When I was a teenager, my father said he wanted to introduce me to a man who went by the nickname of “Irish”. He was originally from Ireland, my father explained, but he’d joined the Canadian Army and fought the Germans in the First World War. Prior to our meeting, dad told me some of the stories Irish told him about fighting in the trenches, especially about the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France in April 1917. Being a voracious reader of military conflicts, especially both world wars, I was very interested in speaking with Irish about his war experiences. I was on the trail of recording history, and I was very excited about my upcoming meeting.
On the day we met, he looked perfectly healthy for his eighty years, but because of time constraints, we were able to talk only briefly. However, I decided I’d contact him in the near future. Being a teenager however, I put it off for several months before I asked my father for his telephone number. My dad looked at me for a moment and then said “Irish passed away several weeks ago”. I was stunned when I heard it. I also immediately chastised myself for waiting so long, and now the opportunity was gone forever. I quickly determined at that young age of 16, that I would never again delay in such matters. If there was information I could obtain from folks involved in historic events, I was going to get it. And over the years that’s exactly what I did, from military veterans of the Second World War to those immersed in the world of true crime. And in this same spirit I will now tell you the tale of why I wrote my latest book, titled: The Trail of Ted Bundy: Digging Up the Untold Stories.
After I finished The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History, I never expected to write another book about the killer. It was an exhausting process, both mentally and emotionally, and once I was finished with it I was delighted. This is not to say that I didn’t want to talk about the case with friends or on the radio, or write the occasional article about Ted Bundy, but as to creating another book? Not a chance.
And then one day I heard the news that someone close to the case was having serious health issues and it really got me to thinking. I’d heard last year about the death of Stewart Hanson, the presiding judge in Bundy’s bench trial for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch. And Lorraine Fargo, the last person to speak with Kathy Parks only minutes before Bundy encountered her, had passed away as well. And so, upon hearing of this illness, I knew I needed to go back into the case one more time and record for posterity the voices – both the well known and the obscure – of those who knew Ted Bundy, and the voices of the friends of those who became his victims. Doing this, I understood, would be of great importance for future researchers.
One of the great hallmarks of my book, The Bundy Murders, was that I uncovered new and unpublished information about four of the murders, along with a lot of new information about the case in general. And digging up these truths was one of the factors which allowed me to sell the book so quickly (three weeks), and that without the help of a literary agent. And now, having completed my second book on this most infamous case, I can with great pleasure report that I’ve uncovered new and important information on the Ted Bundy murders. And while I would love to clue each and every one of you in as to the nature of these revelations, that must wait for the publication of the book. Suffice it to say that if I was pleasantly surprised (and I was), you will be too!
In my next blog, I’ll be discussing the fascination with Theodore Bundy, why it’s there, and just why he will probably turn into an Americanized version of Jack the Ripper. Just as folks in the UK won’t turn loose of that unknown killer, it seems we can’t turn away from Ted Bundy either. It’s just too fascinating of a case.