February 9, 2015

Remembering Kimberly Leach

I have followed the Ted Bundy case for many years, reading every book written about him and his horrible trail of destruction.  I never fail to be moved by the tragedy of the entire mess but thinking of the victims makes me beyond sad, mainly because they become just that - - "Bundy victims."  So I like to try and remember them for who they were and not just the way they died or who killed them.

On this day back in 1978, Bundy would take his last, and officially youngest, victim, 12-year-old Kimberly Dianne Leach.  Kim was a Lake City, Florida junior high student, a bright and pretty girl whose main focus on February 9, 1978 was being named the runner-up to the Queen of the upcoming Valentine's dance.  She wasn't a delinquent or a runaway and it seems likely that Bundy used one of his tried and true ruses on her - - pretending to be a cop or person in authority - - to lure her away from her junior high as she navigated between buildings. 

There isn't much information on Kimberly Leach available online, other than the smiling picture of her above . . . the same picture that now graces her headstone.  Despite his eleventh hour confessions of scrambling to save himself, Ted Bundy would never discuss Kim.  He wouldn't discuss how he managed to get her to accompany him to his van (a witness saw him leading her, crying, into his stolen van) nor would he tell authorities exactly what he had subjected her to.  When initially caught and arrested, Kim was still missing and Bundy wouldn't give authorities any clue as to where she might be.  By the time she was found, months later, exactly what she had endured and how she died was conjecture and educated guesses.  It was for Kim's murder that Bundy was ultimately executed.

Tragically and cruelly, Ted Bundy would choose February 9, 1980 - - the second anniversary of Kim's death - - to marry Carole Ann Boone in open court in Florida.  Another attempt at manipulation by the consummate serial killer or a way to mark a macabre special day for him?  No one will know. 

 Kim was buried in Lake City, Florida and had she lived, would be turning 50 this year. 

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