Ted Bundy at Lake Sammamish: Some Additional Thoughts
When we think of Ted Bundy at Lake Sammamish in July of 1974, we think of many things including: the kidnapping of two young women in the same day, a young, handsome man wearing a white shirt and shorts with his arm in a sling, and the ease in which this young man moved amongst the crowds, giving only his first name, “Ted.” What we also must consider is that the Lake Sammamish kidnappings and murders were the beginning of the end for Ted Bundy. He had already abducted six young women in the Washington state and Oregon areas, but had never attempted two attacks in the same day. It’s unusual for a serial criminal to use his real first name when committing crimes, but it’s highly probable that Bundy was getting cocky about his ability to circumvent the various police investigations into his crimes. If Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis was correct in diagnosing Bundy with bipolar disorder during his time on Florida’s death row, Ted could have possibly been in a manic state of mind during these murders. That mania might have allowed him to disregard ordinary precautions during his time at Lake Sammamish.
It’s also important to note how highly foolhardy it was for him to be seen by so many witnesses at the park that day and to have talked to so many people there. We cannot dismiss the fact that he must have felt extremely superior to have weaved his way in and out of the crowd that day and still have gotten away scot-free, at least for the time being. In fact, I am hard-pressed to remember any incident in which another serial killer used his or her first name when speaking with potential victims or around possible witnesses.
When Bundy’s girlfriend of five years, Liz Kloepfer, saw the composite drawing in the newspaper and heard the description of “Ted” from the park, she called the police on more than one occasion to turn in his name and the description of his car. One of his professors turned in his name to police as well. Authorities checked him out, but he didn’t seem to be the criminal type, so he was passed over until his arrested for attempted kidnapping in August of 1975. Once Bundy was found guilty and sentenced to one to fifteen years in prison, he was potentially linked to murders in Colorado and later in Florida. Had he not been arrogant enough to use his real name at Lake Sammamish state park, he might not have been linked as quickly to his crimes and could have been allowed to kill for much longer, much to the detriment to the public.