At about 3 in the morning on Saturday, August 16, 1975, Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Bob Hayward pulled over a young man in a tan VW after a short but high speed car chase. The trooper had apparently spooked his target, who would soon identify himself as Ted Bundy, while he’d been sitting in the dark outside a home in Hayward’s suburban Salt Lake City neighborhood. At the time, Bob Hayward had no idea who he’d collared, or the significance of his actions: “It would have been routine, except it happened to be the right guy.”
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.