For a guy who never lived here, Ted Bundy certainly made a mark on Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley.
He kidnapped and brutally murdered a Michigan nurse from a Snowmass Village hotel in January 1975, then jumped out of a second-story window at the Pitkin County Courthouse in July 1977 during a court recess after he’d been extradited to Aspen to face charges in the woman’s death, and was on the lam for eight days.
Bundy escaped from the Garfield County Jail in Glenwood Springs on Dec. 31, 1977, after removing a light fixture from the roof of his cell, squeezing through the small hole and vanishing into the night. He never returned to Colorado.
During his months in Glenwood Springs and Aspen in 1977, Bundy — who acted as his attorney — and prosecutors with the 9th Judicial District were preparing to go to trial for the murder of Caryn Campbell, who was abducted from the Wildwood Inn in Snowmass Village.
The trial never happened because of his Glenwood escape and subsequent execution in Florida in January 1989 for three murders he committed in that state.
Ever since Bundy escaped Colorado for good, however, the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has been holding on to nine boxes of evidence and other documents related to the Bundy trial that never was.
The boxes have been sitting in a closet in the DA offices at the Garfield County Courthouse and are occasionally perused by journalists and others interested in the notorious serial killer, who confessed to killing more than 50 women.
The DA’s Office is digitizing the materials, most of which are mundane legal documents or minutia related to the investigation into Campbell’s death. But there are several items tucked in among the boxes that stick out as interesting artifacts of Bundy’s time in the Roaring Fork Valley and the murder he committed here.
Included in those artifacts is a crowbar later found to contain blood and a Colorado Ski Country guide from the 1974-75 ski season that was found in Bundy’s Salt Lake City apartment that tied him directly to the Snowmass Village murder.
During his stay in the Roaring Fork Valley, Bundy was housed in the old Garfield County Jail, which has since been torn down, because Kienast worried he might try to escape from “the antiquated conditions” at Pitkin County’s jail, according to a June 9, 1977, Aspen Times story about his courthouse escape.
Among the items in storage at the DA’s Office in Glenwood Springs are the booties Bundy wore while incarcerated at the Garfield County Jail. The navy blue, knitted booties have been sitting in a plastic bag since Bundy last used them in December 1977.
Another saved artifact in the boxes documents the sale of Bundy’s notorious VW Bug.
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