The following are excerpts from the Bountiful Police Department’s file on the missing person case of seventeen year old Debra Jean Kent. Ted Bundy confessed to Debra’s murder two days before his execution in 1989. Only her right patella has ever been found.
OFFENSE REPORT: ATTEMPT TO LOCATE by Officer Kone
DEBRA KENT AGE: 17
5’1”-110#-BROWN LONG HAIR-BROWN EYES-OVAL FACE
LAST SEEN WEARING WHITE PANTS WITH BLUE SWEATER
SWEATER HAS FLOWERED DESIGN- BLUE IKE JACKET
Mrs. Dean Kent contacted this Officer at the station. She stated that they were at the program at Viewmont High School, meaning herself, her husband, and Debra. She stated that her husband Dean gave the car keys to Debra so that she could go down and pick up her younger brothers at the Skating Rink and then come back and pick up her parents at the school after the program was over.
Mrs. Kent stated that they waited there for some time and did not hear from their daughter. They then started walking west to find a phone so they could call home and see what the problem was when they noticed that their car was still parked in the parking lot and had not been moved at all. They at that time called home and contacted one of their friends to bring a key so that they could drive their car home.
They contacted the Roller Skating Rink and found the boys still there. They informed the boys they should go over to the Fina Gas Station where they would be picked up by their father who is an owner of the Fina Gas Stations.
At that time they came to the Station to report Debra’s disappearance. Debra’s parents and several friends began checking the area. The family checked through the canyons and this Officer checked the area of Bountiful High looking for some sort of clue that might lead to the whereabouts of Debra but with negative results in finding anything. I then checked the area around Viewmont again and the area around there for the rest of the night but with negative results. In talking with Mrs. Kent again she advised Debra is her most reliable daughter and notifies her always of her whereabouts and it is very unusual for her to just take off without going after her brothers or even taking the car.
Supplementary Report by Officer Loring
Reporting officer contacted residents on Chapel Drive and was informed of the following circumstances as indicated:
Mr. George L. Bates was informed of the circumstances as was the other residents in the area, and was asked if he was at home between the hours of 2100 and 2300, last date. He stated that he was. In talking with Mr. Bates he advised that about 2230 hours, he heard a girl yell or scream which sounded rather bad. Other than that, Mr. Bates stated he heard nothing else.
Reporting officer then contacted a Mr. & Mrs. Portrey. Mrs. Portrey stated that approximately between 2245 and 2315 hours, she heard a loud bang and a girl scream. She stated it sounded like it came from the west. She looked but was unable to see anything. They were advised of the incident we are investigating and they were asked to try to remember anything else they might have heard during this period. They were also informed that possibly detectives from this department would be contacting them.
I then contacted a Linda Lakin, Mrs. Lakin stated approximately 2230 hours she heard a blast or pop & two fellows arguing outside her kitchen window. She stated approximately 2255 hours, she heard a girl scream. Other than that Mrs. Lakin could not recall any more.
Reporting officer contacted Mrs. Wanda Huggins. At first Mrs. Huggins could remember nothing and this officer thanked her and went downstairs to another apartment. Mrs. Huggins then came downstairs and informed this officer that she was in bed at the time, and she does not know the time. But that she heard a loud boom. This officer thanked her and asked if she might try to remember anything she may have heard or observed during this period.
Reporting officer then contacted Mr. & Mrs. Ray Bredee. Mrs. Bredee stated that she had just gotten into bed and was trying to go to sleep and that between the hours of 2230 and 2300, exact time unknown, she heard a loud boom. This officer asked Mrs. Bredee if she could pin it down to something other than a boom. She said no it was more like a loud boom. Reporting officer thanked her and then contacted a Mrs. Hansen.
Mrs. Hansen was informed of the circumstances as were the others. She informed this officer that at approximately 2230 hours, she heard a boom. She felt it came from the north towards the school. Mrs. Hansen could not remember anything further, other than the loud boom. Even though she stated she sat up in bed and listened intently.
A reserve officer assigned to check the east side of Chapel Drive and 1000 north, contacted a Mrs. Madsen. Mrs. Madsen informed the officer that at approximately 2200 hours or thereabouts, she heard a loud bang.
Reserve officer also contacted a James Saisford. He stated that he too had heard a loud bang. The time element in this and the difference in times, is a matter of 30 to 40 minutes. However, people watching television may not have been aware of the exact time.
Reporting officer checked all of the residents in the three apartment houses that are located just to the south of Viewmont high on Chapel drive, as well as some of the individual housing units. Those who were at home or that had heard anything at all, the information is contained within this report.
During the grid search by the officers along in front of the school, reporting officer on the east door of the school, found a handcuff key just outside the sidewalk in front of the door.
Supplementary Report by Officer Stones
Contact was made with Mrs. Raelynn Shepherd, age 24.
Mrs. Shepherd advised that last evening at 1930 hours as she was going up the east hall by the side of the auditorium the above described individual stopped and asked if she would help him. She stated that she did not have the time. She then went into the dressing room, 15 minutes later at 1945 hours she came back down the hall and he was still standing there at this time she said “Hi” to him however, he said nothing to her.
At 2045 hours she went back down to the dressing room to help one of the girls change a wig he was again standing in the hall. He made the statement “are you sure you won’t come and identify that car for me?” She stated again no. When she came from the dressing room at approximately 2100 to 2115 hours he left the school by going out the west door on the front side of the school near the auto shop area.
The next time she saw him he was leaning over the rail at the back of the school in the auditorium he was breathing heavily, his hair was messed up and he appeared to be very upset. He sat down across the aisle from her and her husband. This was approximately 2240 hours. She stated that this was at the time that they were having their curtain calls.
He got up just prior to the end of the curtain calls and left going out the front door. She has not seen him since that time. Mrs. Shepherd stated that he had no scars that she could see however, she noted that he walked with a long stride.
I asked Mrs. Shepherd to go to her home and sit down and write a statement for us and following the incidences and remembering as much as she could about the chronological order thereof leaving nothing out. She stated that she would do this and have it ready for us tomorrow.
Written Statement of Raelynn Shepherd
I got to school for the musical at 7:30 p.m., seated my husband in the auditorium, and started around the corner to the dressing rooms. I think it was about 7:45 at the time. The hall was dark, but I could see fairly well. A man who was standing alone halfway down the hall approached me as I walked toward the dressing rooms. He said, “Excuse me, but could you come out to the parking lot and try and identify a car for me?” I said I was busy and asked if he needed any help; if so, I would try and find somebody for him. He said “It’ll only take a few seconds, I just need to find out whose car this is.” I said “I’m sorry” and went to the dressing rooms. His attitude really bugged me as I told my husband that night.
I had been in the dressing room approximately 1/2 hour or so when I came back down the hall to return to the auditorium (time 8:15-8:30). I was by myself and he was still standing in approximately the same place. I said, “Hi, did you find anybody yet?” He didn’t say one word, but just stared at me all the way down the hall.
I watched the play until I was supposed to help with a costume change, about 20 minutes later. I started back down the hall, my third trip, and again he was there (time about 8:50-9:00). He started coming towards me and said, “Hey, um, you really look nice.” I said “thanks.” He said “Are you sure you couldn’t help me out with this car, it’ll only take a few seconds.” I said “I’m in a hurry right now, but my husband might be able to help.” He said, “By the way,” and got too close, “do you know if Brent Olsen is around here?” I asked if he was a member of the cast or just a student and he said “It’s no big deal, I was just wondering if you knew him.” I left fast.
At intermission at approximately 9:20-9:30 or so, I was standing by the front doors of the auditorium when he walked to the far west door and went out. I thought he was a real creep at the time because he didn’t even watch the show. I went in the auditorium and sat down on the back row on the aisle seat.
At about 10:35, he came in the door to the rear of me, bent over the back divider for about 30 seconds and then sat down straight across the aisle from me. His hair was messed up and he was breathing hard enough that the people in front of him turned around to look back at him. He stayed about 3-5 minutes, and on the last curtain call got up and left through the front doors.
He was approximately 34-36 years of age, about 6’1” and 185 pounds. He had a nice physique, well muscled legs and flat stomach. He had a large mustache, thick and ended 1 inch above his chin. His hair was dark brown, thick and about 3 inches long. It stood out from his head. He was olive complected with nice skin. He had large round eyes, long eyelashes, thick arched eyebrows. He was in my opinion very good looking. He was wearing patent leather shoes, a dark color, light trousers, colored shirt and dark sports coat. His tie had a design in the middle of it and a clip just below that.
Supplementary Report by Officer Newson
While reporting officer was assisting in the search of the Viewmont high area, this officer was contacted by Mr. Ryver. He stated that at approximately 2255 hours yesterday 11-8-74 as he was arriving home from work, he heard a girl scream several times very loudly. He stated that the screams sounded like they came from the area of the west exit from Viewmont’s parking lot.
Mr. Ryver stated that the screams sounded kind of desperate. He stated that after the girl had screamed he heard a male adult voice holler and yell in approximately the same area. He then saw a car leave the front loop area, or front of west driveway Viewmont high school. He stated that he could not see the type of car, however, he was sure it was of medium-size approximately the size of a Chevy Camero. He stated that all he could see were the headlights. He stated that the car left the area as if it was in a hurry to get out of there. Mr. Ryver stated that he did not pay any attention to the screams, until he saw these officers searching the area, as it is not uncommon for juveniles to scream and be creating a ruckus over in that area of the school. Mr. Ryver was thanked for the information.
Supplementary Report by Officer Jenson
This officer was assigned to canvas the area west of Viewmont High School.
I contacted Linda J. Olson. Linda said that at approximately 2220 hours, she heard mixed voices laughing and talking and suddenly heard three very loud screams. She said it was a girl’s voice and it sounded as though she was really scared. Shortly after the screams, she could hear the mixed voices talking once again.
Steve Lakin came to this station. He told me that at about 2245 hours last date, he heard a loud explosion which came from the front of Viewmont High School then at 2300 hours he stated he heard screams coming from the Viewmont area. He left his apartment to investigate because he thought someone was really in trouble. By the time he reached Viewmont, most everyone had left.
All the people contacted by this officer were shown a picture of Debra Kent, however, no one recognized her.
Supplementary Report by Officer Garner
This Officer assisted many regular and reserve officers searching the grounds at the Viewmont High School immediately in front of the south doors and working west, then north through the parking area around the automotive center and through the football field playing area. Through the fields to the north of the football playing area and over towards the Penny parking area and back up along the creek and the orchards to the east.
It was noted that while making this search that a small hand cuff key was found by Officer Loring in front of the doors on the south side of Viewmont High School. This was taken and placed into evidence. Custodians were contacted at Viewmont High they came and assisted our Officers in making a complete search of the building. However, this proved negative. The remaining group of Officers then combed the back yards and fields along the old Bamberger right of way from 1000 North over to the new swimming pool complex at the 400 North park and searched the construction site area there. However, this also proved negative.
After completing the search of the immediate area of the disappearance of Debra Kent. This Officer assisted Officer Beal as we went to the Dean Kent residence and there attempted to obtain additional information we at this time did obtain numerous photographs of Debi.This Officer, Officer Stones, and Officer Beal searched the area of the creek from 100 West to approximately 400 West and then searched the storage shed area behind Francescos and several lots and vacant homes in the area, however, this proved negative.
This Officer, Officer Beal and J.R. Hunt, DCSO then went to the Murray Police Department as we had received information from them that they had an attempted abduction there during the evening of 11-8-74 at approximately 2000 hours. Stating that an individual had approached a young girl at the Valley Fair Mall in Murray and identified himself as a police officer, showing her a badge, indicating that there had been problems with car strips in the area and solicited her support and assistance by having her accompany him in his vehicle, which was an older cream colored V.W.
She stated that they left the area and after leaving the area he drove down a dark street and attempted to place a pair of handcuffs on her. The key which was found at Viewmont High School in the earlier search by this department was checked with the handcuffs and found that the key works perfect in fact appears to be the key that was made for that set of handcuffs. It was noted that this key is a smaller key than that of the handcuffs that is normally carried by Officers, and is for a special type of handcuff made in Taiwan.
Supplementary Report by Officer Beal
Reporting Officer interviewed a [name redacted]. She stated that prior to the time that the play started at approximately 2000 hours last date, she had observed an individual approximately 6’ to 6’2″ black hair neck length, mustache, circle wire rimmed glasses, red shirt, dark brown car coat length leather jacket with acne on his face. She stated that this individual kept bumping the shoulder of Deborah while they were standing in the hall at this time Debra was talking to a Ron Egan. She stated that Debra gave this individual a funny look like she didn’t know who he was and Deborah then walked inside.Reporting Officer later contacted Ron Egan who informed this Officer that he had been talking to Debra however, he was not aware of anyone bumping her or bothering her. He stated that she was in very high spirits and did not have any problem. He stated that however, part of the time he was looking away from her and that he was not aware of it. He stated that a short time later they both entered the auditorium as it was about time for the play to begin.
A short time later this Officer was contacted by a Katherine Ricks who stated that while she was at the play at Viewmont last date, she was approached by an individual at approximately 2150 hours. This individual being approximately 30 to 35 years of age, 5’10” to 6’, dark curly hair medium cut, dark plastic rimmed glasses, dark blue suit and tie, possibly a shirt jacket, medium build. She stated that this individual asked if she knew a boy whose name she could not remember. She stated that she told him “no.” He then stated that this was his brother. She asked if he went to school here, he stated he didn’t know: “I don’t keep that good track of him.” She stated that he then told her that he had car trouble and he needed her to help him. She stated that she didn’t know him. He then asked if she would come out and hold an item on his car while he attempted to start his car. She told him no that she would not and then re-entered the auditorium. Katherine was unable to give any further information on this.
Reporting Officer along with Officer Garner and Officer Stones also searched the creek area from 200 West to 500 West and also 200 West approximately 100 West with negative results.
Reporting Officer then received information that Murray City Police Department had an attempted abduction at the Fashion Place Mall at approximately 2030 hours last date. Contact was made with Joel Reit, Murray City Police Department. He stated that he had a set of handcuffs in custody this being a Gerocal Brand made in Taiwan. The Reporting Officer took the handcuff key which had been recovered at Viewmont High School by Officer Loring and went to the Murray Police Department tried this key on the handcuffs. This key fit perfectly.
This Officer then returned to Bountiful and went to the Kent residence where contact was made with Mr. and Mrs. Kent. While Reporting Officer was there three of Debra’s friends were there. Reporting Officer interviewed all three of them. The first one being [name redacted] could offer very little information; she stated that the last time she saw Debra was at approximately 1400 hours on Friday at her house. She stated that at this time Debra seemed to be in very good spirits, no problems that she knew of, and that she was having no problems at home.
Reporting Officer then interviewed a [name redacted]. She could offer very little additional information, she also said that the last time she saw Debi was last Wednesday night at a friends house. This being a [name redacted] who lives in the North Salt Lake area. She also indicated that Debi was in very good spirits the last time she saw her and in her opinion would have no reason to leave home.
Reporting Officer then interviewed a [name redacted]. She also could offer very little information; she stated that the last time she saw Debra was approximately 3 weeks ago at the Yankee Lunch, she had spoken with her at that time. At that time Debra was completely happy and had no problems. She stated also in her opinion that Debra had no reason to leave home.
Supplementary Report by Officer Garner
This Officer interviewed a Tami Tingey. She stated that she had talked with Debra Kent during the intermission in the girls restroom and from everything she could tell in talking with Debra all was well with her. She stated Debra was acting her usual self. Tami stated that approximately 10 minutes after the intermission she got up from her seat in the auditorium and went to the rear of the auditorium and stood back there talking with another girl friend. She stated at this time she observed a man walking back and forth in the rear. She described this individual as being between 27 and 28 years of age, good looking, standing between 6′ and 6’1″, approximately 180 pounds. She stated he had dark brown hair, almost black and had a mustache that came down on both sides nearly to his lower lip. He was not wearing glasses. He was wearing a blue jacket, white shirt and possibly a tie. She stated he hung around the area by the doors which lead out to the south with his arms folded and appeared to be an individual in authority acting somewhat as an usher. She stated the jacket he was wearing was navy blue in color, solid and she believed he was wearing print pants.
This Officer then interviewed Myron Beniost. He stated he had also seen an individual given by the other two standing by the back doors at the rear of the auditorium. His description was the same as that given by the other individuals.
It was noted that Mr. Cameron was in charge of the ushers and they were all girls from the Drama 1 class and he was back and forth in the area where the one suspect was noticed and would have very possibly noticed him by the doors.
It is noted by this Officer and Deputy Hunt of Davis County Sheriff’s Office assisted Major Adams from Centerville of the Utah National Guard and took off in a chopper at 1200 Hours this date and made a complete and extensive search of the Davis County area west to the Great Salt Lake checking all roads and ditches and drainage canals in the area. The surrounding area of Viewmont, canyon areas and foothill areas to the east were checked to the top of Skyline Drive, to the top of Mueller Park, Ward Canyon and other canyons in the area. Nothing suspicious was recovered or found by these Officers.
Supplementary Report by Officer Beal
Reporting Officer met with Mrs. Shepherd (Raelynn) and Doyle Shaw at this Department where Mrs. Shepard described a possible suspect in this case while Mr. Shaw made a composite drawing.
This Officer also stopped at Murray City Police Department where the composite was shown to their victim, Carol DaRonch. She examined the composite stating that she was just not sure as she did not recall the mustache and did not remember the hair being combed as drawn on the composite; however, she felt it did look somewhat like the individual she had been confronted by.
Supplementary Report by Officer Loring
Reporting Officer was dispatched to Viewmont High School to interview some students. They have some information concerning the disappearance of the subject in this case.
Reporting Officer also learned from a student that Mrs. Shepherd had said the individual she observed in the hall on the night of the incident, Friday, she had remembered the suspect in the composite drawing furnished her had on the little finger of his left hand a rather large gold ring, very shiny. The ring had a large stone, possibly a diamond. Reporting Officer contacted Mrs. Shepherd at the school to confirm this, and she stated that she had indeed remembered that after leaving the station. She stated the suspect did indeed have the ring on, and stated it as above.
Supplementary Report by Officer Ballantyne
On 11-12-74 Reporting Officer contacted the FBI, Salt Lake City, where I obtained numerous photographs of possible suspects matching the description of the composite in this case. The photographs were shown to Raeynn Shepherd. From the group of pictures she picked the photograph of Steve Alan Russell as the individual fitting the composite and the one that she saw at Viewmont High, with the following exceptions: She stated that he appeared to be about five or six years too old and his skin was just a little too dark. She did state that the individual in the photograph had on the same type of coat as the suspect that she saw at Viewmont High School. I also instructed Mrs. Shepherd to sit down when she was alone and make a drawing of the suspect which she saw at Viewmont High. She gave the drawing to Reporting Officer at 1510 hours on 11-12-74.
Reporting Officer and Officer Winter took Mrs. Shepherd to the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office where she looked through the file on sex offenders. She was unable to identify anyone as the suspect in the case.
Also on 11-12-74, Reporting Officer and Deputy J.R. Hunt made contact with [name redacted]. She observed the suspect on the night of the disappearance of Debra Kent. She described the suspect as follows: 6′, 170#, dark brown hair, full mustache, possibly of Italian descent. Wearing a navy blue coat, light pants and a ring with a large wide gold band with a big large stone in the center of it. She stated that the subject had the nervous habit of pinching his nose and she thought with the right hand. He also has a tendency to shrug his shoulders quite a bit. She described him as a movie star type looking individual. When I asked her if he was handsome she stated “Oh yes.”
Supplementary Report by Officer Garner
This officer went to Viewmont High School and made the following interviews with students in regards to what they had witnessed on 11-8-74.
I first interviewed [name redacted], who indicated that her assignment as an usher that evening was to pass out programs at the double doors to the auditorium on the west side. She stated that at approximately 1930 hours an individual came in and out several times. She indicated that this individual was approximately 6’1″, approximately 200 pounds, light brown hair, about 27 years of age and that he was not wearing glasses. She indicated that she thought that he had brown eyes and that his sideburns were heavy to the middle of his ear and that his nose was long and narrow. She stated that she did not notice his ears and indicated that the length of his hair was collar length and thought that he was dressed in brown with brown and green checked pants and a brown shirt. She doubts that she would be able to identify this suspect should she see him again but indicated that he stood by her door for several minutes, went in and out three or four times, acted as though he was looking for someone and she indicated that she was not sure whether this individual had a mustache or not.
I then interviewed [name redacted] who stated that she was taking tickets at the double doors which are on the east side. She indicated that she saw a fellow come in. She asked him if he had a ticket. He looked at her and said “No,” and then walked back into the hall. She stated that she did not notice him again. Description on this individual was 6’, 220 pounds, had a mustache, medium brown collar length hair. The hair was wavy. He was not wearing a tie. The shirt was dark in color as were the pants. His age was estimated to be 27. She stated that he seemed, or appeared to be walking normally, and did not appear to be intoxicated, or from what she could gather, under the influence of a drug. She stated that when he stood near the area, she did not detect any odor. He just acted as though he was looking for someone.
I then interviewed Peter Davis, age 19, a senior. Pete stated that he and his friend Delvin Bates thought that they were going to have a stomp so they came to the area at approximately 1900 hours. He stated that they stayed around the gym inside the building until about 2000 hours, and then decided that they had misunderstood and there was not going to be a stomp and so they decided to stay in the back area behind the stage and give the ushers a bad time and just watch the production in general. Pete stated that he noticed a man who stood about 5’10″ dark brown hair, curly or wavy, parted on the right side, collar length, who was wearing a dark suit, navy blue pants, same color shirt, who very definitely looks like the composite. He definitely said that he could identify this individual.
I then made contact with Delvin Bates, who stated that he and his friend Pete Davis had gone to the school because they thought there was going to be a stomp. When they realized that they were in error they stayed around to give the ushers a bad time and at this time he noticed the suspect, a subject who stands approximately 5’11”, 160 pounds, dark brown hair, having a mustache to the lower lips, no beard and was not wearing glasses. He stated that the suspect wandered all over. Went outside several times. He did not notice that he had a pipe or cigarette. He was wearing dark navy blue suit or sports coat and matching pants and had on black shoes. Delvin thought that possibly he was in charge of the ushers as he acted very official however he did not see him with anyone. He stated that the suspect walked all over the hallways and he walked to the rear of the stage doors, where the girls were running in and out in their tights. He spent sometime near this area, apparently just watching the girls going in and out of the dressing room. He stated further that after the intermission he observed the suspect again at approximately 2200 hours, going in and out the double doors to the south and feels that he can definitely identify this individual if shown a photograph.
Contact was then made with [name redacted] stated that she was working as an usher on the doors on the west side of the auditorium, indicating that she was handing out programs and taking tickets. She stated that she noticed a man who was described as being about 5’10″, dark skin, he had a mustache down to the lower lip but did not have a beard. She indicated that he was very well groomed, sideburns were just a little bit below the ears. She thought that he may have had his hair blow dried as it appeared to be quite fluffy, and full and very wavy. She definitely thought that he was wearing a tie. The jacket that he had on was a deep navy blue and also the pants. The jacket could have possibly been a sports jacket, other than a suit jacket. She stated that she was not sure on the shoes that he was wearing. He was described as being approximately 26 to 27 years of age, weighing about 170 pounds. Indicated that the hair was a little different than that on the composite, that it was a little longer and wavier, covering most of the ears. She noticed him when she first went to report Pete Davis and his friend for giving the ushers a bad time. She stated that he was walking up and down the hall and attempted to come through the door when she asked him if he had a ticket. He merely looked at her and then turned around and walked back out. He then continued to walk back and forth in and out the south doors. She felt that he was alone and that she did notice a ring on his one hand, this being the left hand. She never did see him talk to another soul and indicated that he was not wearing glasses. Also indicated that he was a very attractive individual and is positive she can identify him.
I then interviewed [name redacted] who stated that she also had noticed the same individual as she was selling tickets in the box office and indicated that one man did come in in his late 20’s, acted somewhat nervous, and bought one ticket. She stated that he stood approximately 5’11”, 170 pounds, was very good looking, had light brown hair and stated that the play started at 2000 hours and she left the booth at approximately 2015 hours and did not see this individual again.
Supplementary Report by Deputy Hunt
Reporting Officer received a phone call from Mrs. Shepherd who was calling from her home. She stated that at approximately 1:15 PM this date she was in the office at Viewmont High School and found a note in her box to call a phone number in Salt Lake City. When Mrs. Shepherd called this number a male voice answered the phone by saying hello and Mrs. Shepherd at that time stated this is Viewmont High School calling, however, she gave no name other than Viewmont High School. She then states that the individual answering the phone stated “Mrs. Shepherd, tonight is your night, you’re next,” and at that time hung up the phone.
This Officer was assisted by Officer Jim Garner interviewing Mrs. Shepherd in regards to this incident. After talking with Mrs. Shepherd, Officer Garner and Reporting Officer and Mr. & Mrs. Shepherd went to Viewmont High School and attempted to locate the original note the number was written on. We searched through the garbage area from the office where the note was located but were unable to locate the note. It should also be noted that the school received another phone call this date from an unknown male requesting to talk to Mrs. Shepherd and only Mrs. Shepherd. The party receiving the call is unknown at this time, however, she would not allow the caller to speak with Mrs. Shepherd and the caller hung up.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer and Sgt. Ballantyne pickup up Mr. and Mrs. John Shepherd at approximately 1710 hours and accompanied them to Park City, arriving at approximately 1835 hours. At this time we parked our vehicle behind the Club Car 19. While sitting there talking we observed approximately 8 or 9 people walking in the area. Mrs. Shepherd pointed out one of the individuals, stating, “That is very close. Is that him?” We replied, “You tell us.”
A few minutes later, approximately 1900 hours we entered the Club Car 19. Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd were seated at one table and reporting officer and Sgt. Ballantyne were seated at another table. The suspect in this case was waiting tables this date. Mrs. Shepherd observed the suspect when he approached the table that reporting officer and Sgt. Ballantyne were sitting at. She again observed him as he was waiting on another table and again as we were preparing to leave. At that time she was standing facing him.We left the Club Car 19 at approximately 2030 hours. When we returned to the car Mrs. Shepherd stated, “That is the man I talked to in Viewmont,” indicating the waiter, this being Ronald A. Reporting officer inquired as to how she could identify him. Mrs. Shepherd stated that there was no question in her mind that he was the man. He looks identical to him, his walk and mannerisms were same, his voice was the same. She pointed out that his voice was slightly higher when he spoke at reporting officer’s table, however when he waited on another table a few minutes later, he was talking in a lower normal voice. This was the voice she had heard at Viewmont. She also pointed out that he was an inch or two taller at this time, however he was wearing shoes tonight with higher heels. She also pointed out that on his left hand he had the imprint of a large ring, which he was not wearing tonight. Reporting officer asked if there was any question in her mind as to whether or not this was the man. Mrs. Shepherd replied, “Absolutely none.”
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting Officer contacted Sgt. Forbes of Hurray Police where this Officer turned over the handcuff key that was found at Viewmont High School after having marked this Officer’s initials into the key with an electric engraver. The key was photographed along with the handcuffs. Reporting Officer retained a photograph of this. Also received a receipt covering same from Sgt. Forbes. These two items will be sent to the F.B.I. Lab in an attempt to identify positively as to whether or not the key and the handcuffs go together.
Handcuff key Polaroid and receipt. Courtesy Bountiful Police Dept.
Excerpts from personal interview held with RONALD A. on Tuesday, December 3, 1974 at the Park City Police Department. Present during the interview besides Mr. A were Ira Beal, Ron Ballantyne and Art Stones, officers from the Bountiful Police Department.
BALLANTYNE: Having these rights in mind and understanding them, which you say you do, are you willing to talk to me?
BALLANTYNE: Do you have any objections to us recording the conversation?
RA: No, I don’t know anything about it. It doesn’t matter.
BALLANTYNE: Okay. What’s happened Ron– I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Debbie Kent disappearance?
RA: I’ve heard about it.
BALLANTYNE: Have you ever been to Viewmont High?
RA: I don’t even know where it is. Where is it?
BALLANTYNE: It’s in Bountiful.
RA: Never been there before. I haven’t been in Bountiful for at least a year or two. The only time I’ve even been to Bountiful was at the tannery out there, the Wells Tannery. Usually around deer season. We usually collect a bunch of deer hides and that’s the only time I’ve ever been to Bountiful.
BALLANTYNE: Do you have any brothers?
BALLANTYNE: Have you ever seen anyone that looks like you, enough to be a twin?
RA: Okay, this is a funny thing. When I was working on Wednesday night, last week. I was working and my girlfriend came into the Car 19 and then went with some friends to the C’est Bon Hotel. When she walking in, one of the cocktail waitresses said, “There’s Ron sitting over there.” She said that he couldn’t be sitting over there. I just left him at work, and there was some guy sitting there that looked just like me, that’s what she told me. So I’ve never seen him and I don’t know anything about him, but I remember her mentioning it to me. Some guy that looks just like me, at the C’est Bon last Wednesday.
BALLANTYNE: Have you ever owned a Volkswagen? Or had access to a Volkswagen?
RA: My girlfriend had a Volkswagen. A brown Volkswagen.
BALLANTYNE: How old is it?
RA: Oh, a ’67 or ’68 I guess.
BALLANTYNE: Good condition?
RA: Well, it looks like a ’67.
BALLANTYNE: And that’s the only one you’ve had access to?
RA: I borrowed a friend’s Volkswagen about a month ago. Orange one. I went into Salt Lake.
BALLANTYNE: But you say you’ve never been in the Viewmont High School area?
RA: No sir.
BALLANTYNE. You don’t even know where it is?
BALLANTYNE: The reason I ask that Ron is that an individual approached a gal down there prior to Debbie Kent’s disappearance and this individual has been identified as you.
BALLANTYNE: Would you have any objection to standing in a line-up?
RA: I guess not.
BALLANTYNE: Let me tell you the reason why.
RA: The reason I question it is because if this person identified me then I have to prove that I am not the person. That means I have to get a lawyer and do all this stuff.
BALLANTYNE: Let me tell you this, Ron. Let me tell you what I want to do with it. Alright, now in all fairness and honesty to you. Another individual that we have shown your picture to, out of Bountiful, has identified your picture but they said no way does he have a mustache. Now is that mustache real?
RA: You bet. I’ve had this mustache since I was 20 years old.
BALLANTYNE: I’ll indicate on there that he pulled on the mustache. And so we are just interested Ron, if you’re not the guy, getting you out of it. That’s why we’re here. We were going to wait for awhile and just sit on it but if you’re not the guy, we certainly don’t want to give you a bad time. If you are we want you arrested.
RA: Well you ought to give me a bad time if I am.
BALLANTYNE: Okay, you understand our position?
RA: Sure. I’m curious how my picture got to the Viewmont girl.
BALLANTYNE: Okay, you’ve seen the artist’s conception?
RA: No, I haven’t.
BALLANTYNE: Let me show you the drawing.
RA: This is a real treat to me. I know it’s not a treat for you but it’s interesting to see how you do it. I’ll do whatever you want to do.
BALLANTYNE: We want you, you know, to feel good about it, and I don’t know how you can feel good about standing in a lineup.
RA: Well, I don’t like the idea. If I go in a lineup and they finger me right there then I’m in jail, right, and I’m arrested and I’m in jail at that point.
BALLANTYNE: Yes, there’s that possibility. But let me tell you this, Ron, I won’t lie to you and I won’t try to trap you. I wasn’t putting you on about, when I told you that one of the 8 individuals identified that picture of you and said “That’s the guy” and “No way did he have a mustache.” Well, it indicates one of two things to me. At the time you either had a phony mustache, you know or you’ve got somebody that looks just like your twin. The thing we want to do; is we don’t want to keep hassling you.
RA: What you ought to do in addition to everything else, you ought to go talk to the girl at the C’est Bon who said she saw me there when I wasn’t there. But I don’t know who his is or anything. Maybe the cocktail waitress knows him. Maybe she could help you on that one.
BALLANTYNE: I really doubt that she knows who it is or she wouldn’t have mistaken him for you.
RA: Yeah, well, she doesn’t know me very well. I don’t know who it was that said it but I’ve only been in there a couple of times.
BALLANTYNE: You’re the number one suspect right now.
BALLANTYNE: Okay. You know that or we wouldn’t be standing here talking to you like this. Alright. But like I said, we haven’t closed our mind and said, “Ron, you’re the guy that did it.” But this individual said that you were at Viewmont High.
RA: I’d better start figuring out where I was.
BALLANTYNE: That’s right. I agree. I don’t want to cause you any more problems than I absolutely have to, to be fair with you, but if you’re the guy, I want your body, it’s as simple as that.
RA: I’m not– I’m not worried.
BALLANTYNE: Hey, if you’re not the guy, you haven’t got another thing to worry about.
RA: Did you show them that picture?
RA: And they said that was me, huh?
BALLANTYNE: They said they wanted to see you in person. It was because, and I can see why, because that doesn’t portray you in the true color of your hair. But for what it’s worth, Ron, everybody says that the guy is extremely handsome.
RA: Well, that’s just great. There’s a lot of guys walking around that look like me you know. Black hair and mustache.
BALLANTYNE: Hey, not as good looking as you, though.
RA: See that’s got nothing to do with it.
BALLANTYNE: It does in these gals’ eyes. Hey Ron, I know there’s a lot of guys that have the hair and the mustache but these people say he is extremely, I mean, you know, the kind of guy that is breathtaking, these gals are breathtaken.
RA: Hey, well that ain’t me.
BALLANTYNE: They think it is. This gal thinks it is.
REPORT OF POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION
SUBJECT: A., Ronald
DATE: December 6, 1974
a. At about 10:10 p.m. on November 8, 1974, 17-yr-old Debra Kent was apparently abducted from Viewmont High School in Bountiful. Earlier that evening, an abduction attempt occurred at the Fashion Place Mall in Salt Lake City. Because of physical evidence found at the scenes and because of eye witness reports, it is believed that the same assailant was involved in both occurrences. It is further suspected that the same person may have abducted two other teen-age girls, Melissa Smith and Laura Aime, whose bodies were found on October 27 and November 27, respectively. Composite drawings of the suspected abductor were published in both Salt Lake newspapers and shown on all Salt Lake TV stations.
b. One of the persons brought to the attention of the police on the basis of his similarity with the composite drawing of the suspect was Ronald A. The victim of the attempted abduction at Fashion Place Mall tentatively identified R. A.’s photograph. R. A. was also positively identified by an eye witness as having been at Viewmont High School about the time that Debra Kent was abducted.
c. A. denied involvement in any of the crimes, and insisted that he has not been at Viewmont High School for over a year. He agreed to take a polygraph test. The examination was arranged by the Bountiful Police Department and concurred in by R. A.’s attorney, Gerald Kinghorn, Esq.PRETEST INTERVIEW
a. Ronald A. is a 27-yr-old single male caucasian with 17 years of education. There was no apparent physical or psychological abnormality which would preclude testing with the polygraph.
b. A. stated that he was not involved in any of the incidents and that he has not been in Bountiful for about a year.
It is concluded that R. A. was telling the truth when he denied having been involved in the disappearance of Debra Kent and with the incident at the Fashion Place Mall.
Supplementary Report by Detective Ballantyne
The reporting officer and Detective Beal contacted Mr. Gordon Barland the Psychology Department at the University of Utah and requested that they run a polygraph examination on Ronald A. A polygraph on Mr. A. was run by Mr. Barland and Mr. Barland contacted this officer and informed me that Mr. A. had passed the polygraph and was not the man that we were looking for in this case.
The reporting officer was in an interview with Ben Forbes of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and a psychiatrist, Dr. Tedrow, first name unknown, was present. The cases in question were outlined to him and he gave the following psychiatric portrayal of the individual that we may be looking for. He stated that we would be looking for an individual who has had some psychiatric help in the past. May possibly have been in prison or in jail. Was jilted by a female in his younger life. Very possibly had retired to the drug scene. Dr. Tedrow was not inclined to believe that it would be amphetamines but would be something heavier, like the hard narcotics. There was a letter found in the Trade Tech parking lot. This was given to Dr. Tedrow to read and he stated that this individual very possibly could be going to Trade Tech to school. The subject will be in a class or taking classes that require him to be neat and fastidious, such as drafting or something of this nature. Dr. Tedrow stated that the individual would be competitive and compulsive. It is Dr. Tedrow’s opinion that the subject may not be destroying the clothing for evidence purposes, but may be keeping them for later use on masturbation purposes.
Supplementary Report by Detective Ballantyne
Reporting officer contacted John Shafer. Mr. Shafer stated he was at Viewmont High School, on November 8, 1974, to pick up his two daughters who were attending the play. He stated he thought the play let out at 10:00 PM and he arrived there approximately 10:20 PM, was parked at the Masonic Temple, waiting for his daughters to come out of the school. He noticed at about 10:20 PM, a grey or white Volkswagen, very “ratty” looking, with rust spots on the driver’s side and he thought also on the side, but he was not certain.
The vehicle came out of the west parking lot, went east toward Main Street. The license number was not obtained by Mr. Shafer as he did not have any reason at that time to obtain it. He stated, the reason for the delay in reporting this, he had been thinking about it since the two girls have been found one in American Fork and the other in Summit County, and realized the description of the Volkswagen seen in the Murray situation and he decided there could be a tie-in so he called this department. Mr. Shafer did not observe anyone in the vehicle but he did observe that the front seats did not have the high backs like the late model Volkswagens do.
United States Government Memorandum
TO: SAC, SALT LAKE CITY
FROM: SA HARRY L. LEE
SUBJECT: DEBRA KENT MISSING PERSON
Special Agent [redacted] has been in regular contact with officers of the Bountiful PD, who continue active investigation of the disappearance of the girl.
[Redacted] has been assigned the working of this case on behalf of the Bountiful PD. [Redacted] has been in constant contact with members of the Kent family.
It appears that [redacted] refused to accept any explanation in this matter except that he feels Debra Kent is not dead. There is some indication that [redacted].
[Redacted] has reported that there have been no new good leads in this case. The Bountiful PD is apparently acting under the impression that the man observed in the Fashion Place Mall one weekend previous to the disappearance of Debra Kent is the same individual who was observed at the high school prior to Debra’s disappearance. They have been eliminating suspects solely on the basis of an artist’s conception of the individual seen in the Fashion Place Mall when he attempted to abduct a girl there the preceding week.
Bountiful PD is fully aware that the Bureau will offer whatever assistance is necessary in this case. This matter will be followed as a matter of determining if there is any possible violation in which the Bureau may have an interest.
United States Government Memorandum
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI
FROM: SAC, SALT LAKE CITY
SUBJECT: DEBRA KENT MISSING PERSON
Regular and frequent contact has been maintained with the Bountiful, Utah, PD who have been conducting an active investigation into the disappearance of DEBRA KENT. Special Agent [redacted] has talked with family members on numerous occasions. To date there has been no new lead which appears to furnish any reasonable expectation of locating DEBRA KENT.
In the latter part of April and first part of May, 1975, articles appeared in the “Salt Lake Tribune” and “Deseret News” in which it was reported that a $10,000 reward fund in connection with this case has been established. Officers of the Bountiful PD reported that the Husky Oil Company, the employer of DEBRA KENT’s father, have indicated they will establish a large reward fund for the same purpose, although to date there is absolutely no indication as to the circumstances surrounding the actual disappearance of DEBRA KENT following her leaving the high school on the evening of 11/8/74.
Because this case continues to receive attention in this area, Salt Lake City will continue to follow investigation being conducted by local authorities to establish whether or not there is a possible federal violation and to furnish assistance where this can be done.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer went to Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office and contact was made with Deputy Jerry Thompson who informed this officer that a Theodore Bundy had been arrested and had in his possession a bag with several items which included a set of handcuffs, a pair of nylon pantyhose, ski mask, sheet which had been torn into strips, two or three pieces of rope, a crowbar and other assorted items. Reporting officer obtained a picture of Mr. Bundy and returned to Bountiful where contact was made with Mrs. Raelynn Shepherd and the above listed pictures were shown to her. She stopped at the picture of Mr. Bundy stating that the hair was perfect, facial features were perfect and if you put a mustache on him she felt this would be the suspect. Reporting officer is going to attempt to observe the individual in person and will then make contact with him in an interview.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer contacted Deputy Ben Forbes, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and inquired of him as to any information he received from Washington in regards to Theodore Robert Bundy. He stated the only thing he had received was that on 10/18/74 Mr. Bundy had called his girlfriend in regards to making arrangements to go deer hunting with her father. Her father flew into Salt Lake City on 10/19/75 and was picked up by Mr. Bundy at the airport and at that time traveled to the Logan area where he spent the next three days hunting.
Deputy Forbes also stated that Deputy Jerry Thompson is presently checking all phone calls on Mr. Bundy’s phone bill with a subpoena from the court and also all credit cards, to determine where Mr. Bundy has been traveling and what dates as he is using a Chevron credit card. At this time there is no further information, however, reporting officer will be checking into all leads on this individual.
Supplementary Report by SLC Sheriff Detective Ben Forbes
After Bundy was arrested, Bountiful Police Department was notified of this situation with Bundy. They came down to this office and obtained mug shots of Bundy which they in turn showed to their witnesses on the Debra Kent case. Their witness liked the photograph of Bundy but would have liked him better had he been wearing a mustache.
It was then discussed about the possibility of Bountiful obtaining a court order to place Bundy in a line-up. Their County Attorney agreed to issue the papers to have Bundy go in a line-up but felt that it would not serve too useful a purpose, since their witness had already made tentative identifications on two other subjects, and that even if she did identify Bundy in a line-up, the most that we would have at this point would be identification of a suspicious person at the high school in Bountiful.
Bundy has not been placed in a line-up up to this point because of the possibility of other jurisdictions possibly wanting to have their witnesses attend the line-up. However, during my conversation with Detective Keppel and Detective McChesney on 9-3-75, they indicated they would not send any witnesses to a line-up, that their superiors in Seattle felt that they could accomplish the same purpose with the mug shots of Bundy that we have sent them. Seattle and Colorado, as well as ourselves, are still doing more background work on Bundy and further reports will follow.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer and Sgt. Collard went to the Murray Police Department where contact was made with Sgt. Paul Forbes of Murray City Police. Reporting officer obtained custody of a handcuff key which had been turned over to Murray Police Department to be sent back to the FBI lab which was not done. Also reporting officer requested custody of the handcuffs which they had obtained in an attempted abduction case in Murray on November 8, 1974 involving one Carol DaRonch. Sgt. Forbes gave reporting officer both the handcuffs and the handcuff key and this officer signed the receipt for them.
Reporting officer then contacted Carol DaRonch and request that she accompany this officer and Sgt. Collard to view a possible suspect vehicle which she agreed to do. She was transported to the location where the suspect vehicle was last seen, however, upon arrival it was discovered that the vehicle had since been removed from that location.
Also, reporting officer requested of Miss DaRonch that if the vehicle was located if it would be alright to contact her at home to have her view it and she agreed that this would be alright. Reporting officer and Sgt. Collard will attempt to locate the vehicle first thing in the morning and if located will contact Miss DaRonch and have her view the vehicle.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer picked a pack of pictures and contacted Mrs. Raelynn Shepherd and showed the pictures to Mrs. Shepherd. She took the pictures and thumbing through them came across the picture of Theodore Robert Bundy dropping this picture to the side and then completed looking through the rest of the pictures. She then glanced quickly back through the pictures and then picking up the picture of Theodore Robert Bundy and placing it on top of picture packet and handing it back to reporting officer stated this picture looks the most like him of any one of them. She then stated if you put a mustache on him he has the facial features and hair and eyes and she feels with the mustache he would be the one.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting Officer, Sgt. Collard, Lt. Ballantyne contacted Carol DaRonch and showed her the above listed pictures. Carol went through the pictures and then went to Picture #4 pulling this picture out stating this looks like the individual. Reporting officer asked Carol if she was sure and she stated she was sure this looked like the man as she remembered him on the date of the occurrence last year. She did state however at that time he had a mustache.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer, Sgt. Collard, Lt. Ballantyne went to Salt Lake in an effort to locate the car belonging to Theodore Bundy in an effort to have this car observed by Carol DaRonch. The car was located at suspect’s residence. At this time Sgt. Collard went to pick up Carol. Prior to his arrival the vehicle left his residence, went to the University, back to his residence and then down to the telephone office on 200 South and 300 East. Just shortly prior to Sgt. Collard’s return to the area the vehicle left westbound on 200 South. Reporting officer followed and the vehicle turned north on Main Street. Reporting officer was caught in a red light and hemmed in by traffic.
Prior to reporting officer’s arrival on Main Street the vehicle disappeared and this officer was unable to locate the vehicle. This officer checked all known possible locations again and was unable to locate the vehicle. Reporting officer will attempt to relocate this vehicle again and attempt to have the witness look at the vehicle.
Supplementary Report by Sgt. Collard
On 9/4/75 reporting officer met with Jerry Thompson of Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office where additional information in the Debra Kent case was received. This information is in relation to a Theodore Bundy who resides in Salt Lake City. The information received was in regards to the Volkswagen he is operating which is a 1968 Volkswagen Bug, license number LJE 379 registered to Mr. Bundy. This vehicle is thought to be the same vehicle that was used in the abduction of a Carol DaRonch.
On 9/4/75 reporting officer and Officer Beal made contact with Carol at her place of employment which is Mountain Bell on Riley Lane in Murray. Her supervisor consented to her leaving for one hour at which time we took her to the residence of Mr. Bundy and attempted to observe his vehicle, however, upon arrival it was found that the vehicle had been moved.
On this date, 9/5/75 this officer will again attempt to contact the Bundy vehicle and then contact Miss DaRonch.
Additional information was given and this information was placed into the master file. This information is in regards to various murders, abductions in the States of California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington and Utah. The individuals names, ages, when they were missing and when found along with where they were found. This information will be charted along with other coordinated evidence received from Mr. Bundy’s use of his gasoline credit card.
Supplementary Report by Sgt. Collard
On September 8, 1975 reporting officer along with Lt. Ballantyne proceeded to the Metropolitan Hall of Justice, where reporting officer and Lt. Ballantyne of Bountiful Police Department met with Cpt. Pete Hayward and Jerry Thompson of Salt Lake County Sheriffs office.
It was decided that once again another attempt would be made to have Miss Carol DaRonch attempt to identify the Volkswagen belonging to Theodore Bundy. Reporting officer and Lt. Ballantyne then proceeded to Murray where we picked up Miss DaRonch from Mountain Bell telephone company where she is employed. We then returned to the area of 565 East 1st Ave.
Upon arriving there Cpt. Hayward and Jerry Thompson had the area under surveillance and advised that the Volkswagen in question was parked out in front of the subject’s apartment house.
Reporting officer then left Lt. Ballantyne’s vehicle in the company of Miss DaRonch. We proceeded on foot from 600 East and 5th Ave. West along 1st Ave. to the vehicle of Mr. Bundy. At this time reporting officer and Miss DaRonch looked inside the vehicle. Reporting officer asked her to take note of the body condition, the right rear and right door, as well as the front bumper area, the interior of the vehicle. She was asked to advise this officer if she felt this was in fact the same vehicle which was involved in the attempted kidnap of her in November of 1974. She stated that there had been some changes. Reporting officer then again drew her attention to the car itself, and also asked her to remember the photos that were taken by Jerry Thompson prior to this time, which she had already seen. She was asked to take both pictures and the vehicle as it sat into consideration, before making a decision. She then looked at this officer and stated, “Yes, this is the same vehicle.” She gave indication to the wrinkles in the right door as well as the right rear fender which had been painted over. She did state however, that she thought it was a lighter color than what was observed on this date.
We then proceeded further west on 1st Ave to 500 South where we once again got into Lt. Ballantyne’s vehicle and made Cpt. Hayward and Jerry Thompson aware of her statement as to this being the same vehicle which was involved in her attempted abduction in November 1974.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer, Lt. Ballantyne accompanied by Captain Hayward, Jerry Thompson of Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office met with Salt Lake County Attorney’s Office to present the facts in this case to determine whether or not there was sufficient evidence to proceed by Salt Lake County on the attempted abduction of Carol DaRonch from Murray. After discussing the case County Attorney’s Office determined they wished to take it under advisement overnight and would make the decision by morning. They will contact Captain Hayward and advise him.
United States Government Memorandum
TO: SAC, SALT LAKE CITY
FROM: SPECIAL AGENT [REDACTED]
SUBJECT: DEBRA KENT MISSING PERSON; MELISSA SMITH, MURDER VICTIM
On September 22, 1975, Ira Beal Bountiful Police Department, advised that his department and Jerry Thompson, office of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office are both convinced that Theodore “Ted” Bundy, whom they have had as a possible suspect in these matters since last Fall, is the individual responsible both for the murders of MELISSA SMITH and LAURA ANN AIME and for the disappearance of DEBRA KENT from Bountiful.
Beal stated that they base this on the fact that BUNDY was arrested by the Utah Highway Patrol in August, 1975, on a traffic violation, at which time he had in his vehicle a paper bag containing a pair of pantyhose with places cut out for his eyes and nose, along with a pair of handcuffs, which were identical in make to a pair of handcuffs recovered from a woman in a Murray, Utah shopping center in November, 1974, when she escaped a would-be abductor. Also in the car was a small pry bar.
Salt Lake County and Davis County have had BUNDY under surveillance since last Fall during the times that he has been in Salt Lake City, Utah. BUNDY has a college degree in psychology and is a third year law student at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. He is originally from Seattle, Washington, where he was first considered as a suspect in the murders of several girls in that area, whose murders are similar to those of the girls found in the Salt Lake City area.
At the time of BUNDY’s arrest for a traffic violation he furnished a consent to search his apartment, and in his apartment was found a large book containing detailed illustrations on masochism and tortures. BUNDY has refused to be interviewed, and has obtained JOHN O’CONNELL as his attorney.
Ira Beal also indicated that Elizabeth Kloepfer had been interviewed, and she had stated that BUNDY was capable of committing these murders. She stated that she had been with BUNDY for several years, but it was not until about 1973 that he began demanding abnormal sex relations with her. In her interview she stated that BUNDY had a large book on masochism and tortures.
Ira Beal stated that two witnesses, Raelynn Shepherd and Tamara Tingey in Bountiful, who on the night DEBRA KENT came up missing observed an individual who attempted to entice her to the parking lot for the purpose of identifying some vehicles, and a girl who escaped from her abductor in a Murray, Utah shopping center with a pair of handcuffs on her wrists, identified BUNDY’s photograph.
Held at Metropolitan Law Building
421 South 300 East, Salt Lake City, Utah
October 2, 1975 10:20 a.m.
For the State of Utah: David E. Yocom; William R. Hyde
For the Individual in Lineup: Bruce C. Lubeck; John D. O’Connell
Also Present: Capt. Pete Hayward; Det. Jerry Thompson; Officer Dennis Cox; Sgt. Bruce Thayne
MR. YOCOM: Let’s go on the record. Gentlemen, will you move back to your numbers. This is a lineup in Murray Police Department case No. 74-10181 that has been ordered by a court
order Judge Leary of the Third District Court.
MR. O’CONNELL: I’d like to object that it’s difficult for us as defense counsel to represent this defendant at this proceeding insomuch as this matter has been so secret; that we don’t really even know what the offense is that the man is suspected of. We can only guess at it. I guess the fact that he held up a sign with “Murray PD” on it gives us some indication. As of yesterday, Mr. Hyde was even refusing to give us information as to who the county attorneys were who were working on the case. And so we’re operating totally in the dark. And I don’t know whether Mr. Lubeck and I can do an adequate job of representing somebody at the lineup for a crime we don’t even know what it is.
MR. YOCOM: Anything further, John?
MR. O’CONNELL: No. Like I say, it’s hard to make objections when you don’t know what’s going on.
MR. YOCOM: Gentlemen, I’m going to ask each of you to speak as loudly as you can; the microphones, as I understand it, don’t work. First of all, starting with No. 1– and I’ll refer to you by that number; look down at your number and remember that, that’s the position you’ll be in. Step forward and give your name, your height, your weight, your eye color, and your age.
MR. YOCOM: Number 7?
NO. 7: Hi, my name is Ted Bundy. I’m 5’11 1/2″, 170 pounds. I have blue eyes, and 170 pounds– let’s see, what else did you want?
MR. YOCOM: Your age.
NO. 7: 28.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you. Gentlemen, when the lineup commences, again remember your position, and that’s where you’ll be standing. I’ll ask each of you to step forward, repeat three phrases for me. After stating those phrases, walk to the end of the lineup room. I’ll ask you to turn to your left, give a profile view; turn to the back, give a back view; and again to your left to give the other profile view. Then face forward, then step back. Repeat the phrases as clearly and loudly as you can so that everyone can hear. Those phrases will be:
“Would you like to come to the station with me?”
“Could you come outside and identify a car for me? It’ll just take a minute.”
and lastly, “I’m a police officer; your car has been broken into.”
I’ll read them each time so that you’ll get them straight. No facial expressions; keep your hands to your side. No tomfoolery. Just be quiet until you’re spoken to.
MR. YOCOM: Could we have the witnesses brought in? The record should reflect that between each of the witnesses we have stationed a police officer to avoid any conversation. First of all, starting in the far corner over there, if you would state your name, and we’ll number you. You will be number 1; would you give your name please.
NO. 1: Carol DaRonch.
MR. YOCOM: And the next girl; you’ll be number 2. Would you state your name please.
NO. 2: Tami Tingey.
MR. YOCOM: And the next young lady; you’ll be number 3.
NO. 3: Jackie Willardson.
MR. YOCOM: And number 4?
NO. 4: Janis Morgan.
MR. YOCOM: Now going to the second row on my far left. Would you state your name, please, ma’am.
NO. 5: Raelynn Shepherd.
MR. YOCOM: Next to you?
NO. 6: Sherry Tidwell.
MR. YOCOM: The next young lady.
NO. 7: Vel Dean Kirk.
MR. YOCOM: I’ll be passing out cards to each of the girls. Write your number and your name on the card on the top if you will. Do all the girls, all the witnesses have a card?
MR. YOCOM: At the conclusion of the lineup, if an individual that you recognize involved in the particular offense is identified by you, his number should be written on the card that’s been handed to you. As I said, there will be no talking, no questions asked. Okay, bring out the participants.
[Lineup is conducted]
MR. YOCOM: Okay. Mark up your cards and make sure you have your numbers circled, your number, so it’s not confused with the number you might mark on that card. And your name, make sure your name is on that card. I’ll have Mr. Hyde gather them from you.
MR. YOCOM: Miss DaRonch, just for the record, I have a card here with a number 1 circled on it and the name of Carol DaRonch, and you have put a number 7 on that card, is that correct?
NO. 1: (Nodding head).
MR. YOCOM: Miss Tingey, you were No. 2, and you have marked on this card with your name the number 7, is that correct?
NO. 2: Yes.
MR. YOCOM: No. 3, Jackie Willardson. Miss Willardson, you were No. 3 and you have made no other markings on that card; is that correct?
NO. 3: Yes, it is.
MR. YOCOM: No. 4, Janis Morgan. Miss Morgan, you were No. 4 and you’ve written your name and no other marking, is that correct?
NO. 4: Yes.
MR. YOCOM: Okay. No. 5, Raelynn Shepherd, you have so marked your card No. 5 with your name, and put a number 7 on there, is that correct?
NO. 5: Yes, sir.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you. No. 6, Sherry Tidwell. Miss Tidwell, you were number 6 and you have put on your card your name and the number 6, and no other markings on that card; is that correct?
NO. 6: Yes.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you. No. 7, Vel Dean Kirk, you were No. 7 and you’ve marked number 7 on the card and circled it with your name, and no other markings; is that correct?
NO. 7: Uh-huh.
MR. YOCOM: Thank you. This will conclude the lineup at this time.
MR. O’CONNELL: Do you care to tell us what these witnesses were here to–
MR. YOCOM: Not on the record at this point. Thank you.
(Concluded at 10:50 a.m.)
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer attended a formal line-up at approximately 10:30 AM hours on Thursday, October 2, 1975. At this line-up was two witnesses from the Viewmont High School incident, Raelynn Shepherd and Tami Tingey along with Carol DaRonch, the victim of the Fashion Place Mall abduction or kidnapping on November 8, 1974.
Present were eight individuals in the line-up. After the line-up was completed all three witnesses wrote their choice on a card and handed it to Dave Yokom of Salt Lake County Attorney’s Office. Upon checking the cards it was found that all three witnesses picked party #7 which was in fact one Theodore Robert Bundy.
Shortly thereafter a complaint and a warrant was signed by Sgt. Paul Forbes of the Murray City Police Department against Mr. Bundy for the charges of aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal homicide. Mr. Bundy was placed under arrest and booked into the Salt Lake County jail under a $100,000 Bond. At that time Mr. Bundy as well as his Attorney refused to speak with officers in regards to any cases involving any of the girls.
Sgt. Forbes then returned to the County Attorney’s Office and obtained a Search Warrant for Mr. Bundy’s apartment which was served by Sgt. Forbes and Detective Jerry Thompson of the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Reporting officer spoke with Deputy Thompson who indicated that they did not locate any evidence in the apartment. He also mentioned that several of the items which were in his apartment a few weeks ago when he went through the apartment with Mr. Bundy on a consent search were not there at this time. Some of these items were several pairs of patent leather shoes and several sports jackets. Also Detective Thompson indicated that he was at that time preparing to seize Mr. Bundy’s vehicle which had since been sold to another party in pursuant to a seizure warrant and that this vehicle would be locked up and stored to subsequent preparation to processing.
Detective Thompson also indicated that he had received several calls from friends and acquaintances of Mr. Bundy and was at the present time setting up appointments for interviews as soon as possible. Reporting officer will recontact Detective Thompson and assist in any way possible.
Excerpt from Seattle Police Detective Robert Keppel’s Reports
1145 hrs-1800 hrs. Review of Abduction and Homicide scenes Detective Jerry Thompson, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office. Current evidence in the abduction case involves the victim picking Bundy out of a photographic lineup them selecting him in an in-person lineup by looks, voice and walk. She has also identified photographs of Bundy’s Volkswagen Bug and the seat tear on the rear seat of his VW.
Bundy’s arrest for evading apprehension and possession of burglary tools revealed a set of Gerocal handcuffs and a crow bar. The victim of the abduction had a set of Gerocal handcuffs placed on her right wrist during a struggle with the suspect. The suspect also tried to strike victim with a crow bar and victim grabbed the bar and fought with suspect. The same type of crow bar was identified by the victim.
Det. Thompson has interviewed Bundy on a couple of occasions. Bundy claimed to have never stopped in Bountiful, Utah but has passed through. Bundy has in his possession a brochure from a Bountiful recreation center. lnvestigation revealed that this brochure could only have been obtained in person. Bundy had also a credit card receipt from a gasoline purchase in Bountiful. On 11/8/74 Debra Kent of Bountiful turned up missing from a school play at her high school. A handcuff key that fits the Gerocal handcuffs was found in the parking lot of the school.
Notes of K. McChesney, King County Department of Public Safety
0915 hrs: Phone call from Liz Kloepfer- she thought that the brochure that Ted had in his apartment may have come from Richard Bundy when Richard was visiting Salt Lake in August. Her mother took Richard swimming in Bountiful and they could have picked up the brochure at that time. Liz also inquired as to why the Salt Lake authorities had not previously shown a photograph of Bundy to the victim in their case as she had turned him in in October of last year.
United States Government Memorandum
TO: SAC, SALT LAKE CITY
FROM: SPECIAL AGENT [REDACTED]
SUBJECT: DEBRA KENT MISSING PERSON; MELISSA SMITH, MURDER VICTIM
On 11/21/75, Ira Beal, Bountiful City PD, advised that THEODORE BUNDY appeared at a preliminary hearing in Third District Court, Salt Lake City, Utah. BUNDY posted a $15,000 cash bond and was released. Judge GRANT at this time advised he would announce at a later date whether or not BUNDY would be bound over for trial.
On 11/29/75, Ira Beal, Bountiful PD, advised that on 11/26/75, BUNDY again appeared before Judge GRANT at which time he was bound over to the Third District Court to stand trial for kidnapping. Attempted murder charges against BUNDY were dismissed. BUNDY remains free on a $15,000 cash bond.
United States Government Memorandum
TO: DIRECTOR, FBI
FROM: SAC, SALT LAKE CITY
SUBJECT: DEBRA KENT MISSING PERSON
Regular and continuous contact has been maintained with the Bountiful, Utah PD, and on 1/15/76, Ira Beal advised that they are positive that Bundy was responsible for the disappearance of DEBRA KENT, however, they have not as yet located DEBRA’s body. They do not believe that DEBRA was taken out of the State of Utah.
Beal advised that BUNDY is presently free on a $15,000 cash bond and is scheduled for a court appearance in mid February on a charge of kidnaping wherein he abducted a young woman from a Salt Lake City shopping center on the same night of DEBRA KENT’s disappearance. The young woman managed to escape from him and has identified him as her kidnaper.
In view of the above and inasmuch as no further requests have been received from the Bountiful City Police Department for assistance in this matter, this case is being closed in the Salt Lake City Division.
Supplementary Report by Detective Beal
Reporting officer and Lt. Ballantyne contacted Dean Kent and requested that he vacuum Debra’s bed and also any clothing which might possibly have any pubic hair in it and then contact reporting officer.
Mr. Kent did vacuum the mattress area of the bed with a new vacuum and filters and placed this into a plastic bag, Mr. Kent also obtained a pair of knit slacks which Debbie had worn and she was the only person who had worn these slacks and they had not been washed since Debbie’s disappearance. In the vacuuming of this two pubic hairs were obtained which are known samples of Debbie’s pubic hair. This was also placed into a separate plastic bag with the filters and these items were turned over to reporting officer by Mr. Kent. Reporting officer marked these into evidence and turned them over to Lt. Ballantyne who turned them over to Deputy Thompson to be submitted to the FBI laboratory for comparison with hairs which were recovered from Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen.
Follow-Up Report by Salt Lake City County Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Thompson
On 2-2-76 Lt. Ron Ballantine and this detective, Jerry Thompson, went down to the Salt Lake County garage complex on 8th South and again went through suspect Bundy’s Volkswagen car. The car was revacuumed again with an evidence vacuum. The seat covers were then taken off of both front and rear seats. All items were packaged in evidence bags and were sent back to the FBI Laboratory to be compared with the rest of the evidence that we have obtained. The evidence was sent back on 2-3-76.
On 2-18-76 another package was sent off to the FBI Laboratory by this detective containing three items: (1) a vacuumed sample from a pair of brown slacks; (2) the pants themselves, that belonged to Debra Kent from Bountiful. They were given to Lt. Ron Ballantyne, Bountiful Police Department, by Debra Kent’s father, and then turned over to this officer in an attempt to find any pubic hairs of hers in this pair of pants and have them compared with the hairs out of Bundy’s Volkswagen.
TO: SHERIFF OF SALT LAKE COUNTY
FROM: FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION
April 15, 1976
Re: Theodore R. Bundy, Suspect; Melissa Smith and Debra Kent, Victims; Criminal Homicide
Examination Requested: Microscopic Analysis
Q35—Vacuumed particles from slacks
Q37—Hairs from hairbrushes of NANCY BAIRD
Q38—Vacuumed particles from mattress pad and side rail
Result of examination:
One brown pubic hair of Caucasian origin was found in Specimen Q35. A single hair is not a sufficient sample for use in conducting a significant microscopic comparison with the questioned hairs previously recovered from the automobile.
Numerous light brown to brown head hairs of Caucasian origin were found in specimens Q35, Q37 and Q38. Some of these hairs exhibit areas of bleaching and in some instances, artificial coloration. None of the previously recovered hairs from the suspect’s automobile were found to be microscopically like the aforementioned head hairs.
The submitted specimens are being returned to your department under separate cover.
Supplementary Report by Sgt. Collard
PARTIES BEING HYPNOTIZED: LINDA JONES, KATHY RICKS
PARTY DOING THE HYPNOTIZING: DR. LES COOPER of the University of Utah
On June 8, 1979 reporting officer was present with J.R. Jackson of Florida, Dr. Les Cooper and the subject Linda Jones. The hypnosis session held in Dr. Cooper’s office at the University of Utah and began at approximately 1545 hours.
The first subject hypnotized was Linda Jones. After inducement into a deep hypnotic sleep, Dr. Cooper proceeded to take Linda back in time to the date of November 8, 1974 which was the night in question, the location being that of Viewmont High School at the play “The Redhead.” The majority of the hypnotic session was both tape recorded and video taped. Towards the end of the session, reporting officer assisted Dr. Cooper in the absence of Mr. Jackson who had left the room to speak with the next subject, Kathy Ricks. Reporting officer assisted in showing photographs to Linda Jones at the direction of Dr. Cooper. Dr. Cooper advised Linda that pictures were going to be shown her, first being the lineup of individuals. That she was, if possible, to point out the individual in the lineup picture which most closely resembled the image she had in her mind of the individual she observed on the night of November 8, 1974. At this time reporting officer took the lineup pictures and placed a piece of white paper at chest height prior to showing the lineup to Linda Jones. The purpose for the paper being placed at approximately chest height, was due to the fact that she had stated during hypnotic session, that she observed the individual who had been harassing Debra Kent, from the waist up. At this time Dr. Cooper had her open her eyes while still in a hypnotic state, to see if she could identify anv of the individuals in the lineup as the same person she saw on the night in question. At this time Linda opened her eyes and began looking at the lineup moving from left to right. She got to the right side of the lineup, reporting officer observed her flinch and observed her eyes open slightly wider at which time she raised her left hand and placed her left index finger directly on the chest of the individual in the lineup who is known to this officer as Theodore Bundy. She was asked if she could identify that individual as the person she saw that night and she stated that she could.
Linda was then shown a second set of pictures which were mug shot pictures. There were a total of six mug shot pictures in all. Reporting officer held the pictures in front of Linda. I began with picture number one and showed them to her one at a time. As we arrived at picture number four she raised her right hand and pointed at the picture of Theodore Bundy. Reporting officer, after seeing all six pictures, then began with number one, placed number one on her lap to her left and laid all six pictures out in front of her and again she pointed to the picture of Theodore Bundy. Again Dr. Cooper asked her if any of the individuals in the mug shots appeared to look like the image she had in her mind of the individual she observed on November 8, 1974. Again she stated yes, the picture she had pointed to which was identified as Theodore Bundy, was the person she remembered that night. Linda was then placed back into a deep sleep and shortly thereafter brought out of her hypnotic state.
At approximately 1725 hours the second interview and induction of hypnosis was begun by Dr. Cooper on Kathy Ricks. Reporting officer, Dr. Cooper and Investigator J. O. Jackson of Florida were all present. The tape recording of this session and the video tape were begun at approximately 1820 hours. Towards the conclusion of this session, once again he advised her that she would open her eyes but remain in a hypnotic state and was asked to maintain the image of the individual she observed on November 8, 1974 while at the Viewmont High School play. At this time reporting officer showed Kathy the lineup pictures which contained approximately nine individuals. At this particular showing the picture was not covered at the chest area due to the fact that Kathy had observed his entire body length. As the lineup picture was shown to Kathy, Dr. Cooper asked her to see if she could identify any of the individuals in the picture as being the same as the one she had in her mind the night of the school play. Kathy then pointed at the individual standing second from the right who was identified as Theodore Bundy. She stated that he looked like the individual she recalled, however his hair seemed to be fuller or longer on the night of the school play.
Kathy was then shown the mug shot pictures at which time she observed them as the officer placed them on her lap and they were all laid out before her. She pointed at the picture identified as being Theodore Bundy and at this time she stated however that the individual looked like the person she observed on the night of November 8, 1974. That the hair was not as short as was shown in the mug shot lineup. It should be noted that the hair from the lineup picture and the hair observed on Theodore Bundy in the mug shot pictures, was considerably different. Shortly after the identification of the pictures, she was brought from the hypnotic state and this ended the hypnosis session with Kathy Ricks. At this time the photos were numbered and initialed by reporting officer, Kathy Ricks and Linda Jones.
Identification of DEBRA KENT
1. Mole on the neck below the chin, above adams apple. Area front of the middle of neck
2. Fine surgical scar in a line across the neck, in area of adams apple
3. Eyelashes are long, straight not curly
4. Pierced ears
5. Very small rib cage
6. Right large toenail is half gone due to an accident
7. No other surgical scars
8. Smallpox vaccination scar on left arm
9. Debra is right handed.
10. Dress size is a 3 or 5 junior
11. Pants size is 5 or 7
12. Shoe size is 6
13. Bra size 36C
14. Gold necklace chain (was wearing when last seen)
15. Viewmont high school ring
Ted Bundy’s notes on Death Watch
“Do Utah today. Need maps of Cedar City to Green River. Need Utah representative. Contact Kent family. Bill [Hagmaier] and John [Tanner] should do it.”
“This morning, today Kents. Contact Kents. Will find Debbie. Need help to do so. And time. Give word. Contact [Governor] Martinez and make public statement. Come to Florida. Let me talk to by phone. Have [Utah AG Paul] Van Dam facilitate.”
Excerpts from the Utah Confession Transcript with Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Dennis Couch
1/22/1989 (two days prior to execution)
Couch: Today’s date is January 22, 1989. The time is approximately 7:30 PM. I’m at the Florida State Prison, going to interview Ted Bundy.
Bundy: I want you to know, that uh… we’ll do what we can. And I think we can do something good. We can do something good.
C: Well there was Debbi Kent up at Bountiful at the high school. Do you remember, did you go north or south or straight east from there?
B: Well let’s… let’s try to…. that’s what I’m looking for here.
C: Ok. Well Bountiful is just north of Salt Lake and south of Ogden here. Are there any particular landmarks that you recall, or?
B: I want to be, for any number of reasons, I want to be as specific as I can be. What this is about is trying to locate the remains. We’re not talking about stuff thrown out of the windows, or stuff scattered across the ground. It’s things that should be there.
C: Was it a burial?
C: How far do you think you had to drive from that school?
B: It was somewhere between… let’s just… uh…
C: Did you go back down through Salt Lake again?
B: Oh yes yes.
C: Oh did you? And you went further south? Past Provo?
C: Were you on the interstate?
B: Yes, on the interstate. We’re talking somewhere between Milburn and Manatee. Maybe Mayfield. That’s a big hunk. An awfully big hunk. You could spend several lifetimes looking for something there. I’m trying to narrow it down. I mean, it’s… somewhere… to the left of 89.
C: You went down the highway as opposed to the freeway?
B: Right. I don’t know what it looks like in the daytime, that’s another problem. Mountainous… area, to the east all the way down 89 from Thistle to Mayfield.
C: How many towns you had to go through before you went up into the mountains?
B: No, I think what we may have to do is work, with not so much time. I didn’t count towns, or miles, or look at my watch to see how long the time was. I was just driving, in the dark, late at night, and not very conscious of much of anything else, you know. I don’t know what was going on except for looking for a side road.
B: Yeah, I was just hoping we’d have something… this will give us a start… but I was hoping that we’d have something to really clue me in, high degree of scale showing dirt roads, that would closely clue me in there. But anyway, we’re talking about a small town, how small I can’t tell you, how big. It certainly wasn’t Provo, but it was one of those small towns along here. It was late at night so the stoplights were turned off or at least blinking or something like that.
C: They have those flashing amber lights?
B: Yeah. How many of them there were, I don’t know. At some point…
C: And then you went off into the mountains from that small town, the area of that small town?
B: …turn left, right…
C: How far away from that town would you have gone?
B: Several miles. This should help. There seemed to be, just on the outskirts of this town, an iron barrier, a gate, that’s thrown across the roadway. Looked like it closed off that road for some reason.
C: Like a cabin association, or something like that?
B: Possibly. But it was still a paved road, it just looked like… it wasn’t closed, but it looked like it had been opened and closed.
C: How far away from highway 89 would you say you ran into that?
B: Well again just from the outskirts of this small town traveling up into the mountains east of there…
C: In terms of time, can you estimate how far from Thistle you would have traveled?
B: No. Absolutely not able to do that.
C: So you couldn’t do it in terms of miles or time.
C: Did you return back to Salt Lake the same night?
C: Was she already dead?
C: Was she killed right there at the school?
C: But you are responsible for her death though, right?
B: Well I’m just about ready to collapse. I know that’s the furthest thing from your mind. But I’ve got some mileage left in me tonight, and I want to give it my best… the one that’s most likely to produce something for somebody. And this is my clearest recollection. The one that I have the clearest recollection of, and that’s why I’m starting there.
C: From the iron gate then, how far would you say you traveled from there?
B: Ok, now, at that time, there was a big scene, just a short distance inside the iron gate, to the left.
C: So somehow you were able to go through the gate?
B: Yeah, the gate was open, or partially open. My recollection is it wasn’t all the way open or all the way closed. Just closed enough for it to be evident that it was there.
C: Did you park your car and then carry her through there?
B: No, it was big enough to drive through, I was driving a Volkswagen.
C: It wasn’t that rough for driving your VW, I mean it wasn’t that mountainous?
B: No, a short distance, a matter of yards, to the left, inside of that… and I hope that I’m recalling this clearly. There was a dirt road, that made a steep climb, a short, a steep ascent up a little incline, and wound up to the left. Wound around up and to the left into a wooded area. I’m not talking about a heavy forest, but you know the type of woodlands that you find in that area, a sort of clump of trees here, clump of trees there, a lot of open dirt, grassy stuff, you know that kind.
C: Were you into the pines, or just kind of the quakies?
B: Again the darkness limited my ability to perceive all of that. I mean I knew that kind of country that’s the reason I’m describing it to you. A more detailed description I don’t have. And I can kind of remember… I’m trying to remember… the number of little turns this road made and how far up it traveled.
C: But you’re still able to drive it in the VW?
B: Well it’s bumpy, it’s tough, it’s rocky.
C: Is it a county type road, or is it just the kind you can get one car in?
B: It’s the one car type, back road, that’s not good enough, four wheel type road, wagon wheel ruts, puddles, deep…. you know a VW is amazingly agile, even in country like that, and so it’s even with the deep holes and rocks and things, rocks are around quite a bit if you get up there. It’s a covered wagon type road if you will, a four wheel drive type of road, nothing fancy, something people would get into the backcountry on.
C: How far past that iron gate would you say you traveled before you finally stopped?
B: (sigh) Traveled very slowly. Bouncing around, you know. A mile to two miles at the outside. I know that’s a lot of ground, but then again, uh…
C: It’s hard to tell when you’re going so slow.
B: Yeah, it’s hard to tell, and to see it, is one thing, and to try to estimate it and describe it is another.
C: Did you see any power lines, power poles, residences, cabins?
B: There was… a certain point, I did pull off at the side of this road, let’s say, a mile, roughly. And to the lefthand side, there were remnants of old barbed wire fence posts, and maybe shreds of barbed wire. It wasn’t an actual fence, it was the remnants of a fence and I noticed a couple of fence posts kind of bent down, bent askew, and I stumbled over a piece of barbed wire buried in the sandy soil here and there.
C: Did you stop the car in the road itself?
B: I believe I pulled off, you know, five feet or something.
C: Now, then I assume you had a shovel and how far would you say you were?
B: Approximately 20-30 feet off the road, let’s say 25.
C: How deep was the grave?
B: Approximately 3 feet. 2-3 feet maybe.
C: Did her clothes remain with her?
C: Did you discard those before or after you left her there?
B: Trying to remember. I don’t clearly remember. I don’t have a specific recollection. I think what happened was, is that yes, they were cut up and deposited along the side of the roadway.
C: On the way back home?
B: Hmm. You know… It’s interesting you should say that. I was going to say something else, but… yeah as a matter of fact. On the way home back to SLC from this point, along highway 89 even down as far up as past Thistle.
C: You cut em up into pretty small pieces?
B: Yeah… a 3 inch square type.
C: What was the means…. how was she killed?
B: (sigh) This is harder stuff to talk about.
C: Not the nice part.
B: Well there are no nice parts. Hard to make judgments of quality here…It’s simply more difficult to discuss this.
C: Did you use a weapon on her? Did you use, manually? Or…?
B: Um… that’s why it’s so much easier for me to try to locate the body than it is to talk about the actual thing. Just so much more positive, as much as it can be.
C: Where, um… if it didn’t take place at the schoolyard, did it take place in your car, or…
B: No, the place where I lived.
C: Oh you took her home?
C: Would it have been the residence which we searched?
C: Well we can talk about that later…
B: Yeah it was at the residence.
C: So did you take her to your residence then down here all in the same night? Or did you keep her for a period of time?
B: I did keep her there for a period of time. A couple, well… a day, 24 hours.
C: Ok. Was she alive during that time period?
B: Well let’s see. During half of it. With reference to the things that went out the window, some of the larger items went out between Spanish Fork and Thistle. There’s an embankment there where the river comes down. I think there’s a railroad track in there somewhere too. (…) I’m sure there would be nothing left to find, in terms of just stuff cast off the roadway. But I’m concerned about which one of these roads it is. Do you think that’s… I wonder, do you think that’s enough?
C: It’s going to be very difficult.
B: Is there any… don’t you have any access to maps? It’s going to be very difficult, if you don’t have maps.
C: Well I’ll do my best to leave here and find a better map. If I can get some time to come back here tomorrow evening, if that’s possible.
B: Tomorrow, there’s just nothing open at all. Uh… because what I’m talking about here are, in all likelihood, is remains that can’t be found. There’s no absolute certainty, but there was an attempt on my part for example to fill in part of the grave and a layer of heavy rocks over that and dirt over that to prevent the kind of animal destruction that can occur to something left…
C: You were concerned about animals NOT getting to it?
B: Yeah not getting to it, because well they could conceivably spread the remains around in such a way that they’d be found, as opposed to not being found.
C: Was she in any way dismembered or was she buried whole, or?…
B: Yes you should find all of it.
C: Was she carrying a purse, do you recall?
B: Don’t recall. Well, let me think. Well yeah, you know, you asked me that question about Debra Kent—
C: About the purse?
B: About what she was wearing and everything you need?
C: Well you just indicated what you did with the clothing but you didn’t describe it though.
B: Well, heh… ok. I would hope we get something that could be corroborated in a way that people are semi-convinced. I know people don’t think I’m making it up, but on the other hand, some people might say just for the sake of it that I was. [laughs] Do you follow me?
C: Well absolutely. There’s too much with Debra for us to believe any differently though. The handcuff key that we found in the parking lot.
C: So we know you’re not telling us a story there, we’ve got people who identified you being at the school that night too.
B: Ok yeah well let’s get back to the one, the young lady we were talking about.
C: Did you follow 89 again or did you—?
B: No, I went south, but how far south. Which, I don’t, you know… It’s not as clear as it was…
C: With Debra?
B: [sigh- long pause] Yeah, the odd thing is, I remember contours. I remember ups and downs. And some other stuff…
B: …in the event that anybody, especially families, want to know…[voice breaks] I’m sorry. That doesn’t correct a thing, but… [whispers] I’m sorry. Not for me. I’m sorry.
C: Well, by you saying that goes a long ways Ted.
B: I-I’m not looking for anything. [crying]
C: I know.
B: I understand now a lot of stuff, about myself, that I didn’t understand then, and it makes me realize what was going on. It doesn’t make it any less serious, but it… the senselessness of it, it appalls me all over, I’m sure not as much as those who are so close to it. Just as appalling however is the fact that I was so insensitive to it. One of many things that kept me from talking for so many years, and it doesn’t excuse it, but uh… it’s too bad I wasn’t in a position to talk about this years ago. I still think though, that some good can come of this, especially at least in the case of the Kent girl. I hope that a serious attempt is mounted to find something.
Excerpt from a Memorandum to the Attorney General of Florida
March 10, 1989
Pursuant to your instructions, I have interviewed all law enforcement officers who were present during Bundy’s final hours prior to his execution at Florida State Prison on January 24, 1989. I have also listened to several tape recorded interviews with Bundy during this time period and have reviewed transcripts of other such interviews.
Also, I have interviewed law enforcement officials who, at one time or another, were involved in homicide investigations in which Bundy was a suspect, but who did not participate in the final interviews while Bundy was on death watch.
Finally, I attended the “Ted Bundy Multi-Agency Investigation Team Conference” held February 20-24, 1989, at the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia. This report is based upon the aforementioned activities, as well as interviews with certain psychologists, attorneys and authors who had direct dealings with Bundy over the years. Where I have included personal opinions of mine or those of others, I have noted this. Otherwise, statements are based upon the record.
November 8, 1974. Victim: Debra Kent
Disappeared from the Viewmont High School parking lot in Bountiful, Utah (20 miles north of Murray) later on the same evening of the DaRonch abduction. A play was being performed that night in the school auditorium. Bundy was later identified by witnesses as being in the auditorium before and during the performance of the play. Bundy reportedly approached at least one woman in the auditorium and tried to get her to go into the parking lot with him. The woman indicated Bundy was persistent and urged her to go with him more than once. This witness smelled alcohol on Bundy’s breath as had DaRonch earlier that night. The woman refused to go with Bundy but said she saw him in the auditorium later, during the performance of the play.
Debra Kent had accompanied her parents to the play and left during an intermission to pick up her brother at a nearby skating rink. Kent was never seen alive by anyone other than Bundy after leaving the auditorium. Kent’s body has not been found as of the date of this report. Bundy confessed to abducting her and said he took her to his apartment in Salt Lake City. Bundy says that he kept Kent in his apartment for approximately 24 hours. He claims that Kent was alive for about 12 hours after he abducted her. While he admits that he killed Debra Kent, Bundy refused to discuss the details other than those mentioned. Bundy did attempt to tell investigators where Kent’s body was allegedly buried.
Excerpts from Enduring It Well, a podcast from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Belva Kent’s life was rich, fulfilling, and good. On November 8, 1974, her 17-year-old daughter, Debra, was kidnapped. For 16 years little was known of her whereabouts, until serial killer Ted Bundy confessed to taking her.
As the family tried to pick up the pieces after Debi’s disappearance, in February of 1985 their son Bill died in a car accident, leaving two small boys fatherless. Soon after that tragedy, Belva learned that she had a brain tumor, and was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. As her medical treatment began, in June of 1985 her husband Dean began drinking heavily, was unfaithful, fathered a child with his mistress, and divorced his wife after decades of marriage. Belva had never worked outside the home, and struggled to support her remaining three children as a newly single mother.
Then yet another hardship struck– her deceased son Bill’s children were taken into state custody after being neglected by their mother. Belva had to travel to another state and fight for the right to raise her grandsons, eventually gaining legal guardianship. Despite a life marked by pain, Belva persevered. In this testimony, she describes her feelings toward her beloved daughter’s murderer, the process of gaining closure, and how her faith helped her cope in the face of so much personal tragedy.
Belva Kent: I was very bitter and angry towards Ted Bundy. I can’t even express the feeling, the hate that builds up in you. When they brought Bundy to trial for trying to kidnap Carol DaRonch, I went every day because I just wanted to face him, and see what he was really like. I sat through that whole trial thinking that at the end I would talk to him and say, “What did you do with Deb?” Then after the trial was over, the police knew what I wanted to do, and they asked me not to, for fear it could cause a mistrial. But as I saw him in that courtroom– and people will tell you that have seen and been with him– there was just this evil look in his eyes, it was just like… I don’t know. It’s unexplainable.
His parents were there, and they were little frail people. And I remember just feeling so broken hearted for them, that they were sitting there listening to what their son had done. And when we went to lunch that day across the street, his parents were there, and so was he. I remember just having such pity for his parents, because I thought he is such a wicked man. We were all positive that Bundy was the one who had taken her…
The detectives went to Florida where Bundy was to be executed to interview him when he was trying to buy time by telling them all he could. One of the girls that he admitted to kidnapping was Debi, and he told them where he had taken her body. It was down in southern Utah, called Fairview where he said he had buried her. And so in the spring, the Bountiful police took my husband and our children down there. It was up a long road, at this dead end. And when we got there, we really felt a peace, like we knew that was where he had put her. The police down there found a kneecap in this creek bed and it was from a young person. And so we brought that kneecap home as a memory of Deb. She was gone, but we had some of her remains.
So that was like a kind of a turning point. When we were there, we said, this needs to be the closure. She’s not coming back. It really is true. So we tried to move on, as hard as it was to believe that it really was over…
I spent a lot of time on my knees, just asking why. I trusted in the Lord and I didn’t lose my faith, but I had a lot of questions of, why? Debi was such a good girl, a sweet girl. Why would this happen? After time, I realized that things happen just because. I think it was just one of those things that had to happen. And it just happened to be Deb…
Supplemental Report by Detective Shane Alexander
March 3, 2015
SOURCE OF ACTIVITY:
I began to review this cold case from 1974. The synopsis of this case was on 11-8-1974 Debra Jean Kent (D.O.B. 3-12-1957) went missing from Viewmont High School. Debra has never been found. As the investigation continued a suspect, Theodore (Ted) Robert Bundy, was identified, but at the time evidence did not exist allowing for charges to be brought against him.
In 1989, Bundy was executed in Florida. Days prior to his execution he was interviewed by an investigator from the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. In that interview Bundy admitted to being responsible for Debra’s death. Details were given by Bundy as to where Debra’s remains might be. Based on the description of the location, detectives from the Bountiful Police Department and Sheriff’s Deputies from Sanpete County began a search of the Fairview Canyon area. In May of 1989, several bones were recovered, including a human patella.
All of the bones were sent to the Medical Examiner’s (M.E.) Office and all but the patella were determined to be non-human. The patella was determined to be from a right knee, however, the M. E. was unable to test it further. It was given to Bountiful Detective Ira Beal. No other searches of the Fairview area were performed by Bountiful Police or the Sanpete County Sheriff.
In February, 2015 skeletal remains were found in Fruit Heights. The remains were preliminarily identified as female, but were later determined not to be Debra.
The week of February 16, 2015, ABC Channel 4 News did a three part story on Bundy and his victims. Debra’s mother, Belva Kent, was interviewed in this story. In the story Belva describes that she was given a patella by the Medical Examiner and has kept it in a box in her room. The box and patella were shown in the story.
After reviewing this case I found that Debra had not been entered in the NAMUS database, she was not entered NCIC, and she was not listed as a missing person. I found copies of dental records for Debra in the case file, but the records have never been coded by a forensic odontologist. DNA samples have not been obtained by surviving family members. Debra’s date of birth was not in any of the initial reports, only her age of 17. A Social Security Number was never listed in the reports.
I contacted the Bureau of Criminal Identification (SCI) who is the agency that maintains record of missing persons. I was put in contact with Gina McNeil, Utah Missing Person Clearing House Representative. I worked with her and created a NAMUS profile for Debra. On 3-3-15, the dental records were coded and entered into NAMUS and added to the NCIC entry. I contacted the M. E. Office and spoke to Jill Haslam. I asked if DNA could be tested on the Patella. I was told that it was more likely than not that DNA could be identified. I was then advised that the Patella was part of their case and needed to be returned. As stated above, the Patella was released to a BPD Detective in 1989. I explained that I believed I knew where the Patella was. Haslam explained that Belva could not legally be in possession of the Patella. I asked Haslam if I could recover the Patella if I could send it to be tested, she stated I could.
On 2-19-15, I contacted Belva and arranged a meeting with her at her residence at 0900 hours. Assistant Chief Biehler accompanied me to the meeting.
MEETING WITH BELVA KENT 2-19-15:
Belva invited us into her home and we sat in her living room where the entire interview was conducted. Belva was the only one present in addition to Biehler and me. I was able to obtain Debra’s Date of Birth as 3-12-1957.
According to Belva, she didn’t believe that they obtained a Social Security Number for Debra, because at the time one would only apply for a number to either go to college or obtain employment. Debra never had a job.
Debra was born in Logan, Utah. She had both ears pierced and may have been wearing silver hoop earrings as well as a gold chain necklace and a 1975 Viewmont High School class ring. She was described as being petite, wore size 5 shoes, and was wearing two-toned brown and black lace type shoes. She had her tonsils out and wore contacts. Debra had braces, but they were removed and she wore a retainer. Belva stated Debra may have been wearing the retainer because they were never able to find it after she went missing. Belva did not have any X-Rays or any of Debra’s baby teeth.
Next I told Belva about the NAMUS database and that I wanted to list Debra. I explained about the advancements in technology with DNA and requested a sample from her. Belva consented to give me a sample of her DNA. I had a collection kit with me from the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification (UNTCHI), who analyzes the samples and builds the DNA profile. I filled out the paperwork that was included with the kit and Belva signed the included consent form. I took four buccal swab samples from Belva and sealed them in the provided envelope.
After collecting the swabs, I packaged the paperwork and the samples into a postage paid envelope addressed to UNTCHI and later that day I mailed the sample. I asked Belva about the patella. I explained that I would like to have it tested for DNA. Belva left the room and returned with a small white box that I recognized from the news story. Belva opened it up, inside was cotton surrounding a white and brown bone. It appeared to be the same one I viewed in the story. The bone was porous and dry, it appeared old. Belva willingly gave me the box and its contents.
I thanked Belva and she stated she didn’t want to know the results of the test. She said that she wanted it to be Debra and did not want to know if it was not her. I told her I would respect her wishes. I gave her my business card and told her she could contact me. Chief Biehler and I left the house.
A short time later I received a call from Belva. She stated that she made a mistake and wanted the Patella back. I explained that I could not return it, but I would do what was in my ability to do what I can for her. She stated she was starting to have a panic attack. I asked her if there was anyone I could call for her to go to her house. She stated that her husband had just returned home. She again stated that she didn’t want to know the results of the test and we ended the phone call.
SHIPPING OF REMAINS:
I arranged a meeting with McNeil from BCI after meeting with Belva. McNeil had paperwork for submitting the Patella to UNTCHI. After filling out the paperwork I sealed the box, initialed it, and entered it as evidence in this report. I then shipped it by Fed Ex to UNTCHI. The package was received on 2-25-15. I later called UNTCHI who confirmed the package was in their possession.
NCIC AND NAM US ENTRIES:
On 2-23-15 I entered Debra NCIC as a missing person with her description from 1974. I submitted Debra’s information into NAMUS. The Patella was entered into NAMUS by the M.E. Office.
CONTACT WITH TRISH KENT:
UNTCHI needs a minimum of two relatives to submit DNA. I had obtained from Belva, the name and contact information for Debra’s sister, Trish Kent. I contacted Trish on 2-26-15 by phone. I explained to her what my involvement into this case was and requested she submit her DNA to UNTCHI. She agreed and I obtained the information for her local Police Department. The UNTCHI collection kit required law enforcement collect the sample. I made contact with Detective Joe McGrath and he agreed to collect the sample and submit it. I sent him the contact information for Trish. I filled out the paperwork for the UNTCHI kit and mailed it to Detective McGrath. Once he collects the sample he will contact me.
BOUNTIFUL EVIDENCE ROOM:
On 3-3-15, I signed out a package from BPD Evidence that was labeled “Debra Kent Homicide.” I opened the package and discovered there were items from the Davis County Sheriff’s Office from a missing person case involving Nancy Baird. The items were a blue shirt/smock, three hairbrushes: white, pink and red and hair samples. Another item located in the package was a hair curler that was packaged separately. Inside of the clear packaging was a paper with the following:
“Salt Lake County Sheriff-Nancy Wilcox missing-Enclosed sample of Nancy Wilcox’s hair-Deputy Ken Farnsworth Salt Lake County Sheriffs Juvenile Div.”
The final item was an envelope that was sealed, written on the envelope was the following:
“Debbie Kent-Hair Sample”
I took the items and separated them into three individual packages and rebooked them into evidence. I have contacted Davis County and arranged to turn over the property to them. I have left a message with the Unified Police Department’s Cold Case Investigator. I will attempt to return the item to UPD as soon as I am contacted.
FURTHER ACTIONS BY LAW ENFORCEMENT:
As soon as the DNA profile can be determined, it will be uploaded into NCIC and NAMUS. If the patella matches the DNA profile, a search of the Fairview Canyon area should be revisited to search for other remains.
Supplement by Detective Alexander
I was contacted by Officer T. Crider. Crider stated she had collected the DNA sample from Trish Kent and sent the sample to the University of North Texas for comparison. A copy of this report will be in the case file. I contacted U.N.T. and they have received the sample and have it in process.
Supplement by Detective Alexander
SOURCE OF ACTIVITY:
On 7-22-15, I received an email from Mark Tidwell of the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification. In that was a copy of the final report from the analysis of the Patella and the DNA samples belonging to Belva Kent and Trish Kent.
The report indicates that human DNA was extracted from the patella and analyzed. A synopsis of the report states the genetic data obtained from Belva and Trish are consistent with the unidentified human remains originating from the patella. “These genetic data (autosomal S. T. R. and Mitochondrial DNA) are approximately three trillion times more likely to be observed under the scenario that the unidentified remains originated from a biological child of Belva J. Kent and from a biological sibling of Trish Kent as opposed to the unidentified remains originating from an unrelated individual from the Caucasian population. The above reported statistical value provides very strong support for the declared biological relationship between the unidentified remains in the family references.”
I forwarded a copy of this report to Jill Haslam, an investigator for the Medical Examiner’s Office. Jill then forwarded the report on to the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Todd Grey.
On Thursday, July 23, 2015, I received an email back from Jill stating that Dr. Grey reviewed the report from the University of North Texas and accepted their findings that the patella has been positively identified as Debra Kent. In that email it also states that Dr. Grey has approved that the patella can be released directly from the Police to Debra Kent’s next of kin as long as there is a Chain of Custody form. The Chain of Custody form is to be sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office once complete.
The patella was shipped from the University of North Texas and was received on 7-27-15 at the Bountiful Police Station. There I received the package, and confirmed that the patella was in it. I observed that approximately 1/3 of the patella had been removed.
I contacted Belva Kent by phone. I explained to her I had the bone back and wanted to return it to her. We arranged to meet at 10:00AM on 7-28-15 though she had moved to a new residence.
On 7-28-15, Detective Hadley and I met with Belva Kent at her new residence. There I showed her the bone and explained to her why parts of the bone were missing. I then explained to her that the DNA extracted from the patella matched the DNA submitted by her and her daughter, Trish Ann. I explained that the Medical Examiner’s Office concurred and identified the patella as belonging to Debi.
I gave a copy of the final report to Belva and indicated to her that there is a possibility the Media may try to contact her regarding this. I explained to her she was free to say whatever she wanted to. I told her, however, if after talking to her family, and if they desired, they could put a statement together and submit it to the Bountiful Police Department who would at the appropriate time release their statement along with the Police Department’s press release. I told her if wanted we could assist in maintaining their privacy. Belva stated she would talk to her family and decide. I had Belva sign the Chain of Custody form releasing the patella back to her and Detective Hadley and I left.
This information confirming that the patella recovered in the Fairview Canyon in 1989 does in fact have a DNA link to the missing person. It is possible there are other remains of Debra in the Fairview Canyon area as described in Ted Bundy’s confession.
Supplement by Detective Sergeant Alexander
On 4-17-17 at about 0900 hours, I received an email from Brenda Galarza who is the NAMUS Coordinator. She was inquiring about releasing information about the resolution of this case. As I reviewed the case, I found that Debra Kent is still listed as missing on several websites including Utah’s Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) missing persons clearing house.
I contacted Gina McNeil at BCI and discussed having Kent being listed as missing still. With only the victim’s patella being located, we decided that it would be best if we left Kent as missing and re-list her on NCIC in the event more of her remains are ever located.
I had Dispatch list Kent as missing, putting in the miscellaneous field that remains were identified by DNA, listed again in case additional remains are located. I contacted the Davis County Attorney’s Office and reviewed the details of this case with a prosecutor for a screening. I was advised that an official screening does not need to take place due to the suspect/offender is deceased.
This case is closed by exception due to the death of the offender.
Debra Jean Kent
Rest in Peace
Special thanks to the Bountiful Police Department, and Chris Mortensen for his financial contribution towards purchasing copies of the file.