by Erin Banks
Several days before Lakewood native Georgann Hawkins disappeared on June 11, 1974, Bundy had a dry run, staking out the area, perhaps even observing Hawkins.
We can place him near the Beta Thi fraternity at 11 P.M. on June 7.
In “A Stranger Beside Me,” Ann Rule writes that a young man on crutches was spotted by a male co-ed,
“A girl was carrying [the man’s] case for him, and, later on, after I’d taken my girl home, I saw the girl again, walking alone.”
[Also quoted in Dielenberg (& silent authors) “A Visual Timeline.”]
Bundy researcher Gina Marzano Wilmoth is of the opinion that it is possible the killer may have spotted Hakwins far earlier and stalked her for a longer period of time, that he may have kept an ever watchful eye on a myriad of women making for potential victims.
On a thread posted about two months ago, she wrote,
“[…]Georgann Hawkins was the daffodil princess for her school in 1973. [Bundy] worked at the state capital in Olympia the spring of 1973.
That’s also when the daffodil princesses visit the legislature (in Olympia) and then they all go out to lunch with them afterwards.”
Researcher Tiffany Jean added,
“[…] At first glance it seems like Bundy only went after strangers.
But then I read about all the little connections with Healy, Manson, and Rancourt, and it makes me wonder.”
Kevin Sullivan gives a complete account of the night in his “The Bundy Murders.”
Before Bundy managed to abduct Hawkins, fellow student Steve Burnham admits to having observed a dark haired young man on crutches struggling with his briefcase.
Burnham considered offering his help, yet another woman walking in the opposite direction of Bundy’s, picked up the latter’s briefcase and walked off with him into the distance.
It remains unclear who she was as she has never stepped forth to tell her story; what can be determined is that she eluded the killer, perhaps in a similar fashion to Kathleen Clara D’Olivo and Jane Curtis did on the night of the Susan Rancourt abduction.
This scenario might suggest that Bundy did not specifically target Georgann Hawkins, however.
Or it could be that when he spotted her, he did recognize her as the daffodil princess he previously met.
Similarly as to the Susan Rancourt abduction, it is unclear whether their possible shallow acquaintanceship was his angle to get the woman to trust him.
It appears that Hawkins decided to take a night off from studying for her Spanish test that was to take place the following day, in order to attend a frat party on Greek row.
Hawkins was not only known as a model student with a GPA of 3.5 but as generally responsible; she never walked anywhere without someone knowing her whereabouts, and had a buddy system with her female peers in place for the times they were out after dark.
Around 12.30 A.M. she left the party with her friend Jane Roberts and, because Hawkins wanted to visit her boyfriend Marvin Gellately before returning home, agreed to stay in front of his house to watch Roberts safely enter the sorority building.
They shouted at each other from a distance that everything was alright on their respective end, and Hawkins spent about half an hour with Gellately until leaving.
Fellow student Duane Covey looked out his second storey window when he heard the door close and continued a conversation with Hawkins for a few brief minutes.
Sullivan writes Covey later reported that he heard someone laughing from further down in the alleyway behind the house, and states that it was Bundy.
While that is a definitive possibility, we can not ascertain whether it was indeed Bundy or someone else, and this is naturally not meant to discredit Mr. Sullivan’s statement but offer a possible alternative perspective.
Bob Keppel writes in his “The Riverman,” that Bundy said he was “in the alleyway behind the fraternity and sorority houses,” but indicates he was moving up and down the alley, scouring for a victim.
It was night, the time when sound carries and sometimes in such a way that it can be hard to actually determine where specifically any noise is coming from.
Additionally, there was at least one party that took place, and certainly co-eds from different houses spending time studying or engaging in other social activities together, as evidenced by the fact that Bundy was later observed to have had at least two other interactions with young women on the street that night.
So the laughter may have come from a nearby house or another (male) person.
Covey had watched Hawkins walk back toward her sorority until he lost sight of her in the darkness.
Moments later however, Hawkins must have been walking back the same way, and past Covey’s window, carrying Bundy’s briefcase for him.
Bundy offered a detailed description of the abduction, murder and decapitation of Hawkins to Washington detective Bob Keppel; the audio confession which can be found on youtube, for instance.
Bundy states that he convinced Hawkins to follow him to a nearby parking lot and step around his car to place the briefcase inside.
Did he lead the way, walked around the front of the VW, opened the passenger door?
In that case it would have made more sense to have taken a step back towards the rear of the car, reach for the crowbar he’d hidden on top of the tire and quickly incapacitate her.
He would have needed to act very swiftly as the missing passenger seat may have prompted Hawkins to turn around to inquire about it.
Likewise, had he opened the door and stood facing it, with the open door in his way, he would have had impaired access to delivering a blow with the crowbar (which then would have had to have been concealed on top of the right front tire.)
It appears most likely he opened the right back door and had the crowbar ready on top of the back wheel.
It has been generally accepted that Bundy hit Hawkins with so much vigor that she lost both her hoop earrings and one of her white patent leather clogs in the process.
She may also have lost these items while Bundy was dragging or carrying her unconscious form towards the passenger door and hauling her into the VW.
To confirm to Keppel that Bundy really had been the perpetrator, as no forensic evidence linked him to the crime, the killer divulged the information that Hawkins had intimated she went by the nickname “George.”
Additionally he confirmed that she had secured her slacks with a safety pin as they were slightly too large for her.
He further stated that Hawkins, whom he had handcuffed, (note the commonality with DaRonch and other victims we know to have been cuffed or bound, hence the removal of the door handle making no sense whatsoever) had awoken during their drive, but refused to get into these “incidental things,” as well as he did about her rape and murder.
The only thing shared was the stomach-churning account of Hawkins confusedly ranting on about her Spanish test, being under the impression that Bundy had taken her in order to give her a Spanish lesson.
It appears she had suffered a severe brain injury from the blow to her head, and was also deeply traumatized mentally and emotionally.
In his Hawkins confessions, this passage from Keppel’s “The Riverman” appears to bear a certain significance:
“He said, “Well, I parked, took her out of the van and took the handcuffs off her and—”
“Took her out of what?” I interrupted, knowing that Ted had a VW bug at the time, not a van.
He was thinking about his last murder victim,Kimberly Leach.
“Took her out of the car,” he said.
“And you’re driving what?”“A Volkswagen.”
“Okay. You said ‘van.’”
Apologizing, Ted said, “Well, no I didn’t—I’m sorry if I said van; it wasn’t a van.”
Without the commitment of investigators such as Keppel, it would not have been possible to unpack the Bundy case in the way it was.
However, there were at times problems with Keppel’s interrogation style, the statements he completely ignored and others he did notice but chose not to follow up on, engaging in conjecture instead.
Keppel could absolutely not know what Bundy was thinking at any given time, nor whether he was confusing the Hawkins with the Leach case while talking about “the van,” as Keppel claimed in the passage following this above exchange.
It is entirely possible that Bundy did not solely employ his trusty Volkswagens before entering Florida.
He did own a pick up truck in Utah for a spell, although the vehicle did not operate properly oftentimes.
Lastly, Bundy used to steal cars in his youth, and as we know from his time in Florida had neither technical trouble nor qualms to steal cars again.
To be fair to Keppel, Bundy – exhausted from long hours of recalling his murders – did make a few minor errors in this and other interviews.
At least, for someone remembering in detail the circumstances of the abduction, Hawkins’ clothing and nickname, it is surprising he claims that the night of her abduction was “a warm night in May,” and that it must have been a Thursday. (It was a Tuesday.)
We find the same issue in his confession about the Nancy Wilcox murder where he gave Utah investigator Dennis Couch a different account than he had previously given.
In any case, Bundy relied to Keppel that he knocked Hawkins out again and strangled her with cord, then says, “an old piece of rope” instead. After which he dragged her farther into the Washington wilderness.
What occurred between approximately 1.30 A.M. and dawn at 5.39 A.M. remains a mystery.
Albeit the most commonly held belief is that Bundy engaged in direct necrophilia with the freshly deceased, and days to weeks later returned to the bodies to engage in indirect necrophilia – masturbatory activity at the sight of their individual states of decay.
Additionally, it is unclear whether Bundy himself removed Hawkins’ head or not.
The ongoing “heads debate” is a heated one that has carried over to many a facebook group and sparked intense debate, with research whiz Tiffany Jean pointing out the many flaws in the claim that Bundy at some point “carried around” or stored up to four heads at his apartment at the same time, and providing contemporaneous articles including statements made by medical examiners confirming that (some of the) heads appear to have been severed due to animal activity.
To glean insight into Bundy’s complete M.O., Keppel asked the killer what he had done on the day following Hawkins’ murder.
Everyone must decide for themselves whether Bundy’s assertion that a part of him only returned to the primary crime scene because he hoped it had all just been a dream, that he had not really killed her, rings true.
One may, however, want to remember one of his more (in)famous quotes,
“Try to touch the past, try to deal with the past, it’s not real, it’s just a dream.”
This may speak to the degree of his denial and compartmentalization, certainly.
Once a crime had been perpetrated, it was in the past – he was just his non-entity self again, the student, fiancé, son, an average person without compulsions as they had been momentarily satisfied
It might also be just another of his clever ploys to shed any moral or social responsibility and guilt.
Because in the following statements, Bundy doesn’t appear to have been able to let go of “the past” that easily:
Nervous that he could be connected to Hawkins’ disappearance, he rode his bicycle back to the primary crime scene, despite police already being all over Greek row and the neighboring park area, looking for her or any trace of her.
Bundy spotted Hawkins’ earrings and shoe in the parking lot, quickly gathered them up and rode off again.
A bold endeavor, to say the least.
What is curious about the Hawkins case is that Bundy remembers her, and the circumstances of her abduction and demise, in vivid detail.
This indicates that she was perhaps his favorite (Washington) victim, or one of his favorites altogether.
Why could this be so, what set Hawkins apart from the others?
I am yet again reminded of something he wrote in one of his 1977 letters to former fiancé Elizabeth Kloepfer,
“I have known people who radiate vulnerability. Their facial expressions say ‘I am afraid of you.’ These people invite abuse … By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?”
The fact aside that Bundy is yet again casting blame onto someone/something other than himself, (> see also his pornography interview with Reverend James Dobson on January 23, 1989) if we take a closer look at his previous victims, many of them were known to have certain vulnerabilities, current insecurities at least, and radiated this which their peers corroborated.
Hawkins however, appears to have been an oddity, in that she was a very popular, outgoing, self-assured young woman that appeared to have a clear idea of where her life was headed in terms of her dedication to her studies.
Bundy, usually looking for said vulnerability, may have misread her, definitely not anticipated her to wake up again after that initial blow to the head.
What was said by her that night, other than her believing that he was there to tutor her in Spanish?
Did any of what she may have said sway him in some way, make him feel the old insecurity and weakness again that he struggled with throughout his life?
Could some form of emotional emasculation have taken place, and in a means to prove his virility to himself he spent an extraordinary amount of time with her that night, something that haunted even him and made compartmentalization and depersonalizing her more difficult?
Thank you to Gina Marzano Wilmoth, Tiffany Jean,
everyone at Research, all authors and persons quoted, and those who previously discussed the case with me.