Ted Bundy was an American serial killer who had 30 or more victims in the 1970s, and is suspected of even more. He was captured in Florida, and executed on January 24, 1989. He was 42 years old.
That’s the official story. I just spent the last hour or so re-reading two papers by Miles W. Mathis on Bundy, one from 2014, and the other 2018. That part was fun, as the papers read well. In the 2014 paper, MM tries to tie Ted Bundy, pictured to the right, as a true member of the Bundy family, Boston ultra-wealth and lineage with members like Willliam (foreign affairs advisor to both JFK and LBJ), and McGeorge (yes, that was his real name) (National Security Advisor to the same two presidents). He might well hit that nail, as Ted Bundy bears strong resemblance to the Bundy line.
In the 2018 paper, MM follows the Bundy trail of murders through Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado and finally Florida. It’s really hilarious to read, the things they expect us to believe. I won’t repeat anything here as the papers are easily available to the reader. Just enjoy them as I did. I am neither going to add to or detract from the Mathis work, as what I do here is my own research. His stands by itself, as does mine.
My purpose is to trace the Bundy victims, looking for signs of life. I primarily used Findagrave and the Social Security Death Index. I also did True People Search on them but that was mostly a waste of time. Karen Sparks turns up on TPS, but that’s a given, as she is the first listed victim but was not killed in 1974. Then I realized something else – I’ve had good luck with TPS in the past with other serial killers, like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer, finding supposed victims still alive, but they specialized in boys and men. Bundy killed and maimed only girls and women. This was in the 1970s, so most of the alleged victims would have married and changed their names. Anyway, there is this from MM, the 2018 paper:
“My assumption is these women are still alive somewhere, if they ever existed to start with. Without strong evidence to the contrary, that should also be your assumption.”
I think he’s right. They probably did not exist in any real sense, though we are given photos and biographies
With the Social Security Death Index I got so few hits (4) that my task now is to explain them, and not the others who are not there. Interestingly, and I found this with Gacy as well, the four Bundy victims that turn up at SSDI, Rancourt, Ott, Campbell, and Levy all give only month and year of death, not the precise day. So Susan Rancourt is listed as “April 1974,” and so on. Why is this important? It might not be, but I suspect it means that whoever inserted the information on these four was not working from an official document listing date of death, like a death certificate. Wikipedia knows their exact date of death, so SSDI would as well. Is this some kind of signal?
Findagrave is a little more hard to deal with. I got 16 hits there, but I want to take a look at just one right now, that of Ted’s official first kill, Lynda Ann Healy. There are two photos of her there:
The two photos resemble one another but are of two different people. There could be an explanation for that, I suppose. These massive databases contain many mistakes. Anyway, both are very attractive, the one above having a model quality, the one below more like a yearbook photo. Part of the Bundy psyop was that Ted went after attractive women. MM does a better job explaining that, and anyway, I am not here to explain the reasoning behind it. I am merely trying to understand how sixteen of his victims, known to be fake, ended up on the Findagrave database. I will randomly select three to do a closer review.
Janice Anne Blackburn Ott
Janice Ann Ott is also known as Janice Anne Blackburn Ott due to her marriage. Below is her photo.
She’s attractive, of course. Oddly, she has an IMDB page (Internet Movie Database) because she was featured in a documentary called The Shocking Truth, which featured Ted Bundy in its opening episode. The photo above is one of several photos of her. Both she and her father are in the Social Security Death Index, while her mother is not. That means nothing, her mother being absent, and may change as Mrs. Blackburn died in 2018. SSDI is also prone to mistakes.
Above is the “grave” shown at Findagrave, I assume these to be urns of ashes or memorial plaques, but do not know. All of the information checks out. You might suggest that the Janice Anne Ott Blackburn memorial, the box on top, is done by photographic monkey business, but if you look closely, you’ll see a reflection of someone wearing pants in the glass, and that reflection carries naturally from Ferol and Donald Blackburn below to Janice above. It all seems real.
Below is captured from the Ott webpage at Findagrave.
Other than the misspelled “Jancie”, probably her nickname, this too looks normal. Her sister Illona, is not listed. The two memories on the bottom are very recent. I noticed this as well with Findagrave webpages for Gacy and Dahmer victims. Even though dead now for 46 years in this case, Janice is still getting fresh remembrances.
The photo above, which I will refer to as the “Bug photo” due to the Volkswagen, said to be taken in June of 1974, one month before her death, has an inconsistency. Janice, born in 1951 we are told, had a sister, Illona, whose year of birth is listed as 1949. She is pictured below. This Bug photo looks real. It is said about it that Janice (left) is wearing the same shorts that she would have on when she dies the following month, July 14, 1974. This photo looks very much like sisters, with the shorter one perhaps 10-12 years old, pre-pubescent. The older sister looks to be 15-18. Janice is said to be 23 in this photo, and looking very young for her age. She is married at this time, we are told.
Addendum 5/7/21: Tyrone pointed out in a comment below that Ted Bundy’s vehicle of choice was a Volkswagen Beetle, or Bug. I knew that as I wrote this but decided to ignore it, as Bugs were so common back then. What I failed to see was that in this photo, the door is open as if they just got out, and there is no back seat apparent, the front tilted forward as if the girls were in the back. In other words, they’re f****** with us.
Illona’s date of birth is listed as February 10, 1949, two years older than Janice. But the 1967 yearbook photo lists her DOB as “abt 1951,” which would be Janice’s year of birth. This is all unusual.
Findagrave for Donald Edwin Blackburn lists two daughters, Janice and Illona. For Ferol Blackburn, the mother, only Janice is listed. How to explain this? One way is as always, that the databases we use are inaccurate. They surely make mistakes. And, it could be that the younger girl in the bug photo above is just a family friend or cousin and neither Janice or Illona. I do see familial resemblance.
But it could also be that in the Bug photo above, the girl on the left is Illona (2/10/1949) and the one on the right Janice (2/14/1951), and that the apparent age difference could, stretching it, be two years. it could be that the agents behind the Ted Bundy psyop merely grabbed identities and made arrangements with the families involved via Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA) to allow their names and photos to be used. In so doing, they did not have to be accurate to a ‘t’, as there was no Internet in those days, so no need to be terribly careful. How would someone like me come upon all of this information in 1974?
Above is another photo of Janice Ott (left) alongside the girl from the Bug photo from up above. The girl on the right looks like a teenager, while the one on the left appears more mature. Her face is fuller, and her figure just a little less girlish, though she is still very attractive. It could all center around the positioning of the belt, high on the shorts, low on the jeans, less provocative. But I think the girl on the right is indeed a teenager, that her name is possibly Illona, and that she is with her younger sister Janice in the Bug photo. But I see more than two years difference. So I cannot be sure. I have a hard time imagining that a married woman would dress in shorts as those on the right. The clothing is meant to draw male attention.
That’s the best I can do – I speculate that the Blackburn family agreed to allow Janice’s name to be used, and that Intel did a sloppy job assembling the details around them. The parents also allowed a memorial of Janice to be included with the mother and father at the Fairmont Memorial Park Cemetery in Spokane, this while the mother Ferol was still alive.
Margaret Elizabeth Bowman
Mr. Mathis points out inconsistencies in the Bowman story. She is one of the three girls killed at the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University on January 15, 1978, said to be Ted Bundy’s near final act before arrest. I won’t repeat any Mathis work here, as you can access it, but the Chi Omega attack is full of inconsistencies. Below is her gravestone.
At first glance it looks genuine to me, but could be Photoshopped. The backdrop of the lettering offers a matte, and layering could have been used. It is hard to imagine that there has been so much natural erosion in such a short time since her death. (Note the “M”, “E” and “N” in her name are partly gone.) There are, as far as the photo shows, no other family members buried near her. It stands alone in a public cemetery, and unlike the graves around, the grass has yet to grow up to the base of the stone. That probably means the photo was taken some time close to the date of burial. But it is a high quality color photo, not something taken in 1974 or ’75, I’m sure. In the Photoshop age, unless we are standing there, sensing and seeing and touching, we cannot be sure.
The photo to the left was added to her Findagrave website in 2017. It has a professional quality about it. As with most, if not all of Ted’s victims, Margaret Elizabeth Bowman was/is beautiful.
Margaret was born in 1957 in Hawaii, daughter of Jackson Harrison Bowman III (who died in 2015) and Runelle (nee Karnes) Bowman, who just died on March 13 of this year. I wonder if Margaret, now 64, attended the funeral.
There is not much known about the Bowman family, that is, by outsiders. Jackson was an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam era, and Runelle is wiped clean on all databases. We know there were two Jackson Harrison Bowman’s before him, and his son Jackson has “IV” attached to his name. I did find her obituary, where finally it was revealed that her maiden name was Karnes. Her death is too recent, so I found no gravestone, but Jackson III died in 2015, and yet there is no Findagrave gravestone for him. This makes the lone isolated gravestone for Margaret a possible anomaly, maybe added to Findagrave by a group that traces serial killers or something like that, and maybe a Photoshop job. I am thinking the latter.
This is Runelle’s photo over to the right, perhaps wedding day. I see a strong resemblance between her and Margaret, meaning that Margaret was not some made-up identity as they do these days with mass killings. They used real images even as everything around them could be fake.
My take on all of this: Jackson’s military rank is never given, so there might be an Intelligence connection there. His lineage is chopped off after three generations, and his wife’s completely ‘private’. It could be that Margaret was chosen to be a victim because she could be controlled in the ensuing years, knowing to cooperate and not violate any NDAs. Her father would have been in on the gig, even if reluctantly. Margaret, using a new identity, would have stayed in touch with her family all these years like a normal daughter.
About the gravestone: The Bowman family has deep roots in Florida, even as the records are chopped off at Jackson Harrison Bowman the first. It seems to me that Margaret would be buried at a family plot somewhere in the state, rather than at an isolated grave at a public cemetery (Largo City). But I cannot know these things with any certainty. This is speculation, and could be far afield. All I have is my instinct, and it says the Margaret Elizabeth Bowman gravestone is a Photoshop fake.
Four of Ted’s victims were residents of Utah, Nancy Wilcox from Holladay, a Salt Lake City suburb. Nancy was said to have been murdered on 10/2/1974 at the tender age of sixteen.
Nancy’s remains, according to Wiki, were buried near Capitol Reef National Park by Bundy (he confessed), and have never been found. Ted is said to have murdered her in Holladay, and then drove her corpse to the Capitol Reef, some 200 miles away. Ted’s confessions came after he was imprisoned and sentenced to death, in 1988 and 1989. This death has a real feel about it, even as Bundy did not do the deed. That would have been thirteen years of grief and uncertainty for the Wilcox family. My heart goes out to them.
I doubt that Ted Bundy killed Nancy Wilcox, as I doubt he killed anyone. But to run across a tragic disappearance like this is sobering, as loss of a child is the ultimate pain that a parent can endure. I suspect Nancy really died.
What then is the purpose of the Ted Bundy project? Again, I refer you to the two Mathis links at the opening of this piece. I neither add to or detract from his work, nor do I wish to duplicate it.
At the end of the list of alleged victims of Ted Bundy at Wikipedia is another list, that of people suspected to be his victims but not known with certainty. These include sixteen additional girls and women ranging in age from 8 to 24, and dates from 1961 to 1976. One of the victims, Katherine Merry Devine, was later attributed to William E. Cosden in 2002 by a DNA sample and using the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) machine for its intended purpose. Devine, middle name “Merry” because she was born on 12/25/58, was running away from her home in Seattle. Her body had been strangled and sodomized, and her throat cut. It was gruesome and horrible, and I fear real. She was assumed to be a victim of Ted Bundy, but 28 years later it was proven otherwise. That’s a tell.
I wondered about these additional sixteen victims. I came up with five “Maybe’s” with True People Search, and wonder if we are dealing perhaps with some runaways and new lives. Katherine Devine above was a runaway. One instance, Elizabeth Perry of Somers Point, New Jersey is said to have disappeared on May 30, 1969 at the age of 19. If alive, she would be 71, and I found an Elizabeth A. Perry, age 69, living in Egg Harbor Township, NJ, and who used to live in Somers Point. But the age is not exactly right.
It is the same for a few others, Lisa Wick, Sandra Jean Weaver, Nancy Perry Baird and Debbie Smith, with the last one, of course, a very common name. There were people alive tantalizingly close in name and age, but not quite. And again, given that they are all girls and women, it is assumed there have been many name changes for any that did not die, it being less common in that era for women to retain their maiden names.
None of the sixteen were in SSDI, and eight of them are in Findagrave. I went with the assumption that since these deaths were not officially hung on Ted Bundy, that law enforcement might like to close the cases by hanging them there. I assume his confession to the death of Nancy Wilcox was gratuitous, perhaps as a favor of some insider to the Bundy operation to give the family some relief, or for some other motive. For the rest of the list that authorities cannot hang on Ted, I am also assuming real deaths, and not the fake ones listed as official Bundy victims.
The death of this girl, Joyce Lepage of Seattle in 1971 at the age of 21, and of Katherine Merry Devine above, are enough to bring me to tears and give up this kind of work. Joyce is beautiful, so girl-next-door, and Katherine so young, both with so much life ahead. Someone probably killed them. There are evil people in this world. But Ted Bundy was not one of them. He was merely following the orders given him, and told when on camera to bug his eyes to look crazy. He’s a different kind of evil, but not the kind that would end the life of this beautiful girl.
Sleep well tonight. This guy, now 74 years of age, could be living next door to you. He’s harmless.