June 11, 2018

In Memory of Georgann Hawkins

During his murderous career, Ted Bundy took the lives of many bright, lovely young women; some of his abductions seemed nearly too crazy to happen.  The case of Georgann Hawkins is one of those.

Georgann, known as "George" to her friends, was a happy, confident and beloved girl.  A Brownie and competitive swimmer as a child, she was full of energy and loved to talk.  She had many friends of all types; people simply enjoyed being around her.

As a teenager, Georgann developed into a beautiful young woman, with long dark hair, dancing eyes and a beaming smile.  As a 17 year old high school senior, she was named a Daffodil Princess, an experience that allowed her to travel throughout Washington State, meeting children, attending charity events and participating in parades.  In the spring of 1973, she went to the state Legislature where she addressed lawmakers.

Georgann as a Daffodil Princess in 1973
In the fall of 1973, Georgann began her freshman year at the University of Washington in Seattle, not too far from her parents in Tacoma.  She had worked all summer to have money in her pocket for the fun extras to enjoy during her first year of college.  A broadcast journalism major, she was tapped by the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and lived in the sorority house with a gaggle of other sorority sisters.  She had a boyfriend who lived in a neighboring fraternity house.  She had blossomed and found her element.

By June of 1974, Georgann was finishing up her freshman year, where she had maintained an A average, and was preparing to go back to Tacoma for the summer, where she had a job lined up.  She truly seemed to have it all, the quintessential golden girl.

Until Ted Bundy entered an alleyway behind Georgann's sorority house in the early morning hours of June 11, 1974 and stole Georgann away.  She had been cramming for finals all day on Monday, June 10, taking a break during the evening to attend a party with friends.  She socialized, drank a few beers and then planned to return home to continue studying for a Spanish test that concerned her.  She and her roommate walked down the very alley that Bundy would soon traverse, with Georgann stopping off to see her boyfriend briefly.  She left his fraternity safely, walking the 150 or so yards toward her own house, passing students doing their own studying in front of open windows.  She was spotted by a friend as she walked the brightly lit alleyway;  he called out to her and the two spoke for a few moments.  He would later recall hearing a cackling type laughter coming from somewhere in the dark, something that Georgann too noticed.  When she walked away from her friend's open window, around 1 a.m., she had less than 50 feet to walk to access the door to her sorority.  In those 50 feet, she disappeared without a sound.

For 15 years, Georgann's friends and family would be in the dark as to her whereabouts.  Her family knew immediately that she was dead; she was a happy, responsible girl who had no reason to run away, nor would she.  They were left with only their memories of this sweet, outgoing young lady.

The investigators had a case that seemed too fantastical to contemplate.  They couldn't wrap their minds around how a predator had grabbed this lively and energetic girl, leaving nothing behind and without making a sound.  Until a double abduction a month later, they had not considered their suspect might have acted injured or disabled in order to attract, and disarm, victims.

Days away from his execution, Ted Bundy, always considered to be Georgann's abductor and likely murderer, confessed to kidnapping and killing her.  He had been on the prowl around the University area late on the evening of June 10, 1974, seeking a victim.  Utilizing crutches and/or a cast or sling on his arm to appear helpless and needy, he encountered Georgann before she reached her back door and, dropped a briefcase he used as a prop for his nefarious purposes.  Asking her if she would help him with the case, the kind-natured Georgann never hesitated.  She knew of the missing Seattle area women from 1974; she and her friends had discussed it.  They took proper precautions -- they didn't go out alone, they traveled in pairs and groups and always looked out for one another.  She probably felt she had no reason to fear a well-dressed, attractive and apparently disabled young man who was certainly a student.

Georgann willingly accompanied Bundy away from the alleyway, carrying his briefcase.  It was after arriving at his car, parked in a darkened area, that he hit her over the head with a crowbar he had secreted by one of the tires.  She never would have seen it coming and did not have the chance to utter a cry or scream.

Fifteen years later, Bundy would recount that after striking her, he handcuffed Georgann and put her in the passenger side of his VW, where he had removed the seat to accommodate an unconscious female.  He remembered that during the drive to his preselected murder destination, she had regained consciousness and, in a state of shock, was quite lucid -- talking about the Spanish test she had the next day.  When he arrived at a locale near Issaquah, where he intended to do his dirty work, he struck her again with the crowbar and strangled her.  The next month, he would leave two victims from Lake Sammamish State Park, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, close to where he had abandoned Georgann.  When their skeletons were discovered in September of 1974, an extra femur bone was found.  Bundy would confirm it was Georgann's.  Nothing else of hers - - not any other part of her body, not her blue bell bottom slacks with one button remaining, not her handbag with the little bottle of "Heaven Sent" perfume -- has ever been found.

In a single instant, Ted Bundy not only spirited away a daughter, sister and friend, he subjected Georgann's loved ones to the indescribable pain of not knowing what happened to her.

Within days of Bundy's execution in 1989, friends held a memorial service for Georgann at the high school she had graduated from 16 years earlier.  Her parents, who had never spoken to the media, shied away from interviews and declined book requests, did not attend.  They chose instead to remember their daughter from the photographs and the cards and notes in which the authors had written of how Georgann had touched him or her.

Georgann Hawkins
August 20, 1955 - June 11, 1974  

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