In Pursuit of Ted Bundy

It’s fairly common knowledge that, Theodore Robert Bundy, a confessed serial murderer of at least 30 individuals, went to the University of Washington (graduated with a degree in Psychology), and lived on campus in McMahon Hall.

But when asked what room he lived in, I could find no answers other than “I think he
was on the 12th floor.” This was problematic, of course, because McMahon only has eleven floors. Finding no reliable information on his room online, in a fit of curiosity I decided to look through University Archives in some hope of actually ascertaining his residence location.

The first step was to find out when he was living on campus. To this I turned upon Ann Rule’s book The Stranger Beside Me, where she notes that “Ted met Stephanie Brooks in the spring of 1967 at McMahon Hall.” This was all I needed. With the help of Duncan Smith, is like the god of obscure materials, we located “Housing and Food Services Office Records, 1963-1968, Accession No. 80-068” in the special collection of the UW’s library system.

After finding this I quickly rushed down to special collections to place a request to view these records, for they were stored off campus. The request was filed on Monday, and I was told it would be in by late Tuesday (but they closed when I was in class), and I could view them from Wednesday onward.

42 painfully slow hours pass…

Finally, Duncan and I go down to pick up the box for inspection. Surprisingly, the records were in chronological order and finding the Autumn, Fall, and Spring 1966-1967. We found the entry for “Bundy, Theodore Robert” quite easily–but quickly ran into a problem: only the phone number was listed. However, it appeared that the RAs listed in McMahon all had the pattern of 3-7xxx, where xxx is their room.

Ted Bundy had 3-7469. That means he lived in 469, right? We were fairly sure, but I managed to see in a brochure from 1977 that McMahon clusters shared two phones. So we went through the directory looking for clustermates to confirm that this was indeed true.

So what we can conclude is that Ted Bundy did indeed live in McMahon, on the 4th floor in the South Tower. Not exactly the sure of room, still quite close. This happens to be directly across the hall from where I’m currently staying [as of spring 2007], which is quite awesome(?).

Ted’s fellow clustermates included: Ho-Chin Yang, Richard David Mayer, Larry Chapin Foster, Yuku Saegusa, and Jean Charles Bellour. If any of them are watching, what room did he stay in? :)

In conclusion, I noticed while leaving special collections (about an hour after entering), they were selling old photographs for three dollars each. I got a really cool one of a church being constructed and Duncan got two: one of an old industrial engine and the other of a guy next to a huge drill bit of some sort.

5 thoughts on “In Pursuit of Ted Bundy

  1. Then he moved off campus. My memory was on Brooklyn Ave but a search of the net gives at 12th Ave. May still not be quite correct. (I lived down the street at the time.) Hard to bring dead bodies back to a dorm room, no?

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  2. He stored bodies in his closet (well, sometimes to conserve space he kept just heads.) Hard to do that in a dorm room. By the time Ted Bundy began killing, he lived off campus. I thought he lived on Brooklyn & about 42nd NE but Net check puts it a block over on 12th. (Hmmm, which is more unreliable, on one hand we have a memory of place not seen in 30 years, on the other: the internet. Tough call.)

    Anyway, Ted did not go amurderin’ while in the dorm. He needed to move off campus to become the Ted Bunny we know; a cheap way was a boarding house, one of many that were created out of old single family homes in the U District.

    How did I know this? I lived just down the street & worked right next door.

    (Yup, I was a college girl w/ dark brown hair parted in the middle until Lake Sam kidnappings & I had it all cut off.)

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