I have read the book called, “The Stranger Beside Me” by Ann Rule. This book was her first published biographical true crime book about a person she knew by the name Ted Bundy. She knew him personally before and after the murders, he committed in the 1970s. This book was both difficult and heart-wrenching for her to write about. In the next few paragraphs, I will tell you about Ted and what he did throughout this time of his life. Also, what Rule knew and thought during the time she knew of him and after he was convicted. Along with a few medical aspects of those that have been hurt by Ted after his beatings. Mrs. Rule had a very good friendship with Ted starting in 1971 when they worked together in the crisis center. He told her about his family and past with a girl he liked but seemed never good enough for her. The rule also was a writer and worked closely with the police department with missing girls that started to come up missing or dead. The friendship seemed like any other and she trusted him to even watch her children, thankfully he never did. Ted went to the University of Washington to study psychology and law. He seemed nice, kind, and empathetic. That made him a good fit for the crisis center to help take calls of those contemplating suicide. When they fell out of contact in 1973 when he moved, she still seemed conflicted about the accusations made about him killing women. The killings starting in 1974 in the Seattle area, that shocked the city people. The killing seemed to go on almost monthly and this gained a lot of attention in the news. It was then that Ted was almost caught at Lake Sammamish State Park one summer by a few witnesses. They saw him talking with a few women that had later disappeared and showed up dead. He had his arm in a sling asking them to help him with a boat on his car. He tried to get them into the car and take them away. One of those witnesses was able to help with a sketch that was later used.
When Rule saw the sketch for the first time she was in denial and thought, “no it must be someone that looks like Ted”. But something that summer made her feel like she needed to put his name in and hope that she was wrong. Ted then moved to Utah for law school and tried again with a girl that escaped and flagged down a car. He was then prosecuted in Colorado for more women that were found dead. He then escaped prison and tried to convince Rule that he was not guilty, and he would never do something like this. When he moved to Florida, he attacked again this time with a dorm full of sleeping girls. All but two survived and were rushed to the hospital. As a health care professional, I could only imagine what the doctors and staff saw that day. We need to be very careful when we receive patient that comes from trauma. There are both seen, and none seen things to consider. In this case, they were able to see the trauma from the beating. But they don’t know if they were sexually abused on top of the seen trauma. If those girls were sexually abused, then we need to be careful about how we approach the subject to help the patient heal. These patients were abused by Ted and they may be fearful of a male doctor or staff. It may be in the patient’s best interest to have an all-female staff and doctor. For the future of these patients, I could only imagine it would be hard to recover from. They may have a fear of sleeping alone or being out alone and in the night. These girls may even have trust issues and may never want to be alone or only trust a select few people. These girls may always never be out in public without someone being with them. Their interaction with other people may be limited, due to running into Ted out in a public place. These girls may develop an OCD of locking the doors and windows double checking them all through the night.
That is if Ted came for them in the night like those that survived the dorm incident. Thanks to Ted their life has forever been altered but I hope they can grow stronger from this. Throughout Ted’s trials, he defended himself and tried to convince the world that he was not the person they were looking for. He was charged for murders in 4 states and sentenced to death via electric chair at the Florida State Prison in January 1989. Some families still to this day have no idea where their girls are or what had happened to them. Rule despite her original disbelief agrees that he did do this and wished she knew or saw the signs a long time ago. She thinks that maybe she could have saved some of the girls from this tragic fate.