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First ever DNA profile of Ted Bundy could close unsolved murder cases

BYLINE: Meredith TerHaar,
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Panama City, FL

2011-08-04_First ever DNA profile of Ted Bundy_01

Panama City - Twenty-two years after his execution, the FBI now has a DNA profile for serial killer Ted Bundy. A lab technician found a 33-year-old vial of Bundy's blood last month in an evidence locker. Experts were able to extract his DNA, which will now be used to see if he was involved in any unsolved murders.

Ted Bundy's killing spree lasted from 1974 to 1978. Most of the killings happened in 6 western states. But the final 3 happened in Florida. Two Tallahassee co-eds at an FSU sorority house, and a 12-year-old Lake City girl. Bundy was arrested in Pensacola.

Shortly after his arrest Bundy agreed to talk to a group of local investigators, including the Bay County Sheriff's Office Chief of Investigations, Frank McKeithen, who was interested to see if he'd committed any undiscovered killings.

But when the investigators arrived, Bundy refused to see them. "Usually when you do an interview like that it's to determine whether there may be a body somewhere that we don't know about. I think Julie Snell was the closest homicide case and that actually happened in 1979 after he was in custody," said McKeithen.

Bundy was eventually tried and convicted in Orlando, and executed in Starke in 1989. Before he died, Bundy confessed to 30 murders, but investigators believe he may have killed many more.

McKeithen did interview 2 other serial killers with notorious records; Henry Lee Lucas and Otis Toole. The only local tie was Lucas' confession to the 1980 murder of John McDaniel, father of former Jackson County Sheriff Johnny McDaniel. "After interviewing Otis Toole, I am not convinced that he is linked to he any murders here in Bay County."

But the pair confessed to far more murders than they actually committed. "Unfortunately the more they confessed the more they got out of jail, got to ride around, got treated differently. So that was a tragedy that happened, they killed people they just didn't kill as many as they confessed to," said McKeithen.

McKeithen is hoping the new Bundy DNA evidence will help close other cases, long thought to be impossible to solve. "Hopefully someone somewhere has evidence from the 70's that they are able to still process for DNA."

The FBI will upload Bundy's DNA profile to its national database Friday. Agents will release any matches on Monday.

Jackson County extradited Henry Lee Lucas to Marianna to stand trial for John McDaniel's murder, but decided against a trial because he was already on death row in Texas. Texas executed Lucas 10 years ago this month. Toole was executed in Texas in 1996.

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