When you imagine a serial killer, you picture someone ugly and socially awkward. You don't picture someone handsome and charismatic, like Ted Bundy, who confessed to murdering thirty women in the 1970's. Perhaps his charm was exaggerated over the years, as he became a mythic figure. But there's no doubt that he was persuasive, convincing young women to get into his tan Volkswagen Beetle so he could drive them to their deaths in a secluded location.
January 24, 2019 was the thirtieth anniversary of Ted Bundy's execution. Authorities captured him in 1976, only for him to escape by jumping out the second-story building of a courthouse library. Six days later, they captured him again, only for him to escape again, by losing enough enough weight to squeeze into the crawlspace in the ceiling. A month and a half later, they recaptured him again in Florida, after he had committed further assaults and homicides. Bundy was executed by electric chair in 1989.
This week Netflix released Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a four-part docuseries about the notorious killer and the media frenzy surrounding his trial. The show includes never-before-heard tapes from 100 hours of interviews with Bundy while he was on Death Row. And in the midst of this resurgent fascination with his story, a spine-tingling photo has resurfaced, showing Bundy in a police lineup.
Here's the story behind that chilling image: In November 1974, Bundy approached 18-year-old Carol DaRonch at the mall in Murray, Utah. He told her that he was a police officer, and someone tried to break into her car, so she needed to fill out a report at the police station. Skeptical, she asked him for identification, and he showed her a badge in his wallet.
When DaRonch got into his car, Bundy snapped handcuffs on one of her wrists and she began to panic. On Conversations with a Killer, DaRonch she recalled the attack:
"He headed down a side street and then he suddenly pulled over up on the side of a curb up by an elementary school and that's when I just started freaking out: 'What are we doing?' And he grabbed my arm and he got one handcuff on one wrist and he didn't get the other one on and the one was just dangling. I had never been so frightened in my entire life.
"I thought, 'My God, my parents are never going to know what happened to me.' My whole life went before my eyes. The next thing I knew, he had pulled out a gun and said, 'I'll blow your head off.'"
DaRonch managed to open the door, and jumped out of the car. Bundy also exited the car and chased her with a crowbar, trying to beat her over the head. "I just fought with all my life, thrashing with him and fighting," she recalled. "My fingers were all broken. I just remember his beady, lifeless eyes." Luckily a car approached from the other direction, and DaRonch was able to jump inside. Four hours later, Bundy murdered another woman.
However, in October 1975, that botched abduction caught up with him. Utah police officers called DaRonch to the station to pick Bundy out of a police lineup. She did so, despite Bundy's effort to disguise his appearance by getting a new haircut. In the black-and-white photo, Bundy is the second man to the right, standing rigidly in a white roll-neck jumper and very high pants.
DaRonch went on to testify against Bundy in court, which led to his first conviction for aggravated kidnapping. A judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison, but of course, that didn't go smoothly. In 1976, he extradited to Colorado for be tried for murder, where he pulled off his first escape.
If you can't get enough Bundy, today the first trailer dropped for the biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, starring Zac Efron.