Theodore Robert Bundy Trials: 1976 & 1979
Testimony That Could Kill
However, when Coral Gables dentist Dr. Richard Souviron assumed the stand, Bundy took a back seat. This was testimony that could kill him and he knew it. Lisa Levy had sustained bite marks to the buttocks. By comparing photographs of those teeth marks with an oversize photo of Bundy's mouth, Dr. Souviron was able to show undeniable similarities. Prosecutor Simpson asked, "Doctor, can you tell us, within a reasonable degree of dental certainty, whether or not the teeth. of Theodore Robert Bundy … made the bite marks?"
"Yes, sir." For the first time, there was actual physical evidence linking Bundy to a murder victim.
Defender Ed Harvey was quick to try and undermine the setback. "Analyzing bite marks is part art and part science, isn't it?" he asked the dentist.
"I think that's a fair statement."
"Your conclusions are really a matter of opinion. Is that correct?"
Dr. Souviron agreed that it was, but the damage had been done. Confirmation came from Dr. Lowell Levine, chief consultant in forensic dentistry to the New York City Medical Examiner, who told the court that dental identification had been admitted into testimony as far back as the late 19th century. This evidence dealt a body-blow to the defense lawyers, one from which they never recovered. Significantly, Bundy, so eager to play the advocate, declined to testify on his own behalf.
On July 23, 1978, Ted Bundy was found guilty on all charges. Even at the end, his personal magnetism didn't desert him. Judge Edward Cowart, after passing sentence of death, felt moved to add a few words: "You'd have made a good lawyer … but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself." It was an extraordinary end to an extraordinary trial.
Bundy received a third death sentence on February 12, 1980, following his conviction for killing Kimberly Leach. After years of appellate pleas, on January 24, 1989, "the most hated man in America" was executed in Florida's electric chair.
More than anyone else, Ted Bundy shattered popular notions of how a crazed killer should look and act. He was not wild-eyed, dirty, or dissolute; on the contrary, he was incredibly charming. And in a society where such a premium is placed on appearance, he remains a reminder that things are often not what they seem, and nothing is unthinkable.
Suggestions for Further Reading
Kendall, Elizabeth. The Phantom Prince. Seattle: Madrona, 1981.
Larsen, Richard W. Bandy: The Deliberate Stranger. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1980.
Michaud, Stephen G. and Hugh Aynesworth. The Only Living Witness. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983.
Rule, Ann. The Stranger Beside Me. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1989.
Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Theodore Robert Bundy Trials: 1976 1979 - Bundy Forgoes Jury, On The Run And Deadly, Testimony That Could Kill