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Episode 73: Ted Bundy Phone Call

This is audio from a phone call made by Ted Bundy to prison psychologist Dr. Al Carlisle before Bundy was known to be a serial killer. Bundy was in Utah State Prison after his 1975 arrest for the kidnap and attempted murder of Carol DaRonch (he soon became a suspect in a progressively longer list of unsolved homicides – or “transactions”, as Bundy refers to them here – in multiple states). Dr. Carlisle spent about 20 hours evaluating Bundy to determine whether he posed a danger for future violence. Carlisle concluded that Bundy was hard to get to know, precise, objective and somewhat impersonal when discussing himself. He lied easily, compartmentalized, and had a lot of anger. Carlisle concluded that Bundy had the capacity to commit serious crimes.

Bundy left Utah when Colorado authorities charged him with the murder of Caryn Campbell, and he was transferred to Aspen in January 1977.  On June 7, he was taken to the courthouse for a preliminary hearing, and since he was representing himself, he wasn’t required to wear handcuffs or leg shackles. During a recess, he asked to visit the courthouse’s law library to research his case. While there, he opened a window and jumped from the second story. He was arrested again six days later.

Despite his negative evaluation, Carlisle clearly established a rapport with Bundy, who, in this call, seems casual and friendly but evasive and impersonal. On Dec 30 1977, Bundy escaped again and committed further assaults, including three murders, before his ultimate recapture in Florida in 1978.

Listen to the episode here.