A Closer Look At The Ted Bundy Case

 Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy became the first person in the United States to be convicted of a capital offense where all evidence against him was circumstantial. All except for the bite mark print left in the buttocks of Lisa Levy, a Florida State University coed in the Chi Omega house in Tallahassee. Bundy, who killed an unknown number of mostly females, most of whom had long brown hair with short bangs, extended his killing spree from the pacific northwest to the deep southeast. 

Bundy worked at a call center for suicide prevention and worked next to a woman named Ann Rule, who has since became an internationally known crime writer. She has written a compelling piece of work entitled ‘Stranger Beside Me’ about her experiences working with Ted Bundy, before anyone knew who he was or what his mission might be. I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to experience the chilling tales of his life’s story.

My friend and colleague, Dr. Richard Souviron, Chief Forensic Odontologist for Miami/Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office provided key testimony in Bundy’s trial. CBS even made a movie about Bundy’s life story which can probably be rediscovered to this interested on Netflix. Bundy had been enrolled in one year of law school, before flunking out, and decided to represent himself in his murder trial. 

  Odontologist Richard Souviron explaining bite mark evidence at the Chi Omega trial (State Archives of Florida).

Odontologist Richard Souviron explaining bite mark evidence at the Chi Omega trial (State Archives of Florida).

Bundy was a rather charming individual, his social skills were evidently quite enticing to those innocent women who succumbed to his perverted and sadistic rituals of capture, rape, torture and finally murder. It is said that the month before his execution he received over 200 unsolicited pieces of mail from various females around the country, wanting to have some sort of relationship with him. 

Two things were unique about the bite mark details of the Bundy case. First is the fact that Bundy had a wreck of a mouth and in bad need of a good orthodontist. Secondly, the fact that several of his teeth had broken edges, chips and defective fillings. Another factor in this case was that he bit his victim on the buttocks, which is one piece of flesh where the skin is smooth and unfolded. This would leave a more ideal surface for the mark to have been recorded. Many times we have bite marks on the nose or ear, which are of little evidentiary value because of all the folds and wrinkles. 

 Ted Bundy's teeth

Ted Bundy's teeth

After Bundy’s electrocution, a precedence was set in courts of law around the country. At that time, only 18 or so States out of 50 had allowed bite mark evidence to be admissible in a court of law. Since that day, January 24, 1989, at 7:04am, when he breathed his last breathe before 2,000 volts surged through his body, all 50 have admitted bite marks as reliable testimony.