Ted Bundy slept here
Famous and forgotten crimes from Utah’s past
By Jeremy Pugh
In fall of 1974, Ted Bundy arrived in Utah to attend law school at the University of Utah. He would kill three Utah women in the month of October and one in November on the same night he attempted to abduct then-18-year-old Carol DaRonch in Murray. His murderous rampage resumed in January of the next year. He killed three women in Colorado, another in southeastern Idaho, and found his final Utah victim on the BYU campus.
Bundy was captured in August 1975, convicted of kidnapping DaRonch, and extradited to Colorado to stand trial for the murders there. He escaped Colorado custody twice and fled to Florida where, after a final killing spree, he was caught and eventually executed in 1989. A jeering mob held “Bundy-B-Ques” outside the prison.
Bundy was an unwanted visitor to our fair state, a violent interloper whose unseemly brand of tourism gained him entry into Utah’s history of crime. But there are plenty of homegrown homicides and shocking tales to rival the mayhem Bundy brought to Utah. Some, like the startling kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart or Mark Hoffman’s desperate bombing spree, are firmly fixed in recent memory. But there are other cases, on the edges of lore—an unsolved murder, a shameful lynching, a forgotten serial killer, and more. Here, with the help of two local historians Robert Kirby and Steve Diamond, we take a walk through the mayhem and the macabre to examine some famous and some forgotten crimes from Utah’s past.