Spectators started lining up in front of the Salt Lake County Courthouse at seven a.m. on the morning of November 21st, 1975 for a seat at the preliminary hearing on case 74-1 0181, the State of Utah v. Theodore Robert Bundy.
One of those waiting in line was Louis Smith, the father Melissa Smith. Bundy, Smith said, had “become an obsession.”
A few feet from Smith stood the mother of Debra Kent.
“If we had a body, we’d nail him,” Belva Kent said, who had started a scrapbook of newspaper articles on Ted Bundy.
At ten a.m. Bundy and his lawyer, John O’Connell walked into the courthouse.
“I think every citizen who believes in law and order should spend some time in jail,” Bundy told the mob of reporters.
After blaming reporters for the “circuslike atmosphere,” Judge Paul Grant ordered the hearings closed to the press and the public. Five days later, after noting that DaRonch was “impressionable and easily led,” Grant ruled there were sufficient grounds to try Bundy for aggravated kidnapping.
“There were all those lights and interviews blaring,” the thirty-nine-year-old judge said later. “I got a feeling I wasn’t just trying Bundy for kidnapping. Twenty percent of the stories were about the kidnapping. Eighty percent were about missing girls. There are so many other cases of kidnapping and murder. Nobody shows up for those cases. Some cases are as violent or more violent…and they are overlooked or get a paragraph or two in the back pages.”
As he left, Bundy passed Captain Hayward.
“Hi,” Bundy said.
“What are you saying hi to them for?” O’Connell asked Bundy. “They’re trying to frame you.”
“The police wouldn’t do that,” Bundy said.
“Oh yes they would, Ted,” O’Connell said.