Debbie Harry is a sensational performer and has been part of the mainstream music scene for the past four decades. Her early songs with rock band Blondie, such as “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture,” hearken back to a time before serial killers were idolized and admired. There’s no question that she has experienced many strange situations as a member of the entertainment field, but does Debbie Harry’s claim that Ted Bundy attempted to kidnap her have any merit? Let’s find out.
First, let’s address the claim. The story is that in 1972 during the early hours of the morning, Harry was looking for a cab in the lower east side of New York City. She wasn’t having any success, but noticed a lone male driver in a white VW Bug trailing her. He beckoned to her to get in his car, telling her he would take her where she wanted to go. She considered it, noted she wasn’t likely to find a ride anytime soon, and ultimately slid into the passenger seat.
She instantly sensed she had made a mistake. The young driver was handsome, but he emitted a terrible odor. There was no interior door handle and the car windows were only cracked. She looked for a window crank to get some air, but much like the door handle, it was missing too. In desperation, she somehow managed to get her hand through the window and lower it, grabbing the door handle from the outside. As she tugged on the handle, the car took a sharp curve, thrusting her to the ground. Much to her relief, the vehicle drove away and she never saw the driver again.
Now let’s analyze what we know about Ted Bundy. Right from the start of our story, we have a geographical problem. Bundy wasn’t known to be in the New York City area, or on the east coast at all, during 1972. At that time, he was deeply engrossed in his work with the Seattle Republican Party, working on a re-election campaign for Governor Dan Evans. He was also working at the suicide hotline where he met crime writer, Ann Rule. To top it all off, Bundy had a summer job on a psychiatric ward, a requirement to obtain a psychology degree from the University of Washington. Though a highly mobile killer, Ted had neither the time nor the energy to make trans-national trips, especially without anyone around him noticing.
Secondly, details about the man’s car are obviously wrong. Both of Bundy’s VW Bugs were beige or tan. The interior was normal, though the passenger seat was occasionally moved into the back seat to provide room for his victims’ bodies (what he later referenced as “cargo”).
My main gripe with Harry’s assertion is the claim that only realized Bundy was her abductor in 1989, after he had been executed.She happened to notice his picture in the newspaper and exclaimed that he was the driver of the white VW Bug. Eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable, and I don’t feel she could have possibly remembered her abductor’s face after seventeen years had passed. Though I don’t doubt Debbie Harry had a harrowing experience at the hands of a dangerous man, it’s highly implausible that the man in that VW Bug was Ted Bundy.