Ted takes the stand in his own defense against the DaRonch kidnapping accusation and is direct examined by his defense attorney John O’Connell on Thursday February 26, 1976.

The defendant in this action, was called as a witness in his own behalf and, having been first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows:

"Ted Bundy" "John O'Connell"

DIRECT EXAMINATION OF THEODORE BUNDY BY MR. O’CONNELL:

Q. Will you state your name, please?

A.  My name is Theodore Robert Bundy.

Q.  And are you the defendant in this case?

A.  I am.

Q.  And when were you first charged with this offense, Mr. Bundy?

A.  On October the 2nd, 1975.

Q.  All right.  Since that time, have you attempted to reconstruct your activities on November 8th, 1974?

A. Yes, I have.

Q.  And how did you go about doing that?

A.  Well, we attempted to examine – or did we examine what records and notes I had during that period, and searching through my checks, and dates, appointment book and the like to see what we could come up with.

Q.  After doing that, do you have any memory of what you did on November 8th?

A. We were able to reconstruct portions, and I guess I would say yes, I have been able to reconstruct portions of that day.

Q.  Do you know where you were in the late afternoon? 

A.  Yes, I do.

Q. And where was that?

A. The Cottonwood mall.

Ted Bundy Utah Cottonwood Mall
Ad for Cottonwood Mall in The Salt Lake Tribune, June 1975

Q.  Why had you gone to the Cottonwood Mall?

A.  I had been shopping downtown and had been unable to find a pair of jeans I was looking for, and at the time, I think I left from school and went out Highland Drive to Cottonwood Mall to find what I was looking for out there.

Q.  Now, why do you remember going to Cottonwood Mall?

A.  Well, I probably wouldn’t normally, except that we found a check that I had written to Perry Anderson’s Cottonwood Texaco, and that brought to mind the occasion when my car at Cottonwood Mall would not start.  I don’t know what the problem was.  And I pushed it out into Highland Drive.  A woman came along and agreed to push me, because I thought that – normally, if my car wouldn’t start, it started on compression.  It wouldn’t start, so she agreed to push me across the street to a Texaco station which is just north of the Cottonwood Mall.

Q.  What did you do there?

A.  Well, I talked to the attendants, and they agreed when they had room in their garage area, that they would see if they could fix my car.  Eventually, I’d say within an hour or so – they were quite busy that afternoon – they found time, and pushed my car to the garage and began working on it.  They did seem to be having quite a bit of trouble starting it.  They hooked up a number of wires to it and tried to turn it over and get it to run.  It just wasn’t cooperating too well.  Finally, they just took a big machine and turned it over a number of times, and it ran, but it was also running very badly.  As I recall, they also recharged the battery, and the mechanic advised me that my car was in pretty bad shape and I better get it fixed, because whatever they had done was not going to last too long.  It was just sort of to get it going again.

Q.  What part of the car was not functioning?

A.  The ignition system, as I recall, the points, the plugs, the coil, something in that.

Q.  What did you do then?

A.  Well, my car was running, and I drove from the Texaco station – I would estimate between 5:00, 5:30, it was getting quite late in the afternoon – I drove to my house, 565 First Avenue.  Obviously, I can’t recall too much past that point, except I’m sure I went to my house, and I guess I’d have to say I suppose I had dinner.

Q.  All right.  Do you recall that what you did later that evening?  

A.  I recall having – again, you must understand the reason I remember this incident, it’s traumatic to have your car break down.  So I remember coming back out later on that evening, perhaps, oh, I don’t know, 6:30, 7:00 o’clock, maybe later, to try to get the car started.  And it wouldn’t start, the same problem that I had had at the Cottonwood Mall.

Q.  And what did you do then, if you recall?

A.  Well, I can remember, you know, I felt – I wasn’t going to try to push it again, because obviously the last time I tried the same thing, I hadn’t gotten anywhere, so I just decided the next day when I had the opportunity to go to a parts store, that I’d get the things necessary to repair it.

Q.  Did you the next day?

A.  Yes, I did.

Q.  And where did you get those?

A.  I went to a place, the only place that was open, parts store that was open that day, Welch Fun Cars next to Strong on Main Street. The Parts Department is not open on Saturday.  And I drove my truck to Strong’s and got points, and plugs, and wires that go from the distributer to the spark plugs.  I got a seal, got two seals for the valves. The valves were also very bad in my car, and when you adjust the valves in a Volkswagen, you have to put in new gaskets and seal in to keep them in.

Bundy Welch Fun Cars Utah
Ad in The Salt Lake Tribune, 1974

Q.  Di you repair it yourself the next day?

A.  I did that Saturday.  I remember being fortunate because it was, as I recall, it was clear and wasn’t raining and I wouldn’t have been able to work on it because I don’t have a garage and have to work outside, and I worked on it in the parking lot across the street from my house.

Q.  All right.  Going back to the evening of November 8th, do you have a recollection of at least what you believe you did that night?

A.  I’m not going to fool anybody, it’s hard to think back 10 months, 12 months – 16 months now.  During that period – I don’t go to many movies, and I didn’t know a lot of people in Salt Lake City at that time, I had only been in Salt Lake City for two months – but my best recollection is of that evening that I went to Trolley Square to see “The Taking of Pelham 123” which was the movie at Trolley Square Theater, and thereafter went to The Pub, which was a tavern across from Trolley Square. The only time I can fix definitely in that evening is I know I must have been home by 11:50 that night, because I made a phone call to a girlfriend of mine in Seattle, and I told her at that time that I’d been to a movie.

The Pub Bundy Salt Lake City
Ad in The Salt Lake Tribune, 1977

Q.  Do you recall anybody in particular that you talked to at The Pub on November 8th of 1974?

A.  I suppose I talked to the bartender, but beyond that, I didn’t see anyone I knew there at the time.

Q.  Well, did you go to the Fashion Place Mall on November 8th, 1974?

A.  No, I did not.

Q.  Did you have any contact whatsoever with Carol DaRonch that day?

A.  On November 8th, 1974? No, I did not.

Q.  Have you had any contact with her that you know of other than in court?

A.  In and around the courtroom? I have had no other contact with her besides courtroom contact.

Q.  Have you ever had a handgun?

A.  No, I never have.

Q.  Have you ever had a badge?

A.  Well, no, I have never had a badge. Perhaps as a kid, you know, you may have got one of those things.

Q.  Since you are an adult?

A.  Okay. Not on November 8th and not in the recent past, no.

Q.  Do you have your wallet with you?

A.  Yes, I do.

Q.  Would you show it to the court?

MR. O’CONNELL: Well, I don’t want to put it in evidence, Your Honor.

THE COURT: Describe it for the record.

MR. O’CONNELL: It’s a checkbook type, what I call a checkbook type wallet that opens such that the money would not be folded up. And I’d like the record to not that there are no holes or anything else in the sides of the wallet where somebody would mount a badge, or no depressions in the corners where one would be, say, clipped on.  It’s light tan in color – light brown in color, I guess, darker than a tan.  Is that a fairly accurate description of it?

THE COURT: Yes.

MR. YOCOM: Yes, I would stipulate that it’s the wallet he has in his possession at the present time.

Q.  How long have you had that wallet, Ted?

A.  Well, I have had it at least seven years.

Q.  Do you remember where you got it?

A.  I was working at a men’s store, Norstrom & Best in Seattle. I remember getting it at that time because I could charge it to my employee account.

Q.  During the fall of 1974, were you wearing a mustache?

A.  No, I was not.

Q.  Are you right or left-handed?

A.  I am left-handed.

Q.  Have you ever had a pair of handcuffs?

A.  Yes, I have.

Q.  And where did you get them?

A. In the early part of 1975 in the course of doing work for my landlord, I took things to the Salt Lake City Dump, and I found them in a box of odds and ends there.

Q. Did your landlord own other buildings other than the one you were living in?

A. Well, yes.  I was the manager of one of the smaller houses that they owned.  They had another, a number of other larger apartment houses, and I had a truck, so in order to make a few dollars now and then, I would haul things, mostly from other apartment houses–couches and rugs and the like– and during the winter of early 1975, I made two or three trips to the Salt Lake City Dump.  

Q. All right. Will you explain to the Court how you particularly came to find these handcuffs?

A. Well, you know, again, the best I can recall is just pulling the couches and things off of the truck, and in doing so, knocking over boxes.  And I was particularly attracted by one box that had a number of dishes and that type of thing, because at that time, I was looking for more dishes.  I just rummaged through the boxes to see what I could find, and there was a pair of handcuffs that attracted my attention.  I think I also took the dishes too.

Q.  Why did you take the handcuffs?

A.  I don’t know. Why not? They just seemed to be something.

handcuffs Carol DaRonch trial Bundy
Photocopy of a photo of the handcuffs taken from victim Carol DaRonch with the key found in the Viewmont High School parking lot where Debi Kent was abducted on November 8, 1974.
Courtesy Bountiful Police Dept.

Q. Did you look for a key?

A. I looked in the box to see what else was in there. I looked for a key; I didn’t see one.  

Q.  What did you do with the handcuffs?  

A.  I was driving my truck at the time. As I recall, I just threw them in the truck, along with the dishes, and the handcuffs stayed there for some time. I had no use for them.

Q.  Did you ever put them in your Volkswagen?

A.  Yes, I did.

Q.  Do you recall when you did that?

A.  It was last summer sometime when I was cleaning up my truck. I had also left a pair of coveralls in there, in the truck, and I had gone in the truck to pull out the coveralls before they were totally destroyed, and at that time I found them. And I had forgotten all about the handcuffs at that time. I took them out of the truck, along with the coveralls, and placed them in the trunk of my car.

Q.  Did you put them in a paper bag?

A.  I remember there was a – I just slipped them in a bag that was also in my truck, simply because I didn’t want them rattling around, and I felt they would probably be better off like that.

Q. Did you ever try to handcuff anyone with those handcuffs?

A. No. 

Q.  Do you recall August 16th, 1975?

A.  Yes. Well, August 16th, August 15th, yes.

Q.  Oh, that’s right. Did you go to work on August 15th?

A.  I did.

Q.  And what was your job at that time?

A.  I was a night watchman at the University of Utah. I had had the job for about two weeks at that time. Night watchman turns on lights, turns off lights, locks doors.

Q.  Did you have a badge or gun or any law enforcement duties in regard to that job?

A. No, you were sort of an official janitor and you wore a brown shirt that had little insignias on it that said “University of Utah”.  Not too fancy, just to identify yourself as someone who should be walking.  We also carried a little walkie-talkie to communicate with our office.

Q.  What hours did you work that day?  What shift?

A.  Three to eleven is my best recollection. I believe that was it.

Q.  What had you been doing prior to going to work on August 15th?

A.  Well, just prior to going to work, I had taken my seat out to fix it.

Q.  What was wrong with it?

A. Well, it had become – I don’t know who had ridden in my car, but they had pulled it forward and it wouldn’t go into the back position.  And I can remember trying to wedge the thing out, and I can remember prying, knocking, taking a rubber mallet – I carried all my tools in the car – taking a rubber mallet and trying to knock the thing out.  And finally I took the tools in my car, a crowbar, and tried to knock – eventually knocked the seat off the runner, and was able to start – find out why it had been stuck.  

Q.  Do you usually keep that crowbar in your car?

A.  In – well, I usually keep it in the trunk of my car, yes.

Q.  Do you have other tools in the trunk of your car?

A.  Kept a complete set of tools, metric tools for the Volkswagen.

Q.  Did you get the seat fixed and back on?

A.  No.  As was my usual practice, I started too late, and I was late for work, so in frustration I simply threw the seat in the back and left the tools on the floor and tried to get to work on time.

Q.  Did you try to get the seat on the runners?

A. Well, I tried to get the seat on the runners, but when you’re in a hurry, getting a Volkswagen seat on its runners becomes a rather tragic affair.  I think you just have to take your time.  

Q.  What time did you get off work?  Oh, you already said 3:00 to 11:00?

A.  Yes, around 11:00 o’clock.

Q.  And what did you do after work, Ted?

A.  I went home to my apartment, 565 First Avenue. And it had been a rather warm, as I recall, a warm evening, and you walk and walk and walk around the campus at night as a night watchman. I felt dirty, and I think I took a bath. My apartment gets really quite warm in the summertime, so the apartment was warm. I think I took a bath. And I wasn’t doing anything that night; I didn’t have anyone particularly to do anything with. I was seeing a friend, a girl, at the time. But it was quite late, and I didn’t know if she was around. So I guess to amuse myself and to pass the evening – I was wide awake – let me say that I, when I was working the late shift, I would sleep late in the day, maybe 10:00 o’clock or so, 10:30 – so I wasn’t ready to go to bed, and I was hungry, and the bath would freshen me up.

Q.  So what did you do?

A.  So I went into my closet and I rolled some marijuana – a cigarette.

Q.  Did you smoke?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Then what did you do?

A.  Well, then I had dinner and watched TV, I imagine, for a while. And I imagine this is getting on 12:00, 12:30 that night. I guess generally I was – I was enjoying myself, and I was looking for something to do. So I decided to go out and see if that friend of mine was still up. So I just hopped in the car. You know, it was kind of an attempt to develop some entertainment, to do something to pass the time.

Q.  What did you do?

A.  I went to a friend’s house – she lives out Highland Drive, out toward Highland High School, I guess, on Redondo Avenue, out that way – and as I passed by her house, the lights were off, the car was in the driveway, and I didn’t feel like waking her up.

Q.  So then what did you do?

A.  So I just decided to, as is my habit on occasion, to drive until I felt tired enough to come home and go to bed.  So I hopped on – I think I got on the freeway and started driving west, as best I can recall, then started going south on I-15.

Q.  Then what did you do?  

A.  Well, I wasn’t really paying attention to much of anything, I was sort of again watching the lights and enjoying myself, and I decided to explore an area of the city I hadn’t been in before, and decided to go as far west as I could go.

Q.  Did you?

A.  Well, not exactly.  I just started west, and I got – went through all the residential areas, and I was feeling pretty good – it’s kind of, well, rather embarrassing, but I was feeling pretty good.  I got to an area where I just got tired of driving.  I turned around and started coming back.  And on the way back I decided to smoke another cigarette.

Q.  Marijuana cigarette?

A.  Some more dope.  Yes.  So I turned off into a dark side street.

Q.  Will you keep your voice up, Ted?

A.  It didn’t seem to me to be wise to do that on a main lit street like the one I was on, so I looked for the first side street, and pulled over to a point to where I felt I was out of the mainstream of traffic at that time.  

Q.  All right.  Then what did you do?

A.  I consumed most of it, then I decided – I just smoked the remainder as I drove back out.  And as I started to pull away, as I pulled out, I wasn’t really quite attentive, but I pulled out and I happened to see a car in my rear view mirror, or off to my left shoulder, and I turned the corner heading back toward the street from which I had come.  Then as I was going, I made two left hand turns and I was heading down the street, I saw a car coming around the corner quite fast, and I assumed at that time it was the same car, and all of a sudden I became frightened, paranoid, I can’t describe to you the feeling.  But I knew that what I was doing was definitely illegal, that is, smoking dope.  And also, you know, I have always been paranoid about doing it because I was a law student, I mean, quite panicky, because I didn’t know what was going to happen.  I just wanted to make sure I got rid of this stuff as quick as I could and air out the car just on case it was the police.

Q.  So what did you do?

A.  My first impulse was to get rid of the remainder of the joint that I was smoking, and then look for the bag that I had left in the car.  I remember making another turn, and searching and finding the remainder and throwing that out the window, turning back towards the street I had come on. I did go through a stop sign. I would be darned if I was going to be caught with that stuff in my car.  I wound down my window, was trying to air out the car, and went on to 35th, which is the street that turns out now to be 35th.

Q.  And did the car behind you turn out to be a police officer?

A.  He sure did.

Q.  And did he stop you?

A  Yes, he did.

Q.  What happened when he stopped you?

Ted Bundy granger arrest Hayward
The corner where Bundy was arrested today.
Photo from Rob Dielenberg’s A Visual Timeline

A.  Well, again my first impulse was to keep him away from my car. I didn’t know if I had removed all the contraband; I didn’t know if it still smelled like marijuana smoke.  So I hopped out of my car and I met him midway, I guess, between where he parked his car and my car.  Embarrassingly enough, I had forgotten my license, and he asked me for my license after he said a couple of other things.  I got my license, I gave it to him.  He checked out my license and told me to stand by the car while he looked in my car with a flashlight.

Q.  Did other deputies arrive?

A.  Yes, they did.

Q.  Did they join the search?

A.  Um-hmm.

Q.  Were you nervous?

A.  It’s an understatement.  I was pretty well scared.  Not because – because they may have found something in there as marijuana seed or something I hadn’t gotten rid of, contraband.  That’s why it seemed so absurd to me that they started looking for other things.

Q.  Did they ask you what you were doing there?

A.  Yes, they did.

Q.  And did you tell them the truth?

A.  No.

Q.  Why not?

A.  Well, at that point I was neither thinking clearly nor was I in the position to know or have a desire to tell them what I was actually doing out there.  I don’t imagine they would have been too thrilled by my explanation I had been smoking dope in their neighborhood.  

Q.  Did you tell them that you had gone to a movie rather than just driving around?

A.  It seemed, retrospect it seemed implausible.  At the time it seemed a plausible explanation, and I recall having seen a movie theater and a marquee somewhere in my driving out there that evening.  

Q.  What movie did you tell them you saw?

A.  I told them I had seen “The Towering Inferno”.

Q.  Where?

A.  At a drive in somewhere.

Q.  Well, then what happened?  Did you get arrested?  Let’s put it that way.

A.  Oh, yes, I was arrested.  And they took – Sergeant Hayward took me downtown to the Salt Lake City Jail, and I was booked on a charge of evading him.

Q.  Did you get out shortly?

A.  I got out – that was – that was August, pardon me, yes, August 16th, and I was released that morning, yes, and on an O.R. release.

Q.  Did you go out to Granger to get your car?

A.  Um-hmm.  The next morning, that same morning later, 10:00 o’clock or so.

Q.  How did you get out?

A.  I rode my bicycle.

Q.  Were you arrested again?

A.  Yes I was arrested again on August the 21st.

Q.  All right.

A.  About a week later – less than a week later.

Q.  And when did you first consult Mr. Lubeck and myself?

A.  Well, what had occurred, if I might give some background—  

Q.  When did you first consult with us?

A.  O.K. I first consulted with you on the 22nd of August.

Q.  At that time did you tell me the truth about the incident on the early morning of August 16th, 1975?

A.  No, I didn’t.  The whole thing at the time seemed rather absurd to me.  I wasn’t sure, you know, I didn’t see any purpose in telling you.  I was quite embarrassed about it.  It’s not something you care to admit.

Q.  Let me ask you this: Are your friends and family in Seattle aware that you smoke marijuana?

A.  No, I don’t think it’s generally known amongst – no, I don’t believe so.

Q.  Did you have – 

A.  Could be suspected.

Q.  Did you have some friends here in Salt Lake that would be shocked by you smoking marijuana?

A.  Some would, some would not.

Q.  When did you get around to telling me what really happened, Ted?

A.  Well, a couple of weeks ago.  The whole thing seemed so absurd to me and its relationship to this particular case.  I don’t want to be argumentative, John, but its relationship to this particular case to me was not such that I felt that it was something I had to get into.  Others have a different opinion, so I guess push came to shove, and I don’t even like talking about it now.

Q.  On November 8th, 1974, was your car in the same condition as it was on August 21st, 1975?

A.  Well, that’s what – nine months later – no, I don’t believe it was.  No.

Q.  What was different about it?

A.  Well, general wear and tear, and of course in the winter you get more dents in driving and rust spots; and I believe the rip in the back seat had, its deterioration had accelerated because it had been sitting in the sun all winter – all winter, that is.  I would say that it was – I can’t judge, I didn’t measure the darn thing – a great deal worse than in the summer of ’75, late summer of ’75, than it certainly had been in the fall and winter of ’74.

Q.  Was that rip in your own car, say, when you came to Salt Lake in, what, September, 1974?

A.  Um-hmm.  Oh, was there one?

Q.  Yes.

A.  I believe one had begun to open up in the summer of ’74, and there appeared to be something of a rip at that time.  Nothing really noticeable.

Q.  Was there a difference in the rip between August 15th and August 21st?

A.  Well, yes, there was.  During the course of the search of my car on the morning of August 16th, the officers were doing quite a thorough search at that time, became intrigued with my back seat, looked down into it, and one officer stretched it apart to look down inside – Lord knows what he was looking for, anything I guess – and as he did so, I imagine increased a bit by twelve inches or more.  In other words, I think what he did was rip the full extent, because the remainder of the upholstery on top of that seat was really in bad condition, wouldn’t stand much stress.

Q.  Did you sell your car in September, 1975?

A.  Yes, I did.

Q.  And did you discuss it with me before you did so?

A.  I did.

Q.  And why did you sell it?

A.  Well, at the time I contemplated selling it, I had lost – I was no longer working.  I had a number of financial obligations which included tuition for law school, books, rent, insurance, repayment of a loan to a friend, gas, telephone, a number of expenses I think amounting to over $1,500, debts which were due and owing on or before the 15th of September, and I was really in a tight bind for cash.

Q.  Did you fix it up first?

A.  Well, I assumed to get the best price, I had to fix it up, yes,

Q.  What did you do to it?

A.  I can remember – I remember washing it, sanding it, I remember improving the interior, I remember replacing the back seat because there was no way to repair it.  I went to the junk yard and got a new back seat.  I can remember sanding off rusted spots, which are quite common on Volkswagens and putting primer over them.  I remember trying to – I remember putting little aluminum rings around the wheels just to make it look newer.  My object was to make it look good and get the best price I could for it.

Q.  Did you advertise it in the paper?

A.  Yes, I did.

Q.  And do you recall when you first advertised it, approximately?

A.  Oh, gee, I can’t remember.

Q.  Well, how long did it take to sell it?

A.  Sometime in the first part of September, I imagine.

Q.  How long did it take to sell it?

A.  Well – 

Q.  More than a week?

A.  About a week, week and a half.

Q.  Did you hold out for the price you wanted for it?

A.  I really felt I needed $800.  I felt that it was worth the price of the car, so I had one young lady wanted to buy it, but she didn’t have the money right away, I felt it would be a good buy for her, so I held out.  And in the meantime, several other people also offered to buy it.  I told them I couldn’t sell it to them until this girl had decided one way or the other whether she could afford it or not.  Finally, it turned out she couldn’t, so I sold it to a young man who had come to me a week or so earlier.

Q.  All right.  Was the car the same color on – did you ever change the color of the car while you had it?

A.  No, I did not.

Q.  Other than put primer on the front of it?

A.  Yeah, I did put that on the front.

Q.  Showing you Defendant’s Proposed Exhibit 63.  Does that fairly well depict the car as it was after you fixed it up?

A.  Yes, it does.

Q.  And showing you Defendant’s Proposed Exhibit 64, does that show, say, the back view of the seat?  Does that appear as your car appeared after you fixed it up?

Bundy VW
Replaced back seat, October 1975.
Courtesy Bountiful Police Dept.

A.  I can tell, because it has – we have taken so many pictures of the Volkswagen recently, I can’t tell one from the other, but because of the tires in the back seat, it does depict the way my car looked, yes.

Bundy VW
Tires in the backseat of the Bundy VW, October 1975.
Courtesy Bountiful Police Dept.

MR. O’CONNELL: Your witness.

Many thanks to Melanie Englert and Erin Banks for their very helpful transcription assistance.

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