Friday
February 3, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 05
 
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Sunday, Sep 20, 2020

 

 



SEATTLE'S GAY HISTORY: TED BUNDY
SEATTLE'S GAY HISTORY: TED BUNDY
by Don Paulson - SGN Contributing Writer

Why would anyone want to even mention Ted Bundy's name?! But I didn't think that when we met in the early 1970's; I was impressed. We met at the third annual benefit art auction for the Seattle Democratic Party. The day before the event, I brought one of my nature paintings to the Party headquarters in Pioneer Square and looked around for someone to check me in. Sitting at a desk was a clean-cut, good looking volunteer who smiled at me and said in a soft but firm voice, "Is that a painting for the auction? I'll help you." I said to myself, indeed you can.

I filled out the papers and we began talking about politics. I noticed he raised his voice a bit, like he was hoping others in the room would hear him. He was the one who talked the most; it was hard not to just listen as I looked into his expressive and kind brown eyes. He definitely had charisma and I was completely taken aback by his words. I've heard a lot of humanitarian rhetoric, but Bundy's acute knowledge of politics and his sensitivity to the common person was inspiring. We talked for about ten minutes and I thought: This man is going to be important someday, maybe our next Governor! He was not 'my type,' so, his pretty face did not sway me. I believed in his heart, he was someone I would have liked to know better.

I learned years later that when Bundy donated his time at the check-in desk, he was an active Republican and was on a self-appointed spy mission (He got into trouble about this from the Republicans). As the years went by, my feelings for him remained warm, but I wondered, "Whatever happened to Ted Bundy?" All the while he was on a killing spree, the embodiment of a true sex fiend. I was shocked when I learned the truth, how could it be? He was so sweet and utterly convincing, but then, that's what his victims thought.

Later in the 1970's, who should check in for two weeks at Seattle's Gay South End Steam Baths? Ted Bundy! Any good looking guy who came into the Baths was certainly noticed by the attendants on duty and by customers. Obviously, they would be cruised and hit upon. However, Bundy kept to himself. He was polite and soft-spoken and no one saw him trick with anyone. Of course, no one knew who he was; he was just sexy. Years later, attendants remembered Bundy and were shocked like so many others, including author Ann Rule, who knew him better that anyone.

The question is, why was Bundy at the Baths for two weeks? No one knows. My guess was that he was hiding out, and, what better place for a serial killer of women to hide than in a homosexual bathhouse. Also, Bundy was beginning to show a certain breakdown from stress and lack of money. The Baths had a sleazy quality, but one got a private room, a swimming pool, steam bath, fast food machine, porno and a television room - all for a paltry twelve dollars a night!

Ted Bundy was finally caught and admitted to 28 victims, but it is believed there were as many as 100. In preparation for the electric chair his head was shaved, straps were placed over his chest and mouth and a steel cap, full of electrodes was placed on his head. At 7:07 the executioner flicked the switch and Bundy strained against the seat as a huge pulse of electricity pulsed through him. Outside a large crowd cheered when his death was announced. Only a handful grieved for him, including his devastated mother, Louise Bundy, who described him as "my precious son."

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