Does Ted Bundy Still Haunt the Northgate Mall?

The local Republican and serial killer used to hang out in the parking lot.



He was a Rockefeller Republican! So was Jackie Robinson!


Jackie was bad too?!


When Bundy was on his last spree, I taught at his Tacoma alma mater, whose principal had attended the school when Bundy did. He believed the first victim was a local girl who vanished when they were putting in new sewer pipes. On the wall in my classroom was a newspaper clipping about Bundy and this report by a student: "He was our babysitter. He would play games and scare us and then say they were just games." The lead teacher in our gifted-students program quit after a few months because he got a contract to write the Bundy book The Killer Next Door (Ann Rule told me he knew more about B than anyone), so he had to go to Florida to cover the trial.


Yet not a mention of the man back when Dante's was razed.


Nathalie, this is awesome. You are my favorite among the new wave of writers at The Stranger.


I've lived in Seattle since the early nineties in the same place near the mall. I didn't know about the mall being a prime Bundy stalking ground. That creeps me out. But every time I read something new about Bundy I wish I hadn't bothered. The guy was evil in the flesh.

The mall is kind of a sad non-entity for me. I'm modest income so I have no need for Nordstrom's or Macy's or anything else there - it all seems so overpriced and overhyped. Somehow the vendors there have to pay the high rent. I rarely go to Red Robin. I'm more likely to visit the pub or the ramen joint or take in a movie at Thornton Place. Shopping for me is Costco, the supermarket across the street from me, a few other places known for their low prices and quality merchandise - and then there's online.

Really I can't remember the last time I walked through the mall just to browse. For better or worse it's an Amazon world these days.


There's an old rumor (probably false) that Ted Bundy was the first person to drive across the North Cascades Highway when it opened in 1972. The story is that as an aide to Gov. Evans, he served as the governor's driver at the highway opening. However, I think this is unproven, and anyway I'm pretty sure highway safety inspectors would have made the drive before the official opening.

I used to go into Northgate mall late at night to deliver donuts to the Nordstrom ebar. Never did see any ghosts; in fact, the place is rather peaceful and pleasant at 3AM. It's much, much scarier in the daytime.


Northgate was built long before I 5 and the "I 5 corridor". The Bon Marche was therefore not built at eyelevel for cars passing on I 5. Northgate does date from 1950 but it was not a covered mall initially, just stores with pedestrian only walkways. Construction on I 5 was begun about ten years later and not open for travel to Northgate until 1964 or 1965. You need to fact-check your articles. How much else is wrong? The Stranger is a newspaper, not a Twitter feed. Don't publish what can't be verified.


Oh, Jesus Christ--first knife-wielding Michael Myers after 40 years of Halloween and its infinite number of shitty sequels, and now this. We know the drill: RepubliKKKans are horrible monsters. Let's do something to void them of their evil powers. Nathalie--while this is an impressive story, especially during this time of year, Ted Bundy comes a little too close to home for me. Brrrr!
@8 really old timer: Thank you. I wasn't around yet when Northgate was first built (1950) and I-5 expanded to the U.S. Canadian border, but often went shopping there. Cheeseburgers, fries, and sundaes at The Big Top were a big treat, and especially before a movie.


@6 jdo: I didn't know that Northgate was a favorite stalking ground of Ted Bundy's, either, until reading Nathalie's article. Bundy claimed another victim just 10 houses up the road where I grew up. This news is really creeping me out, too.


Ted Bundy will always be scarier to me than any knife-wielding slasher Nick Castle (a.k.a Michael Myers / The Shape) in a white leather mask can conjure up. The latter is a fictional horror character designed to pack the movie theaters; the former is chillingly the real thing. It's no surprise to me to find out years later that Bundy was also a staunch RepubliKKKan.
Nathalie, Ted's been gone now for 29 years. Let the dead stay dead this time.
Roast in Hell, Ted Bundy.


Nathalie, girlfriend, you have an unhealthy obsession with Ted Bundy. Have you got a thing for serial killers?

Let it go. You're boring manu of us and some of us are growing fearful for you..


@12 that's the most weaksauce concern trolling I've even seen


His girlfriend lived across the street from me when I was about 3 or 4 years old. She was a single mom and her daughter and my sister were in the same class together at University Heights. We often played over at her house and I clearly remember Ted playing with us. He'd swing us around airplane style.


@14 seattleoriginal: And you're neither traumatized nor bothered by the fact that he confessed to killing 36 innocent women in cold blood? And that when sentenced to the chair at Florida State Prison for serial homicide Ted Bundy expressed no qualms at all, and actually gloated about being caught by the authorities? Count yourself extremely lucky. Susan Elaine Rancourt sure wasn't, and she was only three weeks younger than my older sister--both then 18.


@12 - Bite me


@14 did I say I was neither bothered nor traumatized? I simply stated a fact. You’re a total jerk


@17 seattleoriginal: I read you had stated that Ted Bundy had played with you and your sister as small children at his girlfriend's house across the street from where you lived, and swung you around airplane style. There was no mention of any feelings upon recognizing Bundy as a serial killer later. If you're still quite understandably in shock, I'm very sorry. I can't imagine what you must be feeling from what memories you had of him. It's a blessing that after all this time you're still alive and safe. I don't believe my stating how lucky you were to still be alive makes me a total jerk, however. Ted Bundy proved himself to be infinitely more than a total jerk. He was one sick fuck and that's a fact, too.

Nathalie, this is my beef---your article referring to ghosts of Northgate Mall to me reads like you're trivializing a tragic series of criminal events in the 70s and 80s that have traumatized many people over a span of forty-five years for the sake of a news story, as if it should be made into a blockbuster movie coming to theaters soon. It already has been. In the 1980s, Mark Harmon starred in the title role as Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger. This is 2018. Please don't go there.


@12 Purris: I share your concern.


@14 & @17: On the other hand, if you never actually knew Ted Bundy even existed until Nathalie's article and deliberately made your a-bit-too-casual-sounding narrative up (a girlfriend? Really?--for how long--until his next intended victim when you were--three? Four?) just to get a rise, then you're a trolling asshole, and can refer to comment @16.


I'm interested in true crime and have seen a few documentaries on Bundy and his ilk. Yes, he had girlfriends. It was a cover. By all accounts he was a very charming and charismatic individual - that's how he was able to lure his victims. Besides, a 3 or 4-yr old girl would not have been one of his intended targets.

I understand that this is a touchy subject, so if it upsets you, why did you read the article and why are you engaging in the comments? DL;DR.


@9 @10 you are my favorite Auntie. Thank you


@21 sanguisuga: How would you feel if you knew someone who lost a beloved family member far too soon--at the age of EIGHTEEN---to a serial killer as heartless as Ted Bundy? Of course his "girlfriends" were covers, ya moron----think! Like I already said, @14 & @17 seattleoriginal is damned lucky, even at age 3 or 4 not to have been a target. Ted Bundy killed girls as young as age twelve, particularly brunettes with long straight hair parted down the middle.
@22 SheaTau: Are you trolling or just glad to read me?


Do not call me names. I have said nothing to warrant that 'moron' and I do not appreciate it. Kindly check yourself.


@24 sanguisuga: So bite me then. Are you 12 and maybe watch a little too much TV? Kindly check yourself as to why you appear to love true crime stories so much that you don't see the negative impact of those whose lives monsters like Bundy destroyed. I hope you don't ever lose a beloved friend or family member to a heartless murderer.


@24: Kindly get off your DumbPhone already before you cause a traffic accident and end up in the ER at Harborview.


Did I say anything about his actions not having any impact? Have I denied anyone's trauma? I have been nothing but civil towards you but you're insisting on being a cranky little bitch. Did you skip over the part where I said I was a baby when Bundy was doing his killing? Which means I'm in my 40s right now, thank you very much. I am not the one here who is behaving as a 12 yr-old. Being interested in true crime does not make me a serial killer fangirl.


Christ Almighty you just keep piling it on! I'm not in my car, you dumbfuck.


@27 & @28 angerspewer: For a guy in his 40s claiming to be so civil you sure do sound rabidly vulgar to me. When did you last get your shots?


@27: Oh--and um, in your current state of histrionics I believe you omitted the part where you supposedly were in your infancy back when Ted Bundy did his killing. You might want to check this comment thread again to verify. Do you make true crime up as you go?


Have to say it's disturbing to say the least to see the Halloween-y cartoon drawing of Bundy done up almost in a comical way. This and the article treat this topic as if it's an interesting and compelling - even entertaining - piece of pop culture history. What Bundy did to his 36+ female - and ONLY female victims - (there are also estimates that he murdered as many as 100 women and girls) - isn't entertaining. It's not fodder for Halloween "spookiness".

After bludgeoning, strangling, and raping his young victims, in at least 12 cases, he decapitated them with a hacksaw.

Is that fact entertaining? Titillating?

Do we elevate the sheriffs and townspeople who arranged and performed and came out to watch, along with their children, public lynchings, into pop culture icons? Where are the cartoon-y "spooky" images of the lynchers? How about the Las Vegas or Pulse nightclub or Newtown shooters done up in creepy Halloween makeup?

One of Bundy's victims was 12 year old Kimberly Leach, who was abducted from her junior high school. Her skeletal remains were later found near a local state park 12 years old.

One 16 year old victim, Nancy Wilcox, was ambushed, assaulted, and strangled; her body also buried in a state park.

After he escaped from jail, he went on a typically incredibly violent rampage at a sorority house, breaking in through one of the doors and beginning 2:45am he BLUDGEONED 21 year old Margaret Bowman with a piece of oak firewood as she slept, then garroted her with a nylon stocking. He then entered the bedroom of 20-year-old Lisa Levy and BEAT HER UNCONSCIOUS, STRANGLED her, TORE ONE OF HER NIPPLES, bit deeply into her left buttock, and sexually assaulted her.

He wasn't done yet. In an adjoining bedroom he attacked Kathy Kleiner, BREAKING HER JAW and deeply lacerating her shoulder; and Karen Chandler, who suffered a CONCUSSION, BROKEN JAW, LOSS OF TEETH, and a crushed finger. The four attacks took place in a total of less than 15 minutes.

After leaving the sorority house, Bundy broke into a basement apartment eight blocks away and attacked student Cheryl Thomas, DISLOCATING HER SHOULDER AND FRACTURING HER JAW AND SKULL IN FIVE PLACES. SHE WAS LEFT WITH PERMANENT DEAFNESS, as well as equilibrium damage that ended her dance career.

It's interesting that people will focus on the long hair parted down the middle thing, when the one unifying thing about Bundy's victims was his misogynistic rage he had against them - against all women - due to being rejected by an early girlfriend. Sound familiar?

Please THINK before writing an article like this again. Inform yourself about the nitty gritty of what this guy actually did to so damn many women and girls. it's not something to gloss over and to try to make into a Halloween "piece" because your deadline is approaching.


A)If you'd really wanted to make it sting, you could have said "he was a Dan Evans Republican";

B)Jackie Robinson switched to the Democrats in 1964, when the Republican presidential candidate came out for repealing the just-passed Civil Rights Act and accepted white supremacists as convention delegates.


@31 VelvetBabeAgain: Thank you. Fully agreed. These are exactly the same points I was trying to make in my earlier comments before everything senselessly blew up in my face.

Seriously, Nathalie---this article was in really poor taste. If it's your idea of good, investigative journalism, please find another line of work.


Aunt Zelda
I think you were angry at the writer and released it, intentionally or not, on seattleoriginal @ 14 who recoiled in return. You continued @ 20

As I read it sanguisuga @ 21 was not brushing aside the horrendous crimes, and offered you to leave based on your interactions.

VelvetBabeAgain @ 31 addressed the writer directly, which is probably what you should have done in the first place.


@34 CMD: In retrospect, I agree--I probably should have addressed Nathalie directly in my very first comment. I thought I had done so sufficiently in @9. Back in the '60s, '70's '80s and beyond I had nothing but pleasant memories Northgate Mall. They're now tarnished by Nathalie's repulsive Scooby-Doo cartoon disguised as a feature article about Ted Bundy's violent crimes against women. VelvetBabeAgain nailed it and wins the comment thread.


@34 CMD: If you'll refer back to my comment @18, you will see that I DID directly confront Nathalie on her shamefully tasteless article. I guess nobody caught it.


@31 VelvetBabeAgain: Yes--it's chilling and sickening that ALL Ted Bundy's victims were women and girls. Not one male victim--all female. What creeps me out the most was his fixations particularly on brunettes and Volkswagen Beetles. I'm brunette, drive a VW, and actually know of a family who lost a daughter / sister / niece / grand-daughter / friend. We were neighbors down the road from each other. The girl that Bundy killed was only three weeks younger than my older sister. Both were just out of high school and entering college. All those violent, bloody serial killings all because he got jilted by one girl. I feel just as sick about it as you do.


And pointing out Bundy was a Republican is significant, why? You know what? Fuck you Stranger. Fuck you for getting into the identity politics and cultural wars. Fuck you for using neocon tactics of dehumanizing the opposition, and fuck you for turning your rag into High Times Northwest. You, the rest of the regressive left, and neocons should be shipped off to an island so you can settle your hash and get rid of one another Battle Royale style and let the rest of us sane Americans in the middle live in peace.


Ted Bundy, the Green River Killer, the George Jackson Brigade. The 70’s were a creepy, crazy time in Seattle.


@39 Catalina Vel-DuRay: I was just a kid growing up back in the '70s but I'll certainly testify to that. It's unsettling how those creepy, crazy times seem to have returned tenfold.