Kathy Kleiner Rubin
Nita Neary in court
“Things were happening in slow motion. The paramedics came in to help us. I remember the paramedic being there and I asked him what was going on. He said, ‘It’s okay, lay down, you were shot in the face, we’re going to help you.'” The injuries to her jaw were so severe that they looked like a gunshot wound to a skilled medical technician. The frightened young woman was put on a gurney and taken down the wooden staircase from the second floor. She heard noise and didn’t understand what was going on. “I remember it was freezing outside, snowing, and couldn’t communicate. I was laying down but couldn’t ask what was going on. It felt like a carnival atmosphere.” She saw people looking at her and the waiting seemed to take forever. She was cold, vulnerable, and very confused.
On the way to the hospital, she didn’t lose consciousness, but found she couldn’t communicate due to the damage to her jaw. Kathy overheard some of the emergency medical technicians discuss the severity of her injuries and she became very self-conscious as people were looking over her injuries. When a doctor suggested running a rape kit on her, she became anxious and scared. She had only been wearing a nightgown and underwear when she was brought in and her nightgown had been cut off to assess her injuries. She recognized a nurse who was working on her and was relieved when the young woman talked the doctor out of doing the rape kit. The nurse argued that it didn’t make sense that a violent criminal would put underwear back on a victim after sexually assaulting her. Kathy felt like the nurse was an angel for helping her avoid further humiliation after everything she had already experienced.
In the meantime, Kathy was being further assessed in the hospital. Doctors determined that her jaw was broken in three places. It had to be broken again in order to realign it, using three wires in the bone. Her jaw was wired shut for nine long weeks. Eating was difficult and usually included eating soft, runny food. Doctors also found that she had nearly bitten her tongue off. It could not be stitched, having to heal with time. Kathy’s shoulder had been fractured and her eyes were purple and puffy. The pain medication made her groggy. She woke up in single hospital bed with flowers all over her room, but she woke up alone. She wondered why none of her family or friends were nearby, only to find that police were guarding the room and not letting anyone come in. Finally, after protests from friends and family, they were allowed in begrudgingly, but no sorority sisters were permitted to enter. The sisters had been asked by police not to contact Kathy so that their conversations wouldn’t corrupt her memory of the crime.
Ted Bundy was found guilty of the Tallahassee charges against him based on bite-mark evidence and Nita Neary’s eyewitness testimony. He was found guilty on three counts of attempted murder, two counts of burglary, and two counts of murder. Bundy was sentenced to two death sentences on the murder charges. Six months later, tried in the murder of twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach in Orlando, he received another death sentence.
In the years that followed, Kathy Kleiner Rubin overcame her anxieties by working in a lumber yard to overcome her mistrust of men and later found a position at a hospital to get over her fear of hospitals. She overcame breast cancer in her thirties. She had two miscarriages, but now has a grown son with whom she is close. She is happily married to her husband, Scott, and cares for two very lively dogs in their household. Kathy is excited about the new movie about Ted Bundy because she feels it will give people a chance to see what he did. Watching movies and reading books about him have helped her come to terms with the attack. After every difficult experience, she has moved beyond it to thrive in her life. Her family has been there to help her so she didn’t have to do everything for herself which she cites as helping tremendously.