As I scrolled through an online site’s “Celebrity Birthdays” for this date, Ted Bundy’s name caught my eye, and simultaneously clenched my gut. Had serial killer Bundy not been executed in 1989, he would have been 68 today.
I shared this information with a friend of mine, and was shocked my friend had absolutely no recall of Ted. All he could come up with was the TV family’s name on “Married with Children.” (I was horrified, then and now, that the name “Bundy” was used for a TV sitcom!)
But back to Ted. How could anyone not remember the name of the man who murdered so many young women in the 1970s? Perhaps because they never met him…
I met Ted in April, 1974—40 years ago. Yet our brief encounter is etched in my memory more vividly than most others from my college years.
I was working in the Audio-Visual Library on the campus of Central Washington (then) State College. I often worked on weekdays between 7 and 9 p.m., and when I had no film bookings to prepare for mailing, I could use the time to study. Occasionally, college students wanting to view films they’d missed in classes needed me to run upstairs to the projection rooms and load 16mm reels for them to watch. But mostly, my isolated corner of the library had few people visiting during my shifts.
So on the night of April 17, I remember Ted’s curly-hair and charming smile. He had a sling on his arm, and asked me to help him carry his things to his car. Had I not had a solid work ethic, and declined to leave my post, no doubt I would have helped him. And that night, it would have been me, and not Susan Rancourt, who permanently disappeared from campus.
It took close to a year before Susan’s skull was found on Taylor Mountain, near Issaquah. Although the true victim count may never be known, Bundy admitted to 30 murders in seven states between 1974 and 1978.
Like Susan, and most of the other women who fell prey to Bundy, I wore my hair long, parted in the middle, and tucked behind my ears. He definitely had a “type,” and I fit the pattern.
Immediately after Susan’s disappearance, my guy friends from the dorm began magically appearing to walk me home from work each night. We were all pretty sure “that guy with the arm cast” wouldn’t return to our area, but nevertheless, I was grateful for the escort.
Today I am appalled that Bundy’s birthday appears on any “celebrity” list. What’s with these people? I am much more likely to “celebrate” the life of Susan Elaine Rancourt. On October 12, she would have been 59. May she rest in peace.