The Unconfirmed Cases: Kerry Hardy-May; 1972

When 22-year-old Kerry Hardy-May disappeared from Seattle in June of 1972, at first her family wasn’t too worried. After all, Kerry was young, a free spirit, and in a period of transition after recently separating from her husband. So when she didn’t show up to her family home to help them pack for a trip as planned, they assumed she was busy and would be in touch soon. But Kerry would never be seen again. That is, not until excavators digging a golf course unearthed her bones from a shallow grave nearly 40 years later.

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Sherrod’s, 1978

In the late evening of January 14, 1978, several witnesses described a strange man at Sherrod’s Disco, a night club popular with students and located next door to the Chi Omega Sorority House. The man appeared awkward, out of place with the college crowd, and seemed to be at the club just to leer at the dancing young women. Just hours afterwards, in the early morning hours of January 15, a similarly dressed subject entered the Chi Omega House and brutally attacked four young women in their beds, killing two of them. In the days following the murders, the Sherrod’s witnesses came forward to describe their experience with the peculiar man they’d seen that night at the disco.

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Taylor Mountain, 1975

Over the years, detectives and authors alike theorized that the skulls found on Taylor Mountain in 1975 meant Bundy had decapitated Washington victims Lynda Healy, Susan Rancourt, Kathy Parks, and Brenda Ball. This is because at the time of the discovery of the crime scene, apart from the skulls all of the bones taken into evidence were deemed to be of animal origin. In 2005, the King County Medical Examiner’s office rediscovered a misplaced box of miscellaneous remains and identified several to be human leg bones. The results of DNA testing on those bones disproved the long held belief that only skulls were found on Taylor Mountain.

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Case File: The Search for Georgann Hawkins, 1989

On January 20 and 22, 1989, Ted Bundy sat down with King County Detective Robert Keppel to give his final confessions. As a gesture of good faith, and with the hope of receiving a stay in exchange for more information on the final resting place of his unrecovered victims, Bundy described the final hours and resting place of one Seattle victim, Georgann Hawkins. Hawkins was a freshman at the University of Washington in Seattle who was abducted only steps away from her sorority house. His “Bones for Time” strategy was a desperate last attempt to ward off execution, as Bundy intended for her remains to be found so he would be seen as too valuable to be put to death. After Bundy’s execution, investigators unsuccessfully attempted to locate her remains in Issaquah.

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The Presentence Investigation Report, 1976

In March 1976 Salt Lake City district court Judge Stewart Hanson ordered a presentence investigation report for Ted Bundy after his conviction in the Carol DaRonch kidnapping case. The judge wanted more information about Bundy’s life, as his clean-cut, law student exterior clashed with the violent crime he had been found guilty of committing. Don Hull with the Utah Department of Probation and Parole was assigned to investigate his background and reported the results to Judge Hanson before final sentencing.

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Case File: Melissa Smith, 1974

Seventeen-year-old Melissa Smith disappeared the night of October 18, 1974 while walking home from a pizza restaurant in Midvale, a suburb of Salt Lake City. Her nude, beaten, and strangled body was discovered by hunters nine days later in a wooded area. While Ted Bundy never admitted to her murder, when directly asked during his final confessions he did not deny it either. This is her case file.

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The Unconfirmed Cases: Joyce Margaret LePage, 1971

This is an installment of my ongoing “unconfirmed” case study series. All of these cases have been connected to Ted Bundy in some way, whether by active investigation or later speculation, but never officially linked to him. As they are all still unsolved, generally police will not release the case files. However, using newspaper archives and other works for reference, I have written the most exhaustive summary of each case as I can. I also include my own analysis based on my research and personal knowledge of Bundy’s timeline and modus operandi.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty and all opinions are my own and not that of law enforcement unless otherwise indicated.

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Trial Transcript: Carol DaRonch, Part II, 1976

This is part two of surviving victim Carol DaRonch’s witness testimony in the Third District Court in Salt Lake City, February 23, 1976. In it she is cross examined by attorney John O’Connell, who defended Ted Bundy. David Yocom was the Assistant Salt Lake County Attorney representing the State of Utah.

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