For the first time, film recently uncovered shows Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen bug next to patrol cars the day he abducted and killed two young women from Lake Sammamish State Park.
Thousands of people packed the park on July 14, 1974, the day Bundy killed 23-year-old Janice Ott and 19-year-old Denise Naslund.
Among those at the park were employees of Rainier Beer, who were holding an annual picnic there that Sunday. Someone at the picnic took the silent color film.
After Ott and Naslund disappeared, police developed a sketch of a man they were last seen near. They didn’t know Bundy at the time, and the sketch that was printed in newspapers the following week looked vaguely like him.
Investigators asked for anyone with photos or film to bring it to them.
That’s how sheriff’s deputies obtained the long-forgotten film in 1974.
The film from the Rainier picnic was brought to the King County Sheriff’s Office, and that’s where it remained until after Bundy’s execution in Florida in 1989. Before he died in the electric chair, he admitted to killing Ott and Naslund along with nine others Washington women. Three were unidentified.
The film was transferred to the King County Archives along with boxes of information from closed Bundy cases.
King County Archives staff digitized with assistance the University of Washington Special Collections in January 2018.
KIRO 7 was the first to broadcast the silent film on Feb. 8, 2018.
The brief film shows Bundy’s Volkswagen bug in the parking lot, boxed in by a King County Sheriff’s patrol car. There were multiple units, and people milled around as investigators and Issaquah city officials combed the scene.
Bundy is not in his Volkswagen. It’s not clear if he was in the park or dumping one of the bodies at a nearby service road in Issaquah where those victims and others were later found.
It’s also unclear if one of the bodies remained in his car as deputies were feet away.
Investigators also flagged individual frames of the film – including some showing a man in a cast, similar to what Bundy sometimes used as a prop in abductions. The man flagged does not appear to be Bundy.
They also flagged Bundy’s Volkswagen bug, which he used in his crime spree for years.
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