Interview with Jim Adams
Me: I read that Ted graduated in 1965 what year did you graduate in?
M: I know it was a big high school but did you have a lot of contact with him?
A: Not a whole bunch, I knew him because we had some friends in common. One friend in particular was Leonard Hoffman, and sometimes I would ride with Leonard and him, Ted, after school they’d give me a lift home or we’d go get a hamburger or something. As high school people are wont to do. Leanord and I were both in Latin class together but he was probably a closer friend to Ted. Ted was kinda a soci guy in high school. A guy who’d probably wear slacks, a shirt and sweater, sometimes a tie. I think he was popular with the teachers because he was a good student, and he was pretty popular with some of the best looking gals too. I remember he had one girlfriend that was in Latin class with Leanord and I that was a real pretty gal and it was interesting when they talked about his standard kind of woman that he was interested in he seemed to be attracted to…
M: Yeah, long dark hair parted in the middle is usually what it normally was.
A: Yeah, good thing you don’t part yours in the middle. … She was a real pretty brunette, gosh I can’t remember her name now but she was one of the prettiest girls in the class and I know that she dated him for awhile.
M: Someone that Ann Rule interviewed that also went to high school with him said that he was shy and almost introverted, charismatic, but shy. Did you see him that way?
A: He was quiet, maybe a little reserved, I don’t know if he was shy, it seemed to me he was quite confident, um but maybe just a little reserved. He wasn’t as boisterous as the rest of us.
M: I know he went to Puget Sound through 65-66 and then it said he transferred to the University of Washington when were you at Puget Sound?
A: I went to University of Puget Sound from 71 to 73.
M: Had you heard about the murders before Ted was named the suspect?
A: We all did I remember it was probably it seems to me the first time we really started hearing a lot about it was in the Spring and Summer of 73 or 74. I remember you know getting these reports that they were looking for someone, a medium height man that had a Volkswagen beetle and would have a cast on his arm and so forth and that these diff gals ended up disappearing from these different lake places that people would go to when it was summertime. And around the University of Washington area and I remember some of us one time said kidding and said “yeah it’s probably Ted Bundy” ya know cracking up cause of course it couldn’t be him, I mean he’d never do something like that but gee his name’s Ted and didn’t he have a Volkswagen? Ya know Oh yeah but gosh it couldn’t be him and I think that was one of the ways you were asking “how did he manage to get away with it for so long?” because he was that kind of person that I don’t think would raise your eyebrows with kind of funny little aspects to him, you just thought he was a pretty regular fellow and he was so oriented towards wanting to be successful, as I recall he worked in young Republicans and so he was…I think he had some goals for himself. Now it was interesting I lived in Tacoma 6th avenue on the north side of town kind of separated North from South and if you were on one side of 6th avenue you were on one side of 6th ave, on the other side you were on the south. He lived on the North side of town over by something called the 23rd street gulch which was a place where kids would go screw around in high school and stuff, it was a place where they’d find bones as years went by. It was interesting to note that a girl that ended up disappearing back in the 60s was on Ted’s paper route, there on the north side. And there was always speculation that maybe that was the first, he may have started that in like junior high school. I lived on South Durango street which was 11 blocks south of 6th avenue and there was a girl, Ann Marie Burr, that lived on that street and disappeared and everybody always kind of thought in retrospect that it might have been Ted. I don’t think its anything in the water where I come from –laughs-
M: Yeah I know you got the Green River Killer too!
A: It’s interesting isn’t it?
M: It’s very crazy, so how did you hear that he was the one arrested for these crimes…the first time he was arrested?
A: I got to tell you I think by the time he was arrested for the first time was when I was either close to finishing, no it was after I had graduated from UPS and I think it’s when I came back over after my master’s degree and first taught as an adjunct was the fall of ’76.
M: Did you talk with anyone you went to high school with about it?
A: Well you know different times over the years after that happened you might bump into some people and start talking about things and every once in awhile he’d come up as a topic of discussion you know and you kind of want to distance yourself from it because we weren’t serial killers, and we never would’ve thought of doing something like that but I’d say we all kind of just sat back and were amazed at what we saw after that. I think where he really exhibited some psychosis was when he decided to run his own defense, was pretty much playing the system and trying to make a joke out of the whole thing it seemed in ways he was going about doing things he was one of these cell block attorneys with a little bit of background from going to college. I really think he thought he might be able to get away with it.
M: Yeah. I think he did too. They say now that he was a sociopath and they don’t feel guilt and they don’t think that what he was doing was wrong.
A: Well I found it most fascinating when he was getting ready to be executed that a week or two before hand suddenly he had asked for a preacher and was “born again”
M: Mmhm, he blamed it on pornography…
A: Right, he was cutting any deal he could. And I don’t know how much of that was…but it did surprise me that he wanted to see a preacher and I think maybe he was thinking “gosh if I get saved here maybe I’ll stand a chance of not burning in hell” and that made me question at the time, because I had been born again and if you know, you go strictly by the promises that are in the scripture and if you really believe that’s true if he did confess would he get to go to heaven?
M: See I don’t think he ever felt sorry for what he did I think he was just worried about himself.
A: It’s a two stage process on that whole thing you’re supposed to confess and then repent but did he really repent he was locked up in jail I think if he would’ve been out he might have been straight after some little brunette.
M: Whenever he escaped from jail and went to Florida he wasn’t there very long before he did the whole Chi Omega rapes and killed again.
A: How do people who are running amuck in someway doing anti-social things and as horrible as Bundy did just appear to be normal during the day? And I think we are all good social actors we know what we need to do where, and ya know I bet you had there been the same kind of digital communication like we have now, where so many things are documented …
M: Yeah or DNA
A: Yeah, they could have gotten him on any number of things, but then we think about this guy that went nuts down there on the military base in Texas and in retrospect here was the profile right here we should’ve been able to predict this or whatever. But do we go throw somebody in cuffs and put them in the back of a police car before hand?
M: I think Ted knew there was something wrong with him but he was just able to act normal and fit in because he was very smart. I read that other people that he knew whenever they were looking for the “Ted” at Lake Sammamish state park where he took the two girls where people said he came up to them and introduced himself as Ted. I think another sign that he thought he was invincible was that he used his real name. There were other people that knew him and knew what he drove and didn’t think it was him.
A: Like I said, we’d joke about it but you know a lot of people back then had Volkswagen bugs back then. That was the college girls’ car of choice back then. We always said I think for most of us that never really sat around plotting some horrible crime when we think that ya know I actually sat and had a hamburger and sat in the backseat and rode with somebody that did these things it amazes you, you know.
M: And to think he might have done that before you ate a hamburger with him!
A: Yeah if it started in junior high! You know he just kept getting away with it and I think it just made him more and more confident.
M: Oh I’m sure it did! I can’t even imagine wanting to do that first of all, and then being brave enough to do that so out in the open, like he did the night of the Chi O murders in Florida.
A: It was weird during the time of the Green River Killer it came out that he was this height and drove a Ford or Chevy pick up and I had a good friend of mine that fit that description…so now you start wondering “are all my friends serial killers!? and you know do I ever want to go have pizza and beer with them anymore?”
M: It’s a good thing you got out of Washington! Well I hope you’re not a serial killer!