The Utah State Prison: Part I, 1976

This is the first installment of Ted Bundy’s Utah State Prison records, released to me after a year of denied appeals to the Utah Dept. of Corrections and a final, successful appeal to the Utah State Records Committee. This is the first time these records have ever been seen outside of the Utah Department of Corrections. These records document Bundy’s actions during the six months he spent in the Utah State Prison after his kidnapping conviction and sentencing in July, 1976. Notably, he planned an escape in October after learning that Colorado was planning to extradite him for the January 1975 murder of Caryn Campbell. The plan was thwarted and Bundy was transferred to Aspen in January, 1977.

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Photos: The Things He Left Behind, 1977

In the early morning hours of New Year’s Eve, 1977, Ted Bundy escaped through a poorly welded light fixture opening in the ceiling of his cell at the Garfield County Jail, where he was being held during the Caryn Campbell murder trial. This was the second time he had escaped captivity in one year, and he had purposefully lost about 30 pounds in order to squeeze his frame through the 12″ x 12″ hole. He then crawled through the ceiling compartment, broke through the drywall in the jailer’s closet, stole some clothes, and simply walked through the jail’s front door into the snowy Colorado night. He would not be caught again until February 15, 1978 in Pensacola, Florida.

On January 4, 1978, Detective Mike Fisher and FBI Special Agent David W. Yates made an inventory of the contents left behind in cell #5. A small silver flashlight originally from a care package sent by Carole Boone was also found in the ceiling above the jailer’s apartment closet. This is the handwritten inventory created by Detective Fisher and Special Agent Yates.

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