Tuesday, January 24, 2017

On This Day in History



Ted Bundy and The Mystery of Ann Marie Burr

Written by Scott Williams-Collier

Ted Bundy
On this day in history, America's most infamous serial killer had his date in the Florida electric chair, Old Sparky. It's 28 years ago to the day that Theodore Robert Bundy (Ted Bundy) was executed for the murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.

After years of denial the charismatic and handsome Bundy admitted to 30 murders on the eve of his execution but alluded to there being many more. Once asked if the figure of 36 was right Bundy responded with "add one digit to that and you'll have it". Bundy was suspected at the time of at least 36 murders but by the time law enforcement agencies had finished talking to him the figure was much closer to 100.

Bundy's first known crimes started with the brutal assault of Karen Sparks on the 4th of January 1974. Sparks survived the assault but was left with permanent, horrific disabilities. His crimes would officially come to an end with the tragic murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach 9th of February 1978. Bundy was finally arrested for the final time 6 days later on the 15th of February, bringing one of the worst serial killing sprees America had ever seen to an end.

There are many professionals in law enforcement, crime historians and authors alike who believe the true decade Bundy began to kill was the 1960's not the 1970's. Many to be exact believe the date to be 31st August 1961. 

8-year-old Ann Marie Burr lived in the 3000 block of north 14th street in Tacoma, Washington with her parent's Beverley and Don Burr and her 3 siblings. On the 31st August 1961 in the middle of the night, Ann took her younger sister (whom she shared her bedroom with) into her parents bedroom. Her sister had a broken arm at the time and this was bothering the upset child. The Burr's sent their daughters back to their room. This would be the last time anyone saw Ann Marie Burr. 

Beverly Burr awoke at 5:30 am to find her daughter missing. The front door which was locked the evening before was found unlocked and open. A living-room window which was always left slightly ajar was open wider than normal, some red material was found on the windowsill. A garden bench from the back of the house had been pushed up to the window outside. The assailant had used it for leverage to climb through the window. A footprint was found outside the window which was believed to be a Ked sneaker size 6 or 7, which would be the size of a small man or teenage boys feet. A similar footprint was found at the back of the premises near the basement window.  The Burr's also recall the dog barking in the early hours but dismissed it as the thunderstorm that evening scaring the dog. Police believe that the assailant entered the house through the window, went into Ann's bedroom then left through the front door with her. The police also believe that Ann may of known the person that took her.

Ted Bundy lived several blocks from the Burr family and according to a family friend Ann and Ted knew each other. Bundy also had an uncle who lived near the Burrs, where Ted also had a paper round. 

There were hardly any suspects to go off in the case, as time went on the case slowly became a distant memory. That was until some years later when the police learned of Ted Bundy and his gruesome career as a serial killer.

Beverly Burr wrote to Ted in prison numerous times to ask if he was responsible for her daughters kidnap and murder. Ted always denied involvement but, an interview Ted gave shortly before his execution raised doubts over his claims of innocents. 

Ted told a story in the 3rd person (as he usually did to try and avoid the stigma associated with the terrible crimes he committed) of a crime were he took a young girl out of a house. Assaulted her in an orchard next door then left her in a ditch. The Burr family lived next door to an orchard.

At the time of her disappearance there was also construction work going on at the nearby university. Don Burr had apparently told police that they should check the ditches at the university construction site, some were over 30 feet deep and had water in them. By the time police went to look they had all been filled in and paved over.

I have always believed Ted Bundy murdered Ann Marie Burr. The manner in which she disappeared fitted Bundy's MO.  And the fact that Ann Marie lived just around the corner from the 14-year-old Bundy (on his paper round route) speaks volumes to me. To add to this Bundy was also spotted by Ann Marie's father at the nearby construction site on the morning of her disappearance. Neighbours also  reported seeing someone peering through the Burr's windows a few days before Ann disappeared. Bundy was a self-professed peeping tom who liked peering through windows and would masturbate while watching women through their bedroom windows. This is something he apparently did a lot before he started on his series of serial killings. 

Bundy obviously denied being involved in this crime but did leave cryptic clues. Just before his execution in January 1989. He said he would not disclose or admit to some crimes as they were to close to home, involved people who were very young and too painful to discuss. 

It's a no-brainer for me! There are too many coincidences. He may have been young but he had already started to show unsettling deviant behaviour as a young man and even younger. His auntie

once recalled waking up with the 3 year old Bundy standing at the side of her bed staring at her. He had taken all the knives out of the kitchen and arranged them all around her body. Certainly not the behaviour of a normal well-adjusted child!

Although the Ann Marie Burr case is still open it's unlikely we will ever know exactly what happened to her. With Bundy dead and no other suspects or DNA evidence it will be extremely difficult to prove whether he did kill Ann Marie or not. However for me there are too many coincidences. Bundy is probably the standard that other serial killers in America are compared to today. I believe Ann Marie Burr was Bundy's first victim.

Sadly Don Burr passed away in 2003 followed by Beverly in 2008. They never did find out what became of their precious daughter.

I will leave it to you to draw your own conclusion on the tragic mystery of Ann Marie Burr, did he or didn't he? I'll leave it to you! 

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