Mr. and Mrs. Walch were an older couple who just happened to be driving by when Carol DaRonch jumped into their car to escape Ted Bundy. In all likelihood they inadvertently saved her life that night, as he could have easily caught up with her had they not been there. They testified for the prosecution in the kidnapping trial on Tuesday, February 24, 1976.
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF MARY WALCH BY MR. YOCOM:
Q: State your name and address, please.
A: Mrs. Mary Walch, 144 East 5600 South, Murray.
Q: Mrs. Walch, I am going to ask you to keep your voice up a little so counsel can hear. The acoustics aren’t that good. And did you reside at that address on the 8th day of November, 1974, Mrs. Walch?
Q: And with whom did you reside at that address?
A: My husband and I– Mr. Walch.
Q: His first name?
A: Mr. Wilbur F. Walch.
Q: Directing your attention to the evening hours of November 8th, Mrs. Walch, do you recall your whereabouts around 7:00 p.m. on that date?
A: I was in the house.
Q: And did you go anywhere with you husband at that time?
A: Yes. We went to the King’s– Smith’s King Market to pick up some lunch meat for lunch the next morning.
Q: Now, where is your home located in relationship to the Smith’s Food King at the Fashion Place Mall?
A: Well, we are at 56th, and that, I think, is at 59th.
Q: So it would be approximately three blocks from there?
A: Well, it seems a little longer than three blocks when you go through the back way, because the streets are kind of curvy.
Q: Do you have any specific recollection of the time which you left home on that evening?
A: Very definitely. We had finished dinner, and Mr. Walch had gone into the other room, and I decided to have a cup of coffee. And I remember him coming out and saying, “Come on, I want to go to the store.” And I had this cup of coffee in front of me, and I looked up to see what time it was, and it was five minutes to seven. And I said, “Well, I have a cup of coffee I want to finish.” So I started to drink the coffee, and it was still kind of hot, so I was just kind of sitting there. And finally, he says, “Are you ready yet?” And I said, “Oh fine, I’ll set the coffee aside,” because I wanted to enjoy it. So I thought I would get it when I come back from the store. So I let it set, went on in and got myself a little together to go to the store and went out in the car. So I imagine approximately that should be about ten after seven when we pulled out of that driveway, around that.
Q: Now, how long do you estimate it would take you to get from 5600 South to 5900 South and 3rd East Hillside Avenue?
A: Well, I have never timed it, but I don’t think more than five minutes.
Q: Now, who was driving the automobile?
A: Mr. Walch.
Q: And did anything unusual occur as you approached 5900 South?
A: Well, before we hit 5900 South– it was kind of misty that night, and I wasn’t looking ahead like I usually do. I was looking to the side, because we were, oh, about a little bit this side of the school, which is the lefthand side of the street. And it had a bright light at the door, which I don’t know why I looked over there, but it’s never on. But I just thought something was going on at the school, and I looked. And as I turned my head back, this young girl was right in front of our– just popped out of the mist– and she was right in front of our headlights. And we slammed on the brakes.
Q: And do you know the name of that school, Mrs. Walch?
A: Gosh, I don’t know. Unless it’s a Hillview—I really couldn’t tell you that, because I never pay that much attention. I have no children going to school.
Q: What is the location of the school, the address of it?
A: Well, it starts–it ends at 59th, so whatever it takes, almost about a block, you know, towards 56th.
Q: Now, prior to seeing this girl in your headlights, did you observe any cars in that area?
A: That I didn’t. If I had been looking ahead where the stop light was, I possibly would have seen headlights, but I wasn’t looking that direction.
Q: Would you describe as best you can what occurred and what you observed at the time you saw this girl come into your headlights?
A: When she jumped up in front of the lights in the night like that, because it is very dark—it was very dark—naturally, we got frightened. And the first thing that went through my mind was somebody trying to stop us to, you know, to possibly do some harm. So as she come to the side, the thought in my mind was lock the door. And she had opened the door before I could. And I can remember very plainly of looking beyond her to see if there was anybody, you know, down low, because the vision was kind of bad. When I could see this child was so, in such a state, then I realized that it wasn’t anything too harmful to me, it was harmful to her. And when we let her in the car, she jumped right in the car with us.
Q: Can you describe the state she was in at that time?
A: Terrible. She was absolutely– well, I have never seen a human being that frightened in my life. She was trembling and crying, and almost weak like she was going to faint, and she was just in a terrible state.
Q: Now, were you able to notice anything with regard to her arm at that time?
A: Yes. When we saw the handcuffs, again, we were confused, because when you see a handcuff you’d think that she was escaping from something. But before I could dote on that, is when she had said– I realized then that she had been, somebody had put it on outside of a policeman. And her, oh, her state, that she was kind of mumbling, and—”I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it.” So that’s why I put my arm around her, and I tried to calm her, so we could find out what was wrong.
Q: Where did you observe that handcuff?
Q: Where on her?
A: Oh, I don’t remember that. All I remember, hands flying and, you know, head moving and all.
Q: Was it attached to one of her arms?
A: Yes, it was. I can remember her going like this, trying to get it off, but I couldn’t swear what arm she was going.
Q: Now, would you relate to the court, Mrs. Walch, as best you can, what this young lady related to you at that time? What she told you?
A: Until I could hold her tight and tell her she was safe, that nothing was going to happen to her. And I said, “what happened?” And she was saying something about, “He was going to kill me! He was going to kill me if I didn’t stop screaming and said to be quiet or he would kill me!” And that’s all I could get, because she was, oh, a good block of crying when I finally said to her, “Honey, you have got to quiet down, you have got to calm yourself. You are safe. Try to straighten out what happened,” because she wanted to go to the police station. We asked her to take her home, and she said she wanted to go to the police station. And I said, “All right, try to calm yourself so when you get there, you can tell the police what happened so they can immediately start to go after who this person was.” I says, “If you don’t calm down, they won’t be able to do it, you know, to go after this person.” And I asked her which way did they go, because I immediately thought we will follow because we are so close. And she said, “No, no, no; I don’t want to go. I don’t want to go. Take me to the police station.” But she did say he had turned right, you know, from the stop light, I mean, the stop through street to the right. She said, “That way,” (indicating.)
Q: Now, how long were you stopped with her in the car before you again proceeded?
A: Oh, again, that’s kind of hard to say, because so much was happening at the time. But it could possibly be a good five minutes. And then, naturally, with the excitement, and with Mr. Walch driving, he kind of creeped along a bit.
Q: Did she relate to you anything during the period of time, the five minutes you were stopped and the time it took you to drive to the Murray Police Department, anything about an individual that she mentioned?
A: Well, not at that time. She was upset and trembling so badly that as we were driving to the police station, and we got her calmed down a little bit because I was holding her so tight, then she said that he had a gun to her head. And I remember thinking, what a terrible experience, and that’s why she was so frightened. Then I asked her, well, what had happened, and she had said something about he took her out of the Fashion Mall. And I kind of thought it was kind of a strange thing because of so many people, if he dragged her out. Then she said he pretended he was a security guard for the Mall. And that– this is in bits and pieces as we were going along. And then she said something about– I said, “What kind of a car?” And she said, “It was a battered up–it was kind of a battered up Volkswagen.” I said, “What color?” And she was kind of confused about the color at the time, because on account of those lights in the parking lot there makes your car a different color, and she couldn’t quite figure out the color, except that the car was kind of battered, you know, kind of– I can’t remember what expression she used when she said what it was like.
Q: Did she mention any other type of weapon other than the gun?
A: She did mention another weapon. And that is where I, over this period of time, that all I could remember that the metal thing in my mind was– it was an iron bar of some kind that I realized it could have smashed her to pieces– that’s what went in my mind, it could have been a crowbar. I’m almost sure that’s what she said. But as time went on, you know, I wasn’t sure that that was exactly it. But I remember it was between the two weapons that she could have been, you know, hurt very badly.
Q: What route did your husband take in getting to the police department?
A: When we turned on 59th there, which has now got a stop light, that was a stop through street, we turned right and went out to State, then turned right and went out State Street, which is down 53rd, then turned right and went in the back end of the police station. Then Mr. Walch went in and left her in the car with me. I’m still saying, “Are you all right now so you can tell them how to go about, you know, this.” And as she stepped out of the car, Mr. Walch came out to bring us both in, and when she stepped out, I said, “Honey, where is your shoe? Because I thought it was left in our car. And she said that she didn’t have a shoe. And we looked around, and nothing. She was so upset, but there was no shoe in our car. And when we walked in– as she got out of the car, Mr. Walch was standing there, and as she stepped out, she went very limp, almost fainted on us. Then we got her together and brought her in and sat her down.
Q: Where did you go inside the police station?
A: Where did we go?
Q: Yes, particularly?
A: We just walked through the door, and I remember the fellow, dispatcher, I guess you’d call it, and then went past him, and there’s a seat there right in that room.
Q: How long did you remain with this young lady at the police station?
A: We remained with her to make sure that she would not leave that police station alone, because we had asked her to call her mother or call somebody, and she said no one was home because it was a Friday night. And then she said she’d call her boyfriend. So we said, and I said to the policeman, “Don’t let her leave unless somebody comes and picks her up.” And he said, no, they wouldn’t. So we went on about our way. And then when we come back from the shopping, we called the police station to find out how she was and did somebody pick her up. And the officer said yes, her boyfriend.
Q: Now; while you were at the police station, how would you describe this young lady’s physical appearance, emotional state?
A: Physical appearance?
A: Well, in what way? What do you mean?
Q: What was her emotional state at that time?
A: She was kind of calmed down a little bit, but still like a person would be in shock, like calm, but, you know.
Q: Were you able to determine the identity of this young lady, her name?
A: Was I able to?
Q: Yes, did you find out her name at that time?
A: Gee, I don’t remember. I can’t honestly say that. It’s possible, but that’s a long time.
Q: Have you seen her since then?
A: No. Haven’t heard from them or saw them.
Q: Do you recall what she was wearing?
A: I can’t recall what she was wearing. All I remember was that her hair was quite long and she was— had quite thin hands and wrists, and I remember thinking that she was very lucky she had such thin— that she had slipped out of the bracelet or handcuffs or something. But I remember her being a tall girl, thin, and I remember the long hair. But if you had asked me how many months later, I would remember, but I don’t remember now.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you, Mrs. Walch. No further questions.
MR. O’CONNELL: No cross, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Thank you. You may step down, Mrs. Walch.
DIRECT EXAMINATION OF WILBUR WALCH BY MR. YOCOM:
Q: State your name and address, please.
A: Wilbur F. Walch, or Bill Walch. I live at 144 East 5600 South in Murray.
Q: And did you reside at that address, Mr. Walch, on the 8th day of November, 1974?
A: I did.
Q: Do you recall your whereabouts in the evening hours of that date?
A: Pretty good.
Q: Do you recall ever leaving your residence that evening?
A: Yes, I did.
Q: And do you recall about what time that occurred?
A: Right around seven o’clock, maybe a little after.
Q: Was anyone with you when you left your residence?
A: My wife.
Q: And she was the previous witness in this matter?
Q: Where did you go, or where did you start out to go when you left your house that evening?
A: We were headed for the Fashion Place Mall to go shopping at the Smith’s food market there.
Q: And what route did you take to get there?
A: Hillside— or I think it’s 3rd East or Hillside Street— up 56th to Hillside, then south on Hillside.
Q: Does Hillside Avenue or 3rd East run through to 56th South?
A: Yes, it does. It is through jogs or dead ends into 56, sort of a jog going north.
Q: Now, did anything unusual occur as you proceeded along Hillside Avenue, Mr. Walch?
A: You bet. Young lady run out in front of my automobile, and I had to stop to avoid hitting her. She merely come to the side of the car, opened the door and jumped right inside on top of my wife.
Q: Where was your car located at that time in relationship to, say, 5900 South, the intersection?
A: Maybe, oh, 200— two or three hundred feet north of that intersection.
Q: Describe the lighting conditions in the area at the time.
A: A little bit hazy. It was raining, just a slight drizzle at the time.
Q: Did you see any vehicles in the area at the time you saw this young lady in your headlights?
A: There were cars that were stopped for the boulevard stop at 59th South and Hillside, about two, three hundred feet away. I couldn’t describe any of them.
Q: Would you relate what occurred after this young lady opened the door and got into your car?
A: She explained that she had been accosted up in the Fashion Place Mall, that a gentleman had come up to her, a person came up to her and flashed a badge, said something in her car had been stolen, wanted her to go down to the police station to identify it or whatever, make a report. And when she got into his automobile, he put on a—tried to get a pair of handcuffs on her. How she escaped, I don’t know, but she came running down the street. When she jumped in my automobile, she still had the handcuffs on her right wrist. When I saw this, I didn’t know if she was a runaway from the police, or— it kind of shook me up.
Q: Would you describe her emotional or physical state at that time?
A: Terrified. Terrified. She was just thanking God and lucky that she was alive, and she was grateful that we were there to pick her up.
Q: Now, where did you go after she got into the car, Mr. Walch?
A: Right over to State Street, to 59th, and down to the Murray Police Station. Then I left the automobile to go inside the station, and Carol stayed inside the car with my wife.
Q: Did you determine the name of the girl at that time?
A: Oh, yes. Carol. Her name was Carol.
Q: Do you know her last name?
A: Her last name I didn’t know until we were in the station and she was talking with the police officer, she said it was Carol DaRonch.
Q: And have you seen her since that incident, Mr. Walch?
A: Just at the previous hearing, and then again yesterday.
Q: Now, Mr. Walch, when you got to the police station, you say you went in. Did you come out again?
A: I came back out to help her into the police station, because she was barefooted, she had no shoes on at the moment. And when I opened the door and tried to help her out of the car, she just collapsed, more or less almost fainted, I would say. And my wife come out of the car, and we half carried her into the police station. And the officer, of course, at that time, took the handcuffs off. He happened to have a key or some object that released the handcuffs. I did find one shoe in my car afterwards.
Q: Found one shoe?
A: Just one. Apparently lost the other one running down the street.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you. No further questions.
CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. O’CONNELL
Q: What kind of car were you driving, sir?
A: Chevrolet, 1973 Chevrolet 4-door sedan.
Q: You say that when this girl jumped in the car, she jumped on top of your wife?
A: More or less, yes. She just opened the door and piled right in on top of her.
Q: Your wife had to more or less restrain her at that point, didn’t she?
A: Grabbed hold of her, held her.
Q: She was thrashing about very frantic?
A: You bet, yes indeed.
Q: Did she say what kind of weapons she had been threatened with?
A: There was mention of a tire iron or a crowbar, a metal object of some sort. And I believe a gun. I tell you, I was kind of shook up at the time, because I didn’t know whether she was an escapee from the police or not. So my wife was closer to her.
Q: Let’s go with your memory rather than your wife, right now.
A: All right.
Q: What was your memory as to whether she said it was a tire iron or a crowbar?
A: Just a metal object. I sort of think that it was a tire iron, really. Could have been a crowbar.
Q: You think she said a tire iron?
A: I think so.
MR. O’CONNELL: I think that’s all. Thank you.
MR. YOCOM: No further questions.
THE COURT: May this witness be excused?
MR. YOCOM: No objection.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Walch, you may be excused.
MR. O’CONNELL: Excuse me, Mr. Walch—could I ask him just one question?
THE COURT, Mr. Walch, there’s one additional question.
Q: Did you ever handle the handcuffs?
A: Handle them?
A: No, I did not.
MR. O’CONNELL: All right. Thank you.