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Monday, November 5, 2012

Washington's Most Famous Tracker: Ted Bundy

Posted by on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 at 6:00 AM

A couple people mentioned this in the comments on my story on political trackers: Apparently, Ted Bundy worked as a Republican tracker in Washington State back in the early 1970s.

Who knew?

Not me, though I certainly wish I'd known about Bundy's tracker past before I sat down to write about contemporary political trackers. One person who did know: David Ammons, the former Associated Press reporter who's now the communications director for Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed.

Last week, Ammons e-mailed me this tale from the 1972 trail:

My favorite tracker story is when I was covering my first governor’s race, back in 1972 (when you weren’t even born, right?). When I was up at Western covering an Al Rosellini campus rally for the AP, I noticed this handsome young guy with a tape recorder and notebook monitoring/covering the event. After it was over, I introduced myself, assuming he was another reporter, and he said quietly that he was there for the Dan Evans campaign.

"Huh?" I said.

He explained what trackers do—I think he called it the “Truth Squad." He was there to see if Rosy said something embarrassing or contradicted himself from something he had said at a different event.

The guy’s name: Ted Bundy.

 

Comments (20) RSS

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1
FEWER THAN 200 REPORTEDLY SHOW UP FOR PRO-OBAMA RALLY FEATURING STEVIE WONDER

Cleveland.com is reporting that fewer than 200 people showed up for a unique get-out-the-vote rally for President Obama featuring legendary musician Stevie Wonder.


http://www.theblaze.com/stories/wasnt-ad…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 5, 2012 at 6:58 AM · Report this
2
To his neighbors in Norwood Park, Gacy became known as a gregarious, helpful individual: active in his local community and, from 1974, hosting annual summer parties.[65] He also became active in Democratic Party politics, initially offering the labor services of his PDM employees free of charge.[66] Gacy was rewarded for his community services by being appointed to serve upon the Norwood Park Township street lighting committee.[67] He subsequently earned the title of precinct captain.[68] In 1975, Gacy was appointed director of Chicago's annual Polish Constitution Day Parade — an annual event he was to supervise from 1975 until 1978. Through his work with the parade, Gacy met and was photographed with then First Lady Rosalynn Carter on May 6, 1978.[69] Rosalynn Carter signed one photo: "To John Gacy. Best wishes. Rosalynn Carter". The event later became an embarrassment to the United States Secret Service, as in the pictures taken Gacy can be seen wearing an "S" pin, indicating a person who has received a special clearance by the Secret Service.[71]

In the early hours of December 22, 1978, Gacy confessed to police that since 1972, he had committed approximately 25–30 murders, all of whom he falsely claimed were teenage male runaways or male prostitutes...


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne_…
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on November 5, 2012 at 7:03 AM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 3
@1, and that has to do with anything why? Oh wait...I just looked at your "source" of information. LOL!!!

This is satire right?
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on November 5, 2012 at 7:04 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 4
1972 is just before Bundy started his killing spree. Given that he killed a girl right outside of The Evergreen State College (which Dan Evans founded), I wonder if Bundy ever acquired a knowledge of the woodlands surrounding that place from his wok with the Evans campaign.

I don't think Evans or the GOP is to blame for Bundy's murders, but I do think that some elements within the GOP might have attracted Bundy to that party, including its historic disregard for the rights of women and its flirtations with violent groups such as the NRA. The very qualities that made Bundy successful as a murderer would no doubt have benefitted him in the realm of politics, no matter what party he was associated with, but I think his clear hatred for women would have put him at odds with Washington Democrats. Its possible the GOP was more willing to tolerate him, and that is why he made his political home there.

His connections with the political right no doubt also allowed him to maintain good relations with the police, who refused to believe that he was the monster until the evidence was just too overwhelming to deny. Political leftists are distrusted by the authorities, whereas the right often gets a free pass
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on November 5, 2012 at 7:10 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
"The Stranger Beside Me" is a damn good book.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on November 5, 2012 at 7:13 AM · Report this
6
"Before arriving in Cincinnati, Wonder made an unannounced visit to Cleveland, where he did a street concert for a small crowd of 50 people near the busy Cuyahoga County early voting site.

According to the Washington Post, Wonder told the audience: "I would like you to commit to me one thing. I do a song. You go vote. Can we do that?”"

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/st…
Posted by Leoba on November 5, 2012 at 7:14 AM · Report this
Tacoma Traveler 7
Why are you guys posting about Stevie Wonder in the comments section for a story about Ted Bundy?
Posted by Tacoma Traveler on November 5, 2012 at 7:33 AM · Report this
TVDinner 8
Of course Bundy was a Republican. Of course.
Posted by TVDinner http:// on November 5, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
McJulie 9
@5 True! I thought it was one of those true crime books that transcends the genre, like In Cold Blood.

While it's true that Bundy was a sociopath, and Republican policies are sociopathic, actual serial killers are rare enough that I think it's dangerous to speculate too much about the implications of their political leanings.
Posted by McJulie on November 5, 2012 at 8:02 AM · Report this
10
@8 -- I'd stay away from that line of reasoning if I were you.
Posted by six shooter on November 5, 2012 at 8:13 AM · Report this
11
I would't equate Bundy with today's Republican Party. Back in the 70s there was a push towards reform with what was called the Young Republicans. Even some of our region's most liberal politicos were enticed and dipped a toe in the water. They found the group to be exactly what they didn't want. Bundy was not a Republican, nor a political junkie for long; he obviously had other passions and plans.
Posted by Common Sense Lady on November 5, 2012 at 8:17 AM · Report this
bedipped 12
It looks like the "Truth Squad" still exists at robmckenna.org/truth
Posted by bedipped on November 5, 2012 at 8:19 AM · Report this
Knat 13
@1: Oh, well if it's coming from Glenn Beck, we know it must be the truth, right? Jesus Christ, now that Mitt Romney's shot at the Whit House is all but gone, you're just coming apart at the seams, aren't you?
Posted by Knat on November 5, 2012 at 8:21 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 14
Bundy was a clean cut kid from a clean cut family. In 1972, that meant being a "Republican". Politics was merely an educational pursuit for him, as it is for many college age kids.

He would have been a psychopath working for McGovern, too. Or in the Peace Corps. Or Vietnam. Or the local bank. It doesn't really matter. That's the way serial killers are.
Posted by Sir Vic on November 5, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
15
Back in 1972, in my inner-city, low-income, diverse high school here in Seattle, we made a point to look clean cut - we called it dressing "down" and we were trying to not look poor, and certainly not like those we considered as hippies -- those were the white kids in the north end and the suburbs. Dressing nice and being "clean cut" translated as being cool. While politics didn't matter much to our demographic back then, we did tend to be of a liberal persuasion, and did not equate that to being Republican. Some of our local leaders, people of color even, were courted briefly by the Young Republicans. I do think the attraction was the money however.
Posted by Common Sense Lady on November 5, 2012 at 9:37 AM · Report this
16
David Ammons is a goddamn treasure. The man should give a master class in writing press releases. Sure, being a flak for the Secretary of State isn't the most exciting job in the world, but after 30+ years as a political reporter, I'd say he's more than earned a sweet desk job.
Posted by Kalakalot on November 5, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
17
How did even I know this about Bundy? And I'm neither interested in politics and serial killers.
Posted by mitten on November 5, 2012 at 11:11 AM · Report this
18
Bundy, I and about 33 others were summer interns for the State of Washington. He introduced me to Gov Evans at a picnic lunch on the lawn of the govenors mansion in 1973.

As I recall, interns had a lunch meeting almost every Friday. Bundy always had a lot to say...I thought he was a jerk (most likely I was envious of his speaking and sales ability). I did and still do like Dan Evans, even though he sent a letter recommending Bundy's acceptance at Brigram Young U. school of law. Bundy attended UPS law school at the time. A few months later, I ran into an "old" intern at a party. She clued me that the "TED" we were all looking for was Bundy.

So not only was Bundy a republican, a rapist, a murderer, a liar etc., he was most likely a MORMOM too!
Posted by charliebickle on November 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM · Report this
19
@18 - I love "I met Bundy" stories! If you believe my old bus, Bundy was her babysitter and she even went for a ride in his Volkswagen.

Word up NW Serial Killers! Word up Ann Rule! I'd vote for Dave Reichert if I could.
Posted by six shooter on November 5, 2012 at 1:21 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
[submitted this morning, but forgot to click a second time]

@11 is correct. Back then, bright young progressives in Washington were likely to be Republicans, not Democrats. The state Dems were seen as old and corrupt, more interested in collecting graft than in working for the people of Washington. Remember that Rosellini was always rumored (never proved) to be at the top of the Seattle Police Department bribery pyramid just a year or two before; that scandal exploded without touching him directly, but it hurt. The young activists who rallied around Jimmy Carter a few years later didn't have their shit together yet; Seattle was a leftie backwater then. And the Republicans had Dan Evans and Joel Pritchard and others, good-government progressives who cared about the people of the state but knew how to balance a budget; Evans was a national leader on the environment and on higher education; he also fought for an income tax (yes, these were Republican positions at the time, believe it or not). The Democrats were four years away from nominating...anti-environmentalist nutjob Dixie Lee Ray.

Things were different then. Forty years is a long time. Ted Bundy reflects on Evans and the GOP not at all.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on November 5, 2012 at 6:22 PM · Report this

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