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 cast doubt on the decapitation theory.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
The powerline road at Taylor Mountain. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety Statement
Taken by Roger Dunn
Statement of Larry Sharie
Date: March 2, 1975

As part of our class work for Forestry #93 at the College, ALEX KAMOLA and I were doing a Forestry Inventory Project on Thursday, 02/27/75, and yesterday, 03/01/75. This project was in 80 acres of Weyerhaeuser land, located in T23N, R7E, SEC. 21. At about 2:00 P.M. yesterday, we were running a line and prism points to determine a basal area. Alex and I had both walked through the area but as we were walking through a second time, Alex said, “Hey, look at this!”, and pointed out a human skull laying on the ground. We didn’t pick it up or touch it. We left it right where it was and then finished our field work. We called King County Police last night when we got home sometime around 5:00 P.M.
Today, 03/02/75, we directed the police back to the skull and assisted with compass coordinates and measurements from where we found the skull back to the 1/4 corner of So. Section line of Section 20 and 21. Alex and I measured the distance back to this point, taking several compass headings. The rough coordinate from skull to the marker would be S. 80 degrees E. We gave the exact measurements to an officer. We have an aerial photo of this area and will try to pinpoint the exact location of the skull on the photograph. This two page statement is true to the best of my knowledge.
Statement ended at 2:15 P.M, 03/02/75.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
The skull of Brenda Ball in situ. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety Statement
Taken by Roger Dunn
Statement of Alexander Kamola
Date: March 2, 1975

On 03/01/75 at about 8 A.M. I was with LARRY SHARIE. We were off the Powerline Road that crosses Highway 18 doing a Forest Inventory Project for Green River Community College. We were in the woods south of the intersection of 18 and the Powerline Road. At about 2 P.M. we found a skull that appeared to be human about 1/8 mile from the Powerline Rd. The area is the west half of the southwest quarter of Section 21, Township 23 north, Range 7 east. We left the skull and did not touch anything. We finished our work at about 3 P.M. and called in about 4 P.M. to the police when we got back to Auburn.
On 03/02/75 at about 1200 hrs., we showed Detectives the location of the skull. To my knowledge the skull had not moved or changed position. We looked around awhile yesterday but did not find anything else. We flagged our way back out so relocation of the skull would be possible.
On 03/02/75, Larry and I traversed the distance from the skull to the west quarter corner of Section 21.
I have read the above statement and it is true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Taylor Mountain. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety
Death Investigation Report
Location: 3.4 miles south of Highway 90 on Highway 18 (powerline road east side of roadway)
Reporting Officer: Robert Anderson

Reporting person and witness are Forestry students at Green River Community College. They are working on a practical exercise at the location listed. While working in the woods at approximately 1400 hours on March 1, 1975 they found what appeared to be a human skull. An approximately 1700 hours they notified King County Police. Because of the impending darkness they agreed to take officers to location on March 2, 1975. Detectives from H & R arrived at 1215 hours. Prior to arrival of detectives reporting officer took one 12 exp roll of film.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
The skull of Brenda Ball in situ. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety
Follow-Up Report: Death Investigation
Location: 3.4 miles south of I-90 on Hwy 18- Taylor Mountain
Investigating Officer: Det. Roger E. Dunn

March 1, 1975
Two Green River College students, Alex Kamola and Larry Sharie were surveying timber on an 80 acre tract on the north side of Taylor Mountain just off Hwy 18; at about 2:00 in the afternoon they came across a human skull and left it alone and called King County Communications Center when they arrived home. A decision was made to wait until the following day to send an officer up to the scene.

March 2, 1975
Officer Anderson accompanied Kamola and Sharie back to the scene where they showed him the skull. He then called for Det. Keppel and reporting officer to investigate the scene. We photographed and collected the skull and after a brief cursory search of the area we could find no other skulls or bone fragments. It was evident that the skull had been packed in by animals due to the very dense underbrush. It had laid in its position since last fall since leaves under the skull were consistent in texture with those leaves on the ground around it. There were also leaves inside the skull. We secured the scene.

March 3, 1975
German Shepherd search dogs went back to the area with Det. Keppel and additional bones were found. An extensive search was conducted by Explorer Search & Rescue units, and additional skulls and mandibles were found which made the identification of the four victims (Healy, Ball, Rancourt, Parks) possible. Criminalist K. Sweeney coordinated the identification of the victims and contacted the victims’ personal dentists who compared the dental records with the skull and/or mandible. Sweeney then had custody of all evidence after it had been packaged for analysis.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Search and Rescue team on Taylor Mountain. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 5, 1975
0800 hrs: Received a phone call from an instructor at Green River Community College who said that she had been in the Taylor Mountain area approximately two weeks previously with her class on a field project and she had found several bones. Detective Keppel noted that the area she described is approximately one-half mile from the site where the bones were found by the animal.

March 8, 1975
1030 hrs: I was en route from my residence to the search site to assist detectives. The remainder of the day until approximately 1700 hrs was spent photographing evidence and assisting Det. Keppel in collecting and packaging evidence. All triangulation and mapping was done by ESAR.

March 10, 1975
0915 hrs: Ron Underwood of the German Shepherd’s rescue called the office to say that his organization was on the mountain 3-10-75 after the search had been secured and found more bones- he arranged to bring them to the office.
When news media released the information of additional bone finds, this prompted a torrent of phone calls to the office concerning sightings of “Ted” and his brown Volkswagen. Events at Washington State College involving a suspect approaching girls following Rancourt’s disappearance tie in with “Ted’s” description as well as his vehicle. The Ted Task Force became operational on March 10, 1975.

April 9, 1975
1000 hrs: Went to the Issaquah scene and while driving to Taylor Mountain, clocked the mileage as 7.1 miles from the Issaquah scene to the intersection of I-90 and Hwy. 18, and from I-90 to Taylor Mountain it is 4.1 miles.
1215 hrs: We arrived at the Taylor Mt. site.
1230 hrs: While going through the area I found two bones which were located 35 feet, 1 inch west of .1000/1000 on string line 50. They were photographed with a Polaroid by Det. Kidd and packaged as evidence item #R-96, at 1300 hrs.

April 10, 1975
1000 hrs: I placed evidence item #R-96 into evidence with K. Sweeney.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Parked cars along the powerline road. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety
Additional Information Sheet
Investigating Officer: Sgt. Leonard Randall

March 2, 1975
1410 hrs.: Received a call from the Comm Center advising Det. Keppel was requesting I respond to the search area. I responded to the scene and was advised a second skull, two mandibles and one bunch of hair had been found.

March 5, 1975
1200 hrs.: Captain Swindler called to inform responding officer that the news media had contacted him inquiring about a Homicide Team going to K.C.P. He advised that a team was sent to assist us, and that all press released will be coming from the King County Department of Public Safety.
1259 hrs: Dr. Zanner examined the mandible and made positive identification of Linda Healy, SPD Missing. Det. Fonis to notify the Healy parents and call in when completed.
1413 hrs: Ted Fonis called to advise the Healys have been notified of identification of the mandible.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
The powerline road at Taylor Mountain. Courtesy King County Archives.

King County Department of Public Safety
Additional Information Sheet
Investigating Officer: Det. Robert Keppel
Subject: Missing girls homicides

March 2, 1975
1200 hrs: Photographs of the skull were taken by Detective Dunn and notes and measurements by Detective Keppel. The photo frames taken from Roll 1 dated March 2, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 1: An overall view of the area of the location of the skull, facing south about 60 feet from the skull.
Frame 2: Overall view from 20 feet south of the skull.
Frame 3: View of the skull, facing south 10 feet away.
Frame 4: View of the skull, facing south 6 feet away.
Frame 5: View of the skull, facing north 6 feet away.
Frame 6: View of the skull, facing northeast 6 feet away.
Frame 7: Close up view of the skull, facing northeast, 3 feet from skull
Frame 8: Close up view of the skull, facing east, 3 feet from skull
Frame 9: Close up view of the skull, with tape measure, 3 feet from skull
Frame 10: View south from skull location of woods.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Frame 9: Close up view of the skull, with tape measure, 3 feet from skull. Courtesy King County Archives.
Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Dense underbrush at the crime scene. Courtesy King County Archives.

The photo frames taken from Roll 2 dated March 2, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 1: View from skull facing west of scenery and underbrush.
Frame 2: View from skull facing northwest of scenery.
Frame 3: View from skull facing northwest of scenery.
1310 hrs: Collected skull and dirt from beneath the skull. Marked as item number one. This item will be designated as search find #111.
1340 hrs: The photo frames taken from Roll 3 dated March 2, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 1: View southeast from Hwy 18 along powerline road.
Frame 2: Overall view from powerline road to the general area of the skull.
Frame 3: Overall view south from powerline to general area.
Frames 4-10 are overall views from powerline to general area of skull find.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Evidence photos. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 3, 1975
1200 hrs: Met dog teams at Hwy 18 and I-90, supervisor Ron Underwood.
1245 hrs: Search of area began with four dog teams.
1400 hrs: While walking through the woods near the first skull find, Det. Keppel discovered another skull that had gold dental work in the teeth.
1506 hrs: Det. Forrester photographed and Det. Keppel took notes and measurements and collected the evidence.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
View of mandible with teeth from 15 feet distance. Courtesy King County Archives.

The photo frames taken from Roll 1 dated March 3, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 5: View from the area of Skull #1 to where second skull was found.
Frame 6: View of mandible with teeth from 15 feet distance.
Frame 7: View of mandible with teeth from 4 feet distance.
Frame 8: View of second skull from 30 feet, facing north west.
Frame 9: Close up view of skull from 5 feet.
Frame 10: Photo of dog teams.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
View of a mandible with teeth from 4 feet distance. Courtesy King County Archives.

The photo frames taken from Roll 2 dated March 3, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 1: View of white paper, evidence item #35.
1610 hrs: Find of second mandible with several teeth missing.
Frame 2: Close up view of second mandible.
Frame 3: Close up view of second mandible.
1620 hrs: Hair found by search dogs, apparently blonde hair.
Frame 5: View of hair from 6 feet.
Frame 6: View of hair from 3 feet.
Frame 9: View of tooth find. Found by Forrester under the second mandible find.

March 4, 1975
0920 hrs: View of area from Boeing helicopter. Roll 1 is aerial photos taken by Det. Forrester.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Aerial photographs of the Taylor Mountain search site. Courtesy King County Archives.
Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975

The photo frames of Roll 2 dated March 4, 1975 are as follows:
Frame 1: Bone fragments and blonde hair, spread over and area of 4 feet by 2.5 feet. Photo taken facing south. Evidence item #K1.
1150 hrs: Blonde hair, frame 2 facing north, item #K3
1203 hrs: Two bones, frame 4 facing north, item #K4. Bone, frame #5, item #K5.
1220 hrs: Frame 6, facing north, bone chips, item #K6.
1340 hrs: Nylon cord, item #K7.
1415 hrs: Frame 8, Bone, Item #K9.
1500 hrs: Animal dung with bones, Item #K-10.
1530 hrs: Frame 9, Two bones, Item #K-11.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Susan Rancourt’s blonde hair. Courtesy King County Archives.

1600 hrs: Informed by Sgt. Randall that one skull found the first day was positively identified as Brenda Ball.

The photo frames of Roll 3 dated March 4, 1975 are as follows:
1645 hrs: Frame 1, Red material, item #K-12.

March 5, 1975
0915 hrs: Frame 1, Ladies blouse with brown print, item #K-13.
1100 hrs: Frame 7, Bone, item #K-14.
1120 hrs: Frame 9, Part of a yellow jacket, white sweater, Item #K-15.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Evidence photos. Courtesy King County Archives.

Photo frames taken from Roll 2 dated March 5, 1975 are as follows:
1130 hrs: Frame 7, Two bones, item #K-19
1415 hrs: T-shirt/blue cloth, blue sock
1435 hrs: Blue jean material
1700 hrs: Frame 10, Bone, item #K-20.

The photo frames of Roll 3 dated March 5, 1975 are as follows:
1705 hrs: Frame 1, Bone, item #K-21.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Kathy Parks’ skull in situ. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 6, 1975
0830 hrs: Frame 2, Bone, possible piece of skull 4 feet from third skull find, item #K-22.
1000 hrs: Frame 3, Bone, item #K-23.
1023 hrs: Frame 4, Scapula bone, item #K-24.
1100 hrs: Purple jacket pulled from creek by divers. Item #K-25.
1230 hrs: Blonde hair found by Det. Forrester, item #K-26.
1300 hrs: Frame 6, Bone, item #K-27.
1340 hrs: Frame 7, White clothing, item #K-28.
1537 hrs: Frame 8, Blue scarf, item #K-29.

1600 hrs: Called Sgt. Randall. Lynda Ann Healy was positively identified from a lower jaw bone.

1625 hrs: Frame 9, Chewed bone, item #K-30.
1700 hrs: Bones- vertebrae (2), item #K-31.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Green coat, military type, item #K-35. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 7, 1975
0925 hrs: Frame 3, Green coat, military type, item #K-35.
1056 hrs: Frame 4, Partial jaw bone, item #K-39.
1108 hrs: Frame 5, Partial jaw bone, item #K-40.
1110 hrs: Tooth, item #K-41.
1112 hrs: Frame 6, Two clumps of hair, item #K-37. Frame 8 photo of hair and depression in ground.
1126 hrs: Frame 7, Skull piece, item #K-38.
1340 hrs: Frame 9, Bones- vertebrae, item #K-42.
1130 hrs: Frame 10, Plastic and tarp lean-to shelter, soup can item #K-43.

March 8, 1975
0850 hrs: Frame 6, Bone, item #K-55.
0915 hrs: Frame 7, Shotgun casing, item #K-56.
0935 hrs: Frame 8, Bones, item #K-57.
1003 hrs: Frame 10, Two bone fragments, item #K-59.
1000 hrs: Roll 2, Frame 1, Bone, item #K-60.
1045 hrs: Roll 1, Frame 2, Bones, Item #K-68.
1055 hrs: Bone, Item #K-67
1116 hrs: Roll A, Frame 1, Bone, Item #K-63
1130 hrs: Roll A, Frame 2, Bones, Item #K-64
1213 hrs: Roll B, Frame 2, Bones, Item #K-77
1215 hrs: Roll A, Frame 7, Three bras, Item #K-74
1255 hrs: Roll A, Frame 8, Snug Tie, Item #K-75; Roll A Frame 9, Screw Driver, Item #K-76
1535 hrs: Roll B, Frame 3, 10” long bone, Item #K-83
1600 hrs: Roll B, Frames 4, 5, and 6, Bones, rib, teeth, Item #K-82
1615 hrs: Bones found by dog teams, Item #K-83
1620 hrs: Blue suitcase
1650 hrs: Bone, Item #K-87
1700 hrs: Bones in dung, Item #K-86
1740 hrs: Bones, Item #K-85
1800 hrs: Roll B, Frame 8, Toenail in dung, Item #K-88

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Evidence photos. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 10, 1975
1130 hrs: Ron Underwood of German Shepherd Search Dogs contacted at King County Courthouse. He delivered bones and a 45 casing that his search dogs had picked up on March 9 in the same Taylor Mtn area. The finds were marked as follows:
1150 hrs: Bones, Item #K-89
1225 hrs: Bone, Item #K-90
1300 hrs: 10” curved bone, Item #K-91

March 13, 1975
1600 hrs: The following item numbers are definitely not human as reported by Kay Sweeney: K5, K6, K9, K18, K24, K31, K32, K42, K55, K67, K85, and K87.

King County Department of Public Safety
Follow-Up Report: Death Investigation
Location: 3.4 miles south of I-90 on Hwy 18- Taylor Mountain
Investigating Officer: Det. Robert D. Keppel

March 14, 1975
1050 hrs: Processed vehicle of trapper on Taylor Mountain. DMV registration info came back to a 1973 Dodge pickup registered to Wayne Person.
1100 hrs: Telephone contact with Mr. Person who related he had been trapping in the area of Taylor Mountain from January 15, 1974 until last week. Person has visited the area twice a week. Person has a .22 rifle that he had fired on one occasion at a coyote. Person had seen other individuals in the Taylor Mountain area, especially the EXCOA employees. These employees always wear hard hats. Others in the area are hikers, motorcyclists. Person related that he has never constructed a lean-to on Taylor Mountain.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Remnants of a “lean-to” shelter. Courtesy King County Archives.

March 27, 1975
1025 hrs:  Had telephone contact with Dr. Rhay, medical examiner. He related that for the theory of decapitation, for someone to cut off the head, there would be cervical vertebrae attached to the skull. Due to the meaty portions of the neck it would be almost impossible for there not to be cervical vertebrae present. If there were no vertebrae attached to the head it would indicate that the heads were pulled away from the skeletal remains elsewhere. It would be almost impossible for animals to completely eat entire skeletons.

Seattle Police Department
Continuation Sheet
Investigating Officer: Det. D. J. Strunk

Date: October 28, 1975
1330 hrs: Received the following information from Det. Keppel, King County Task Force. Said that he and John Cowell, cousin of Bundy, went to the area where he and Ted used to do a lot of hiking. This is the area of Taylor Mountain where remains of victims were found. Cowell and Bundy had hiked on most every road or trail in that area at one time or another. Most of their hiking was done from the early part of 1973 to the first part of 1974. It is Keppel’s opinion that Bundy knew the area very well from all of the different locations pointed out by Cowell.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
Taylor Mountain. Courtesy King County Archives.

Excerpt from the “Washington Confession”
Florida State Prison
January 22, 1989

Robert Keppel: 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. We never found Janice Ott’s bicycle. We never did – we actually found— 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.
Ted Bundy: They sure do. Yeah.
RK: One, you know, I’d like to know where the Taylor Mountain bodies were placed too, because I’m sure if the bodies were there someplace we would have found at least one other bone – out there. We went practically everywhere we could. This is the Taylor Mountain bone find. There’s a power line road that comes in from Highway 18 and basically– this is Highway 18 out here.There’s a quarter sectional marker right here. This is a 1000 feet into this point from where the power line road meets Highway 18. Ok? Most of what we found was right in here. And all we found, as you can see, hair, skull, skull, jawbone, jawbone and a jawbone over here. This — and some hair in this area. We never found any bones. Now are those bodies buried out there someplace? Or are they someplace else where no one’s ever found them, any bones? The yellow cross-hatching is hands and knees shoulder to shoulder searches by 14, 15 year old kids. They did one hell of a job. That all area was nothing but overgrown vine maples and real heavy terrain getting in there.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull map
The ESAR map Keppel brought with him to the Florida State Prison for his final interview with Bundy. Courtesy King County Archives.

TB: What’s the blue, a creek or something?
RK: Yeah. There’s a creek there.
TB: I mean, yeah, I mean, it’s just– it could have been something else.
RK: Ok. We want– You going to give me a hint where the rest of those bodies are?
TB: I don’t know. To be honest with you, I honestly can’t tell you.
RK: Were they dumped there?
TB: Well — See — the disadvantage here — well, you’re not at a disadvantage, but I’m sure you, you consulted — but I doubt there’s any textbooks in the area of animal depredation, as such. But I’m sure that somebody’s written an article in some forensic journal. In any event there’s very, very poor little creatures out there and they just take them.
RK: Right.
TB: And why they leave the skulls the way they do– maybe it’s just because they’re so hard to break up.
RK: That’s true.
TB: If the bodies aren’t there it’s because, I think, it’s because the animals took everything. And where they took them God only knows. They must have just chewed them up.
RK: Yeah. That’s what I thought. Because I thought if in fact they were severed or hacksawed, what would have happened was that the– we would have found some vertebrae, that, the little piece that fits right in the skull holding the skull together, but they don’t—I found every one of those on all the other cases, except these. And on the Green River cases we found all those. So we know that the animals don’t chew those all the way up. All right?
TB: Yeah.
RK: And with 37 skeletons in Green River we know a lot about animal behavior, right?
TB: Oh, sure you do. Yeah. I forgot all about that.
RK: Looking back now to ’74 here…You got a lot more — at the time — we’re looking at about a year’s decomposition on some of these, that the animals had that much time to take them away. But, in the Green River cases some of them are five years, two years, three years. Right?
TB: Interesting, interesting, I’ve got to say.
RK: Are you– were these heads severed, like Georgann Hawkins?
TB: Ah…
RK: They were?
TB: Ah… [long silence]
RK: They weren’t severed? Are you saying that because we don’t have any evidence of severing and you don’t want to say it, or are you telling me that’s fact?
TB: I wasn’t going to answer you when you asked. I just did that very well with the Salt Lake City guy.
RK: Oh, did you?
TB: Well, no, I just ran out of steam. I just ran out of steam. And I don’t have much left.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Clockwise from top left: Parks mandible, Parks mandible, Parks skull, Healy mandible, Ball skull, Ball skull, Ball skull, Ball skull, Healy mandible center. Courtesy King County Archives.

Excerpt from The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer
By Robert D. Keppel

Publication date: 1995
It was March 2, 1975, a typical foggy and rainy Seattle day, and Roger Dunn and I were eastbound on I-90 past the Issaquah site. Eleven miles east of the city of Issaquah was the Highway 18 cut-off to the south, a major Seattle bypass to Tacoma. Because we were rising in elevation toward the gray, dismal clouds, the rain was pounding down hard on the hood of our car. Going south on Highway 18, it is desolate, bordered by woods on both sides.
The forestry students from Green River Community College who had found the bones while marking trees for a class project greeted us at the power line road in a fever of anticipation. They led us through a web of wet, slippery branches of vine maple. The foresters had tied red fluorescent tape to tree branches to mark our path. My first thought was that no person would carry a dead body in this far—the remains were over a thousand feet from the road. After what seemed like a never-ending trek through brush, we reached the area where the skull was resting. It was definitely human; no animal teeth had ever had the gleam of shiny dental work that this skull did. The skull lay on its left side, exposing a massive fracture to the right side of the cranium. At least an eight- by four-inch piece of skull bone was missing. Soon I was to learn that no animal could have done this kind of damage to a human skull. Aside from this skull, we found no other bones in the immediate area.
I could tell that the foresters had not touched the skull. The previous autumn’s fall of maple leaves filled the cranium and a spider’s web stretched over the jagged hole. It was lying quietly in a depression in the leafy surface of the ground. No body tissue seemed to be left. I didn’t need a forensic anthropologist to tell me that the skull had been there over five months.
The dentition of the skull contained a pattern of silver fillings that were familiar to me. I had memorized the dental work detailed on [victim’s dental] charts and easily recognized the jawless expression of Brenda Carol Ball. My crude on-site identification was to be confirmed by a forensic odontologist three days later.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull Brenda Ball
Brenda Ball’s skull. Courtesy King County Archives.

We photographed the cranium from all angles and measured its position to two temporary triangulation stakes. We carefully picked up the skull and preserved it in the position in which it was resting. Since dusk was setting in, we decided to wait until the next day to resume our search for the remainder of the skeleton.
The day after the initial discovery of Ball’s cranium, six German shepherd search dogs, their handlers, and I combed the Taylor Mountain site, hoping to find more bones. We met at the intersection of the power line road and Highway 18. Our first mission was to find the marked location of Ball’s skull and spread out from there, searching for the rest of her skeleton. I thought I’d be able to walk directly to the site. Unfortunately, a day earlier, I hadn’t paid much attention to the markers placed on trees by the foresters. Their red tags were too far apart, and the density of the forest made it difficult to determine where the next one would be. Suddenly, I was lost. The forest was a blizzard of vine maple branches dripping water from a recent rainfall, and we quickly became soaked to the skin. The dog handlers and I decided to split up. We all headed out in different directions, and whoever found the path first was to call out to the others. I had just walked down into a narrow hollow between two hillsides when I heard a handler yell that he had found the marked location about 25 yards away. The darkened forest was so thick that I couldn’t see him from where I was standing. As I began to stumble toward the sound of his voice, an unforgiving maple branch smacked my legs out from under me and down I went, face to the ground. With my hands firmly pushing against the wet, slimy leaves, I pushed myself up as far as my knees.  

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Susan Rancourt’s skull in situ. Courtesy King County Archives.

As fate would have it, 4 feet from my squinting eyes sat another cranium, obviously sunbleached and clean from exposure to the elements. It had been there a long time—a branch had grown through the opening in the facial bones of the skull. A 6-inch radial fracture extended up the center of the skull from its base. Without hesitation, I recognized the brilliant-white bridgework of Susan Elaine Rancourt, a coed missing since April 17, 1974, from Central Washington State College, which was over 150 miles away to the east. With embarrassing glee, I yelled to the others that I had found a cranium. The extent of this killer’s crimes was growing as more of the pieces of the puzzle came together.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Courtesy King County Archives.

As the handlers rushed toward me with their eager search dogs sniffing the ground ahead of them, a dog’s paw struck the ground and a human jawbone erupted through the leafy surface. I yelled for everyone to stay back, but within a few seconds another dog walked across the leaves and dislodged another human jawbone. Then another dog stepped on another mandible. In stunned amazement, we all realized that a detailed search of the mountainside was required. At the very least, we had just discovered the remains of two people.
An ESAR dog handler specifically marked the area by running a string line due north of the quarter-sectional marker at the intersection of the power line road and Highway 18. Eleven hundred feet from the corner, the string line bisected the area of the bone find. Measuring at 90-degree angles off the string line, the remains were easily positioned on a diagram:

1. Bone find #1, cranium (Ball’s), 1,010 feet in, 90 degrees west off string line number one, 65 feet
2. Bone find #2, cranium (Rancourt’s), 1,105 feet in, 90 degrees east off string line number one, 22 feet
3. Bone find #3, mandible, 1,098 feet in, 90 degrees offstring line number one, 20 feet, and so on.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull map
ESAR Search diagram. Courtesy Seattle Police Dept.

We had begun to lay out the master search diagram of bones and other pieces of evidence. Since it was late afternoon, Roger Dunn and I planned to meet ESAR personnel at the intersection the next morning to begin excavating Taylor Mountain for further evidence. On the following day, ESAR personnel raked through each ounce of soil for even the most minute traces of physical evidence.
After the discovery of the skulls and mandibles our search finds were few and far between. The only human remains we discovered were on the only animal trail that ran along a small creek that meandered down the gentle slopes of Taylor Mountain. About 50 feet from the nearest vehicle access, we found the shattered mandible of Susan Rancourt, over 800 feet from her skull. We surmised that some animal must have dragged her skull into the dense forest, since the terrain was virtually impassable by any human being. About 10 feet from her mandible, ESAR kids found a small clump of blond hair. It was a miracle that this portion of the full hair mass was discovered at all, since the area was full of densely intertwined vine maples and blackberry bushes.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull Susan Rancourt
Susan Rancourt’s skull. Courtesy King County Archives.

As the search for “Ted victims” progressed over the week, an ominous scenario began to unfold. No bones other than skull parts were being discovered. Twenty yards up the hillside from Rancourt’s skull, we found what was left of a battered cranium. I was shocked that the maxilla, the bone that had once contained the upper teeth, was completely gone. We never found it, despite our intense search. We located her lower jawbone, which neatly fit into the narrow skull. The fracture lines were evidence that this victim was probably beaten beyond recognition.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull Roberta Kathy Parks
Kathy Parks’ skull. Courtesy King County Archives.

After eight days of searching, we could account for only three skulls, three human jawbones, and a small hair mass. We found numerous individual bones, but they were all confirmed to be animal bones by Dr. Daris Swindler, a physical anthropologist from the University of Washington. So what did all of this mean?
Theories of intentional decapitation were quickly dismissed by our supervisors because we didn’t find the neck vertebrae that would have confirmed it. Typically, when a person is intentionally decapitated, the cut is made below the base of the skull because it is relatively easy to sever the vertebrae with the appropriate cutting tool. Thus, neck vertebrae at a site where a skull is found usually indicate that the person was decapitated. For our supervisors, therefore, a lack of neck vertebrae meant no intentional decapitation. Although this logic was not infallible, it was often seized upon by police commanders, presumably to avoid undue fear in the community and increased pressure on themselves to find a “monster.” On the other hand, we were confident that if those vertebrae were once on Taylor Mountain, we would have found them.
The most popular theory circulating among the police department supervisors was that the rest of the skeletons were obviously outside our search perimeter. If this were true, however, based on crime scene retrieval experience at Issaquah, we should have found other skeletal parts within close proximity of the crania.

King County Sheriff Internal Email
To: Thomas Jansen, Major Crimes Unit
From: DB Gates
Date: July 15, 2005
Subject: Ted Bundy and Bones

Tom,
[Medical Examiner] Kathy Taylor called today. Her office has a bin of bones. The bin is labeled “Bundy” and has lots of non-human bones in it. But there is at least one human tibia and fibula in this bin, and possibly one more human tibia. Taylor says the only paperwork she has with the bin of bones is KCSO number 75-29267, which I think is the Bundy number. The paperwork also says the bin was signed over to the M.E.’s office on March 8, 1984. Can you research what you can find on the bin being taken to the M.E.’s in 1984? I’m just guessing Green River may have had something to do with this transfer.
Has there ever been DNA collected from any of the missing Bundy victims that you know of? I’m thinking if we can contact the family of these missings we can put the North Texas lab to work and possibly identify these victims for free.
Let me know,
Sgt. DB Gates

King County Sheriff Follow-Up Report
Reporting Officers Entries Associated with this Case Follow-up Report:
Friday 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 and are labeled with case 75-029267. According to their documentation the remains have been in their custody since 03-08-1984. I agreed to assist with this project.

Monday July 18, 2005
I spoke with Tom Jensen about this task. He was able to determine that the case number for this incident was from the Taylor Mountain site, where four Bundy victims had been found. The victims at this site were Susan Rancourt, Roberta Parks, Brenda Ball, and Lynda Healy. I began to establish a list of the Washington Bundy victims. This was to determine a list of families I would need to contact and obtain DNA samples. The complete list of names:

1. Brenda Ball
2. Georgann Hawkins
3. Lynda Healey
4. Janice Ott
5. Denise Naslund
6. Susan Rancourt
7. Roberta Parks
8. Donna Manson

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975 skull
Clockwise from top left: Parks skull and mandible, Parks skull and mandible, Rancourt skull, Parks skull, Parks skull, Parks skull, Parks skull, Parks skull, Parks skull at center. Courtesy King County Archives.

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

Thursday August 4, 2005
I received a call from Medical Examiner Kathy Taylor. She told me that she has inventoried the unidentified remains, and determined that they are from at least two different victims. We will meet at her office at 10:30 to inventory the box.
Det. McNabb and I arrived at the ME’s office and met with Kathy Taylor. All of the remains were packaged under this case number with the following item numbers. K-11, K-19, K-20, K-21, K-51, K-57, K-60, K-78, K-82, K-83, K-89, and R-96. According to the case number and location the remains are most likely those of two of the victims from the Taylor Mountain site. Susan Rancourt, Roberta Parks, Brenda Ball, and Lynda Healey are the victims from that site.

Tuesday August 9, 2005
I called and spoke with Edith Hawkins. She is the mother of Georgann Hawkins, who is still missing, and believed to be a Bundy victim. She agreed to assist with this investigation and provide a DNA sample. I told her that I would be contacting her in the near future, as I had to establish a contact with the law enforcement agency for her residence in Arizona.

Thursday August 11, 2005
I arrived at the Mansons’ 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 sample from both Marie and Lyle. I told them that I would call them with the results.

Tuesday August 16, 2005
I met with Kathy Taylor at the Medical Examiner’s Office. She gave me the unidentified remains for this case. I then took the remains to our office where I repackaged them, completed a cover letter, and shipped to the University of North Texas via FedEx.
I called and spoke with Susan M. She is the sister of Roberta Parks. Susan will provide a DNA sample.

Monday August 29, 2005
I called and spoke with Robert Healy. He is the brother of Lynda Healy. He stated that he does not want to assist with this matter, because his family has closed this chapter of their lives. He stated to only call him if for some reason the bones still cannot be identified.

Tuesday August 30, 2005
I called and spoke with Rosemary A. She is the mother of Brenda Ball. She agreed to meet with me at a later time to provide a DNA sample.

Wednesday August 31, 2005
I received a call from Judy Z. She is the sister of Susan Rancourt. She stated that her daughter Kelsey S. lives in the Seattle area, and if possible could give a DNA sample. I told Judy that this would be acceptable, as she lives a long distance away and has a busy work schedule. Judy gave me her daughters phone number for contact. She requested that I update her with the results.

Tuesday September 6, 2005
I called and spoke with Illona C. She is the sister of Janice Ott. She agreed to assist with this investigation.

Wednesday September 7, 2005
I completed a cover letter for the DNA sample taken from Kelsey S. I then packaged it and sent it to the University of North Texas via FedEx.

Monday September 19, 2005
I arrived at Rosemary A.’s residence. I went over the bodily fluid consent form with her. She read and signed the form. I also had a second consent form for cremation. During our earlier discussion she stated that her daughter had already been buried, and she did not want to go through that ordeal again. She stated that if some of the remains were determined to be her daughter’s she did not want to know. I had obtained the consent to cremate form from the medical examiner’s office. Rosemary A. signed the consent to cremate form as well. She then provided an oral/saliva sample.

Monday September 26, 2005
I called and spoke with Deborah Fronk of the Jefferson County Sheriffs Office. She is familiar with Brock Naslund and knows where he is currently living. Brock Naslund is the brother of Denise Naslund. She will have Brock Naslund at their Quilcene substation tomorrow at 0930 hours. I told her that I would be there.

Tuesday 09/27/05
I arrived at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office substation. I met Deputy Kronk and Brock Naslund. I explained to Brock why I need to contact him. He agreed to provide a DNA sample. He first read and signed the consent form. He then provided an oral/saliva sample.

Tuesday February 16, 2006
I have obtained DNA reference samples from the family of all the Bundy victims except Healy. Her brother Robert Healy refuses to cooperate at this point. He will only give a DNA sample if after all other family samples fail to identify the unidentified Bundy remains.
The University of North Texas may take up to an additional year to process and compare the DNA profiles from the remains and family reference samples. Case to remain inactive pending DNA results.

King County Sheriff Follow-Up Report
Reporting Officer: Det. Crenshaw
Thursday June 26, 2008
I received the unidentified bones that I had shipped to the University of North Texas. They had completed the DNA work. Below is a list of the results of the DNA testing:
Bone A. Identified as Brenda Ball from sample of mother Rosemary A.
Bone B. Same individual as Bones C, D, H, I.
Bone C. Same individual as Bones B, D, H, I.
Bone D. Same individual as Bones B, C, H, I.
Bone E. Identified as Brenda Ball from sample of mother Rosemary A.
Bone F. Identified as Brenda Ball from sample of mother Rosemary A.
Bone G. Identified as Roberta Parks from sample from sister Susan M.
Bone H. Same individual as Bones B, C, D, I.
Bone I. Same individual as Bones B, C, D, H.
Bone J. Identified as Susan Rancourt from sample from niece Kelsey S.
Bone K. Identified as Roberta Parks from sample from sister Susan M.
Bone L. Identified as Brenda Ball from sample of mother Rosemary A.

Friday July 18, 2008
Detective Pavlovich took custody of the bones that had been received and returned them to the medical examiner’s office.
I had made several attempts to contact the family of Lynda Healy, specifically her brother. He had told me previously that his family did not wish to assist in this identification process. He failed to return my numerous phone calls to him.

King County Sheriff’s Office Memorandum
From: Detective Raphael Crenshaw
To: King County Medical Examiner’s Office, Attn: Dr. Kathy Taylor
Date: December 17, 2008

RE: Case No. KCSO #75-029267
Our most recent investigation into identifying bones related to the Ted Bundy murder investigation has concluded. DNA results have been obtained on all of the submitted samples. Per our conversation we had yesterday, you requested that I formalize some of the information I had received from the family members.
During the course of my investigation I spoke with Rosemary A., the mother of Brenda Ball. She requested that she not be contacted with the results of the DNA testing on the remains. I also spoke with Kelsey S., the niece of Susan Rancourt. Kelsey had spoken with her mother, Judy Z., who is Rancourt’s sister. They were notified that Rancourt’s remains had been identified from the DNA testing. Kelsey told me that they did not wish to take custody of the remains. I spoke with Susan M. the sister of Roberta Parks. She stated that she wanted the remains of Parks, whenever possible. I provided Susan your phone number to make those arrangements at a later time. Lastly, I had called Robert Healy, the brother of Lynda Healy. He informed me that neither he, nor his family wishes to be contacted reference this investigation. He would not cooperate or give a DNA sample. The last set of remains are believed to be those of Lynda Healy.

Taylor Mountain Ted Bundy crime scene Washington 1975
The powerline road. Courtesy King County Archives.

Listen, I said, when I imagined him driving me up the mountain some dark night, up a narrow logging road, the way long, the radio gone to static. Listen, I’d say. Just tell me what you need from me. Why is my body the one you have to tear apart? What do you think you’ll find?
-excerpt from “The End of Evil” by Sarah Marshall, Believer Magazine, Feb. 2018

8 thoughts on “Taylor Mountain, 1975

  1. Amazing article. I’ve allways wondered where he actually killed/disposed of these four girls? If he really just threw their heads on Taylor Mt and killed and buried their bodies somewhere else entitely.

    1. Thank you! I had wondered that as well. The evidence seems to indicate that Bundy was telling the truth here, and their bodies were on Taylor Mountain the entire time.

  2. can you add pictures of Lynda Ann Healy? as i know they found her mandible but not skull right?

      1. thanks for update. there are some misinformations about Healy’s remains. for example Wikipedia’s Ted Bundy article says her skull and mandible was found and they gave Keppel as an source but Keppel’s himself says in a interview they only found her mandible and found nothing else. i m just confused and you cleared me up. thanks.

  3. Thanks for presenting the documentation for Taylor Mountain. Even with animal predation , the damage to the skulls was significant. These were incredibly savage attacks.

  4. This is really well done. Taylor, along with Issaquah, will always remain incredibly important areas of land as it relates to Ted and his crimes. This is a very nice timeline of Taylor Mt., that links the events in a cohesive manner. Great work.

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