Investigators, Relatives Of Bundy Victims Vent Hatred, Bewilderment With PM-Bundy, Bjt
The Associated Press
Jan. 24, 1989
Undated (AP) _ Ted Bundy's last hours provoked a final outpouring of anger and hatred against the serial killer, along with puzzlement over what turned a man of apparent charm and intelligence into what one official called ''a living devil.''
Across Florida and the West, families of Bundy's victims and law enforcement officials who have spent years on his trail expressed relief over his execution.
''Good,'' sighed Vivian Rancourt, mother of Bundy victim Susan Rancourt, when reached at her LaConner, Wash., home shortly after Bundy's execution in Starke, Fla. ''The only thing I can say is thank God, it's finally over.''
The father of another victim declined to comment this morning.
''It's too soon to really digest this,'' said Donald Blackburn of Spokane, Wash., whose 23-year-old daughter, Janice Ott, disappeared in July 1974. Bundy has confessed to her murder.
''I view him pretty much as a cancer that ... (has) to be removed,'' Blackburn said earlier.
''It's hard to feel sympathy for a guy responsible for the deaths of several dozen young women,'' said Florida State Attorney Jerry Blair, who was one of three state attorneys to witness the execution.
Mrs. Rancourt said she lay awake in bed this morning, waiting for word about the fate of the man who killed her daughter.
''It's been a tough week,'' she said in a slow, quiet voice. ''I'm hoping that this will never be allowed to happen again. This terrible wait. We won't have to hear any more stories of how he played the system or his escapades.''
Although about two dozen foes of capital punishment held a vigil outside the Florida State Prison near Starke, their objections focused on the morality of the death penalty, not on any possibility of Bundy's innocence.
And in contrast to some past Florida executions, such as that of Willie Jasper Darden in March, those supporting Bundy's execution were far more vocal than those who were opposed.
''Calls and letters are very, very favorable toward executing this man as quickly as possible,'' said Brian Ballard, director of operations for Florida Gov. Bob Martinez. ''I've heard ... of a few against capital punishment, but we have not gotten one saying Ted Bundy is innocent.''
One relative of a suspected Bundy victim, who opposes capital punishment, said his execution wouldn't make a difference.
''Killing Ted Bundy won't make me feel better ... and it won't bring back Shelley,'' said Roberta Robertson, whose daughter, Shelley Robertson, was last seen June 30, 1975. The nude body of the 24-year-old woman was found that August in a mine at the foot of Berthoud Pass, Colo.
''A lot of people seem to want it out of vengeance. But it gives people a false sense of security, and it's terribly expensive,'' said Robertson, of Arvada, Colo.
The father of one victim expressed ambivalence about Bundy's execution.
''It's not important to me now,'' said Robert Campbell of Dearborn, Mich. ''The thing I'd like to have back, I can't have.''
Bundy confessed Sunday to killing Campbell's daughter, 23-year-old Caryn Campbell, in Colorado in 1975.
Other bereaved families, those whose loved ones' names were not mentioned in any of Bundy's confessions, feared that the secret of their daughters' and sisters' deaths would die with the killer.
''Mr. Bundy,'' wrote William Taylor of San Diego, whose sister disappeared 21 years ago, ''if you could shed one ray of light on this tragedy, my family's prayers would go with you to eternity.''
Taylor also wrote Martinez, asking that Bundy be spared, at least temporarily, so that authorities could study him for clues to the makeup of serial killers.
Bundy's mother, Louise Bundy of Tacoma, Wash., also groped for clues Monday night, expressing anguish and confusion over her son's killing sprees.
''It's a terrible thing,'' said Mrs. Bundy, who planned to spend this morning with her family and minister. ''He wasn't raised that way. He was raised in a good, loving, caring family. We still love and care for him, but we want to know what caused this.''
Asked if her son was mentally ill, she said, ''I think he must be. He must be 3/8 How could anybody not be, and commit those crimes?''
In Lake City, Fla., where Bundy abducted 12-year-old Kimberly Leach in 1978, Mayor Gerald Witt said the killer's execution would ''give everybody a feeling of relief, and make everybody smile.''
''He's destroyed so many lives,'' said Witt. ''It seems like he's just a living devil.''
The parents of the Lake City girl whose kidnapping, rape and murder led Bundy to the electric chair, kept their thoughts about the execution to themselves. But state Trooper Ken Robinson - who found her body in 1978 in an abandoned hog shed - said he believed the Leaches would be relieved.
''It has hung over them all this time,'' said Robinson, who witnessed the execution. ''We'll all be better off when this is history.
''There was no remorse about watching him,'' he added. ''I thought back and I felt like justice has been done. But I wonder if he really went through as much suffering as ... (Kimberly) did?''