This eye-opening book uses the case of Ted Bundy to show how a case against a serial killer is investigated, how problems common to such cases are overcome, and how the prosecution team marshals and presents the evidence at trial.
While awaiting execution, America's most notorious serial killer Ted Bundy confessed to having murdered 12-year-old Kim Leach. But the details of his confession turn out to be false. What were his motivations for lying? And how do investigators get down to the truth? In this case, details like a handful of sand and a pile of mildewed cigarette butts helped reveal the truth.
The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy follows the facts and circumstances of Kim Leach's disappearance and the investigation and prosecution of Ted Bundy in rough chronological order, from Bundy's escape from a Colorado jail in 1977 to his execution at Florida State Prison in 1989. It provides an inside look at the intricacies and complications of this historic case that spanned many states and jurisdictions, documenting how unselfishness and dogged determination were key to solving the case.
The story is told from the vantage point of one intimately involved in both the investigation and prosecution of the criminal, clearly showing how friction between agencies can impede the investigation and how cooperation can expedite a solution. The book emphasizes the important role played by circumstantial evidence and forensic science, explores the impact of pervasive publicity upon such an investigation, critiques the investigation and prosecution of Bundy, and offers suggestions on how—and how not—to deal with "celebrity killers" in the future.
• Major figures in the investigation and prosecution vetted the descriptions of events in which they were involved
• Extensive newspaper clippings, the prosecution trial brief, the FDLE case file, and portions of the actual trial transcript served as sources of reference for the book
• Illustrated with photographs of evidence, crime scene diagrams, and charts demonstrating the relationship of various items of evidence
• Describes how sociopathic defendants manipulate the criminal justice system and disrupt criminal prosecutions
• Examines issues related to interagency cooperation in the prosecution of peripatetic serial killers
• Demonstrates the importance of forensic science to both the investigation and the prosecution of serial murderers
• Shows how attention to minutiae can make the difference in solving cases and how seemingly insignificant errors can impede a prosecution