Several months ago, my third book on the life and murders of Ted Bundy was released. Having written a trilogy of books on the killer, consisting of some 600 pages, I stated that The Bundy Secrets: Hidden Files on America’s Worst Serial Killer, would be my last contribution to the Bundy saga in book form, and so it was. But I also started that periodically, as I learned new information about the Ted murders, I would be writing about it in something other than books; which is to say, I’ll be posting any new discoveries in a blog or an article, be it online or in print. Which brings us to today. However, before we get started, here’s a little background on how new information sometimes comes to me…
I think it was just about one year after my first Bundy book, The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History, was published in 2009, that Lorraine Fargo, contacted me after her son had been Googling her name in relation to the Ted Bundy case. She did in fact play an important, albeit brief role in it, inasmuch as she was the last person to talk with Kathy Parks only minutes before she encountered Ted Bundy and disappeared from Oregon State University in Corvallis. I had written about Lorraine in my book and was well aware of her role. But because I had no way of contacting her, I wrote only from the record. And you can read more about our encounter, and the fascinating story that came from it, in my second book, The Trail of Ted Bundy: Digging Up the Untold Stories.
And then, perhaps three years ago, I received a letter from a woman who also knew Kathy Parks, and was involved with the searches of her missing friend, and she, along with Lorraine Fargo and others, tacked up missing person flyers to telephone poles and anywhere else where folks might see them (she even mailed me one of the original flyers). And with that contact came additional information; personal information about how they all dealt with the intolerable situation of not knowing where Kathy had gone, and what transpired individually between them.
There are also times when a previous contact (with all of these, I’m talking about an actual, vetted Bundy contact), will give me a name of another bonified Bundy contact, and on occasion, it will reap great rewards because the information I receive is not only exceedingly pertinent to the case, but in most cases, the information has never before come to light or been in print. For an excellent example of this, see the results of my interview of Louise Cannon in The Bundy Secrets: Hidden Files on America’s Worst Serial Killer, published in January 2017.
And so, it was just the other day, after I had posted something on Facebook about the Ted Bundy case, a person began commenting and in so doing, mentioned that prior to Bundy being executed, the killer had written him a letter. And because it’s not my habit to ever let something like that roll by me, I asked him what connection he had to Ted Bundy, and the gentleman was kind enough to fill me in as to who he was and what part he played in this most infamous case. His name is Dr. John Liebert, and is well-versed in the subject of serial murder. Indeed, his experience in this area is extensive. In 1995, he co-authored a book with William J. Birnes, titled, Suicidal Mass Murderers: A Criminological Study of Why They Kill. What follows is just a portion of the information taken from Dr. Liebert’s Amazon books page:
Dr. Liebert is a Psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience in diagnosing and treating patients in hospital, forensic and outpatient settings. In most of these clinical sites – 50 in all, from Eastport, Maine to San Diego, he assessed and treated the seriously mentally ill and testified at hundreds of Involuntary Commitment hearings in numerous states with different commitment laws. At the Security Housing Unit (The SHU) at Pelican Bay Prison, he had the unique opportunity of performing in-depth interviews of cold-blooded psychopaths and sociopathic murderers. The latter were mostly hardened gangsters with various status of leadership in California gangs and drug wars.
As Dr. Liebert and I messaged each other, I soon learned that he first became involved with the Ted Bundy case in Seattle immediately following the abductions and murders of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund from Lake Sammamish State Park on Sunday, July 14, 1974. As he spoke, I realized that I have written about him without ever using his name, as he was one of the doctor’s comprising the psychological team that was brought together by lead detective, Bob Keppel, of the King County PD. The only information they had was that the individual they believed was responsible for the abductions of Ott and Naslund, was a guy named Ted who also drove a VW bug. They were right about this, of course, but all that would remain hidden until Bundy’s unmasking in Salt Lake City, Utah in late 1975.
Although the Bundy case was the first time Liebert and Keppel would work together, it would not be their last. According to the info sent to me by Dr. Liebert, their association continues until this day. One question I did remember to ask Liebert was if he had any personal exchanges with Bundy and what follows is taken from that response:
Because I was the consultant to KCPD I did not communicate with Bundy until the end, at which time I requested an interview, which he granted. I was interested in working him up both psychologically and neurologically – i.e. getting data on his neurocircuitry. He would likely have had a small and dysfunctional amygdala; That is a symptom of subtle brain disease, similar to what I found with Keller (the serial arsonist) Much else would have been found also, as technology improved – i.e. now the f MRI. He simply wrote back that he would see me, and then wrote back that he could not. I have the letters, but have not looked at them for a while. I just recall his ending them on a rather chilling note, “watch yourself, Ted”
So, what shall we assume from all of these encounters? You never know when you might encounter a valid Ted Bundy contact!