I n 1974, a woman went missing. Annually, about 661,000 people go missing in the U.S. Most of these cases law enforcement solves quickly. Within a year, police resolve about 659,000 missing persons cases. So, when the young woman went missing, no one suspected that she would become the first known victim of one of the world’s most notorious serial killers. The term “serial killer” did not exist yet. A journalist coined the term in a 1981 article in the New York Times . On February 1, 1974, Lynda Ann Healy became the first woman Ted Bundy kidnapped and killed. Eventually, in 1989, just before he died in the electric chair, Bundy confessed to 36 specific murders. Authorities believe that he may have murdered at least 100 women. He explained to authorities, once he decided to confess, that the confession would require more than the two days he had left before his execution. Law enforcement declined to request a stay of execution though. For the 36 women he did have the opportunity to discuss, he provided details of their kidnappings, murders, rapes, and mutilations, and where he’d disposed of their bodies. Healy became the first woman he admitted to killing, but law enforcement also suspects him of having killed an eight-year-old girl in his childhood neighborhood when he was 14 years old. On August
Ted Bundy in custody in July 1978, ten years before his state execution in 1989.
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