few empty hangers in closet (indicating few, if any clothes were missing), toilet articles were in the bathroom. The bed was unmade. Her camera, sleeping bag, backpack, flute, and five to six dollars in bills and change were all found in the room. A grocery receipt for $10.85 was found in the trash, dated March 11, 1974. A film canister containing a vegetable matter appearing like marijuana was found. This canister and the grocery list were taken as evidence. All papers, letters and notes thought to possibly contain significant information were taken for further study. While at Donna’s room, a Tony R. came in. He wanted to pick up a large oil painting which he indicated belonged to him. Mr. Manson gave him permission. Tony stated that he had went to Selleck with Donna on the weekend in February and thought she may have gone back there. A Missing Person teletype was sent out on Donna to all of Washington-Oregon-California.

Statement of Megan Ellis
Date: March 19, 1974

Q: Miss Ellis, are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes, she attends the same college, where I am a student. She lives in the same building, Building C, and she attends classes together with me and we go out together socially.

From The Gallup Independent, August 11, 1973

Q: Would you describe her as a very close friend?
A: Yes.

Q: When is the last time that you saw Donna?
A: I saw her at 7:00 on Tuesday night in her room.

Q: Did she tell you what she intended to do that evening?
A: Yes, she intended to go to a jazz dance concert at 8:00 at the college.

Q: Did she say if she was going with anyone else?
A: No, I told her I would meet her there if I could see her, but I didn’t see her because it was crowded so I don’t know if she went or not.

Q: By no, do you mean she didn’t say who she was going with, or she wasn’t going with anyone?
A: She didn’t say anything about going with anybody.

Q: At that time, when you saw her, how would you describe her mood and mental condition?
A: She was in really good spirits when I left her. She hadn’t been in good spirits about a week beforehand, but she was coming out of it pretty well.

Q: Why was she in this state of depression?
A: She wasn’t too sure about school, if she wanted to stay in school or drop out and she wasn’t happy with the circumstances with the faculty and just generally angry at the whole thing.

Q: At that time, did she state what she might do or where she might go?
A: She had some idea of going to South America, but she wasn’t planning to do that until next year or this summer.

Q: How long a period had you known Miss Manson?
A: Since the beginning of school, which was in September.

Q: Who are her other close friends?
A: Sally W., but she is now in Indonesia. Andrea is also a close friend, she lives in Building B. TJ, a boy who lives in Building A.

Q: Did she date TJ?
A: No, they were just friends.

Q: Who did she date?
A: I don’t know. I just knew them as friends. I think for awhile she dated a guy named Gordon, but I don’t know his last name.

Q: Did she discuss intimate things with you?
A: Not too much.

Q: Do you know if she had any other boyfriends?
A: Not from the college, but she had one in Auburn, Michael. This was about a year ago.

Q: Does he visit the college?
A: No, but she visited him.

Q: Did Donna ever leave the college like this before for any period of time?
A: About a week or two ago when she went home and I went with her.

Q: Do you know if she ever left the college and went away with anyone on trips?
A: Yes, she went to Selleck for a weekend, for three days.

Q: Who accompanied her on this trip?
A: A guy named Tony and his girlfriend.

Q: Do you think that she would leave like this without saying anything to anybody?
A: No, she would not leave without her backpack if she was going a long distance. She always takes her coat and purse with her and she had those with her and about $10 in cash.

Q: Does Donna normally hitchhike?
A: Sometimes, but not very often by herself. She didn’t like to do it by herself.

Q: How would you describe the clothing she had on the last time you saw her?
A: She had blue slacks on and I don’t know what top she had on. She was wearing a maxi long fuzzy black coat and it didn’t have any buttons.

A letter from Donna to Sally W. in Indonesia. It was found on her desk after she disappeared, but never mailed. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

To: All Units; Washington, Oregon, California
Date: March 19, 1974; 1903 hrs

Manson, Donna Gail, W/F age 19 DOB 6-9-54 5’ tall 100 lbs long brown hair blue eyes.
Missing since 1930 hrs 3-12-74 from the dormitory, Evergreen State College.
Permanent address Auburn Wash.
Request King County check residence occupied by Green River College students located in Selleck, Washington.

March 20, 1974
Contacted Detective Vasil, U. of Washington Police Dept. It was learned that Donna was considering a spring project on magic-sorcery-witchcraft and had been referred to a Rick Miller at the U. of Washington. I requested Vasil furnish what he could about Miller. He later advised that Miller was not at the U. of W. proper, but was at the experimental college, off campus.
Mr. Manson came to the Department again to discuss the case. He had nothing further to report on Donna. Together we contacted the College Security, but learned most all of the students and faculty were away on vacation.

Memo from Evergreen Campus Security Chief Rod Marrom to Thurston County Sheriff’s Detective Paul Barclift

March 21, 1974
Was contacted by Mrs. Manson. She advised that Mr. Manson and Jan P. went to Selleck on the evening of March 20. They contacted Donna’s friends, who assured them that they had not seen or heard from her and had no idea where she might be.

Was contacted by Robert A., age 19. He advised that he had just returned and learned that Donna was missing. He advised he did not know her well, but knew her when he saw her. He described her as being a loner. He said he had observed her on March 12 between 1530-1600 hrs. She was by the pool table in her dormitory talking to a young man he did not recognize as a student or having seen before. The man was white, approximately age 20, approximately 6 ft tall, long light brown hair, full beard with mustache and sideburns all together and about 2 inches long. He was wearing a faded green t-shirt and blue jeans. He was not very close to the man and doesn’t know if he would recognize him again.

March 23, 1974
At 0900 hrs, an extensive search was conducted by approximately 150 personnel of the entire campus area and the drainage system. Search personnel were members of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, College Security, Thurston County Jeep Patrol, Explorer Post 734, Sheriff’s Emergency Auxiliary Task Force (SETAF), Northwest Blood Hounds, and Search & Rescue Unit #1 Fort Lewis. Search results were negative. Mr. & Mrs. Manson notified at 2000 hrs.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
The Daily Olympian, March 24, 1974.

March 25, 1974
Mr. Manson came to the Department and met with this officer. He had heard nothing since his last visit from Donna. We then rechecked her room, no additional information obtained. Mr. Manson requested we make a poster on his daughter and have the bill sent to him for payment.

Letter to Marie Manson from Megan Ellis. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

March 26, 1974
Conducted a field test of substance found in the film canister. Test conducted using a Becton-Dickinson Kit. Test results – negative.

March 27, 1974
Poster prepared for print and taken to Northern Publications, Olympia for printing. Posters will be finished approximately 1530 hrs, March 28, 1924. 2000 will be made.

Statement of Carol Spence
Date: March 27, 1974

Q: Mrs. Spence, what is your function at the Evergreen State College?
A: Faculty member in an academic program called Portals and Donna was a student in this program. In the program I have conducted seminars in general Psychology and Child Development and Donna didn’t do any of these, but I did see her regularly in Fall quarter in a Counseling Discussion Group that met 2-3 times a week. I had a long evaluation conference with her in December and this quarter I have had little contact with her except this Counseling Discussion Group met for fun purposes this quarter, and she participated in most of those.

Q: Can you recall the last time you saw Donna?
A: I think it was on the 20th of February, but I have seen her in passing at school. A week before she was missing, I saw her in Gil Salsedo’s office and he is another faculty member in the program.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Oct. 24, 1976

Q: In going through some of Donna’s personal papers and books, we came across many references, writings, etc that seem to indicate an interest in witchcraft, magic and sorcery. Do you know the depth of Donna’s interest and involvement in this area?
A: I think she was just starting to get interested in it, but wants to learn more about it and some books and people were suggested to her. I feel it was simply an interest that is common to many young people at this time.

Q: Who was she referred to?
A: Carol Alexa suggested that she talk with Rick Miller in Seattle, who studied magic and has a magic store in Seattle.

Q: Is he a member of the faculty of the University of Washington?
A: He was a graduate student in Physics at the University, but no longer is and currently is teaching a course on magic in the Experimental College, which is connected with the University of Washington, but not on campus.

Q: Are you personally acquainted with Rich Miller?
A: No, as far as I know, Donna didn’t see him yet, but she mentioned to Gil Salsedo that she was going to go see him. I had Carol Alexa call Rick Miller and describe Donna to him and to the best of his memory, he has not seen or talked with her.

Q: How would you describe Donna?
A: A person who, this year, seemed to have quite a lot of difficulty in finding herself and being able to devote a lot of attention to academic things, but I felt there was an improvement from Fall to Winter quarter as far as academics.

Q: Did she seem popular with other kids? Did she seem to have a lot of friends?
A: Everyone liked her. She was more of a loner, but she had some friends. She was a very likable person and I never heard anyone say anything derogatory about her. She was unpredictable.

Q: The fact that she disappeared on the evening of March 12, three days prior to the end of the quarter, would this seem significantly strange to you?

A: She knew that she had to be around the week of the 18-22 for evaluation conferences and I would think it would be strange for her to go away. The only pressure I feel she would be under is the program is increasing its emphasis on having the Spring Quarter project planned and she would have to know what she wanted to do.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: When I first heard that she was missing, myself and other people weren’t alarmed initially because Donna was known to take off for small periods of time and she didn’t mind going off by herself, and would travel by herself. But normally she did let other people know.

March 28, 1974
At 1255 hrs, a statement was taken from Michael U., a college student employed by the security office. U. stated that he was acquainted with Donna. He said he had seen her around the pool table at about 1530-1600 hrs on March 12. He advised that Donna did experiment with various types of drugs.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Courtesy Evergreen State College archives.

At 1410 hrs, a statement was taken from Clayton Sturgis, employed by the college security. He advised be had been on duty on the evening of March 12, 1974. He states he had observed Donna on several occasions walking about the campus at night. On March 12, 1974 he believes he saw her on three occasions walking back and forth on C&N Road. The first time was between hrs and hrs, then 30-45 minutes later, the again about 30 minutes after that.

At 1610 hrs, this officer was contacted by Mr. Manson. He stated they had just received a letter from Megan Ellis. The conversation was recorded. Megan mentioned in her letter that Donna may have left with someone she had just met and didn’t like. The letter will be sent to this Department.

At 1617 hrs this officer contacted Megan Ellis by telephone. The conversation was recorded. Megan advised that she did not report Donna missing right away because she thought she may have just took off for a few days, When she didn’t return, she then got worried. She stated that Donna told her on the evening of March 12, that she had met a guy by the pool table earlier. She referred to the meeting as a weird experience. Donna stated he had bothered her and had an encounter with another friend named Mark V. Donna only mentioned that he had blond hair.

At 1855 hrs this officer contacted Mark V. by telephone. The conversation was recorded. Mark said he had met a man by the pool table in A Dorm about 1530-1600 hrs on Monday, March 11. He believed this was the man Megan had referred to. He said the man tried to impress him, telling him he was a rip off artist and could get him any merchandise that he wanted. He was either buying or selling dope, but Mark said he didn’t know which. The man told him he was a student, and that his name was Short. He described him as Caucasian, 5’9” to 5’11″ tall, medium to slightly heavy build, blond hair (dishwater blond), hair 5 to 6 inches long looking like it had been styled and grown out, clean shaven, approximately 19 years old, clothing unknown. He stated he had seen him once before, indicating that he saw him both on March 11 and 12 in the same area.

Rainy street on the Evergreen campus. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Statement of Michael U.
Date: March 28, 1974

Q: Are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes.

Q: Can you describe your relationship to her?
A: Friends. We live in the same dormitory. I’ve known her for 4 or 5 months.

Q: How close were you to her?
A: Close enough to know her mental state.

Q: We have a report that she has been missing since 8:00 in the evening, Tuesday March 12. When was the last time you saw her?
A: In the afternoon or early evening of the 12th.

Q: Where was this?
A: Dorm at college at the pool table, first floor.

Q: Did you talk to her for very long?
A: No, very briefly.

Q: How would describe Donna, the type of person she was?
A: She was moody, prone to depression. She could be very happy, outgoing or a very withdrawn person.

Q: Is she fairly stable?
A: Fairly.

Q: What was her condition when you observed her on March 12th?
A: She wasn’t happy; slightly down, but not extremely.

Q: Did she indicate why?
A: No.

Q: How involved in drugs was she?
A: Moderately. It wasn’t extensive, but it wasn’t rare.

Q: Had she been using drugs the day you observed her?
A: No.

Q: When you talked with Donna, did she mentioned the jazz concert be held that night?
A: No.

Q: Did she mention a date with anyone?
A: No.

Q: To your knowledge has she ever left like this before?
A: Not like this.

Q: What do you mean?
A: I know she was prone to leaving for less than a day to collect her thoughts, for a short period of time.

Q: She has been missing since the 12th and wasn’t reported till March 17, do you have any knowledge of why she wasn’t reported sooner?
A: If she had gone off, they didn’t want her parents to know. She had conflicts with her parents. I know Megan and Peggy got together and felt it was better her parents didn’t know at that time.

Q: Were they concerned for her welfare?
A: Very much so.

Q: Do you feel that both Deanna Ray and Megan Ellis were truthful in the statements and information they have given the Sheriff’s Department?
A: As far as I know, they would be honest.

Map of the Evergreen campus, 1974. The C&N Road, Library, CAB, and Dorm C where Donna lived are highlighted. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

Statement of Clayton Sturgis
Date: March 28, 1974

Q: Mr. Sturgis, are you employed with the security office at Evergreen?
A: Yes.

Q: Are you acquainted with a girl named Donna Manson living in Dorm C?
A: Not personally. I have seen her around the college.

Q: What was the occasion you had previously observed her?
A: I’ve seen her walking on the road, over there several times in the evening.

Q: Was she usually by herself?
A: Yes, by herself.

Q: Did she seem to walk about the campus quite often at night?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you observe her on the evening of March 12?
A: Yes. The first time I was driving north on what we call the “C&N” road at approximately 8:00 or 8:30 and I observed her walking south. I went over and checked some buildings in the resident area and about 30 minutes later I observed her walking northward. I went on into the security office and about 30 minutes after I had seen her I again went north on the “C&N” road and again observed her walking southward.

Q: Did you observe her any further?
A: No, that was the last time I saw her. I was on my way to lock the buildings up.

Q: Do you know without any doubt that the girl you saw was Donna?
A: I’m pretty sure it was her.

Q: How would you describe the girl you observed?
A: Real small, short, real slender girl. Real dark long hair. I couldn’t be sure of her features. Wearing a long dark coat. I’ve seen her quite a few times out walking on that road, just back and forth.

Q: Was there considerable traffic coming through the college area?
A: There was quite a bit that night. There had been a concert and there were three different things going on that night.

Q: During the period you observed this girl walking, did you observe anything else in the immediate area or any vehicles?
A: No.

Telephone Conversation Transcript with Lyle Manson
Date: March 28, 1974

Lyle Manson: I think that paragraph where she said “the boy she was with just might be a boy she met once before and did not like at all, but I’m afraid I can’t be sure”; we just thought you might want to know about this.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Lyle Manson in 1956.

Paul Barclift: I’d like a copy of that letter. I just got the posters back and I think they said they were around $40. There were 2,000 of them printed and we’re starting to distribute them right now. We’re still having trouble trying to find people. I’ve been trying to call Deanna Ray all day and haven’t been able to get her. We’re getting set now as to where come Tuesday, the first day of school, we’re going to have people going around contacting the various groups at the college trying to gather information. We want to talk to people so bad, yet there isn’t anyone available to talk to.

LM: Okay. We’ll let you know if we hear anything else. What do you want in the way of medical records?

PB: I don’t know how illuminating they would be, but the doctors usually know what to make a copy of. Also the dental.

LM: We haven’t been able to get a hold of the dentist yet. Okay—

PB: I might say also that, you know what we found that day in the cannister we thought was positive, it did not test out to be positive. I don’t know what in the world it is, but it really looks like it. She may have even thought it was, but it certainly wasn’t.

LM: Do you know what it was, I think, fertilizer for some of those plants.

PB: No I don’t think it was fertilizer. It was a vegetable with seed and the closest thing I think it would be, maybe bird seed and very possibly she could have been feeding birds out in the woods or on her window sill. It certainly wasn’t pot.

LM: I thought she was giving those to the plants.

PB: Very possible. We’re still working pretty close to the college, if we could only get to these kids and find out who saw her where. I have one security man who feels sure that he saw her walking down the road—

LM: Well, you told me that. When do you think I should come down again, Wednesday or Thursday?

PB: Ok that would be fine, unless something happens and I will call you.

LM: Ok, I’ll let you know then. Thank you very much.

Evergreen State College Newsletter for the week of March 11, 1974. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Telephone Conversation Transcript with Megan Ellis and Mary Ellis
Date: March 28, 1974

Paul Barclift: Hello, Megan?

Mary Ellis: This is Mary, her mother.

PB: Is Megan at home please?

ME: Who is calling?

PB: Detective Barclift, Thurston County Sheriff.

ME: Did you call the other day?

PB: No ma’am I hadn’t.

ME: Someone called from Olympia the other day. I’m a little bit concerned about Megan.

PB: It may have been one of these reporters.

ME: Oh really? Because she was very upset at the phone call because the voice sounded like the man who assaulted her. So I was going to call you, because I wanted to know if you had called Megan.

PB: No, it wasn’t me. But there was a reporter I talked to, that asked me if I had any objection to him calling her and I said there was no way I could keep him from calling her. He was an older man.

ME: That man was an older man and at gun point he asked her name, and threatened her. So I, of course, being so far away I’m just terrified.

PB: You mean the guy on the phone was threatening her?

ME: No…

PB: Ok. I’m familiar with that; I’m working on that too. I’m working that case and I’m working on this missing co-ed Donna Manson.

ME: Oh I know, Megan is very concerned. Do you want to speak with her now?

PB: Yes please.

Megan Ellis: Hello?

PB: Hi Megan this is Detective Barclift, the one who talked with you in the office. I just talked to Lyle Manson. He told me that they just received your letter. He called me up when he got it. I wanted to find out who this boy is.

ME: I don’t know who he was, but Donna had met him in the pool room before and he had asked her a lot of things about drugs, I guess he’s a drug addict or something. She just left him alone, cause she doesn’t want to be around him, because he was bothering her.

PB: Did she seem to know him prior to this date?

ME: No, she didn’t know him at all. She just told me she had a weird experience and she told me that she didn’t like him, that he bothered her and another friend of mine had an encounter with him that might be able to describe him. His name is Mark V.

PB: He lives here?

ME: He lives in Dorm B.

PB: Did you see this man at all?

ME: No, I don’t know what he looks like.

PB: Do you know where he was from?

ME: No, but he wasn’t from the school. Donna said he wasn’t a student.

PB: Did she say anything about his appearance?

ME: She said he was blonde, she didn’t mention anything about a mustache. I don’t know if it was the same guy or not. She said he seemed pretty young though.

PB: Do you know what the difficulties were that Mark encountered with this guy?

ME: No, he just said he came to his room and bothered him.

PB: Everything is very important now. The case is getting older and older, and I really fear for Donna’s safety. It’s very very important. Her folks are just about out of their minds. So if there’s anything at all that you can tell me, now is the time to tell me.

ME: I don’t know anything else. I wish I did.

PB: When was actually the last time that you saw Donna?

ME: About 7:00 Tuesday night.

PB: Do you recall what she was wearing at that time?

ME: I think she was wearing pants, they were blue, but I don’t remember what shirt she was wearing. She has a lot.

PB: What kind of purse did she carry?

ME: It was just a small leather purse. Sort of a half moon shape, not square, more round. Old leather, it had been worn a lot.

PB: Was this with the strap over the shoulder?

ME: Yeah. She could carry it without holding onto it with her hands.

PB: Did she say anything at all about having a date that night?

ME: No.

PB: Did she say anything else about that man, about the trouble they had between them?

ME: They didn’t have any trouble really, he was just talking to her and she didn’t like talking to him so she just left. I don’t know what the conversation was. She hadn’t seen him before.

PB: Is there any trouble that you know of between Deanna Ray and her, as far as her moving out of the room?

ME: No, they never had any trouble. Deanna wanted to move in with her roommate from last quarter. It was an apartment that she moved into and she wanted to have her own room and stuff.

PB: If you can think of anything at all, will you please get in touch with us?

ME: Okay.

A note found in Donna’s room. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

Conversation Transcript with Mark V.
Date: March 28, 1974

Q: Did you see Donna on the 12th?
A: No, I didn’t.

Q: Do you have any ideas where she may have gone or who she may have left with?
A: No idea, no idea. All I know is that she was supposed to go folk dancing and she never made it. That’s what her roommate told me.

Q: Was she going folk dancing or was she going to a jazz concert?
A: Yeah, the jazz concert was in there and it is in between those two things. She never made it to the jazz concert. After folk dancing, she left and she never made it to the jazz concert and that’s when she started worrying.

Q: I didn’t even know about this folk dancing. What building is that in?
A: That’s in the CAB building; Campus Activities Building or something like that.

Q: And this was a special group that had this folk dancing thing?
A: Yeah, some kind of club or something. It’s an activity the college has.

Q: She actually participated?
A: I think so, I don’t know anything about that. That’s where I heard she was going.

Q: Do you know what time this gets over?
A: No, I don’t.

Q: How would you describe Donna as a girl?
A: Very short.

Q: Well, I mean emotionally, the type of person she is?
A: She’s rather quiet until you cross her and then she’s quite vocal in her opinion.

Q: Is she friendly with everyone?
A: Yeah, she seems to be.

Q: Is she quite popular as far as the number of friends?
A: Fairly, yes.

Q: Does she go to bed with a lot of boys?
A: Hardly.

Q: How about her narcotic involvement?
A: No.

Q: You don’t know of any?
A: I don’t think so.

Q: Do you have any idea about this matter at all?
A: No I wish that I could help you, but that’s all I know. I’m glad it’s this guy, though, cause I don’t like him.

Q: Well, I want to find him and I want to find her. Is there anything else you can tell me that might help to find this guy’?
A: No, I’m sorry. I wish there was.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

March 29, 1974
At 0930 hrs this officer met with Rod Marrom, Chief of College Security. It was decided that Security Personnel from the college would contact the various groups at the college on April 2 and brief them on Donna’s disappearance. They would provide a conference room to the Sheriff’s Department to begin interviewing witnesses. It was felt that this system would reach the vast majority of the student body (about 1,200) within a short time period.

At 1110 hrs this officer contacted Deanna Ray by telephone. Deanna advised that she moved out of Donna’s room when she did because the room became available. The move was already planned, prior to Donna’s disappearance. She advised that they were still on good terms. She also mentioned Donna’s experimenting with drugs, mentioning marijuana and LSD.

Record search of local agencies revealed one subject J. Short matching description given by Mark V. Short has record as follows: Shoplifting and Prowling in 1970; Grand Larceny in 1971; DIP in 1972; Drug violation 1973. Record or wants requested from Washington-Oregon-California. Description of Short: white male, born in Olympia, brown hair, blue eyes.

Letter from Marie Manson to Det. Barclift
March 29, 1974

Marie Manson, circa 1950s. Courtesy

Dear Mr. Barclift,
To confirm the telephone conversation between you and Lyle, I am sending on this typed copy of a letter from Megan Ellis, received on March 28, which was in response to a written appeal by me to Megan to disclose any information she might be withholding, for whatever reason.
As is quite evident from this letter, Megan is deeply concerned and troubled over Donna’s disappearance, and it seems this gives substantial evidence that she is not withholding information. However, it would seem worthwhile to press her for more knowledge about the “boy Donna met once before and did not like at all…”
Our dentist released her dental chart, and it will be sent on to you later today.
We sincerely appreciate everything you have done to help us locate Donna, and the kindness you have shown. We hope and pray that with your continued efforts she may be found soon— safe and free from harm.

Yours sincerely,
Marie Manson

The Seattle Times
Friday, March 29, 1974
“Answers sought to co-ed’s disappearance,” by Lyle Burt
OLYMPIA—About 7pm on March 12 Donna Gail Manson waved good-bye to three friends and walked out of her dormitory room at Evergreen State College. She was headed for an on-campus jazz concert. That was the last time her friends saw her.
Last Saturday nearly 150 persons—Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies, Explorer Scouts, Fort Lewis rescue unit, and other volunteers—combed the timbered, 990 acre college campus and surrounding wooded, brush covered area. No trace was found.
“We don’t have a thing,” Sheriff’s Inspector Charles Graef said yesterday. “Everything points to probably violence but we’re watching, asking questions, circulating posters and waiting for a break.”
As in many missing girl cases, there are scores of questions but virtually no answers. Donna is the 19 year old daughter of Lyle and Marie Manson of Auburn. The brown-haired, blue eyed girl entered Evergreen last fall after graduating from Auburn High School and attending Green River Community College for one quarter.
Evergreen authorities say she is somewhat quiet and reserved, but with the normal number of friends and acquaintances, and a better-than-average scholar. As far as has been determined, she had no steady boyfriend here. She was not known to have serious problems of any kind.
One question is why her disappearance was not reported for five days. Rod Marrom, director of security for Evergreen State, said no inquiry was made to college authorities until March 17, five days after she walked out of her room. “That bothers the hell out of me, if you want to know the truth,” Marrom said.
One thing hampering the investigation is that this is spring break at Evergreen and students are scattered.
The three girls left in the room when Donna walked out the door were Deanna Ray of Newhalem, Skagit County, who until then had been Donna’s roommate; Phyllis Lee of Burien, and Megan Ellis of Gallup, New Mexico.
Donna was reported to have been concerned about her appearance in the few hours before her departure. “They [the other three girls] said she changed clothes several times but said nothing about having a date or meeting anyone,” Marrom said.
When last seen she was wearing a red, orange, and green striped blouse, green slacks, and a distinctive black maxi-coat. The coat was square-shouldered, belted at the waist, and made of fuzzy material described as “plush.”
About two days after the girl’s disappearance was reported, a college security patrolman said he thought he may have seen Donna during the evening, walking along a little-used road on the campus. “He said she looked preoccupied and as though she might be waiting for someone,” Marrom said.
A thorough check of Donna’s room showed that apparently, she had taken nothing with her but the clothes she wore and $20. Her camera which she was known to carry with her virtually all the time, her flute, backpack, sleeping bag, and other personal possessions were all in her room. “It is not unusual for students to take off for two or three days, but usually they let someone know,” the security director said.
Thurston County Sheriff Don Redmond, when notified March 19 of the girl’s disappearance, put out a bulletin to all points in Washington, Oregon, and California on the law-enforcement teletype network. The college has circulated posters, bearing Donna’s picture and asking for information. There have been no results. So far no one has reported seeing Donna at the jazz concert that night, but there will be more questioning when students return to school on Monday.
One thing that bothers Graef and other sheriff’s officers is that Donna was known to have been “almost a constant hitchhiker.”
“Kids these days think nothing of starting out with no money and hitchhiking all over the country or wandering along dark streets and alleys with no fear,” Graf said.
Questioning will begin when classes convene Monday. The school newspaper will urge anyone who saw her to inform the college and law-enforcement authorities. New posters are being prepared for circulation. Above all, the officials will be waiting—waiting for a break.

April 1, 1974
Checked Donna’s room for small pill box alleged to contain LSD, did not find it. Megan Ellis picked up her typewriter which she had loaned to Donna.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Donna Manson and an unknown male friend, who appears to be wearing stage makeup or a mask. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

April 2, 1974
Statement was taken from Mark V. at the College Security office. Mark stated that he had an encounter with a young man, who was subsequently identified to him as J. Short. He states that Donna also had an encounter with J. Short. He believed the incidents occurred one or two nights prior to Donna’s disappearance.

Statement was taken from Phyllis Lee. She is the roommate of Donna’s best girlfriend. She advised that she had also seen Short in Dormitory A. He was accused of stealing a lid of marijuana.

Statement was taken from Tom M., who is also known as ‘TJ.’ He advised that he was close to Donna.

Statement was taken from Michael S. He was also in the room the night Short was there. He believes the incident occurred approximately two weeks prior to Donna’s disappearance.

Statement of Phyllis Lee
Date: April 2, 1974

Q: Phyllis, you room with Megan Ellis?
A: Yes I do.

Phyllis Lee, 1970

Q: Are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes, I know Donna.

Q: How close are you?
A: Donna is a very good friend of mine, she’s exceptionally good friends with Megan and that’s how I met her. I’ve known Donna since the beginning of the school year, October 1973, but I really didn’t get acquainted with her until winter quarter, after Christmas vacation.

Q: Do you have any knowledge of where Donna may be or anything that led to her disappearance?
A: I have no idea. I would like to think that she just took off on her own and didn’t tell anyone.

Q: I’ve interviewed Mark V. and he tells me that he and Donna both had an encounter with a young man that they both disliked. He is uncertain on which day this encounter occurred, but he related it to a night that Donna and Megan came to his room to play a record. He thinks that you were also present at the room. Do you know what night this occurred on?
A: Donna and Megan were there that night and brought a record to listen to. I came in later with a friend, Mike S., and I speculate it was Saturday, because I know from my own knowledge I was not anywhere near Mark’s room on a Sunday or Monday before the concert.

Q: Did you observe the man that they were talking about that they both disliked?
A: Yes, because he was a stranger and I was very curious as to why he was there. I walked in and he was already sitting there and I had no explanation who he was or why he was there. I observed him and was very curious about him.

Q: What did he do and say?
A: While I was in the room, I paid no attention to him until he was getting up to leave, when the center of attention was on him because he was suspected of having stolen something from Mark.

Q: What did they think he had stolen?
A: They were suspicious he had stolen a lid. I don’t know if he did.

Q: Do you know Donna’s involvement with drugs?
A: Yes, I know Donna smokes dope and has been involved in acid. As far as anything else I can’t say.

Q: Do you know Donna’s involvement with men at the college?
A: I know Donna’s been known to have been gone for one night or so at a male friend’s house.

Q: Do you know if Donna hitchhiked quite often?
A: Yes, Donna would think nothing of hitchhiking into Olympia to the store and hitchhiking back and so far there have been no incidents to make her think that hitchhiking was something to be feared.

Student reading outside Dorm C, circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Statement of Tom “TJ” M.
Date: April 2, 1974

Q: Are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes I am.

Q: How long have you known her?
A: Since about the first day of school.

Q: What was your relationship to her?
A: I would say we were more or less just pretty close friends.

Q: Did you ever date?
A: We went out a few times, but it was just with other people, it wasn’t really a close one on one type of relationship.

Q: At the time of her disappearance, were the two of you still on good terms?
A: Yes.

Q: When was the last time you saw her?
A: Probably a few days before the 12th.

Q: What was Donna’s involvement in drugs?
A: Mild. I’m sure she wasn’t doing any sort of dealing, just whatever drugs that were around, mainly pot. Just doing a little bit of pot and occasionally dropping.

Q: How would you describe Donna’s involvement in magic, sorcery and witchcraft?
A: I think she had a fairly strong interest in it. Interest in just more or less finding out what black and white magic was all about.

Q: Do you believe she would have been involved in a cult?
A: I don’t think so.

Q: Do you know if she associated with others who had similar interests?
A: I think that she was trying to find out other people that had similar interests, and she was finding out. She was contacting a few people but I think there was only one or two people on campus that she really checked up with.

Q: If Donna had been picked up while hitchhiking and indecent liberties were taken do you know or have the feeling as to what her resistance would be?
A: I have a feeling that she would probably would resist.

Q: Did Donna have a drinking problem?
A: No, I wouldn’t say that.

Q: Did Donna ever seem to have a large amount of money?
A: Not at any one time.

Q: Did she leave the campus very often?
A: I wouldn’t say very often. She didn’t have that much access to getting into town, other than hitchhiking.

Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff

Q: You described earlier that your feelings toward Donna was rather casual. What were her feelings towards you?
A: I think that Donna looked up to me in a way. If she ever had some sort of a problem, she was really fairly open with me. If she had anything she wanted to talk about or if anything was on her mind, whether she’d come to see me or whether I’d just bump into her, she was fairly open, she’d tell me.

Q: Who else would you describe as her close friends?
A: I’d say Megan was, as far as I could see, her only other really close friend.

Q: About the approximate period of her disappearance from the campus had you observed her with any strangers?
A: No.

Q: Do you have any idea where Donna could be at this time?
A: I can’t think of anything at all.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I don’t think there is really anything else. I’ve thought about it, naturally since I first heard about it and the whole thing has really been kind of baffling to me. I really can’t understand or come up with anything. Nothing, as far as where Donna could be.

April 3, 1974
Statement was taken from Deanna Ray, former roommate of Donna Manson. Deanna advised that both she and Donna planned to move, prior to Donna’s disappearance. She stated that they were both on good terms. Deanna recalled an incident which had not yet been reported. An Indian friend of Donna’s had come to their room to give her a massage. While there he stole $10 or $12. He later told Donna he had taken it, and did later pay her back a couple of weeks after he took it. She believes this was about the 14th of February. He is now supposed to be in Old Mexico. He is a student at the college.

Statement of Deanna Ray
Date: April 3, 1974

Q: Deanna, how long had you lived in the same room with Donna?
A: I lived with Donna since January 1, 1974.

Deanna Ray, 1971

Q: How long did you know Donna before this?
A: I just met her around December 12 or 13.

Q: Did you and Donna get along fairly good together?
A: We seemed to get along real well, and there wasn’t any problems. I got mad at her because she never did the dishes, but she didn’t know cause I never said anything to her cause I didn’t think it was that big a deal. We never had outright fights or arguing. That was our only problem and she didn’t even know about it.

Q: When did you move out of her room?
A: I started moving out on the 16th and moved out by the 17th of March.

Q: Had this move been planned for some time?
A: Yeah, I put in my name around the first of March to move out, because of the fact that Donna was bothering me and I just decided to move instead of hassling about it.

Q: The last time you saw Donna, were the two of you still on good terms?
A: Yes, we were talking about going to the jazz concert together. She asked me if I could and I said I wanted to save my money because I didn’t have very much and I wanted to go to Seattle. I didn’t want to pay the 50 cents to go.

Q: When was the last time you saw Donna?
A: It was March 12th, I’m not sure about the time, between 7 and 9pm.

Q: This was at your room?
A: Yeah, it was in our room.

Q: Earlier, you told me that you had eaten dinner about 5:30. What did she do after dinner?
A: After dinner, she was going to the concert, so she went and took a shower and washed her hair. She got out, changed her clothes a few times and I think she even changed the way she was going to wear her hair. I’m not positive, but I remember she just messed around with herself for quite awhile like she was trying to look nice.

Q: Did these activities seem suspicious in any way?
A: Yes, they seemed kind of peculiar cause she usually was more casual about it. She just would get dressed and leave. She wouldn’t really try to look nice all the time, she just went as she was.

Q: Did she give you the impression that she may have had a date planned for later?
A: By the way she acted. She didn’t say anything about it. She just acted like she was going to the concert, but the way she acted about getting changed, combing her hair and stuff was like she was trying to look nice.

Q: Do you have any idea who she may have met?
A: No.

Q: Did she have any steady boyfriends to your knowledge?
A: No, she didn’t.

Q: Do you know the names of any of her boyfriends?
A: On campus, there is a boy named TJ, I don’t know his last name. Then there is Gordon, I don’t know his last name either. Then there is a boy she used to like. I’m not sure where he lives but his name is Michael and I don’t know his last name either.

Q: During the time that you roomed with her, was she gone at night quite often?
A: Yeah, she was gone quite a lot. I don’t even know how many times. She was usually on a different schedule than I am. I usually slept at night and she would sleep in the day. She was usually up at night and she would come home really late at night and I never knew what time cause I was always in bed. Sometimes in the morning she would tell me she got home at 5 or 6 in the morning, or sometimes she just wouldn’t come home until the next afternoon.

Q: Were there nights that she wouldn’t come home at all that you know of?
A: Yeah. She always came home sometime during the day. She didn’t stay out for like 24 hours, usually maybe 18, but she usually came home by dinnertime.

Q: You mentioned a young man that came to your room that gave Donna a massage. Would you tell me about this incident?
A: Around Valentine’s Day, this boy came with her, he was an Indian boy, and he came with her and gave her a massage and he left later on that night. Then a few days later, her money was missing and she didn’t know what happened to it. She was frantic and I think a couple days after it was missing, he came to her and said that he stole it but he would pay her back. Well it was a couple weeks before he paid her back and I think it was just around the time that she was missing that he paid her back. I had asked her about him, like if she liked him or anything, and she acted like she didn’t, but there may have been more to that than I knew. I know that he left on a trip around the first of the semester.

Q: Would you describe this man?
A: Probably about 6’, 180 pounds, Indian and he had pretty long black hair. He was probably about 22.

Q: Was this man a student at the college?
A: Yes, he was in Native American studies.

Q: How much money was he alleged to have taken from her?
A: $12.

Q: What was Donna’s involvement in drugs?
A: I know she smoked marijuana and I knew one time that she took mescaline and she took some acid on the day before she was missing. She might have had some left on the day that she was missing, but I’m not sure. I don’t know too much about it cause I don’t know one drug from another, but this is just what she told me.

Q: What was Donna’s involvement in magic, witchcraft and sorcery?
A: I know she is really interested in it and I know she had quite a few books about it and she wanted to do a study, but no one at Evergreen could really help her, so Carol Spence, a teacher at Evergreen, told her a name of somebody in Seattle to contact and she had thought about transferring from Evergreen to the University of Washington because the guy, I guess, was at the U and that’s all I know. I know she really liked death. She liked to see movies on death and just a couple days before she was missing, they showed a film about death and she missed it and she was really upset.

Q: Did she seem to have a personal interest or was her interest more academic?
A: I think it was personal, but at Evergreen if you just have some personal interest, you can turn it into anything you want. You can study whatever you want. I think, she didn’t do very much this semester because she kept trying to find somebody to help her. She kept switching people. First she was going to study one guy and then she was going to study William Blake and then finally…

Evergreen State College dorm room, circa 1980 with unknown student. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

April 3, 1974
Through records at Olympia PD, J. Short is aged 16, 5’11”, 150 lbs, collar length blond hair, green eyes, residing with foster parents in Olympia. It was learned that Short had an extensive file with the Juvenile Probation Dept. Together with his probation supervisor we attempted to locate the individual. We learned that he was living with his grandparents for a couple nights while his foster parents were out of town. We also learned that he had been out after curfew until the early morning hours of April 3, 1974. Short was picked up at his foster home during the early evening hours and placed into Juvenile Detention.

April 4, 1974
During the morning, Short was brought to the Sheriff’s Department. He was advised of his rights, which he waived. Short was extremely uncooperative, refusing to answer the questions asked of him. He denied going to the Evergreen College during the month of March 1974, and denied knowing or ever having seen Donna Manson. He maintained that he was innocent of any wrongdoing. He was returned to Juvenile and was released.

Statement taken from Christopher W. He advised he was TJ’s roommate and had met Donna through him.

Statement was taken from Roger H. Roger advised that he knows Short from Juvenile Detention. He states that he also observed Short at the college campus on at least three occasions during the latter part of February and the first part of March. He stated that Short was usually with a Steven B., who also works at Juvenile Detention. He advised that Steven told him that he knew Donna Manson, and that she had told him she’d had an encounter with Short. She said that Short made her sick, uncomfortable, and that he could be dangerous. He advised that when he had seen Short at the campus, on at least one occasion he appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

It was learned that the Indian friend of Donna who visited her room was Jimmie C., Indian/Chicano, 5’9”, 150 lbs. He is currently enrolled in Cultural Anthropology and Mexican-Inca History. He left the campus in late March and is studying in the field in Mexico.

Statement of Christopher W.
Date: April 4, 1974

Q: How long have you known Donna?
A: Since the beginning of the school year.

Q: What was your relationship to her?                                           
A: Friend. Well, I got to know Donna cause she used to come and visit my roommate, TJ, and we are both in the same coordinated studies program. I used to see her in a lot of the group functions and meetings.

Q: How often did she come see TJ?
A: There was a while there she used to come all the time, probably once a day.

Q: What was her relationship with TJ?
A: Really close friends I guess.

Q: Did Donna ever say anything to you about how she got along with her parents?
A: Yeah, at one point her mother was sick and she seemed to care a lot about her and I think that that time left school to go take care of her and help out her family.

Q: Do you know if Donna was involved with drugs?
A: Probably occasionally. Marijuana and occasionally LSD.

Q: Does she have any steady boyfriends that you know of?
A: Not steady exactly. I heard of one old boyfriend somewhere that she still saw once in awhile, but in recent times I don’t know of anyone.

Q: Did Donna hitchhike quite often?
A: I think she probably did it when she needed to.

Q: Do you know if Donna was involved in magic, witchcraft, sorcery, or anything of this nature?
A: I doubt if she was any more than the average college student today; just reading about it for interest. It is popular.

Q: Do you know if Donna was involved off campus with any activities or people?
A: None that I was aware of.

Q: Do you have any idea where Donna could be?
A: No. I wish I did.

April 5, 1974
A statement was taken from Steven B. He advised that he knows Donna since September 1973 through his work with college housing. He knows Short through working at Juvenile. He recalls seeing Short 3 or 4 times around the latter part of February, or it could have been the first part of March. He also believes Short to have been under the influence of drugs on at least one of these occasions. He said that Donna did tell him about having an encounter with Short, while they had been playing pool in Dorm A. Donna told him she considered Short to be rather bizarre, and was fearful that he could be dangerous. He believes this incident occurred sometime between February 26-March 5.

This officer was contacted by a John T., Evergreen student. John advised that he had been hitchhiking from the college to Olympia and was picked up in a 1968 red Ford Cortina. The driver started telling him that Thurston County was a weird place and asked if he had heard about Manson and Potter. The driver also said that “the police only knew half the facts”- implying that he had first hand information. The Cortina is registered to a Rex J., Olympia. Subject is known as a doper with a burned out mind.

Statement taken from Andrea H. at 1210 hrs. Andrea was a roommate of Donna from October through December, 1973. She said that Donna liked to party and socialize, and did so most every night until the early morning hours. She would then frequently sleep in, and not attend her classes, asking Andrea to tell her what happened when she got back. She described Donna as involved with drugs, and not too interested in her education. She placed no significance on the fact that Donna changed clothes several times before she went out. Donna did this quite often. Andrea did feel it was strange that Donna would be out strolling about; Donna usually had a purpose to whatever she did, and was not one to just amble about. She described her interest in magic, sorcery and witchcraft as casual only, because it involved too much reading for Donna, who was “basically lazy.” Andrea moved out of the shared room, because Donna would come home late almost every night and turn the lights and stereo on.

It was learned that a Jack S., age 64, a known sex offender with a long record was in the area. He wrote a check with insufficient funds on March 12, 1974, and has not been seen since. Yakima County has a warrant out for the subject for the check offense.

Statement of Steven B.
Date: April 5, 1974

Q: How long have you attended Evergreen?
A: Three years.

Q: Do you also have part time employment with the Thurston County Juvenile Dept.?
A: Yes I do. I’ve worked there since October 16th in the capacity of a Detention Agent.

Student outside Dorm A, circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Q: Are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes, since September 1973.

Q: What is your relationship to her?
A: I worked for the Evergreen Housing Office and I have checked her into a room before.

Q: Did she recently decide that she wanted to change rooms?
A: No, she didn’t.

Q: Can you recall when you last saw Donna?
A: It would be about the latter part of February, or first part of March.

Q: Did you observe her quite often out around the college?
A: I did see her quite a bit down at the pool table in Dorm A.

Q: Did she play pool?
A: Yes she did.

Q: Are you acquainted with J. Short?
A: Yes.

Q: How do you know him?
A: I came into contact with him two years ago through the Thurston Juvenile Courts. I was working there as an intern.

Q: Have you ever assaulted anyone?
A: No, I don’t go around punching people.

Q: Have you observed Short frequently since that time?
A: I’ve only seen him outside the detention hall about three or four times.

Q: Was this at the College?
A: Yes.

Q: Did he visit with you on these occasions?
A: Yes, he did.

Q: What were the purposes of these visits?
A: He was having trouble in school and with his foster parents and he just wanted to come over to talk.

Q: Did Donna Manson ever tell you that she had met with Short?
A: She did approach me once in the latter part of February or first part of March to say that she’d had contact with him the night before and that he was down at the pool table and that the two had had some kind of conversation, which she considered rather bizarre and she was fearful that he could be a potentially dangerous person.

Q: Did she say anything else about him?
A: She did remark that he had a weird sense of humor and his way of relating to people was rather strange, spaced out type of way.

Q: Did she say why she considered him to be dangerous?
A: No.

Q: Did she express any fear for her safety from him?
A: Not for her safety in particular, just for other people’s safety in general.

Q: Did Short like to confide in you?
A: Yes, he did.

Q: Did he ever talk about sex involvements or his thoughts about sex?
A: Our conversations were surprisingly absent of that topic.

Q: Did Short ever show any aggressiveness?
A: Never in my presence.

Statement of Andrea H.
Date: April 5, 1974

Q: Are you acquainted with Donna Manson?
A: Yes I am. We were roommates from October to December and I knew her before that and I occasionally talked to her during the last quarter.

Andrea H., 1972

Q: While you and Donna were roommates, how did the two of you get along?
A: We got along really well as far as friends and stuff like that, but she was not a very good roommate, because our lifestyles were pretty different in the way that she would be going out and leaving at night and stuff and come in the middle of the night and turn on all the lights and stuff. As far as the main reason we stopped being roommates because our friendship was important and I really couldn’t take being her roommate with all the changes and our life styles being different.

Q: Did Donna go out quite often at night?
A: Yeah, she’d usually go out to party or visit people and she didn’t stay out all night that much, but when she did, I’d always hear where she was going either by her leaving a note or calling in the morning and usually she’d just stay out late. She’d leave about 9pm and stay out til 1-4am. I never really knew one way or another, it varied.

Q: When she stayed out all night or stayed out late at night, what did she do about her classes the following day?
A: She didn’t do anything. It was more important to her to sleep in, and she’d usually just sleep in til 1pm and just ask me to go and find out what went on in class.

Q: Wasn’t Donna concerned about her education at the college?
A: She was concerned in a way, that she wanted to settle down and start doing things. But that would often discourage her because she wanted to go to class and read the stuff, but she never really had the discipline to do it. It was more important to her to go out and party at night.

Q: Was Donna involved with drugs?
A: To my knowledge, yes. She’d drink occasionally and smoke dope and I would hear about acid, like she would talk about it, but I don’t know about that seriously.

Q: Do you know if Donna had any enemies?
A: None that I know of.

Q: Did Donna ever leave the room to just go stroll about the college or walk up and down the road or into the woods?
A: She’d always stroll from party to party, from people to people and she would make, like, appearances at different rooms and stuff, but it wasn’t in her character quite so much to just go aimlessly, without a purpose or anything. Mainly because I don’t think she had the patience to just not talk to people or just be by herself for too long. It doesn’t seem in her character to just wander for a long time with no one else.

Q: The night that Donna disappeared from the college, her current roommate states that she changed clothes several times. Would this be significant?
A: Not to me it wouldn’t. She always did when she was my roommate, she’d change her clothes all the time, about five times to try to look just right and she would borrow mine all the time and could never make her mind up. It would seem natural to me.

Q: Do you know the extent of Donna’s involvement in magic, witchcraft, and sorcery?
A: When I went over and visited during winter quarter, she said something about how she had a new idea she was going to do a project on white magic, but I really can’t take it seriously because like everything else she did, it would take a real effort and reading and that sort of thing to get really involved with it. I think it was just a passing interest for her.

Q: Do you have any idea of where Donna could have gone to?
A: It just doesn’t seem like her. Usually whenever she went someplace, she always would tell me and I knew just how long she was going and stuff, even when she went to California. I knew where she was going, she sent me a postcard and all that sort of thing. That’s why it really concerns me, because I can’t imagine her just leaving without saying anything. I don’t know where she would go other than to visit her friends in Auburn.

Q: Can you recall the last time you saw her?
A: The last time she actually came over and visited me was probably a week before her disappearance.

Q: Do you know if Donna was involved in any Black groups, Indian groups, or minority groups of any kind?
A: Not to my knowledge.

Q: At the time you last talked to Donna, did she seem to be depressed?
A: She was depressed. She was calling me up and saying she was getting discouraged because she couldn’t decide what to do for spring project and then when she visited, she wasn’t out of the ordinary depressed because she was on her way to another party, but she didn’t seem any out of the ordinary about it or anything.

Q: Did she ever mention anything to you about wanting to leave the campus?
A: She never said anything to me about it.

Path to residence halls. Circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

The Daily Chronicle (Centralia, WA)
April 6, 1974

Authorities also reported that while investigating the disappearance of Evergreen State College coed, Donna Manson, deputies learned of an attempted assault which occurred near the campus earlier this year.
A 21-year-old woman, who said she had been hitchhiking to a rock concert in January, had allegedly been given a ride by a man, who later taped her hands and eyes with medical tape. She also reported that he had held a small handgun to her head.
She told deputies she had escaped after she loosened the tape on her hands, tore off her blindfold, and jumped from the vehicle.
Miss Manson, 19, has been missing from the Olympia college since March 12.

April 8, 1974
Copies of missing posters were sent to the Dept of Immigration which advised they would post them at the southern ports crossing into Mexico as well as into Canada.

At 1005 hrs, J. Short was advised of his rights, which he waived. He also waived his right to counsel. Statement taken in presence of his probation officer. Short admitted having met Donna Manson at the Pool Table in Dorm A, and having played a game of pool with her. He believes that this was during the evening about the end of February, but states it could have been about the first of March. He states he offered her a joint, which they could smoke in the stairwell, but knew of no other reason that she wouldn’t like him or would make her say things like she is alleged to have said. He states to the best of his knowledge he has not seen her since. He admits going to someone’s room in another dorm during the late bours. He says they did accuse him of stealing a lid of marijuana, but that he didn’t. He says he told them he was a rip off, because he thought that they thought he was a “narc.” He admits he has used marijuana and has had a couple of hits of speed. He will not say who his friends are, and cannot remember things clearly. He believes that he was home on March 12th. He admits sometimes he sneaks out without his foster parents knowing it.

Advised by parole that Jack S. is currently an absconder from parole since July 24, 1973. Advised by Parole that he was picked up in Oregon and is now in custody. Parole was advised of the warrant in Yakima County, and our interest.

Statement of J. Short
Date: April 8, 1974

Q: I am showing you a picture of Donna Manson. Have you ever seen this girl?
A: Yes.

J. Short, 1973

Q: Where and under what circumstances did you see this girl?
A: At the Evergreen State College at a pool table in Dorm A building.

Q: Do you recall when this was?
A: Probably Friday night because the next morning I went to work. It was in late February.

Q: How long were you and Donna Manson together?
A: A game of pool, probably 15-20 minutes.

Q: What time of night was this?
A: Later part of the evening Friday night, 11 or 12.

Q: What did the two of you talk about?
A: Nothing in particular, just finishing a game of pool and I asked her if she wanted to smoke a joint in the stairwell.

Q: Was there an argument between the two of you?
A: No, no reason to have an argument.

Q: Donna related to friends that she had met you and had played a game of pool and she described the meeting as being very bizarre and she described you as being weird and having a dangerous potential? Why do you think she would make this statement?
A: Because I am not a student at the Evergreen State College and then probably since I am strange, I am a narc or unless she thought it was different to smoke a joint not out in the open like everybody else does.

Q: Did you and her smoke a joint in the stairwell?
A: No.

Q: Did you tell her that you were a rip off and that you could steal anything that she wanted?
A: No.

Q: Did you tell that to others at the college?
A: Yes, so at least they wouldn’t think that I was a narc.

Q: Have you seen Donna Manson since then?
A: No.

Q: Did you also go up to someone’s room in the dorm while a group was also present?
A: Not in that dorm.

Q: What dorm was it in?
A: I don’t know. I don’t even think it was the same night.

Q: Was it before or after the incident at the pool table?
A: It could have been the same night, but probably before then.

Q: On these occasions, how did you get away from your foster home?
A: I believe I was in town and I got a ride out to the college cause on Fridays I am usually working and I might get permission to go somewhere.

Q: Were you also sneaking out of your house without permission?
A: Yes, I snuck out one or two times.

Q: Can you recall where you were on the evening of March 12?
A: I can’t recall, but I imagine I was with my foster parents at home.

Q: Could this have been one of the nights you snuck out?
A: Not on a week night, no.

Q: Do you have any knowledge of where Donna Manson is at this time?
A: No.

Q: While you were in the dorm room the night that you previously mentioned, did you steal a package containing marijuana?
A: No, I was believed to have stolen it, but I didn’t.

Q: Was anyone in this room smoking marijuana?
A: No, I don’t think so. I can’t say because it was two months ago.

Q: How often do you smoke marijuana?
A: I don’t anymore. I have smoked it on weekends or maybe at school, but not too much. I haven’t smoked for probably 3-4 weeks.

Q: Have you ever used any other drugs?
A: Yes. Some speed.

Q: When was the last time you used speed?
A: A long time ago. Just a couple hits, about 2-3 weeks before I got kicked out of school.

Q: Do you ever have flash backs?
A: No, cause I only took those two hits.

Q: Who are your friends?
A: I don’t really have any close friends.

Students walking on campus, circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

April 9, 1974
In one notebook belonging to Donna Manson, the following in her handwriting was found:

“Paranoid speed freak hanging around waiting, just waiting alone he thinks security is after him, can’t roll a joint. Asked a lot of questions. Lived out on Cooper Point Road. Says he’s got a lot of hot shit. No doubt.”

There is no date on the page, but it follows by three pages, one which is dated Feb. 28th.

To: Dept. of Immigration, Investigation Division
From: Thurston County Sheriff
Date: April 9, 1974

Enclosed are copies of posters on Donna Manson, missing from Evergreen State College since 12 March 1974. Miss Manson is a friend of Jimmie C., who is currently enrolled at the Evergreen State College and is on a field trip in Mexico.
It is believed Miss Manson might possibly have left the United States and entered Mexico. Request that these posters be placed at Southern ports entering Mexico. Also request copies of the posters be distributed at the Northern ports in Canada.

April 12, 1974
Detective Miller, Auburn PD, called at 1540 hrs. He had contacted Donna’s ex-boyfriend Mike Meade. Mike advised he had seen Donna about two months prior, but knew nothing about her disappearance. He stated that Donna did meet a man called “Big John” whom they had both met in Morocco. She met “Big John” approximately a month prior to her disappearance. He supposedly gets his nick name from his height: 6 ft 8 in. Mr. Manson was subsequently contacted and advised that Big John was John D. Mr. Manson felt that John D. is a “good guy,” and “no way” involved in Donna’s disappearance.

A note from Donna to her parents, undated. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff

Statement of Kathy R.
Date: April 15, 1974

Q: How long have you known Donna?
A: Since the beginning of fall quarter.

Q: Did you see Donna frequently?
A: Only occasionally, sometimes during the week when kids would get together to play pool or something.

Q: Did you see her socially quite often?
A: Yeah, I’d say once or twice every couple weeks.

Q: Who are Donna’s close friends?
A: TJ and Chris were the only ones I know for certain.

Q: On the night she disappeared, they were having a jazz concert at the college. Did you attend this concert?
A: Yes I did.

Q: Did you observe Donna at the concert?
A: I don’t remember seeing her there.

Q: How much activity was going on about the campus grounds the evening of the jazz concert?
A: When I walked over to the concert, there wasn’t anybody around or anything. It was really quiet.

Q: Do you have any idea at all where Donna could be or who she could be with?
A: Not at all.

Q: Do you know if Donna attended different things occurring off campus or did she spend her time mostly on campus?
A: I think she spent most of her time on campus.

Q: Do you know what Donna’s involvement in magic, witchcraft, and sorcery was?
A: She wasn’t involved. She was interested in it. She wanted to learn more about it, but she didn’t know anything at the time.

Q: The last time you talked with her, what type of state was she in?
A: She was really kind of bummed out about Evergreen. She didn’t feel she was learning what she wanted to there. I think she was just having a bad day. She was complaining about a lot of things.

Q: Did she ever mention leaving Evergreen?
A: No, she never mentioned it. She was thinking of maybe next year going to another college or to another school.

Q: Did Donna hang around the pool table and Dorm A quite a bit?
A: She wasn’t there very often. I was usually there late at night. She would go by occasionally, like on the second floor and hang over the balcony and talk to us, but she really wasn’t actually down where we were.

April 16, 1974
Talked with Mr. Manson by telephone. Donna’s passport was left in her room, and parents now have it. Mr. Manson was wrong on the date Donna last called; it was actually on March 11.  Mrs. Manson said three blankets were missing from Donna’s things. She may have loaned them out or possibly taken them with her.

The bridge on Madrona Beach Road at Perry Creek, November 2018. Courtesy Google Maps.

Field Investigation Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Department
Date: April 16, 1974
Time: 2300 hrs

Offense: Suspicious Circumstances
A Mrs. Dunkelberger reports that she was east on Highway 101 and observed a Volkswagen parked west on Madrona Beach Road at Perry Creek. A subject (white male) departed the VW carrying a rather large object wrapped in a blanket. The subject threw the object and blanket into Perry Creek on the north side of the bridge. I checked the area but cannot locate suspect or object in the creek. Request follow up in the morning to check the creek during daylight.

0750 hrs checked at low tide, nothing observed in the area.

Note by Det. Barclift
Date: April 18, 1974

Spoke to Bill Doyle. Steve B.= pushing drugs, knows Donna Manson. Selling beer, pot. Working weekends at Juveniles.

Statement of Calvin “Jay” C.
Date: April 19, 1974

Q: Jay, are you acquainted with an Evergreen student by the name of Donna Gail Manson?
A: Yes I am.

Q: How long have you known Donna?
A: About 6 months altogether now.

Q: What was your relationship?
A: Just a casual acquaintance. We went out to dinner a few times and to shows a few times.

Q: During this period of time you stated you have known Donna, did you date her during the whole time?
A: No, I only dated her in the first month and I haven’t seen her since August or early September 1973.

Q: Do you know the names of whoever she dated?
A: No, I sure don’t. She used to go out with a bunch of band members in Seattle. Commander Cody, Lost Planet Airmen, and Ozone.

Q: Since the first part of September, have you had any contact with her whatsoever?
A: No.

Q: Were you and Donna ever intimate?
A: No, we necked, but that’s about it.

Q: Did Donna use any drugs?
A: No. She quit smoking pot the same month I met her. She was just getting into playing the flute and raising plants.

Q: Do you have any idea of where Donna may have gone to or who she may have gone with?
A: No.

Q: Do you know how Donna got along with her parents?
A: Not too well other than the fact they sent her to Scotland for a period of time which she enjoyed.

Q: Did she seem to have animosity towards her parents?
A: Sort of. They wanted her to go to school up North, but she wanted to go to Evergreen and they didn’t want her to.

Q: Do you know who Donna dated or ran around with on campus?
A: No.

Q: At the time you knew her, did she have any interest in magic, witchcraft, or sorcery?
A: She did, just a general interest, rather vague. She tended to get pretty bent out of shape when she didn’t get her own way.

Q: Did you two ever have arguments?
A: No, just over what show we were going to.

Q: Is there anything else you can add to this statement to assist us in finding Donna?
A: No. If she didn’t want to be found, she wouldn’t be found. She likes to truck around pretty much and liked to drink and listen to ‘50s music.

Supplementary Report
Central Washington State College Security Dept.
Date: April 19, 1974

Checked with Thurston county S.O., re their missing Donna Gail Manson. Manson missing under similar circumstances. Went over entire case and all names in our victim’s address book with no mutual friends uncovered.

The Auburn Globe-News, April 17, 1974

Letter to Paul Barclift, Detective
Sheriff’s Office, Thurston County
April 22, 1974

Dear Mr. Barclift,
As you may know, I was in Olympia last Friday and tried to make arrangements to see you in the afternoon, but learned that you were tied up all afternoon with other business. My primary purpose in going to the campus on Friday was to talk with the three girls who were the last to see Donna (Deanna, Megan, and Phyllis), and also to talk with one of Donna’s teacher-advisors, Carol Spence.
After talking with Donna’s friends for almost two hours, I learned nothing which didn’t reinforce a feeling I have had for a long time—that Donna was taken away against her own will. Deanna told me that Donna had made some soup that evening before she left to go to the concert, and left it on the stove (as though planning to have some later in the evening when she returned).
They told me a little more about the “boy” she was seen talking to that Tuesday afternoon. They said that he was pretty heavy into drugs, and that Donna had been repulsed by him (she must have told them about the meeting and that she “didn’t like him.”) This is the boy whom you told me you checked out, and was cleared. Was he subjected to a lie detector test? That incident bothers me a lot—I keep thinking he may have had a friend who came on campus that night. It is only a hunch, though.
I’m sending you a few copies of related newspaper articles, and a copy of a letter sent to us by Ernie Crane (a lawyer friend here in Auburn who agreed to do what he could for us in getting the FBI on the case). Perhaps your local FBI man could trace the progress of their deliberations in this case.
I was somewhat disturbed by some of the statements made by the reporter in the Globe-News article—one of which was “news” to us—the reported investigation of the “elderly man.” The copy of the news item from this morning’s Post Intelligencer is sent along, only because there are so many similar circumstances surrounding this girl’s disappearance and Donna’s.
I have a few questions which have occurred to me, and which I never seem to think of when we have talked to you on the phone or in previous conversations with you.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 22, 1974.

1. Has a search ever been made of the wooded area where the Seattle girl was found? As I recall this was a park in the Olympia vicinity.

2. Has the information concerning the $500 reward been circulated outside this area? Because the posters were printed before the money was raised, it seems possible that this information may not have reached anywhere outside the “listening area” of local TV stations or radio stations and the newspapers in this area who printed a report of the reward.

3. What has come of the report we made concerning Donna’s contact with Hank A. and the Dave C. who John D. named in his telephone call to us some weeks ago? How about contacting others active in the American Indian Movement in this area, for any possible clues. I asked the three girls (named in my first paragraph) about this—whether they have ever heard her talk about it, but their replies were negative, except that they were aware she was interested in the American Indians’ cause. Rod Marrom remarked to us that there was very little activity on the Evergreen campus by minority pressure groups.

We don’t want to exert any further pressure on you in this matter, as we feel confident you have been doing everything possible to come up with something concrete, in the hope of finding our Donna. Is the possibility of another search of the campus not feasible? Sometimes I get a strong desire to engage in my own search for her, but then I know how futile that might be. Where to begin?????
Would the posters have been distributed to most of the towns right along the coast? I am thinking of her expressed desire to me that night on the phone to “go to the ocean.” Someone may have offered to take her there. Again, this is pure conjecture on my part—but when you have nothing else to go on, your mind explores every possibility.
I located the missing blankets—they were in her locker.
Please call when you have time, or write. The waiting is so agonizing!

Yours sincerely,
Marie Manson

P.S. Another disturbing thought: are there any missing psychopaths in the Olympia area (recently released from Steilacoom?), such as the man who is being held in connection with the two girls in Seattle.

Aerial view of the Evergreen State College campus, 1974. A: Residence halls. B: Library. C: C&N Road. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Supplementary Report
Central Washington State College Security Dept.
Date: May 14, 1974

Contacted Campus Security at Evergreen State College in Olympia. A copy of the case concerning Donna Gail Manson missing since 3-12-74 from that campus will be sent to us.

Contacted Det. Barclift of Thurston County Sheriff’s Office concerning Donna Gail Manson. He is going to send this dept, a copy of their case concerning her. Det. Barclift suggested that we check on salesmen, concert people, etc., who make it a habit of visiting college campuses.

Gary Russell of Evergreen State College Security called and stated that since none of the work concerning Manson has been duplicated only a copy of TCSO report will be forwarded. A copy of this dept.’s report will be sent to Mr. Russell at his request.

Supplementary Report
Central Washington State College Security Dept.
Date: June 14, 1974

Went to Seattle PD Homicide and contacted Det. Wayne Dorman re: Georgann Hawkins and Lynda Ann Healy. Writer read over case reports and noted similarities of Hawkins case to be the same as Rancourt, Manson, Parks and Healy, in that no girl stated she was leaving, took no luggage or ID and disappeared during late evening hours. It seems that Healy was abducted.

SPD thinks the person/s unknown are putting the bodies of his/her/their victim/s in dumpsters that are dumped in the mountains.  He believes that the same person/s are responsible for the disappearance of all five girls. He and writer will be in contact.

To: Missing Person Units; Oregon, California, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, Arizona
The Thurston County Sheriff is investigating the disappearance of Donna Gail Manson, WF, 5’, 100 lbs, Brown/Blue. Manson disappeared from the Evergreen State College. Last seen on campus on March 12, 1974. Manson took no money or personal belongings and told no one she was leaving.

Similar cases have been reported by other jurisdictions:
Lynda Ann Healy, WF, 5’7”, 115 lbs, Brown/Blue. Missing 2/1/74 from University of Washington, Seattle.
Susan Elaine Rancourt, WF, 5’2”, 120-130 lbs, Blonde/Blue. Missing 4/17/74 from Central Washington State College.
Roberta Kathleen Parks, WF, 5’7”, 125 lbs, Blonde/Blue. Missing 5/6/74 from University of Oregon, Corvallis.
All four missing females are between the ages of 18-21, and are considered attractive. All disappeared from colleges or universities located on or near a highway. All disappeared during evening hours, told no one they were leaving, and they took no personal belongings with them.

Any jurisdictions with similar disappearance please contact Thurston County Sheriff, Olympia, WA.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Donna Manson, shown in the long black coat she was last seen wearing. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

Thurston County Sheriff
July 2, 1974

Advised by Yakima Sheriff’s Office that Jack S. was in custody in their jail. He denied any involvement in the disappearance of Donna Manson and he was willing to take a polygraph examination.

Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives

Cooper Point Journal
Evergreen State College Newspaper
July 11, 1974

“Pattern Emerges in Disappearances” by Wendy Kramer
Evergreen student Donna Gail Manson was last seen on March 12th, when she left her apartment to attend a jazz concert on campus. She has not been seen since. Manson was the second of five college coeds missing in a rash of unexplained disappearances that have plagued Washington and Oregon over the last six months. With the inclusion of Heidi Peterson, missing since February 21st, all have disappeared in intervals of nineteen and thirty-six days.
On July 3rd, a “Homicide-Missing Persons Conference” was held at The Evergreen State College under the sponsorship of Sheriff Don Redmond and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Department, in an attempt to “brainstorm” together with law enforcement agencies from around the state, in order to try and find some motive for the disappearances. About 30 departments were represented from both Western and Eastern Washington. All agreed the most baffling aspects of these cases is the total lack of clues or leads to draw upon.
Sheriff Redmond said the purpose of the conference was, “to see if we can come up with some type of a common denominator, something that will tie all of these missing girls, and of course the victims that we found, the two homicide victims we found in the county. All of these things are starting to look like possibly they might be related, now we are not saying they are, but they could be. If not all, if not one hundred percent, maybe ‘a’ and ‘c’ might be together or ‘a’ and ‘d,’ something like this. So we’re starting to think on these lines now.
“And of course,” he continued, “getting together in a conference like this, kicking our ideas around, is the best way in the world of doing it that I can think of. And we’ve tried just about everything else, so this is probably the long shot or the longest shot that has ever been tried. It’s also a long shot in another way because this is the first time that I know of that law enforcement and the press have ever gotten together and sat down at a meeting like this, one letting the other look over their shoulder. And so far it seems like it’s been paying off. I think it’s a good idea.”
There are a number of similarities to connect the co-ed disappearances and it is generally believed by law enforcement officials that the cases are related. Lynda Ann Healy, a student at the University of Washington, reported missing January 31st. Twenty-one days later Heidi Peterson disappeared. Nineteen days after that Donna Manson disappeared, followed thirty-six days later by Susan Elaine Rancourt, a student at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg. Roberta Kathleen Parks of Oregon State University was last seen nineteen days later, and Georgeann Hawkins of the University of Washington was reported missing thirty-six days after Kathleen.

All the women were:
-between eighteen and twenty-one
-between five feet and five feet four
-first missing during hours of darkness.

The occurrences were during three-day weekends or at the semester’s end, and according to one astrologist, when the moon was in a strange configuration with the other planets. In all the cases personal effects were left behind, indicating to police that these disappearances were not premeditated by the women. There were no signs of “foul play” in any of the cases, although a small amount of blood was found on the pillow of Lynda Ann Healy. Police in King County tend to believe the Healy case is separate from the others, although according to a police source, this is “only a feeling.”
The most prevalent belief among police officers is that a mixed team of a man and at least one woman is responsible for the strange happenings. A woman could easily have asked one of the co-eds for help to entice her away quietly whereas a man acting under the same circumstances could not. This idea was bolstered by the fact that in all of the cases no signs of struggle were found, and there were no sounds heard to indicate a forcible abduction. No ideas or theories are being discounted, including the possibility of a group involved in some sort of occult or magic sect.
A number of theories relating to astrology have been heard, and Ann Rule, a free-lance writer in Seattle who was at the conference, said she spoke to an astrologer who predicted the next disappearance to occur either between the 6th and the 9th of July, or more probably, the 27th and 29th of July. Although the police are not expecting this to happen, the entire case is so unusual that nothing is ruled out.
Rod Marrom, head of security at The Evergreen State College, warns against any panic or hysteria, saying there is no way to prevent another such occurrence because one cannot predict such things. He hopes that students become more aware of the dangers and that they cease being so naive as to think, “it can’t happen here.” The sad truth of the matter is that it has…
In the words of the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, the cases are “all unusual, strange, suspicious and everybody should keep investigating as much as possible and should keep all officials briefed.” But they reiterate, “There is no positive link in the cases of the missing co-eds or any of the others.”

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Excerpt from the Cooper Point Journal, August 11, 1974. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives

Cooper Point Journal
Evergreen State College Newspaper
August 1, 1974

“New Clues Found in Missing Women Case”
A clue has finally appeared that may help police solve the cases of the seven women missing in this state since the first of the year. The clue is a man named “Ted,” who was seen in Lake Sammamish State Park and on the Central Washington State College campus, first when Janice Ott and Denise Naslund disappeared, then one hour before Susan Rancourt disappeared from Central. He was between 5’6 and 5’8, about 160 pounds, of athletic build, has brown neck-length hair, dark brown eyes, and wears a cast on his left arm.
On October 31, 1973, there was an attempted abduction near the Evergreen State College by a man fitting the description of “Ted.” The attempted abduction occurred one block east of Overhulse Road on the college parkway. The student was walking down the parkway, when a man ran up and grabbed her. She screamed, but he put his hand over her mouth. In the ensuing struggle, his hand dropped and the woman screamed again. This time the suspect fled. The approach in this case was different, as this man did not have a cast, but as Rod Marrom said, “we’re grasping at straws. This may very well be the same man.” Officials believe the case may just be a ruse to attract the woman by sympathy.
Rod Marrom asks that anyone with any knowledge pertaining to this man, either having seen him on campus in the last school year, or knowing anyone who has been approached or resembles him, to contact the security office.
The parents of Donna Manson, the student missing since March 12, have added another $500 to the reward money for information leading to her whereabouts.

Field Investigation Report
Thurston County Sheriff Dept.
Date of Report: August 2, 1974
Date-Time of Occurrence: July 30, 1974 1200 hrs

Offense: Suspicious Person; white male, 5’8”, 160 lbs, medium build, tan complexion, blonde hair
Complainant: Rebecca S.

While doing laundry at the Ash student housing complex, complainant was approached by a male who attempted to engage her in conversation. He was interrupted by another girl who came in. Complainant then left the area at a run.
On August 2, 1974 Rebecca saw a composite of a suspect in the Lake Sammamish case and feels positive it is the same man. She stated the only difference is he appeared to have a small beard starting. She did not see a cast or sling on his arm.

Statement of: Rebecca S.
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

Date: August 2, 1974

Q: Rebecca, it is reported to me that you have reason to believe you saw a suspect known only as Ted, whom the police in King County are interested in, at The Evergreen College?
A: It was in the Evergreen Ash Commons.

Rebecca S., 1971

Q: To the best of your memory would you describe this individual?
A: He was tanned, blonde hair, it looked dirty and it was longish in front, slightly over one eye, and parted to the side, collar length in back. He was about 5’8, 160 lbs, broad shoulders, muscular build.

Q: Did you notice any abnormal deformities?
A: No, except he stood rigid.

Q: What were you currently doing at the time you saw the fellow?
A: I had been in the laundry room and I was folding clothes.

Q: Did this individual say anything to you or make any gestures?
A: When I turned to get my clothes out of the dryer, I turned around and I noticed him standing slightly concealed behind the door and staring at me. I looked at him and he started to walk forwards and he said “Hello there, are you doing your laundry?” and then it looked like he was going to continue talking and he kept coming forward, but then I heard somebody coming in the door and a girl came in with a bike and he turned and walked out the door. He had been standing there toward the other girl. When they first saw each other, they were both behind a partition and then immediately, the girl turned around and he helped her with the door and she rode off and he went out and went around a wall and the next thing I knew, I saw his reflection in one of the glass panels in the door.

Q: Was he still watching you?
A: No, I couldn’t see him and as far as I knew, he couldn’t see me, but I saw his reflection in the door.

Q: In your own mind, at the time, did you consider that he was waiting for you?
A: Yes.

Q: Did anything in his manner or actions indicate that he was contemplating violence?
A: He seemed really impatient, like he was waiting and his manner was quick. He was sure of himself, except his voice seemed unnatural.

Q: Could you describe it as possibly having an accent?
A: Possibly.

Q: Would you say he overemphasized his pronunciation of the words?
A: Yes, because he wasn’t talking real loud, but to make up for that, he had to talk really clear.

Q: Do you know if he had any conversation with the other girl?
A: Yes, he did. I heard him talking.

Q: Could you decipher any words?
A: No.

Q: At what point did you observe this picture in the Evergreen Campus newspaper?
A: This morning, just before I went to Rod Marrom’s.

Q: Did you recognize this picture in the paper to be the individual you saw Tuesday?
A: Yes, the similarity really struck me. The main difference is the hair wasn’t as soft looking or as blonde.

Q: You indicated to Mr. Marrom that the individual possibly needed a shave, would you say that he may possibly be starting to grow a beard now?
A: Possibly.

Q: Was the individual still there when you departed?
A: I didn’t notice. I tried to ignore him. I walked out the door as quick as I could and ran.

Q: When you departed did you see any type of transportation that he may have used?
A: No, but there were cars parked there.

Q: To the best of your memory, would you describe his clothing?
A: It seemed like he was wearing tan cords, short sleeved open neck shirt, possibly plaid.

Q: What was the actual date this happened?
A: Tuesday night, 30 July 1974 about midnight.

From the Cooper Point Journal, August 8, 1974.
Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives

Cooper Point Journal
Evergreen State College Newspaper
August 8, 1974

“’Ted’ Sighted At Evergreen”
Around midnight on Tuesday, July 30, an Evergreen student was doing her laundry at the ASH Commons building when she noticed a man standing behind the door staring at her. He began speaking in a strangely deliberate way, overenunciating each word. He walked forward until he was distracted by another woman entering the room. The man turned and held the door for the other woman so she could get her bicycle out and they both left.
The Evergreen woman was continuing to fold her clothes when she looked up again, and saw the man’s face reflected through the glass on the door. He seemed to be impatiently waiting for her. She quickly walked out the door and ran. On Friday, the student saw a copy of the August 1st issue of the Journal, with a photograph of ‘Ted,’ the suspect in the cases of two women missing from Lake Sammamish. She recognized him as the same man who had confronted her, and came forward. He was described as being broad-shouldered with a muscular build, dirty blonde hair longish in the front, collar length in the back and parted to the side over one eye. The man seemed to have a medium tan, and possibly the beginnings of a beard. His voice was extremely unnatural and could be thought of as having an accent. The suspect was wearing tan cords, and a short-sleeved open neck shirt. He did not have a cast.
‘Ted’ is the name of the man police are looking for in connection with the disappearances of at least seven women missing in this state since the beginning of the year. This is the only solid clue police have in these strange disappearances and anyone with information pertinent to these cases is asked to call their local authorities.
Here, on the Evergreen campus, the Security office is looking for the woman who came into the ASH laundry room on a bicycle last Tuesday night. Her identity is not known, but the Security Office is hoping she can be located. This woman is not a suspect. The Security Office only wished to talk to her for a confirming description of the suspect. If there is any apprehension about going to the Security Office, the woman is asked to contact Knute Berger or Stan Shore at the Journal office.

From: Det. Mark Curtis; Det. Paul Barclift
To: Thurston County area patrols

Western Washington missing females/homicides seem to have a few correlations, one of which indicates that “Holidays” might be a time that young girls in question disappear. Two bodies have been recovered in our area following a three and four day holiday weekend.
Therefore, it is requested. that area patrol give special effort/attention in conversing with young female hitchhikers during this weekend, in the areas of freeway entrances. The possibility that a new missing female might soon be reported is a high consideration. Also emphasis on young girls traveling rural roads, parking in remote areas, etc. Note license numbers, descriptions, names, etc.

Supplementary Report
Central Washington State College Security Dept.
Date: Sept. 13, 1974

Writer re-contacted Evergreen State College Security to ascertain if Donna Gail Manson would have to go near the library to get to the Jazz concert. Gary Russell, Security Officer stated that the Jazz Concert was in the library. I also contacted Sgt. Bill Harris at OSU and confronted him with the same question. This would be hard to ascertain if Roberta Kathleen Parks went near the library as she had stated her destination to be the Memorial Union Bldg, about l 1/2 blocks from the library.
“Ted” tried to pick up two females from this Campus near the library and apparently abducted Rancourt near there. (see D’Olivio and Curtis statements 7-28-74). This may be an important part of “Ted’s” m.o.

The Evergreen State College library, circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Supplemental Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
Date: September 14, 1974

On 14 Sept 1974 another search was conducted of the Evergreen State College. Two of the searchers, named below, discovered two pieces of bone in a heavily wooded area. These bones were examined by Dr. David Peterson of Olympia. He identified the bones as animal. The remains of an old leather glove were also located nearby. Items were disposed of.
Searchers: Wendy K., located the glove, and one bone. John P., finder of bone, identified as part of an antler.

Letter to Detective Barclift from Marie Manson
September 16, 1974

Dear Paul,
Enclosed is the newspaper clipping which I mentioned in our telephone conversation of today. Unfortunately it does not have the date (I usually make a note of the date)—notice on the back of the clipping a note as to George Meany’s 80th birthday, whatever date that was [Note: August 16, 1974]—at any rate, after Nixon’s resignation. Hope the information will be of some use to you.
Again, Lyle and I want to express our deep appreciation for all you and your co-workers have done in behalf of locating Donna. We would like to convey our feelings to all the hundreds of volunteers who participated in this most recent and all the previous searches—we are indebted to them for their unselfish efforts to locate her, and while thus far it has proved unfruitful, we know you have done everything possible. These have been long, agonizing months for us and for the parents of the other missing girls. And although the anxious waiting is over for parents and family of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, we know they will not rest until the maniac who committed the act is brought to justice.

Yours sincerely,
Marie Manson

A rural area of the Evergreen campus, undated. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Auburn Globe-News
September 18, 1974
“Search for Auburn coed intensifies near school”
The confirmation that bones discovered near Issaquah belong to two Seattle-area women missing since July 14 has encouraged the Thurston County Sheriff to increase search operations around the Evergreen State College campus, where Auburn’s Donna Gail Manson has been missing since March 12.
Det. Paul Barclift reported that explorer scouts connected with the department had been conducting searches of the extensive rural campus since the disappearance, but had found nothing.
He also said no significant leads have come in regarding the case of Miss Manson, who is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Manson, Auburn.
Miss Manson was among six Washington college-aged women who have been listed as missing under mysterious circumstances. The bodies of two of those women were discovered by a Seattle construction worker who was grouse hunting near Issaquah.
The women were identified as Denise Naslund and Janice Ott, who disappeared from Lake Sammamish State Park on Sunday, July 14.
Miss Manson was a student at Evergreen State College near Olympia and has been missing since she left her dormitory room March 12 to attend a jazz concert on campus.
She took no personal belongings with her and had no history of leaving without giving notice, Det. Barclift said.
Since her disappearance, the body of another woman was found at Millersylvania State Park near the Evergreen campus, and bones belonging to a third person were discovered at the Issaquah site, police have reported.

The Kansas City Star, December 5, 1974

Message for Paul Barclift
Date: October 22, 1974

Det. Roger Dunn called from Seattle re: mutual missing girls. An Arthur J. Munier is currently in Shawnee County Jail in Topeka, Kansas and wrote a letter to King County Police about killing five girls in the Seattle area “other than those found” or discovered in the news media. His time frame is apparently February (?) and wanted a map to show where, etc. He will speak only with a Major Jackson of that jurisdiction, but will write. Dunn sent him a map. If the suspect works out at all, Dunn will again call at a later date with results, depending on the “map.”

Memo To: Rod Marrom, College Security
From: Richard Jones
February 3, 1975

Dear Rod:
These are my impressions of the Donna Manson notebooks left by Detective Barclift: it’s the kind of half personal, half academic journal kept by many Evergreen students. Nothing psychologically unusual that I could determine. On the other hand, had anything unusual happened in her life during these months, or had she been anticipating anything unusual, she probably would have referred to it in this kind of a journal.
The more cryptic portions are I Ching throwings and casual attempts at writing poetry. Nothing significant.
Three questions emerge that have probably already been checked out by the authorities:

  1. Who is “Gimli”? (only because of the reference to his “broken hand cast.”)
  2. Who was the “paranoid speed freak” that was hanging around and who thought Security was after him? The reference to him was presumably made shortly before her disappearance. Her friend Megan is mentioned in connection with him and may remember him.
  3. Who is Claude, the author of the February 10 verse to Donna? Probably not significant, but it sounds like he either knows her well or wants to, and there is no other reference to him anywhere in the journal. Again, her friend Megan would presumably know.
Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Courtesy King County Archives

King County Police Memo
Case: Donna Gail Manson, Age 19
DOB: June 9, 1954, 5’, 100 lbs, blue eyes, long brown hair (parted in the middle)
Long black fuzzy maxi coat; red-green-orange striped blouse; green slacks
Brown agate (oval shaped) ring; Bulova-Caravelle wristwatch
Case Synopsis: Donna was a first year student at the Evergreen State College. She lived on campus in Dorm C, room 206. The room was shared with another student and contained kitchen facilities, a dining area, and private bath.
On the evening of Tuesday, March 12, 1974, Donna indicated to her roommate that she intended to go to a jazz concert being held on campus that evening. She was also scheduled to attend a folk dancing class prior to the concert. She is not believed to have attended either the class or the concert. The roommate stated Donna changed clothes several times, and seemed to be fixing herself up for a date. However, she did not mention any date.
A campus security guard states he observed Donna walking up and down one of the college roads during the evening of March 12. This road is near the dorms and has no street lights. He states he saw her three times between 8-9:30pm. She was wearing the long dark maxi coat.
On March 18, 1974, when Donna didn’t return, her roommate reported her missing. All of Donna’s personal belongings were found in her room. She left without any money, her purse, toilet articles, clothes, suitcases, camera, flute, and other belongings she normally took with her if she left. No notes or letters indicating her departure were found in her room. Food was left on the stove in preparation for an evening meal.
She did not mention leaving the campus or going anywhere to her best girlfriend, roommate, or to her parents. Tentative plans had been made with her mother for them to go to the beach during the spring vacation.
Several searches were conducted on the campus, but they failed to reveal any evidence of Donna. Donna was the second of five young girls to disappear from Washington and Oregon campuses. Three of these girls have been found thus far, Donna is one of the two still missing. The three victims found were all at the same place, Taylor Mountain off Highway 18, near Issaquah.
Donna’s home is in Auburn, Washington. She lived at home with her parents and a younger brother. Prior to attending Evergreen State College, she attended Green River College. Green River College is located near the area where the other three bodies were found.
Donna’s disappearance is believed definitely related to the fate of the other missing girls.

King County Dept. of Public Safety
Excerpt from the notes of Detective Kathy McChesney
September 8, 1975

Officer had personal contact with Elizabeth Kloepfer in this office. Ted has a friend named Tom Sampson who attended Evergreen State but doesn’t live on campus. This was during 1973-1974. He lived on a lake near the campus and Ted would visit him on weeknights. Liz never met Tom, but he was employed with Ted at the Seattle Crime Commission.

Cooper Point Journal, October 16, 1975. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives

Statement of: Thomas Sampson
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office

Date: October 29, 1975
Q: Mr. Sampson, are you acquainted with Theodore R. Bundy?
A: Yes, I am.

Q: Where did you first meet Bundy?
A: I first met Ted Bundy in 1972 when he applied for a job with the Seattle Crime Prevention Commission. I worked with him with the Crime Prevention Commission and also at Emergency Services in 1974.

Q: While you were in Seattle, what was your relationship with him?
A: Ted Bundy was Assistant Director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Commission and I was the Director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Commission in 1972. I hired Ted Bundy on the recommendation of Donna Schram of the Law and Justice Planning Office in Seattle. In Olympia, we were simply co-workers in the Department of Emergency Services and off the job, we were friends, and ate together infrequently and played racket ball.

Tom Sampson, 1967.

Q: How would you describe Mr. Bundy?
A: Ted was well behaved, well dressed, intelligent and acted extremely proper at all times. He was an aggressive, hardnosed individual, who was competent, hardworking, good writer and extremely valuable in his public relation functions and always did his job well and on time.

Q: Were you aware of the project that Bundy worked on reference rapes, hitchhiking, assaults while he was with the Seattle Crime Commission?
A: Yes, Ted did a job for us on assaults on women while he was with the Crime Prevention Commission and published a very short article in our December Crime Commission bulletin.

Q: Prior to the time that he began to work for the Department of Emergency Services, did you ever see him or know him to be out at the Evergreen College Campus grounds?
A: We played racket ball at Evergreen State College on one occasion. I seem to recall, but not positively, him playing racket ball there at other times. We may have played more than once there at the College.

Q: Did he ever visit you at your residence in Olympia?
A: He may have on one occasion visited me there at my house.

Q: Did you ever see Bundy wearing a cast or having his arm in a sling?
A: I don’t recall.

Q: You stated previously that while he was working for Department of Emergency Services that you, infrequently, went with him to eat. What establishments did you patronize?
A: Richard’s Round House and locations which were near the Emergency Services office.

Q: You also mentioned previously that you had played racket ball at Evergreen College with Bundy. Was he proficient in this sport?
A: Darn good, he was. Ted was naturally athletic and he participated in a number of sporting activities. He expressed an interest in taking Karate and was a physical individual. I don’t know anyone else he might have played racket ball with at any other time.

Q: To your knowledge, did he attend the Energy Conference that you conducted at Evergreen State College on March 1st, 1974?
A: No, he did not.

Q: Do you know if he ever stayed with anyone overnight in the Olympia area or at any of the hotels or motels?
A: I seem to recall him mentioning that he did; however, I would not know with whom or when.

Q: Do you know of any friends or acquaintances of Bundy that may have been attending the Evergreen College in March 1974?
A: The only individuals I would be aware of would be the people that might work at the Evergreen State College, students and graduates who worked at the Department of Emergency Services.

Q: Do you know of any reason that Bundy may have gone to the Evergreen State College, during this period, March 1974?
A: No, I don’t.

Q: Did you ever have any reason to suspect that Bundy might be “gay”?
A: No.

Q: Do you know what type of vehicle Mr. Bundy drove?
A: A Volkswagen. I’m not sure of the color. I seem to recall it being white, but I can’t remember for sure.

Q: Did you ever see him drive any other vehicles?
A: No, I don’t think so.

Q: Do you know of anyone in the Olympia area that you would consider a close friend of Bundy?
A. No.

King County Dept. of Public Safety
Excerpt from the notes of Detective Kathy McChesney
October 29, 1975

0930 hrs: Phone call received from Det. Barclift of Thurston County, who advised he had made initial contact with Tom Sampson. Sampson stated that after Bundy came to work at the Dept. of Emergency Services he used to meet Sampson and they would play raquetball at Evergreen State. Sampson could not pin down the dates in May and August 1974 that they played raquetball. Sampson didn’t think Bundy was familiar with the college. Sampson knew Bundy from the Seattle Crime Commission and has gone drinking with him, dates unknown. Sampson still attends Evergreen College.
Barclift thinks that it’s possible Bundy might be involved in some obscene phone calls, as a woman named Ms. Long from DES got some obscene phone calls around the time that Bundy was working there, and he parked his car near hers.
There is also a July 1974 case at Evergreen College of a coed being attacked in the laundry room and her assailant being scared away. Times reporter Richard Larsen showed the victim a photograph of Bundy and she stated that her assailant resembled Bundy.
1100 hrs: Phone contact with Liz Kloepfer who has gone through her personal checks again. She was off work on Monday, March 11, 1974 and Tuesday March 12 as her daughter was sick. Liz knows she talked to Ted on March 11, as she wrote a check and got the address from Ted. Also in March she bought some furniture and it was delivered on one of the days Molly was sick. Ted came over and helped her move the furniture during the day.

Evergreen State College campus and library, undated. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Summary of Information Connecting Ted Bundy to the Disappearance of Donna Gail Manson
Report by Robert Keppel, King County Police Dept.

November, 1975
Donna Manson was a coed at Evergreen State College in Olympia when she disappeared on March 12, 1974, a Tuesday. She was last seen by her roommate at 7pm. Her plans were to go to a jazz concert at the campus library at 8pm. She was never seen again.
At the time of her disappearance, Bundy was living at 4143 12th NE, Seattle in the rooming house of Frieda Rogers. He was a student at UPS Law School. He was commuting on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday nights with three other students. He was not doing well in school and dropped out before final exams in April, 1974. He had applied for admission to Utah Law and called them during March to see if he was going to be admitted.
Bundy was receiving unemployment compensation during this time. On March 11, 1974 he failed to pick up his check. He was a GOP Precinct Committeeman from area 43-355 and on March 5, 1974 there was a precinct meeting.
Bundy was driving the 1968 tan VW bug at the time. He had a Chevron credit card. On March 12 he did not charge any gas. On March 11 he charged gas on Rainier Ave. S and at 27th & Eastlake for his car. Also at 27th and Eastlake he charged gas for Liz’s car.
He had a checking account at Rainier National Bank, University branch. On March 12, 1974 he wrote checks to Woolworths University Village between 0930 and 1800 hrs. He mailed a check to the Argus Press. He wrote a check to U. District Safeway between 1500 and 2000 hours. He had a Nordstrom’s credit card and on March 7, 1974 he charged a dress at the Southcenter store.
Bundy was dating Liz Kloepfer at the time. She lived at 5208 18th NE. On March 11 or March 13 she took off two days from work and he helped her move a dresser she had just purchased.
It is not known if Bundy knew Manson although unlikely. He was familiar with the Olympia area. He was active in Republican Party politics at the Capitol. He worked in the campaign of Art Fletcher in 1968. He worked for Governor Evans’ campaign in 1972. He worked as the aide to the state GOP Chairman, Ross Davis, from April to September 1973.
A friend, Tom Sampson, attended Evergreen State at the time Manson was there. Bundy used to visit him and during the summer of 1974 they went to Evergreen to play racquetball.
Manson’s remains have not been found but it may be assumed that she is a homicide victim. Other coeds disappeared from campuses at the same time and under similar circumstances. They have been found murdered.
This case is being investigated by the Thurston County Sheriff’s office.

Letter to Detective Barclift from Marie Manson
July 20, 1976

Dear Paul:
It has been some time since we have been in contact with you, but I assume you are still working on the case of Donna’s disappearance on March 12, 1974.
From time to time, articles appear in the Seattle papers which interest me, even though there is only a vague possibility that they would have any bearing on Donna’s case. Such an article appeared in yesterday’s issue of the Seattle Times, a copy of which is enclosed.
I have underlined the last sentence in this short article, since it occurred to me there is a possibility that Donna may have been overlooked in this investigation. Then, this latest find (Krista Kaye Blake, found near Battle Ground, Clark County) could be related in that it occurred within several months of Donna’s disappearance.
I have also wondered about the man who is suspected in the case of Kathy Sue Miller (found in June, 1973)—Harvey Louis Carignan. This is the man who is still being held by the Hennepin County, Minnesota sheriff in connection with sexual assaults on teenage girls in that state. This is the same man who had a map with 181 locations marked in states between the West Coast and Midwest—some of which proved to be the sites where victims were found. Have you ever checked this out in regard to Donna?
I suppose you wonder why I am asking these things—but as you can imagine, it is something which is always in our consciousness, no matter how hard we try to forget. To our knowledge, Donna and the Hawkins girl (Tacoma) are the only two not yet found who were connected with the 1974 disappearances.
I would appreciate a reply whenever you can get to it.

Best regards,
Marie Manson

PS- Is there any further investigation in process regarding the controversial Ted Bundy? The circumstances and occurrences in Utah seem oddly coincidental, although I realize no hard evidence against him has been found.

Letter to Detective Barclift from Marie Manson
August 11, 1976

Dear Paul:
About a month ago I wrote to you concerning Donna’s case—asking a few questions which had been troubling me, and wondering whether there had been any activity on her case at all since the last time we were in contact with you (more than a year).
To date I have not received a reply to my letter, and although you must be overloaded with other cases which are more active, I would appreciate a reply at your earliest convenience.
Another question occurred to me in the meantime. This concerns Ted Bundy. Was he ever subjected to a lie detector test in connection with any of the cases in this area? It seems this would be a rather crucial factor in determining whether or not he is possibly guilty of any of the crimes for which he is suspect. Would it be possible for you to check on this for me? Thank you.

Marie Manson

Missed Call Message
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
March 2, 1978

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Crime Index section (Vancouver, B.C.) called. Wished to verify Donna Gail Manson as still missing. Will continue her in their computer.

Ted Bundy Donna Manson
Donna Manson, undated. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

To: FBI Laboratory
From: Thurston County Sheriff

RE: Suspect- Theodore Robert Bundy
Date: March 22, 1978

Enclosed in a sealed envelope is a hair sample from missing person Donna Gail Manson, missing since March 12, 1974. This sample was just obtained from the parents, who extracted the hair from a hairbrush which belonged to the victim. It is requested that this hair be examined and that its hair characteristics be cross-referenced to King County, Washington case and Salt Lake County, Utah case.
Donna was the second of seven females who disappeared from the State of Washington during the spring and summer of 1974. Bodies of five of these missing females were subsequently found, however Donna and one other are still missing. No known hair was believed to exist for Donna until the enclosed hair was just received from her parents. Attached is a copy of our missing person bulletin on Manson.
The King County case included hair found near Issaquah, Washington in September 1974, where the bodies of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund were found. A portion of a third skeleton was found and never identified. The Utah case included hair found in a Volkswagen auto owned by Theodore Robert Bundy.
This evidence is being submitted in connection with an official investigation of a criminal matter. It was not, nor will it be, subjected to the same type of technical examination by other experts.

To: Thurston County Sheriff
From: FBI Laboratory
Re: Letter dated March 22, 1978
Date: May 22, 1978

Specimen: K1—Head hair sample from hairbrush belonging to DONNA GAIL MANSON

Result of examination:
The hair contained in specimen K1 have been prepared for microscopic examination and mounted on glass microscope slides; however, to date, the Laboratory has not received previously recovered hairs from the authorities in Salt Lake City, Utah.
It is assumed that you are making independent arrangements which will result in the resubmission of these hairs.
Specimen K1 will be retained by the FBI for an additional period of three weeks pending the resubmission of previously recovered hairs. In the absence of such resubmission, the submitted specimen will be returned to you under separate cover.

Supplementary Report
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

August 29, 1978

Reporters were walking along the pathway to the river when witness kicked something he believed to be a rock. The other reporter saw the same object had been loosened by the kick, picked it up, and saw it to be a human skull. They checked the area and were unable to locate any other bones. Skull was located approximately 25 feet down the path, by a log. The witnesses picked up the skull and took it home before contacting police. Skull was then obtained from reporter’s home.
This officer viewed the skull and found that it was devoid of flesh, and that it showed a dirt area or wetness, as if the skull had been laying on its left side and forward front face. It appears to be smaller than that of an adult, perhaps of a juvenile or female. The mandible section was missing, and most of the front teeth were also missing. The remaining teeth did not appear to show dental work. The skull also had reddish brown hair that appeared to be somewhere between 2 and 4 inches in length.
The top of the skull on the right side, which would be located right, top, and behind the right ear, showed a depression that was circular, crescent in shape. It appeared that it could have been made by an object such aa a hammer that had struck a pointed blow rather than a flat blow. The skull was fractured in this location.

Received a message from radio that Unit 51 had located additional bones and clothing that are more than likely connected with the skull found in the Eatonville area. Learned that several rib bones and clothing had been found in an area uphill and closer to the road than the skull and hair had been found earlier.
Several items were collected from the scene. One item is a girl’s type t-shirt, with a button front that has red. yellow, white, green, two colors of blue, black and lavender stripes. The brand of the shirt is ‘Pat’ and then underneath this is ‘On The Back.’ Another item is a blue sweater that appears to be an open front woman’s sweater and appears to have a femur or arm bones inside. Another item is a part of decayed blue denims and a green windbreaker jacket. The green windbreaker jacket has a package of Marlboro cigarettes and underneath this jacket, this officer found a tennis shoe, approximate size 6 or 7. The tennis shoe is blue with white chevron type stripes. Also picked up another item which was a pair of coveralls or blue denim pants which may not be connected with this site.
The property was all bagged in plastic bags and turned over to the Coroner’s Office for aid in identification of the missing person. No thigh or leg bones have been located but there were some metatarsal bones recovered.

Dr. Juan Cordova from the Coroner’s Office examined the skull and indicated that it was a female, a young person, and that the skull had been there for one year. This would indicate that the body was at that site sometime prior to January 1978, but the exact period of time could not be pinpointed. Dr. Cordova also indicated that in his opinion the spherical depression on the right side above the right ear was not the cause of death. The indentation on the skull did not penetrate or fracture the inside and was insufficient damage to cause death. Dr. Cordova related that the skull could have been there in excess of one year.

This officer identified the green coat as a Sportcaster brand, size medium with inside pockets. The two tennis shoes are Trax brand, size 6, blue in color with white chevron stripes. The blue sweater is a front zipper with pink on the shoulders, no brand seen.

The Eatonville skull. Courtesy Pierce County Sheriff

Supplementary Report
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

August 31, 1978

The skull was examined by Dr. Robert Monsen, a dentist with a specialty in odontoxicology, which deals with the teeth after death. He indicated that the teeth of the skull place the age tentatively at 17 years old plus or minus five years. He doubts that the skull belonged to anyone under the age of 12. There may have been dental treatment at an early age, but a prominent tooth in the front has deep noticeable decay. This could have been noticed when the person smiled. No dental treatment had been sought for a considerable period of time.
This officer received a phone call from Detective Bob Keppel of the King County Sheriff’s Dept. Det. Keppel indicated that he was interested in the found skeletal remains that had been located in the Eatonville area. He stated that he still had two open missing persons and that he was trying to determine if they could be connected with our case. He indicated that he was still interested in Georgann Hawkins and Donna Manson. They are two coed students that were missing since 1974 and believed connected with suspect Ted Bundy. He was advised that the skeletal remains did not appear to be as old as 1974. At this time we were awaiting information on the exact date. I advised Det. Keppel that he would be kept abreast of the information. He was given the description of clothing that was found with the skeletal remains and he became interested in the multi-colored t-shirt. He indicated that Donna Manson who is missing from Thurston County was wearing a multi-colored t-shirt at the time she was last seen. He suggested I contact Sgt. Barclift at the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.

Supplementary Report
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

September 1, 1978

Dr. Juan Cordova and Dr. Monsen both agree that the age of the victim is between 15-20 years, and the height of the victim is approximately 5’7”, and this is determined by the structure of the bone, particularly the femur. Brownish hair would have been 13-17 inches in length with some blondish strands.

Supplementary Report
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

September 6, 1978

The Coroner Dr. Jack Davelaar has revised his estimate of the age of the unknown subject. The teeth indicate to him that the subject is probably between 12 and 17 years of age, rather than 15 to 20 years.

Excerpt from “Who Is The Real Ted Bundy?”
By David Merrill, Steven Winn, and Ron Wolf
Published in Utah Holiday Magazine, November 1978
Ever since high school, Donna Gail Manson had thought of herself as an unfettered spirit. Her poems and prose from a high school creative writing class are filled with a kind of boundless beneficence. “I’m just inside the door of that other world you can’t explain later,” she once wrote. “You find so many treasures inside this young world.”
After graduation, she took off for Europe with her boyfriend. When she returned and enrolled at Green River Community College in the fall of ’73, she began taking photographs, lushly sentimental studies of sunsets and farm animals and tree boughs. After a quarter, she decided that Evergreen State College, with its reputation for freedom and innovation, was for her. By March, she had narrowed the field to alchemy as a topic for her special project.
On March 12, 1974, Donna put a pot of soup on the stove and began dressing for a jazz concert. She changed several times (her roommate assumed she was planning to meet someone) and took some pains with her long brown hair. She left the dorm wearing green slacks, a red, orange, and green-striped top, and a fuzzy black maxi coat.
Trees rise on the Evergreen campus like pillars in a cathedral. Donna set off between the rows for the concert, 300 yards away, and apparently never got there. Or anywhere. Donna Manson has never been found.
Her roommates shared Donna’s conviction about her independent ways. Thinking she’d taken off on a trip, respecting her rights, they didn’t report her missing to campus security for five days. And then it wasn’t until Monday, March 18– six full days after her disappearance– that a pair of Thurston County policemen appeared at the Manson home to inform Donna’s parents she was gone. If there had been a trail, it was probably cold by now.
Or damp. It had rained hard that week, and the bloodhounds, trained to Donna’s scent by a piece of clothing, could take police in the approximate direction of a parking lot and no farther. Did she go of her own will? Not a chance, says her mother: she left her backpack, her camera and flute, her cosmetics. What, then?
After months of frustration, thousands of posters circulated throughout Washington, a desperate
contact with a psychic, the letters of sympathy, her parents began to give up. Today, says Marie Manson, in her aqua Auburn, Wash. living room, she’s gotten to know her daughter better. “You know, a mother and a daughter— there are all those agonizing conversations. We didn’t see eye-to-eye, and I guess we sometimes only showed the outer surface to each other. Now, in a way, I know what she meant.”
She looks up, knowing it sounds odd. But there’s wonder in her eyes, too: life can astonish even after shocking you senseless.

Unknown Evergreen student in a three-person dorm room, undated.
Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Statement of J. Short
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
August 3, 1979

I made a phone call to Steve B. as soon as I got back from vacation to buy something and he told me the police were going to question me about Donna Manson. He stated he had it under control (whatever that means). About 30 minutes later the Deputy showed up which in all probability means he called the Sheriff because nobody except my foster parents knew I was back.
Well we had a little business going in which his friend from Tacoma Ted Bundy brought the dope to us or bought it for Steve. They had an apartment located in Ash, where I’d seen a little of Bundy; also a store and a dorm apartment.
There was one girl who is/was from Olympia where Steve B. worked at that I met in Juvenile myself, who I later met again after I got out of Juvenile at Steve’s dorm apartment. The night I met her at his apartment Bundy came in and she left with him because Steve told me to stay away from her because she had VD. We went to the student chow hall and ate dinner. At this time Steve indicated he was mad about a bad dope deal and we talked of it. But when we were going I think he said something about a spot where there was construction, and I feel that he meant where Bundy and him put the body.
The next day after the police let me go Steve told me I could have the Ash apartment it was paid up for awhile and he was leaving to Washington DC. A couple of my friends and I tried to get Steve busted because he was apparently putting the scam on me. So we got together Mike K. and his wife and also the Security Chief at Evergreen College and another guy to go look in a dorm storage area in Dorm A where we put dope. The security guy had the keys so he went down there and found nobody. By this time Mike thought Steve did it for sure. There were another group of people involved with our drugs in Dorm B where Steve had contacts. I feel the chances are good that Bundy was definitely around Steve. There are some other people and names that were around Steve and me and Bundy and a couple of locations you could look at. But this is just a general idea all this isn’t in order. A girl from Tacoma named Beth who went to school there knew and seen Bundy too.

Note to File
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
August 8, 1979

Talked with Mr. Morton at Shelton Corrections Center. Stated Short is psychotic and will talk on incessantly if allowed to do so.
Interviewed Short at Shelton Corrections Center. Stated Steve B. left the area shortly after the Sheriff’s Dept had questioned him (Short). Short said Steve was going to Washington DC to join the Navy. Short said Steve had a girlfriend named Beth who attended Pacific Lutheran University. Unknown what year of college or what program she was in.

Property Report
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

March 31, 1983

Box with clothing and human bones. Note: this case is still open. DO NOT DESTROY. Place into evidence and hold permanently!

Supplemental Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
June 14, 1984

This officer was contacted at Thurston County Reserve Academy by a subject identified as Sandy S., who is a reserve academy attendee and part-time security officer at The Evergreen State College. At that time, Sandy informed me that she was the sister of Susan Rancourt, who was a murder victim in Kittitas County in 1974 and is believed to be a victim in the Bundy cases that were investigated by Thurston, King, and Kittitas County.
Sandy claims to have certain extra-sensory powers and indicated that since she has been employed at TESC, she has received strange feelings or premonitions when on a particular place at the campus. Sandy indicated that whenever she was in the area of the northwest corner of B lot at TESC, her hair would stand on end and she would have strange, indescribable feelings of something being in the close proximity. She cannot give further explanation for these feelings but believes that it is possible that the Manson body can be located in that area. She has indicated her willingness to accompany Thurston County detectives to conduct a search of the area.

Property Report Receipt
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office

May 10, 1985

Box with clothing and human bones destroyed.

Supplemental Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
June 10, 1985

On 7 June 1985, this officer contacted Sandy S. at her residence. Sandy agreed to accompany to the Evergreen State College. Sandy had reported that she believed she possessed ESP, and that while working as a security officer, she often got strange feelings while patrolling a particular area. She indicated that she got these feelings while patrolling the northwest corner of parking lot B. Sandy believed that possibly missing person Donna Gail Manson’s body was located in that area.
When contacted on June 10, Sandy advised that the location was in parking lot C (not B). This officer searched a section (wooded) at the northeast corner of lot C, but was unable to locate anything suspicious. (Note: crime occurred over ten years ago).

Sandy S.’s hand drawn map. Courtesy Thurston County Sheriff.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
September 5, 1985

Proposal: To send Sgt. Paul Barclift, twice, to interview Ted Bundy in Florida reference the March 12, 1974 disappearance of Donna Manson from the Evergreen State College.

Purpose: First interview to get acquainted, gain or attempt to set a positive stage for a latter interview. Offer him a more pleasant Thurston County Sheriff accommodation and stress, if needed, how this obvious homicide investigation could alter his projected date with death in Florida. Further, if needed, emphasize how this one case could gain him new notoriety and be difficult to connect with any other case without his input. This interview should be in the near future. The second interview should come just prior to his execution date for maximum well-placed stress.

Sgt. Barclift is most versed in Bundy as a suspect and so the likely candidate to prove Bundy’s connection to: 1) a vehicle, like Bundy’s, seen in the college area at that time, and 2) working in Olympia.

Note to File
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
September 26, 1985

Last year David Reichert and Bob Keppel (Green River Task Force) visited Bundy and started establishing a relationship at first having Bundy talking about serial killers in general, but as his execution date draws near (he has about two or three years before all appeals are exhausted) they are going to ask about the Washington-Oregon killings and they have promised me Donna Gail Manson will be one of the first to be discussed.

Supplementary Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
March 28, 1988

Re: Kathy Merry Devine homicide of 1974, suspect Ted Bundy
Dave Reichert of King County Police and Bob Keppel of Attorney General’s Office, visited Ted Bundy in Florida since his incarceration. Bundy, in part, was shown the Devine photos and cocked his head sideways, grinning, and wanted to see a portrait photo of her.
He also wanted maps of Thurston County and claimed he had found two skulls back in this area, and wanted to “show” the investigators where.

Ted Bundy on January 22, 1989.

Ted Bundy’s Confession to Det. Robert Keppel
Florida State Prison
January 20, 1989

RK: How many people do you figure are buried in the state of Washington?

TB: A couple. Just a couple.

RK: Do you know who?

TB: Well, I remember the name of— you know, I can’t remember names, most of the names I don’t remember. A couple, like the one we were just talking about, the name is— it comes back to me. But, let me think. One, two— that’s all. Two. Yeah. I don’t remember the name on this, on the other one. I included in the two Hawkins, only because it was a partial kind of thing. Plus one other.

RK: Who was the other one?

TB: I don’t remember the name and I don’t want to—I mean, you know, I don’t want to guess.

RK: Is it one during that period of time, from say January through—

TB: This would have been in early ’74.

RK: Early ’74? A girl from Olympia? How about the Evergreen College girl?

TB: Oh, yeah. That’s right. Yeah.

RK: Where is she?

TB: Well, she’s up in the mountains.

RK: What mountains?

TB: Up in the Cascades, you know.

RK: And she’s actually buried in the ground?

TB: Well, how did that work? This, this is something that happened piece by piece, strange as this may sound. I’m trying to remember exactly where it all happened. That was—that’s something we’re going to have to talk about in the future, but that was, I don’t know that I was evermore incoherent and I—I mean, that night is like some kind of dream, you know, very blurry area, nightmarish and, I have trouble piecing it together. But we will— it’s going to take me a while to work on that one…

RK: So, I’m thinking about areas, time, whether I need to stay with the rest of that first site or whether I need to move on to a different site or something I don’t even know about that I could corroborate fast in the next couple of days. I mean, I know of the basic six. Now I know about seven, one that was missing that we didn’t know was there. And the Donna Manson girl from Thurston County that I— that’s all I know about so far from you. Now I need to know what other time frames you’re talking about and who, if it’s other jurisdictions and stuff like that, that I would like just to get some perspective on cause I’d like to get as much details on each one as I can…

TB: I intend to talk to the Colorado authorities about one of their cases where remains have— where they’ve found nothing. Absolutely nothing where they can. And the same with Utah.

RK: Is there any Washington cases that are like that. You mentioned Manson as a possibility, buried.

TB: Yeah. I think there may be only one though.

RK: Only one that’s actually buried?

TB: Yeah.

RK: You want to talk about that one?

TB: No.

RK: You told me before that’s your—

TB: Well, that is.

RK: How about the location?

TB: Well, all this— All this must come out and will come out. What I need is a chance to do it…

RK: But to my knowledge, you know, Hawkins and Manson were the only two that disappeared that we knew about and possibly associated. We may have had the missing person mistake which is entirely possible, but those are the only two. The reason I asked you if you ever buried anybody— the chances of finding remains that have been left above ground over a long period of time are slim to none.

TB: That’s right. That’s exactly true…

Taylor Mountain, March 1975. Courtesy King County Archives.

Ted Bundy’s Confession to Det. Robert Keppel
Florida State Prison
January 22, 1989

RK: The only thing that we could possibly cover that may add to some of the answers is a location of Donna Manson, because she’s the one that’s missing. And we never found any, anything we think that is her at all. And we’ve never found the rest of Taylor Mountain either. I mean, we’ve found just skulls. And we never found the remainder of the bodies. All we found of Janice Ott was her lower jawbone. We didn’t find her skull. We found Naslund’s skull. We found Ott’s, what we think was Ott’s, backbone. You know, those animals they just walk around out there and do their thing…

RK: Ok. How about Donna Manson? Gal from Thurston County, Olympia. Where’s she?

TB: Where is she? She should be—

RK: She dumped out along the power line too or a different road?

TB: That was different. That was different.

RK: What was different about it?

TB: Well, where she was, relative to the power line road.

RK: You told me before that she might be buried.

TB: Yeah. You have pictures here? That all you have?

RK: Ahh ha. For that time, yeah. Is she further up the power line road?

TB: Yeah. I—that was a—

RK: Which side?

TB: Ah, left.

RK: Left side?

TB: Yeah.

RK: Left side and buried. That’s not very far— how far up? If you never made it to Rocket Research or to the gate up there—

TB: Yeah. It’s hard—I mean, even though— I mean, I know what you’re— I mean, I think I know what you mean. But—

RK: Did you go by the gate?

TB: Doesn’t this go on over— I mean; this road, doesn’t it go on past that place?

RK: No. It starts up and goes to the left into the mountain side. Into the hills. And about another, oh, quarter mile is the Rocket Research area in there. But, there’s a gate there.

TB: Ok. Well, I think that— she was just further up the road.

RK: She’s further up the road and she’s buried. How far off the road do you think she’s buried?

TB: Yeah, well, inside, inside the tree cover.

RK: Inside the tree cover. Ok.

TB: These are contemporary. I mean, these are—

RK: Those are right when we found it. Ok? ’75. Not March of ’74 when she’s missing.

TB: But, listen. That’s March of—

RK: We can probably find her if she’s still there. In fact, I’ve dang well half the world that can go search for me, and they’ll do it.

TB: I won’t beat around the bush with you anymore because I’m just tired and I just want to get back and go to sleep.

RK: Ok…

TB: So let me just tell you I’m, I know that, that part of her is buried up in there, but nothing identifiable, probably just literally bones. The head, however, the skull, wouldn’t be there.

RK: Where is it?

TB: It’s nowhere.

RK: It’s nowhere?

TB: Well, I don’t— I’m not trying to be flippant. It’s just, it’s just nowhere. It’s in a category by itself in that it was— now I’d just as soon this is something that you just kept, I don’t— I can see the headlines now. But—

RK: Ted, there’s not going to be any details. What you told me about Georgann Hawkins isn’t going to be known. And I got parents out there that don’t even want to know the details.

TB: Oh, I know. And I—

RK: He wants to know [indicating to FBI Agent Hagmaier] and I want to know for my own good.

TB: Well, it was incinerated and it was just an exception. A strange exception, but it was incinerated.

RK: Where did you incinerate it?

TB: Ahh (slight laugh).

RK: Come on partner. These are things I don’t know about you.

TB: Yeah… This is, this is probably the disposal method of preference among those who get away with it. But because of being— ah, it’s most bizarre, bizarre nature I’ve ever been associated with, and I’ve been associated with some bizarre shit.

RK: Right. It’s incinerated. Now—

TB: It’s incinerated.

RK: Tell me about it. What the hell happened?

TB: Well, it— don’t know the address of the place. I never wanted to tell this— I promised myself I’d never tell this because it would— I thought, of all the things I did to this woman, this is probably the one she was least likely to forgive me for. Poor Liz.

RK: Uh huh…

TB: In her fireplace. That’s really not that humorous, but, I mean, the fireplace at that house.

RK: Burned it all up?

TB: Down to the last ash, and in a fit of, you know, paranoia and cleanliness, what have you, just vacuumed down all the ashes. That’s the twist.

RK: Yeah, that’s a slight twist. Yeah.

TB: It’s a twist. And it’s a lot of work and certainly very risky, under the circumstances. I mean, the kids come home from school and there’s a roaring fire in the fireplace and it’s warm outside…

Ted Bundy’s former girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, standing beside her fireplace, circa 1974.
Courtesy Liz Kendall/Amazon Studios.

Note to File
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
January 23, 1989

Re: Donna Gail Manson homicide
I contacted Lyle Manson today to explain that Bob Keppel had not yet returned our call, but that he assured us he would indeed remember the Manson situation. And that we will call when we know something.
Update January 24, 1989: I called Lyle Manson to explain that we spoke with Keppel and no new info was learned, and that we would call him tomorrow after conferring in Seattle.
Update: Ted Bundy clearly admitted to killing Manson, and buried her at Taylor Mountain in King County, but declined to describe how or where he killed her.

Missed Call Message
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
January 25, 1989

Lyle Manson called; they want Donna’s diary back. They were told as soon as the case was closed they would have it back. He considers it closed.

Note to File
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
January 27, 1989

Re: Ted Bundy, Donna Manson
Bundy is believed to have been sighted at Priest Point Park, Olympia in March 1974, early.
We were contacted by Dorothy S. In early March 1974, she was 28 years old, attractive, reddish-brown hair parted in the middle and long to her waist, outgoing and likely perceived as too friendly, 128 lbs, 5’7. She was with her son Grant, then age 7, at the park. A man she later recognized as Bundy (in the newspaper) began carefully following her, first appearing friendly, incredibly good looking, “splotchy thick” beard, wearing a hunter red and black plaid shirt and blue jeans. Dorothy noted the man had followed them to 5 or 6 places, finally by the bay and she felt “stalked like an animal.” At that point he then looked markedly different, “scary in the eyes,” and had stood behind things to watch her.
She quickly returned to her car which seemed to cause the man to become seriously angry and he got into his vehicle and left, squealing his tires. She saw no crutches, VW, etc, and wrote it off as a bad experience.
A few days later the local newspaper carried a story of the missing person report of Manson. Dorothy is clear on the time frame due to her remembrance of the news account and that it was just before her wedding anniversary. Sometime later she walked into her mother’s home and saw a newspaper front page showing Bundy’s photo. Her immediate reaction was that he was exactly the same man who had stalked her. The photo showed a clean shaven man, yet she recognized him anyway. She has no room for doubt. She did not call earlier, believing law enforcement had things under control without her.
Note: Dorothy S. is a well known citizen in good standing in this community and is credible.
Jan. 31, 1989 addendum: she called back after talking to her son and believes Bundy wore dark pants, not jeans, and had a pipe but didn’t smoke it.

Supplementary Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
February 7, 1989

Re: Homicides, Ted Bundy

Contacted Attorney General Investigator Bob Keppel who related that:
Six of his victims were decapitated and two is all he admitted to, Manson and Hawkins. King County felt the bodies were maybe placed differently than the heads as they found so few bones of any bodies.
The only girl’s death described was that of Hawkins, who he strangled and hit her on the head with a small crowbar.
None of the known Bundy victims was of any m.o. like Devine and Baker.
Bundy was not supplied with any names of possible victims, only months and years, as a means of separating his admissions to know if he really could clear anything. As to Patricia Garrison, Bundy was simply asked: “early 70s, woman stabbed?,” to which Bundy simply said, “no.”
Garrison’s parents did call from California to speak with Keppel to ask if Bundy said anything about their daughter.
King County Captain Evans is in charge of setting up the next Taylor Mountain search for Manson and Hawkins’ bodies, soon.
Bundy left behind written papers in his cell and supposedly it includes a confession to several homicides. His woman attorney got custody of them and is being sued by Florida for disclosure. It and when the papers are released, Florida has chosen Keppel to examine the papers and channel any information as discovered.
And also were advised that King County Medical Examiner Bill Haglund has research info of any missing people from the 70s, of the region. He would be our source person, should we ever find old bodies, ie the “Tumwater-Olympia” girl, mentioned by Bundy.
Keppel is aware of a June 29, 1973 report of missing girl Rita Jolly of Clackamas County (Oregon), and she was never found.

Excerpt from a Memo to the Florida Attorney General
March 10, 1989

Victim Donna Manson disappeared from the campus of Evergreen State College, Olympia Washington in the evening hours of March 12, 1974. Manson has never been found. After Manson’s disappearance, witnesses came forward who stated that, around the time of her disappearance, a man fitting Bundy’s description had been seen on the Evergreen campus feigning injury and attempting to entice woman to help him carry books to his car. Bundy confessed to the abduction and murder of Manson shortly before his execution…
Bundy claims to have dismembered the bodies of approximately 10 of his estimated 30 victims. Of the eight “Ted” victims, Hawkins and Manson are the only cases where identifiable remains were not found. Bundy confessed to both murders and claims to have dismembered both bodies in a similar fashion.

Supplementary Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
June 6, 1989

Regarding Donna Manson: Ted Bundy claimed he killed her and put her body (buried) at Taylor Mountain in King County. He took her head home and burned it.
I spoke with King County Captain Bob Evans who had that area searched twice since the Bundy confessions. The first time was with people and hand equipment. Two weeks later they used officers that were present during the original body discoveries and a skilled backhoe operator. They did it all once inch at a time. They fully did the terrain, taking it all down, and found nothing new.
Nothing more we can do.

The Olympian
Thursday, July 27, 1989
“Bundy Confession Closes Manson Case,” by Bob Partlow
Police are using serial killer Ted Bundy’s deathbed confessions to close the books on an Evergreen State College student’s 1974 disappearance.
Bundy confessed to abducting Donna Manson, 19, from the west Olympia campus in 1974, decapitating her and leaving her body on Taylor Mountain, said Robert Keppel, an investigator for the state Attorney General’s Office.
Bundy admitted to killing at least 20 women before he died Jan. 24 in the electric chair at the Florida State Prison. The Tacoma, Wash. Native confessed to killing 11 women in western Washington.
The execution ended the life of a man who alternately fascinated and repulsed America, a man of cunning intelligence and deadly obsessions. Although he admitted to killing 20 young women, he is suspected in the killings and disappearances of at least another 16.
“He admitted some of the elements of the case to me,” said Keppel, who spent hours talking to Bundy before he was executed.
Keppel was seeking information on the Manson case and others from the mid-1970s to which police had linked Bundy.
Some elements of the cases are so grisly that Keppel said he will not reveal them publicly. But Keppel did say Bundy confessed to having decapitated a number of his victims, including Manson. “It’s never really been published anywhere that he removed the heads of some of his victims.”
The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office also is satisfied Bundy was telling the truth about Manson, said Undersheriff Neil McClanahan. “We have no reason not to believe him. Certainly it would be much more palatable to us to have her remains found.”
Keppel said Bundy never said specifically where Manson’s remains might be found. “First he said she was in the mountains, then in the Cascades, then finally he said she was on Taylor Mountain, but he never got more specific than that.”
Manson, a 5-foot, 100-pound student from Auburn, disappeared March 12, 1974, as she was walking from her dormitory to a jazz concert.
There had been signs of Bundy around the campus, including his yellow Volkswagen, said McClanahan. Manson also talked about meeting “an individual she had just met who had a cast on his arm who may or may not have been named Ted.”
Bundy lured some of his victims to their death by pretending to need help because he had a broken arm.
Security officers at Evergreen often cite Bundy’s presence on campus as an example of the dangerous kinds of people who roam the grounds.
“We have reports of where officers in 1974 and 1975 saw someone that looked like Bundy around the campus,” said Lt. Larry E. Savage, of the Evergreen security office. “Almost exactly a year to the day after Manson disappeared, someone resembling Bundy walked into the security office and asked about her. The officer went to check the wanted poster on Bundy. When he came back he was gone.”
Savage also said a makeshift shack made of stolen lumber was found on the Evergreen campus with an abandoned arm case in it and the words “Ted Was Here” scrawled on the outside.
“He gave a dying declaration,” said McClanahan of the Manson case. “All the facts point to the scenario he painted.”

Evergreen campus clocktower and library, circa 1970s. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Supplementary Report
Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
August 10, 1989

On March 18, 1974, Donna Manson was reported missing by Deanna Ray, her roommate at Evergreen State College. Further investigation revealed that a person and a vehicle matching that of Ted Bundy was seen in the area.
Manson was listed as a missing person and a possible homicide victim.
Just prior to the execution of Ted Bundy in Florida, he confessed to Robert Keppel that he had abducted Manson from the campus in 1974, decapitated her, and left her remains on Taylor Mountain in King County.
With the death bed confession from Bundy we are removing Donna Gail Manson from the missing person files and closing the case. Capcom notified.

Memo from the Thurston County Sheriff
May 3, 1997

Attention Detectives:
Pierce County Sheriff’s Office feel they may have a body, long unidentified, that a computer matches to our missing girl Donna Manson.
We need to respond to PCSO. They’ve requested the dental negatives for comparison to their body. This body has similar described clothing, hair, shoes, and age. (Note: Ted Bundy confessed that he killed her and decapitated her at Taylor Mountain, King County, in contrast to the PCSO body which has a head.)

Memo from the Thurston County Sheriff
July 29, 1997

Would you please re-enter Donna Gail Manson into NCIC as a missing person? She was removed from the computer after Ted Bundy confessed to killing her, however, since her body was never recovered, the State says we have to re-enter her in case her remains are found. In advance, thanks for your cooperation.
–Captain Tom Lynch

The Seattle Times
January 26, 1998
“Lost Skeleton could be that of 1974 Victim of Ted Bundy”
TACOMA—The skeleton of one of serial killer Ted Bundy’s victims—a 19 year old college student—may have been found 20 years ago in the foothills of Mount Rainier, forensic experts say.
But confirming the identity of Donna Gail Manson might prove impossible because the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department lost the remains a few years after their discovery, along with X-rays and other forensic data.
Manson was last seen headed for a jazz concert on the Evergreen State College campus in Olympia on March 12, 1974. Within 10 days, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Dept was investigating her as a missing person.
On August 29, 1978, two fishermen came upon a human skull while walking in the foothills of Mount Rainier, southwest of Eatonville, where Highway 7 crosses the Mashell River. Searchers combed the area and found more human bones, hair, and multicolored shirt, which became a key piece of evidence. Manson was reportedly wearing a similar shirt when she was last seen.
“It’s most intriguing” Sgt. Bob Hoffman said. “We were able to eliminate most of the open cases, but we weren’t able to eliminate her.”
To try to confirm the identification, Hoffman has contacted Manson’s parents, Auburn residents Marie and Lyle Manson, and would like to show them photos of the clothing, which also has been lost. “Some things makes me think it’s not her,” Hoffman said. “Some things make me think it’s close.”
In an interview with the News Tribune of Tacoma, the Mansons indicated they long ago put their daughter’s memory to rest and declined to comment further. But they asked Hoffman to send a copy of the photo so they can look at it.
Bundy was executed in Florida nine years ago Saturday for killing a 12 year old schoolgirl. Before his death, the former law student confessed to killing Manson, making her one of 28 known Bundy victims from Washington, Utah, Colorado, and Florida.
In interviews in 1988 and 1989 with Robert Keppel, a King County detective investigating the killings, Bundy said Manson could be found “in the Cascade Mountains.” The site near Eatonville could be considered in the Cascade foothills.
But in the same interviews, Bundy also said he killed Manson, took her skull to his girlfriend’s house and burned it in the fireplace “down to the last ash” in “a fit of paranoia and cleanliness.” Bundy never said just where the body was.
Pierce County authorities had treated the Eatonville remains as those of a possible homicide victim. They checked with local jurisdictions, looking for a missing person who would fit the evidence. Dental X-rays were made and compared to some missing person reports. But they were never compared to the dental charts of Manson, even though Keppel had called Pierce County to inquire about the remains.
When Pierce County detective Roy Durham described the clothing to Keppel, the King County detective was interested in the multicolored shirt, noting Manson was last wearing something similar. But he “was advised that the skeletal remains did not appear to be as old as 1974,” Durham wrote in a report two days after the bones were found.
Nevertheless, Keppel recommended calling a Thurston County detective who was in charge of the Manson case. But a message left for him was never returned, Hoffman said.
On September 12, 1978, Durham wrote “this case is closed.” It was not to be looked at again for 19 years.
An investigation was revived after a December 2, 1996 story in the News Tribune about three unidentified skeletons that disappeared from the property room. Two of the skeletons were destroyed in the late 1970s and early 1980s in the Tacoma landfill, during routine purges of the property room at the sheriff’s department. Neither the Pierce County Sheriff nor the Medical Examiner’s Office can say what happened to the third skeleton found near Eatonville.
Officials also haven’t been able to explain why the X-rays and other coroner’s records related to the skeleton are also missing. A recent check of the dental records of missing persons in the state produced eight possible identities for the Eatonville skeleton. A forensic dentist hired by the sheriff’s department rules out all but one case—that of Manson.
If the skull—or even X-rays of the teeth—were still available, a comparison of dental records probably could show conclusively whether the skeleton was Manson.
But all Hoffman has are some photos of the skeleton and its surroundings, some forensic details in the sheriff’s department report, and what Bundy said before he was executed.
If the Eatonville remains are confirmed as those of Manson, it wouldn’t be the only time a Bundy victim’s body has been lost.
The remains of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, found near Issaquah in 1974, were later lost by King County authorities. The victims’ families sued King County and eventually settled for about $112,000 per family.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Mount Rainier from Clear Lake near Eatonville, c. 1960. Courtesy Washington State Archives.

The Seattle Times
February 3, 1998
“Parents: Skeleton not that of apparent Ted Bundy Victim”
A skeleton found 20 years ago in rural Pierce County is not that of Ted Bundy victim Donna Gail Manson, according to the long-missing student’s parents.
A multicolored shirt found near the skeleton when it was discovered in 1978 is not the same shirt as the one Manson was last seen wearing when she vanished March 12, 1974, said Pierce County detective Sgt. Bob Hoffman.
And that clue – perhaps the last to be looked into – puts the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department back to square one as it tries to solve a bizarre case of a body that was found, never identified and later lost by the sheriff’s department.
A News Tribune story Jan. 25 that detailed the investigation brought in one new tip as to the body’s identity. That possibility is being investigated, but doesn’t look good, Hoffman said.
The tale of the lost skeleton began in 1978, when two fishermen found a skull in the Mount Rainier foothills, near Eatonville where Washington 7 crosses the Mashel River.
Forensics specialists said the body probably belonged to a female, between 15 and 20 years old and about 5 feet 7 inches tall. She had shoulder-length brown hair, and had suffered a nonfatal blow to the head. Further searches turned up more bones, hair and clothing – including a multicolored striped shirt.
Pierce County sheriff’s detectives investigated the case as a possible homicide and compared dental X-rays taken from the skull to dental records of women who were reported missing in Pierce County and adjoining jurisdictions.
But despite a phone call two days after the skeleton was found from a King County detective working on the Bundy serial killings, the dental records were never checked against those of Manson.
Later, the skeleton vanished from the Pierce County Sheriff Department’s property room, along with other physical evidence, X-rays and other forensic records.
The case itself would likely have been forgotten completely had it not been for a 1996 News Tribune story detailing how this skeleton and two others found in rural Pierce County in the 1970s were lost.
The other two skeletons, also never identified, were disposed of in the Tacoma landfill during routine property room purges.
The sheriff’s department has acknowledged that the improper disposal of the bodies was an error and hasn’t been able to explain how the X-rays and other information vanished.
After that 1996 story, detectives ran what information they still had about the 1978 skeleton – sketchy, handwritten dental records – through a state computer programmed to match dental records and missing persons. The computer turned up several possible identities for the skeleton. One was Bundy victim Donna Manson.
While the identity was far from confirmed, Hoffman decided that all he could do was show a photograph of the multicolored shirt to Manson’s parents, Marie and Lyle Manson, in hopes they’d recognize it.
They are sure, Hoffman said, that the shirt didn’t belong to their daughter, and that it wasn’t the one she was reported wearing when she was last seen.
“She (Marie Manson) said it definitely was not her daughter’s shirt,” Hoffman said. “We’re back to ground zero.”

Follow-Up Report
King County Sheriff
July 15, 2005

I received information from Sgt. Gates that the King County Medical Examiner’s Office would like to attempt to identify human remains associated with the Ted Bundy murders. These remains are in a box. According to their documentation the remains have been in custody since March 8, 1984.

August 1, 2005
I called and spoke to Marie Manson. She is the mother of Donna Manson. I explained to her why I contacted her. She stated that her daughter was still a missing person. Marie stated that both she and Donna’s father Lyle Manson would give DNA samples. I told her I would contact her at a later time to arrange this meeting.

August 11, 2005
I arrived at the Manson’s residence. I went over the consent form with each of them. They each agreed to provide DNA samples and signed the form. I then took oral/saliva samples from both Marie and Lyle. I told them I would call them with the results.
I packaged the two buccal swabs and shipped them to the University of North Texas.

To: University of North Texas, Health Science Center, Missing Persons DNA Database
From: King County Sheriff
Date: August 11, 2005

Re: Donna Gail Manson
History of Incident:
Donna Gail Manson disappeared from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in 1974. Ted Bundy confessed to her kidnap and murder, but her remains have never been found. Recently, we have located human remains associated with the Ted Bundy murders. These remains will also be forwarded in the near future for DNA processing in hopes of identifying which Bundy victim they belong to.

Item 1: Buccal DNA Collector taken from Marie Manson, the mother of the missing.
Item 2: Buccal DNA Collector taken from Lyle Manson, the father of the missing.

Testing Required:
Examine for DNA material, and if present, attempt to establish an STR/Mitochondrial profile. Check this profile for any matches of unidentified human remains in CODIS/NDIS.

To: Thurston County Sheriff’s Office
From: King County Sheriff’s Office
Date: April 10, 2007

Re: Donna Gail Manson
The King County Sheriff’s Office, Green River Investigation took an interest in your missing person Donna G. Manson as a result of our efforts to identify several sets of unidentified remains attributed to serial killers Gary Ridgway and Ted Bundy. As a result our investigators took the lead in contacting and obtaining saliva swabs from the mother and father of Donna Manson and having them processed for DNA. That procedure has been completed and the results did not match any of the Green Riber or Bundy cases.
The DNA profile of Manson will be entered into CODIS Missing and Unidentified database and compared to future submissions.
Included is a copy of the letter from University of North Texas which requests that you update your NCIC entry on Manson to reflect that DNA is available.

The Seattle Times

January 6, 2008
Lyle Edward Manson was born on August 29, 1917 in Marion, Iowa and died on December 31, 2007 in Auburn, Washington, following a prolonged battle with Parkinsons. Following graduation from high school he entered Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa after serving in the Navy during World War II (he was a Pearl Harbor survivor) he received his B.A. in music education in June, 1949. He pursued a career of teaching music and obtained his Masters at Central Washington University in Ellensburg in 1952. He is survived by his wife, Marie, of Auburn, and a son, James of Seattle. A daughter, Donna, was a victim of violent crime in March 1974 while a student at Evergreen in Olympia. After Lyle’s retirement from the Seattle schools with a total of 29 years as a music teacher, he continued to play professionally in dance bands in the Seattle area. He was an avid fly fisherman and a member of the Washington Fly Fishing Club in Seattle. He was an active member of the Auburn Post, American Legion, Auburn, and of the Auburn First United Methodist Church where he served as usher until April 2006.

Marie Manson, undated. Courtesy of the Seattle Times.

Marie Elizabeth (Nilson) Manson was born February 9, 1923, and passed away at her longtime home on May 26, 2014. The daughter of Swedish emigrants, Marie was a lifetime resident of Auburn. A graduate of Auburn High School and the University of Washington, she was a member of Mu Phi Epsilon, and graduated with a BA in music education in 1949. Marie loved music, which she taught for the Bellevue school district beginning in 1950. She and husband Lyle spent two years with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. Marie was also choir director at Auburn First United Methodist, and involved with the bell choir for many years. She had many hobbies, gem and mineral collecting, nature photography, and card making. Marie was also an excellent cook. Her Swedish meatballs and traditional cookies will be missed. She was preceded in death by her parents, Carl and Hulda Nilson, sister Helen, brother Arthur, daughter Donna, and loving husband Lyle. Marie is survived by her son James, niece Lynnia, and nephew Mark.

Seattle Magazine
April 4, 2019
“What do Ted Bundy’s serial killings mean today?” by Knute Berger
It started quietly 45 years ago. Young women began disappearing.
On March 12, 1974, a young student left her Evergreen State College apartment to walk across campus to attend a jazz concert. She wore pants, a colorful shirt, an agate ring and a fuzzy dark maxicoat. She was 5 feet tall, with long brown hair parted in the middle. She never came home. In fact, she has never been seen since. Years later, while on death row in Florida, serial killer Ted Bundy confessed to killing Donna Gail Manson.
I was editor of the Evergreen college newspaper, the Cooper Point Journal (CPJ), at that time. It took a while for Manson’s roommate to report her missing; Evergreeners were free spirits, and this was an era when students, male and female, might hitchhike somewhere or crash with friends without notice. As the weeks went by, however, it was clear something was wrong. In April, our paper ran a story about the missing student, along with a full-page ad offering a $500 reward for proof of her whereabouts. The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office began a wide-ranging search.
I went out with one of these search parties, which combed a large stand of second-growth alders near campus, the kind of damp, dark woods that are everywhere in this wet region. Our group found some bones, but they turned out to be those of a dead deer. No sign of Manson.
Other young women in the region, about the same age and of similar physical description, went missing, too, most of them students. By early July, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office had hosted a “Homicide and Missing Persons” conference for law enforcement and media that focused on the disappearing women. The purpose was for various jurisdictions and investigators to “brainstorm” about the phenomenon. Police had no evidence yet that any crimes had been committed in these disappearances, only dark suspicions.
Wendy Kramer, a reporter we sent to the conference, wrote a front-page story, headlined “Pattern in Disappearances.” The late writer Ann Rule, not yet famous, was at the conference. She later wrote a true-crime book about Ted Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me; she had known him from working with him at Seattle’s Crisis Clinic. But at this early point, she didn’t know Bundy was involved.
Rule noted that the abductor seemed to be taking women at regular intervals, roughly one per month. They vanished from the University of Washington, Evergreen, Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Oregon State University and who knew where else. As the list of women mounted, Rule predicted at the conference that the next victim would vanish later that month, and that came to pass, only there were two victims. On July 14, two women disappeared in separate incidents from Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, last seen in the company of a young man with his arm in a sling, calling himself “Ted” and driving a tan Volkswagen bug. A massive manhunt ensued, and people came forward with stories connected to other abductions or attempted ones. Bundy wasn’t caught, but he’d left behind vital clues, such as his name, his car and a ploy of pretending to need help.
Nobody knows when Bundy became a serial killer, but those 1974 disappearances put investigators on his trail and helped lead to his eventual capture. Bundy confessed to at least 28 murders, but also hinted the toll could be in the triple digits. After murders in Washington and Oregon, he moved on to Utah, Colorado and Florida, leaving a trail of death and mayhem. He was eventually sentenced to death in Florida and executed in the electric chair in 1989. Because he was raised primarily in Tacoma and appears to have started his known killings here, he is inextricably associated with the Northwest.
I was recently asked to reflect on Bundy for a documentary that is being made about him and which is tentatively scheduled to be completed this fall. When the late Anthony Bourdain came to Seattle in 2017, he also asked me about serial killers. What was it about the Northwest and serial killers? Bourdain asked. I joked that it is an easy place to hide the bodies.
There is some truth to that. In 1974, Washington had relatively recently connected to other regions by means of larger, faster interstate highways. These roads allowed people to travel rather anonymously to and past areas that offered the kind of wooded privacy Bundy liked when killing and later visiting his victims’ corpses. Bundy would return again and again to these semiremote locations. Those two women at Lake Sammamish, for example, were taken one after the other to a hidden spot up the road from Issaquah — just a few minutes from the park and near Interstate 90. I’ve been there. The sound of the freeway can be heard from those woods.
Bundy put serial killers into the public consciousness, but he also changed how we think of mass murderers, who, until then, had been thought of as crazed, like Charles Manson or Son of Sam. Bundy was intelligent, a law student, a good-looking guy who seemed like the boy next door. He worked for then-Gov. Dan Evans and for the Republican Party. He was the kind of young man your parents might have liked because — unlike many young men of that era— he wasn’t a long-haired hippie protesting in the streets. His victims were, as one investigator described it, “everyone’s daughters.”
What are we to make of Bundy now? Some feminist critics have postulated that Bundy is an exemplar of “gynecide,” representing a breed of sexually motivated male serial killers who are romanticized in TV movies and in titillating stories in the media. Ann Rule said Bundy attained the status of a Billy the Kid figure.
This bears rethinking in this #MeToo era, when misogyny and patriarchy are being exposed and challenged. Is Bundy an extreme example of our worst cultural impulses? Or is he a rare monster whose execution was rightly celebrated? The terrible nightmare of Ted Bundy and his victims, and his place in our culture, is worth re-examination nearly half a century on.

Donna Manson Ted Bundy
Donna Manson’s student identification photo, circa 1973. Courtesy Evergreen State College Archives.

Donna Gail Manson
Rest in Peace

Special thanks to the Thurston County Sheriff, The Evergreen State College Archives, the King County Archives, the King County Sheriff, and the Pierce County Sheriff.

3 thoughts on “Case File: Donna Gail Manson, 1974

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