Serial killer Ted Bundy found his final victim in Northeast Florida and Action News Jax has learned that Jacksonville was one of Bundy’s hunting grounds.
In an Action News Jax exclusive, reporter Bridgette Matter talks to the local man who prosecuted the notorious serial killer and knew him in both life and death.
“If anyone deserved the death penalty, Ted Bundy deserved the death penalty,” said Bob Dekle, the prosecutor in Bundy’s case.
In the 1970s, Bundy killed at least 30 women in seven states.
On Feb. 9, 1978, Bundy abducted his youngest and final victim, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, from Lake City Junior High.
“It was a madhouse,” Dekle said.
Kimberly’s abduction and murder is something Dekle will never forget.
“He cut her throat, we believe, with a gigantic hunting knife that he purchased in Jacksonville the night before,” Dekle said.
“He tried to kidnap a young girl in Jacksonville the day before."
Bundy was talking to the Jacksonville girl when her brother pulled up, scaring Bundy off. He then drove 60 miles away to Lake City.
“Kim fit a profile, a preferred profile for victims,” Dekle said.
Kimberly would become Bundy's youngest and final victim. Her death ended a killing spree that spanned seven states.
Dekle was the lead prosecutor in Kimberly’s case and witnessed Bundy’s execution in 1989 at the Florida State Prison.
“As his hands were tightened like that, I thought, ‘I wonder how many throats his hands have tightened around,’” Dekle said.
For those who brought Ted Bundy to justice, their only comfort was knowing he would never strike again.
It may never be known exactly how many people died at the hands of Bundy, but for those who brought him to justice, the only comfort was knowing this killer would never strike again.
“I hope that I am never this happy again over the death of another human being,” Dekle said.
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