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William Kelly

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Parkway Murders

The 1969 Parkway Murders Revisited - By William Kelly

When the bodies of four young women were found in a ditch off the Black Horse Pike, more than a few people had a déjà vu.

On Memorial Day, 1969, parkway maintenance worker Elwood "Woody" Faunce discovered the bodies of Susan Davis and Elizabeth Perry in the secluded underbrush off the Garden State Parkway.

The two nineteen year old college coeds were missing since the previous Friday, when they failed to return to Pennsylvania after a few days vacation at the Jersey Shore. They stayed in Ocean City at a 9th street rooming house, toured the boardwalk, went to the beach and after dark they hit the Somers Point nightclubs, just as thousands of other young people were doing.

But unlike the thousands of others, after leaving early Friday morning to beat the holiday weekend rush, they would drive onto the Parkway, never to be seen alive again, except by their killer.

When the girls failed to make it to Pennsylvania and home Friday night, their parents knew something was wrong, and notified authorities, but the police put a low priority on missing teenage girls on the biggest holiday weekend of the summer. While the police searched for their car, a powder blue 1966 Chevrolet convertible, the fathers of the missing girls rented a plane and flew over the route they would have taken, looking for the car in the weeds off the road, in case they had an accident.

Then Howard Blazer of Blazer's Garage on Tilton Road returned from an out of state fishing trip and learn about the missing girls from news reports. He had towed the convertible, found on Friday with the top down off the side of the Parkway around mile marker 31.9. A New Jersey State Trooper, Louis Sturr had found the car abandoned on the Parkway early Friday morning while on patrol. When he called the tags in, there was no report of the car being stolen, so Blazer was called to have it towed to his Northfield garage.

Blazer went fishing and Trooper Sturr left the area for the weekend and everyone forgot about the towed car, until the following Monday, Memorial Day, giving the killer or killers a three day lead before the bodies were discovered.

Despite a massive investigative effort, with police interviewing thousands of witnesses and dozens of suspects, the case remains unsolved, one of a few high profile unsolved murder cases in South Jersey.

As the years stretched into decades, there were periodic peaks of media and public interest, like when a new suspect emerged or a mass murder confessed to the crime. Both Gerald Eugene Stano and Ted Bundy, two of the most prolific mass murders in history, claimed credit for the Parkway murders.

The police took the Stano confession serious enough to send two detectives down to Florida State Prison to interview him, but he didn't know any of the specifics of the case, had the murder taking place on the wrong side of the Parkway and got all of the details wrong.

Bundy however, proves a more elusive suspect. After being caught and convicted in Utah for the murder of a number of young women, and caught and escaped twice from jail in Colorado, Bundy went to Florida, where the capitol punishment laws remained in effect. Captured again after going on a rampage of murder, Bundy settled into Florida's death row.

Before being executed in Florida on January 24, 1989, Bundy had gone through a series of taped psychological counseling sessions with a court approved forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Art Norman.

Because of patient – doctor confidentiality, he couldn't reveal what Bundy had said, but after he was dead, Norman reported that Bundy had told him, in a taped conversation, what it was like for the killer, sort of like, 'how OJ would have done it.' While talking in the third person, Bundy was saying what it was like to leave Philadelphia for California, when he, "….decided to leave and go back home to the west coast, sort of like a defeated state of mind. But before he does he decides to take a little bit of a jaunt to what they call the Jersey Shore."

Bundy told Norman, "This is early summer. So after being more or less detached from people for a long period preceding period of months, he didn't have many friends, didn't go anywhere, just more or less had school and walks on the beach, and just gets a – (mumble)…, sees young women lined up like a vision, like a you know,…Eventually he found himself tearing around the place for a couple of days. So without really planning anything, he picked up a couple of young girls and ended up with…the first time he ever done it. Sort of a spontaneous kind of something he hadn't planned, but something that had been building that was the edge…so when he left for the coast, it was not just getting away, it was more like an escape."

"Is this just a amazing coincidence?" Norman asked at the time of Bundy's execution, "That he just happened to be there on Memorial Day before he went back to the west coast and two girls disappeared in that area at the time?...I believe that this is where he really started. And it may not be enough for the DA, but I think its enough to raise some curiosity."

Robert N. McAlister, Jr. was the Atlantic County Prosecutor at the time of the murders, and kept the case open while he was in office. The current prosecutor Jeffrey Blitz has been periodically reviewing the case for the past few decades. Blitz said, "I spoke to Dr. Norman. He relayed information that he had interviewed Bundy years ago and that he had come to the conclusion that Bundy was responsible for the Co-Ed murders. I asked him if Bundy said he did it, and Norman said no. But based on what Bundy said, Norman believed he could draw the conclusion that Bundy was responsible. That's not satisfying."

What is convincing to a psychiatrist is not satisfying to the lawyer. But according to Norman, more specific details did come out of his interviews with Bundy, details that could be investigated, linking him to or absolving him of the Parkway Co-Ed murders.

Bundy at the time, was a Temple University student, who said that instead of taking a professor's car to California right away, he drove to New York City, visited the sex shops off Broadway, and then drove down to Ocean City and looked at the girls on the boardwalk and beach.

Bundy was convicted on circumstantial evidence in Colorado, a without eyewitnesses, based entirely on Bundy's gas credit card receipts that placed him in the vicinity when the murders took place. Most of the murdered girls, who fit the same profile as Perry and Davis, were found in the woods just off major highways.

While Bundy's fingerprints on the car or his DNA evidence at the crime scene could prove conclusive, the NJ State Police and Atlantic County Prosecutors Office are reluctant to pin him to the crime, as if it was Bundy, the failure to catch him then led to the deaths of fifty more beautiful young women. No one from New Jersey even attended the Bundy Conference, a meeting of federal, state and local law enforcement officers who met at Quantico, Virginia to review unsolved crimes that could possibly be attributed to Bundy.

One thing is for certain, according to those who investigated the crime, whoever was responsible for the 1969 Parkway murders, killed again.

After local police were publicly criticized for the "tragedy of errors" during the initial phase of the investigation, Elizabeth Perry's father wrote a letter to the editor of local papers saying, "I comprehend their abilities quite more clearly than does other residents who presume to criticize them. This is not to suggest that every last man on the force is a Sherlock Holmes, but it was apparent to me, and I'm sure I can speak for Mr. Davis, that they are dedicated and competent people trying to do a job against great odds."

Unlike most cold case detective television shows, not all murders are solved, but sometimes, old cases are resolved, sometimes decades after the crime is committed. Solving such multiple murders quickly however, will most certainly prevent the killer, like Bundy, from continuing to commit crimes in different jurisdictions, over long periods of time.

While few officials today actually recall the details of the 1969 Parkway murders, the still unresolved nature of that case stands out as a reminder to local police detectives and state and federal investigators as they continue to pour over the evidence in the recent Pike murders.

Like the Parkway murder, the girls all fit a specific type, their bodies were discovered off the side of a major highway, and their killer or killers have had a good lead time before their bodies were discovered.

Christian Barth, a Cherry Hill attorney who is writing a novel based on the 1969 Parkway murders says that while there are some similarities, the two crimes are not likely related. "The distance in time between the two cases, and the difference in the types of victims, make it unlikely that the cases are related," said Barth, "but the similarities make you remember them, and perhaps we can learn something from the unsolved case from so long ago."

Although forensic science has developed new investigative techniques and types of evidence like DNA that didn't exist in 1969, who knows what new evidence, new witness, what clue could lead to the perpetrator?

And perhaps with renewed media and public interest, the 1969 case will eventually one day be solved.

William Kelly - Billykelly1@aol.com

Edited by William Kelly
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I already pointed out the errors in your blog entry concerning Bundy, you should correct them, actually you should have corrected them already. I addedthe part in ALL CAPS now.

Your account is still inaccurate. He was ARRESTED AND convicted in Salt Lake City, Utah (where he lived) of kidnapping Carol DaRonch who IDed him in a line-up and in court, he was also IDed by 2 witnesses in a parking lot from which another girl disappeared that night, his car matched the description of the one given by DaRonch and one of the parking lot witnesses, when he was stopped for traffic violations in mid August he had an ice-pick, ski-mask, crowbar and handcuffs among other suspicious items in his Beetle. The cuffs were the same brand and model as he used on DaRonch.

He was not convicted in Colorado for the murder of Caryn Campbell because he escaped. The evidence against went far beyond the credit card receipts:

• Hairs “microscopically similar” to those of Campbell, DaRonch and a 3rd woman who was missing were found in his car. A forensic expect said there was only a 1/20,000 chance that the hairs belonged people other than the victims.

• The crowbar matched the indentations on Campbell’s skull.

• A brochure for the hotel Campbell was abducted from was found in his SLC apt.

• An eyewitness placed him in the hotel acting suspiciously close to the time of the abduction

Thus he was already a suspect when they looked at his credit card usagE

Also they found the key to the handcuffs on DaRonch’s wrist in the parking lot where Bundy was spotted later that evening.

I also stated why I doubt it was Bundy. The relevant portions of our posts on the topic:


PS - Bill the Parkway victims were stabbed to death . a method not used by Bundy IIRC



As for the PS Bundy, if he was responsible for the Parkway murders, it was the first time he did it, and the MO (Knife) was also used in the next to last murder of a young girl in Flordia.


It might have been his first, it might not. When Bundy was 14 a 8 year-old neighbor who he knew disappeared and some including Ann Rule suspect he killed her though he denied it.


According to Wikipedia citing a book by his lawyer, “The day before his execution, Bundy told his lawyer that he made his first attempt to kidnap a woman in 1969,[23] and implied that he committed his first actual murder sometime during the 1972-73 time frame.[24]”


I forgot that he said he slit Kimberly Leach’s, his last victim’s, throat. Her body was too badly decomposed to tell exactly how she died though the coroner said it was due to trauma to her neck.

http://www.law.fsu.edu/library/flsupct/59128/59128ini.pdf PDF pgs 95 -6

But even so throat cutting and stabbing are very different ways of killing. All his other known victims whose bodies were recovered were bludgeoned most were then strangled. All like Leach had been sexually assaulted but the Parkway girls weren’t.

Serial killers normally progress to more daring attacks as their confidence and experience builds. Bundy seems to followed such a progression he attacked his first known victims in their residences while they were sleeping, the then started luring girls to his car by pretending to injured (using crutches and casts etc as props) and in need of help, he then seems to have started posing as a cop or other authority figure. After 2 ½ years in jail he went back to attacking sleeping women in their homes for one night then lured Leech into his van apparently posing as a cop and later tried to get a Youngman in his car pretending to be a fireman. He is never known to or suspected of having attacked women in their own cars. As previously noted the only time he is known to have attacked more than one victim at a time was the women in the sorority house when they were sleeping. Knocking a single woman unconscious, especially if she is already sleeping or in your car, is a lot easier than stabbing 2 conscious girls to death. If it were Bundy why would he never again attack two women at once?

Even his supposed confession might not really have been a confession since it was given in 3rd person “OJ” style. Previously serial killer expert Dr. (then Det.) Bob Keppel enlisted Bundy’s help with the “Green River Killer” investigation and Bundy often told him (in 3rd person) what he thought the killer had done or thought. Also he said the Parkway killing was spontaneous but the use of a knife suggests premeditation.

But as I said if you are really interested in the Bundy did it theory you should contact Keppel or Ann Rule. Keppel’s rather impressive CV with contact info can be found here http://www.cjcenter.org/vitas/Keppel.pdf

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I have corrected the Colorado/Utah error.


It is my contention that those responsible for what happened at Dealey Plaza were serial killers who had committed political assassinations before and have done it since, and therefore can be subjected to the same investigative and forensic techniques.


Edited by William Kelly
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I'm nit picking (especially on the 2nd) but you still need to fix two parts –

- “Bundy was convicted on circumstantial evidence in Colorado, a without eyewitnesses, based entirely on Bundy's gas credit card receipts that placed him in the vicinity when the murders took place.”

That is completely erroneous as I’ve pointed out twice. A correct version would read. “Bundy was charged with murder in Colorado, part of the evidence against him was his credit card receipts that placed him in the vicinity when the murders took place.”

- “After being caught and convicted in Utah for the murder of a number of young women…”

Should read something like “After being caught and convicted in Utah for the kidnapping of a young woman…”

He was never convicted of murder in Utah or of anything in Colorado (because he escaped). There was eyewitnesses and forensic evidence against him in both states.

I’m not sure why you are talking about JFK it is completely irrelevant as to whether or not Bundy was the parkway murderer. Most of the forensic evidence against Bundy was stuff like hairs ,bite marks and crow bar impressions etc.How would that apply to JFK/RFK/MLK ETC?

Edited by Len Colby
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