Ted Bundy may be Implicated in Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders

on July 12, 2011 in Serial Killers, Unsubs by

It’s been about two years since the last Ted Bundy book was released. Soon, either a new book, or updated versions of existing books may be needed.

In 1972 and 1973, seven women were murdered in Santa Rosa, California. An 8th victim disappeared and has never been found. Collectively, these are known as the Santa Rose Hitchhiker Murders.

For some time, the name Ted Bundy has come up whenever these murders are discussed, but now investigators are trying to prove it. They hope to compare Bundy’s DNA to DNA collected at the crime scenes.

Said Robert Keppel, the Seattle police detective who caught Bundy:

Bundy is definitely a good suspect. The killings in Santa Rosa would fit his methods, he spent time in the area, and I’m sure he started killing well before 1974.

It was an open market for Bundy.

Bundy attended Stanford University near Santa Rosa in 1968. He had a girlfriend he would visit in Palo Alto between 1968 and 1974. And during interviews, he referred vaguely to murders he committed in California.

Some believe that credit card receipts of Bundy’s indicate that he could not have been in the Santa Rosa area during the murders, but an examination of police records shows at least a two day window around each killing. Bundy was known to drive hundreds of miles for his kills.

Said Keppel:

One of the last times I talked to Bundy, I mentioned California, and he looked at me like, ‘I can’t talk about that right now,’. I think he believed his execution would be stayed so he could talk for years about his crimes, but the governor had other ideas.

Hopefully, science can tell the story Bundy wasn’t willing to.


  • Karen Swanson says:

    I have been trying to find information on the murder of a high school friend, Janet Taylor, she was hitchhiking in Palo Alto in 1973, and found strangled, I believe. I talked to Ann Rule, and she thought Ted Bundy was a possible suspect. Can’t find anything about the murder. Janet Taylor was born in 1952, and from Atherton, California.

    • Brian Combs says:

      She’s not listed as a victim of the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders. In fact, I found one article that said she was excluded as a Bundy victim.

      I didn’t find anything else about her murder, unfortunately. With a common name like that, it’s hard to search for her online. The searches tend to either be too vague or too specific.

      • Karen Swanson says:

        I was even trying to search the local newspaper archieves, but they only go back to 1985, so I have to go to micro film in the local (San Jose Library) I am in Idaho. very frustrating, that I can’t find anything.
        Thanks for your comments

        • Brian Combs says:

          I wouldn’t have thought they went back that far. Might try the San Francisco papers as well. Maybe they go back further.

          Or see if you can find a bored Stanford student to go look it up for you. 🙂

        • Sheila says:

          I knew Janet, and like you, Karen, have often wondered if any progress was made on solving the case. All I have been able to find is at the link below. Not much help. I have read a lot about Bundy, and read years ago that he had been ruled out as a suspect in her murder.

  • Walter says:

    Karen and Sheila. Is this your friend??

    I never realized Palo Alto was a hotbed for murder back in those times. I was familiar with the Arliss Perry murder but after searching for your friend I found more and more murders committed in that general area.

  • Michelle says:

    Janet was also a friend of mine and I have also wondered if any progress had been made. I also heard that Bundy was ruled out as a suspect in her murder. I was on the internet and saw that she was a possible Zodiac victim, but I can’t seem to relocate where I saw it. Has anyone heard anything more about possible Zodiac connection?

  • ramona says:

    I am familiar with those murders and have spoken with the investigating officers. At the time of several of
    them Ted Bundy was taking an intensive Chinese course at Stanford. He was ruled out because
    gas receipts charged to his Volkswagon LIcense plate showed his car to be miles away from the murder scenes at the time.

    What the officers did not know was that Ted Bundy often exchanged cars with his then girlfriend who also owned a Volkswagon.

  • tom says:

    They found the killer of Janet Taylor, Karen. I know you posted a long time ago but just in case you revist this or don’t know. They did it via DNA


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