Don't Let Ted Bundy's Victims Get Forgotten In The Zac Efron Hype
He was hot. He was ordinary. He only got away with murder, rape and necrophilia for so long because he was white. He was a Republican.
Spend any time on the internet today and you'll come across a Ted Bundy thinkpiece.
While the notorious serial killer's name has been synonymous with violence and brutality since he was first caught in the mid-1970s, public interest in the reportedly charming Theodore Robert Bundy has recently exploded.
That's due to Netflix's Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (out now), and the upcoming film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, starring heart-throb Zac Efron at his murderous best.
The latter's trailer dropped in the last week, and has drawn some criticism for flying a bit too close to a rom-com for comfort.
And not to mention -- Zac Efron is, well, hot.
In the endless hot-take machine of pieces pondering whether we're too caught up in the celebrity appeal of Ted Bundy, it's almost easy to forget that dozens of women were abducted, brutalised, murdered and dumped.
Before his execution, Bundy confessed to 30 homicides. The real number remains unknown, but has been estimated to be more than 100, with speculation even Bundy himself didn't know the true figure.
Here are the women who are being forgotten. Plenty of this info must be credited to Ann Rule's 1980 book The Stranger Beside Me, a book about her friendship with Bundy and the murders he committed.
Lynda Ann Healy, 21
Murdered: February 1, 1974, Seattle, Oregon
Healy was a psychology student at the University of Washington, who had a job announcing ski conditions on the radio. She grew up in Newport, shared a house with four other students, and was frustrated she rarely saw her boyfriend.
Following news reports of a predator in the area, the girls in the house took precautions for their safety -- going out at night only in pairs, locking their doors, discouraging men who seemed creepy.
Bundy broke into her room while she was sleeping and beat her unconscious before dragging her away. She was meant to meet her parents for dinner the next day.
Donna Gail Manson, 19
Disappeared: March 12, 1974 from Olympia, Washington
Donna was an intelligent teenager and skilled musician, who excelled at flute. The night she disappeared, she'd been walking to a jazz concert on campus. Her body was never found, but Bundy confessed to her murder.
Susan Elaine Rancourt, 18
Murdered: April 17, 1974 in Seattle, Washington
Susan was a freshman at Central Washington State College; a former cheerleader and homecoming queen, one of six children. A shy girl, she'd worked two jobs to save money for college, and rarely ventured out alone.
However, she went out one night to a college meeting for would-be dorm advisers, a job Susan thought could make her money and help her meet friends. After the meeting, she was never seen again.
Roberta Kathleen Parks, 22
Murdered: May 6, 1974 in Seattle, Washington
Kathy -- she was known by her middle name -- was a student at Oregon State, studying religion. She was unhappy around the time of her death, after breaking up with her boyfriend, and her father suffering a massive heart attack.
When she disappeared, on the way to meet friends, there was speculation she killed herself. Later, her skull and mandible were recovered at a site on Taylor Mountain, alongside those of Lynda Ann Healy, Susan Elaine Rancourt, and Brenda Carol Ball.
Brenda Carol Ball, 22
Murdered: June 1, 1974 in Burien, Washington
Brenda had recently graduated Highline Community College, and was described by Ann Ru -- who knew her personally, through her daughter -- as having eyes that "sparkled with her zest for life".
She attended a concert in June 1974, and the last anyone saw her, she was chatting to a handsome man with his arm in a sling.
Georgeann Hawkins, 18
Murdered: June 11, 1974 in Seattle, Washington
Like Susan, Georgeann had been a cheerleader and good student, on the honour roll at high school. As a freshman at the University of Washington, she left a party early to return home and study for an exam.
She dropped by her boyfriend's house to say goodnight. She never made it home.
Janice Ann Ott, 23
Murdered: July 14, 1974 in King County, Washington
Janice, a probation case worker at a youth service centre, was newly-married but lonely, her husband completing a prosthetics course in California.
She was lying in the sun one afternoon when a good-looking man with a broken arm asked if she could help him. After chatting for a few minutes, she left with him, and was never seen again.
Denise Marie Naslund, 19
Murdered: July 14, 1974 in King County, Washington
Denise was a studying to be a computer programmer, working part-time to pay her way. She was in the same park on the same day as Janice, enjoying the sun with her friends.
She walked to a public bathroom, and in what would become a familiar tale, was asked for help by a handsome man with his arm in a sling. Denise, the sort of person who would help anyone, obliged.
Nancy Wilcox, 16
Disappeared: October 2, 1974 from Holladay, Utah
Nancy was still in high school when she was abducted by Bundy. She was a cheerleader, filling in after-school hours with a job as a waitress, and as an active member at her local church. Her body has never been found.
Melissa Anne Smith, 17
Murdered: October 18, 1974 in Midvale, Utah
Melissa was the elder daughter of Midvale's police chief, an upbringing that made her cautious and wary of strangers. The night she disappeared, she skipped a party to comfort a friend upset about a relationship drama.
Melissa's way home took her down a dirt road, under an overpass and bridge, and across a sports field. Her body -- strangled, beaten, raped -- was discovered nine days later.
Laura Ann Aime, 17
Murdered: October 31, 1974 in Murray, Utah
The night Laura went missing, she was disappointed at a lacklustre Halloween. She'd dropped out of school and moved in with friends, working a series of low-paying jobs. Her family didn't even realise she was missing for several days.
When her father went to the morgue on Thanksgiving Day, Laura's face was beaten beyond recognition. He identified her instead by scars on her arm where a horse had thrown her into barbed wire when she was 11.
Debra Jean Kent, 17
Murdered: November 8, 1974 in Bountiful, Utah
Debi, as she was known to family, was the oldest of five children. She was a cheerleader who planned to become a social worker.
On the last night she was seen, she'd taken her parents to a musical -- her father's first outing since a massive heart attack. Bundy confessed to her killing, but Debi's body has never been found. A decade after she disappeared, her family bought a burial plot. The following year, they bought a headstone.
Caryn Eileen Campbell, 23
Murdered: January 12, 1975 in Snowmass, Colorado
Caryn was a nurse, engaged to a doctor and ready to be a step-mum to his two children.
The family took a holiday in Aspen, staying at Wildwood Inn.
Caryn left the hotel lounge to grab a magazine, but never returned. A month later, her naked body was discovered metres away from the lodge, exposed by melting snow.
Julie Cunningham, 26
Disappeared: March 15, 1975 from Vail, Colorado
Julie was a part-time ski instructor at Vail. She called her mum one night in March and later decided to meet her roommate at the local pub.
She never made it.
Denise Lynn Oliverson, 25
Disappeared: April 6, 1975 from Grand Junction, Colorado
Denise, newly-married, had a fight with her husband one afternoon. She jumped on her bike, heading to her parents' house. Her parents weren't expecting her, and so didn't realise she never showed up; her husband assumed she was still angry with him when she didn't come home.
Her bike was discovered during a search of the route she had probably taken, but her body never was.
Lynette Dawn Culver, 12
Disappeared: May 6, 1975 from Pocatello, Idaho
Lynette was a young girl when she disappeared. She was last seen boarding a bus at Hawthorne Junior High School.
At first, it was believed she had run away. Bundy confessed to her killing shortly before his execution, but detectives never entirely accepted his statement. Her body has never been found.
Susan Curtis, 15
Disappeared: June 28, 1975 from Price, Utah
Susan lived in the same neighbourhood and attended the same school as Debi Kent. She disappeared the year after Debi, while leaving a Mormon youth conference. For years, her sister, who was also at the conference, would blame herself for not walking with her.
Susan's body has never been found, but her family told a newspaper in 2000 they still leave the porch light on for her. "As long as I'm here, I will never turn it off," her mother said.
Lisa Levy, 20 and Margaret Elizabeth Bowman, 21
Murdered: January 15, 1978 in Tallahassee, Florida
Lisa and Margaret were sorority sisters at Florida State University. Both from St Petersberg, Lisa worked a part-time job while Margaret was from a wealthy family.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Bundy broke into the Chi Omega sorority house and moved from room to room, attacking young women who lived there. Sorority sisters Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner survived the attacks, but Lisa and Margaret did not.
Kimberly Diane Leach, 12
Murdered: February 9, 1978 from Lake City, Florida
Kim was one of Bundy's youngest-known victims. She was still in junior school, and during P.E. one day, ran back to the classroom to get her forgotten bag.
According to witnesses, Bundy met Kim and led her to his white van.
Several other murdered or disappeared women -- including Susan Davis, Elizabeth Perry, Melanie Suzanne Cooley and Shelley Robertson -- are believed to be the work of Bundy, but evidence is inconclusive.
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