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Serial killer Ted Bundy's blood sample could solve cold cases

by: jim kouri | published: 08 08, 2011

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Before being strapped to the electric chair in Florida in 1989, the notorious and prolific serial killer Ted Bundy -- know to law enforcement as "The Deliberate Stranger" -- confessed to more than 30 savage murders.

But detectives and criminologists have always suspected he tortured and murdered many other victims. Now, police detectives and forensic scientists are examining a vial of Bundy's blood which they believe will solve several cold cases from 1960 through his capture in Florida.

Bundy is considered one of the world's most infamous serial killers, rivaling Britain's Jack the Ripper. Bundy was handsome and charismatic, traits he exploited in winning the confidence of his young, attractive female victims.

He typically approached his victims in public places and feigned injury or disability, or impersonated an authority figure such as a police officer, before overpowering and assaulting them at a more secluded location. At times Bundy revisited his crime scenes for hours at a time, performing sexual acts with the decomposing corpses until putrefaction and destruction by wild animals made further interaction impossible.

Former FBI special agent Robert Ressler, a founding member of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, interviewed Bundy as part of researching criminal profiles. Agent Ressler told the Law Enforcement Examiner in 1990, during an interview for the now-defunct Crime Beat Magazine, that Bundy was a pathological liar and sociopath who could not be believed.

For example, during an interview with Dr. James Dobson, an evangelical psychologist, Bundy claimed his viewing of pornographic magazines and motion pictures caused his to gravitate to killing women in order to achieve sexual gratification.

Agent Ressler's response was that Bundy was a liar and merely telling Dr. Dobson what he thought an evangelical wished to hear.

Bundy's blood, which was discovered at an evidence lab in Columbia County, Florida, was to be entered into the FBI's Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) on Friday. After loading Bundy's blood type into the FBI data base, authorities will know right away if a match is made A 1961 cold case involving an 8 year-old girl living in Tacoma, Washington -- Bundy's home state -- who disappeared never to be found again, lead to a call for a complete DNA profile of Bundy. The child lived in a neighborhood in which a 16-year old Bundy delivered newspapers on a bicycle.

During a bloody murder spree in the 1970s, Bundy would lure his young female victims by pretending he had a broken leg or arm. At the time of Bundy's conviction, DNA typing was not widely used. FBI Special Agent Ressler said that out of dozens of serial killers he's interviewed, including John Wayne Gacey, Otis Toole, and others, Bundy was the most deadly and bloodthirsty since he'd torture his victims for hours before killing them.

Police detectives, forensic scientists, criminal profilers, and victims' families hope this new profiling will identify other murder victims whose deaths remain unsolved.

Bundy's known serial murders were committed in Washington, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Florida, but he may have briefly visited other states that were unaware of his modus operandi.

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