The Washington task force was slowly making headroom in their unsolved cases. A computer program had been created to organize and determine a list of the most logical suspects based on the incredible amount of lists ant tips compiled. Cumbersome as it was, the computer had narrowed the suspects down to just 25. The investigators focused their attention on these 25, investigating them one-by-one. Ted Bundy was reportedly the next to be investigated when good fortune intervened on August 16, 1975.
Utah Highway Patrol Offcier Bob Haywood, coincidentally the brother of Detective Pete Haywood of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office,who was involved in the investigation of some of the Utah murders, noticed a light-colored VW in his neighborhood in Granger, Utah. Familiar with the poeple and vehicles around his home, Haywood turned his bright lights on the vehicle. It immediately sped away, running a pair of stop signs before pulling over. Officer Haywood asked for Identification and the driver produced the proper credecntials in the name of Ted Bundy.
Haywood noticed that there was no passenger seat in Bundy's car and searched it, finding what he feels are burglary tools in a satchell. Among other things, the VW contained a mask made of panty hose, an icepick, and handcuffs. Bundy was arrested for evasion of a police officer and released on his own recognizance.
Soon after his release Salt Lake investigators began to link Bundy to the DeRonch attack. They arrested him for possession of burglary tools on August 21 and searched his apartment. The only thing of note found were maps of Colorado with Aspen marked. Bundy's mugshot was shown to DeRonch, but she sould not positively identify him as her attacker, though the teacher from Bountiful recognized Bundy as the man she saw backstage at the school play during which Kent was abducted.
It was enough to put Bundy under surveillance and investigated. Soon he was arrested and charged with the DeRonch assault. Bundy's girlfriend Liz kendall was interviewed by Utah detectives. she told them about his nocturnal sleeping habits, rough sexual practices, and odd possessions like crutches, plaster of paris, and a fake mustache. It was becoming obvious to all investigators involved that Bundy had something to do with the murders and disappearances in Utah, Washington, and Colorado. Bundy soon made bail and, incredibly, moved in with Kendall at her Seattle apartment until his Utah trial for kidnapping.
The trial was open and shut. DeRonch now identified Bundy as her attacker, he had no alibi, and his car was identical to the car used in her attempted abduction. He was convicted of aggravated kednapping and sentenced to 1-15 years in jail.
The Utah conviction served it's main purpose, to hold Bundy until he could be put on trial for murder. The state of Colorado was first up to bat and Ted was transferred to the Pitkin County Jail to await trial for the murdef of Caryn Campbell, one of whose hairs were found by Utah investigators during a search of Bundy's VW. The preliminary trial began poorly when a witness from the Wildwood Inn pointed to the wrong man when asked to identify Bundy in the courtroom.
The case still would go go trial, though, and Bundy quickly fired his attorney and was allowed to defend himself. It was during a visit to the courthouse law library on June 7, 1977, that Bundy, who was loosely supervised, leaped from a second story window and escaped on foot, shedding his jail clothes. Bundy strolled back through town despite roadblocks,search dogs, and a house-to-house search. Taking to the woods, he hid out and got thoroughly lost for a few days before stealing a car and being arrested after he was spotted weaving erratically through Aspen in the stolen vehicle 6 days after his escape.
Jailed once again and arraigned on escape, burglary, and theft charges. Bundy once again set his sights on the upcoming trial This time he had a court appointed attorney who bowed out shortly thereafter because of injuries sustained ina car accident. Drama was following Bundy. The trial was moved to Colorado Springs and in a stroke of luck for Bundy, he was declared ineligible for the death penalty.
Despite that good fortune, Bundy decided to try his luck with another escape. This one was much better planned, unfortunately. On December 30, 1977, he hacked his way through an old welded light fixture in his cell ceiling and crawled through to a deputies living quarters, put on some civilian clothes and walked out. He made his way to Vail, Colorado, took a bus to Denver, and boarded a plane to Chicago. By the time authorites discovered him missing at noon the next day, Bundy had a 17 hour headstart. Upon arriving in Chicago it was simply a matter of stealing a car and driving to Atlanta, Georgia, and then taking a bus to Tallahassee, Florida, where he took an apartment near the campus of Florida St. University under the alias' of Chris Hagen and FSU graduate Ken Misner.