On the morning of March 1st, 1976, Judge Hanson found Ted Bundy guilty of kidnapping Carol DaRonch. The Utah police had walked DaRonch through an identification strong enough to convince Hanson. Bundy may be the first person in Salt Lake history framed for something he did.
“At the time, you could hear a pin drop in the courtroom, with the exception of the defendant’s mother crying,” detective Thompson later wrote in his final report on the case. “Mr. Bundy then asked if he could have a couple of minutes with his parents, which the judge granted. He was then taken immediately to the jury room by Captain Hayward and myself and searched. A pair of handcuffs were put on him.”
“I have never seen a conviction in a serious case on less evidence.” O’Connell said later. “Before you can convince me of his guilt, you better come up with some evidence. If he’s guilty, if he kidnapped DaRonch and killed all those girls and can leap tall buildings with a single bound, then he sure put on one hell of an act. I would rather have a poor ghetto black on the stand. If you’re articulate, people think you’re making up stories.”
“There is no reasonable doubt based on the evidence,” Judge Hanson said on March 22nd, when Bundy was brought in for sentencing. “I do, however, have some lurking doubts about Mr. Bundy.” Hanson ordered a ninety-day psychiatric evaluation. The examination was almost identical to the one Gary Jorgenson had administered. Only now the psychologist was working with the assumption that Bundy was the kidnapper.
“Mr. Bundy is either a man who has no problem, or is smart enough and clever enough to appear close to the edge of normal.” Utah State Prison psychologist A.L. Carlisle concluded. “His profile is consistent with that of a person who might be prone to violence.”
On June 30th, Bundy was brought in shackles before Judge Gordon Hall. Wearing prison overalls with DIAGNOSTIC stenciled across the back, Bundy was sentenced to sixty days and fined $250 for evading a police officer. Then, after changing into a plaid shirt and jeans, he was led across the hall to face Judge Hanson.
“The report says he is dependent on women,” Hanson said, reading the psychiatric evaluation.
“Who isn’t dependent on women?” Bundy asked.
The spectators only noticed a slight tremble when Hanson sentenced Bundy to a one-to-fifteen-year term in a state penitentiary.
“Someday,” Bundy said, “who knows when, five to ten years in the future, when the time comes when I can leave, I suggest you ask yourself where we are, what’s been accomplished, was the sacrifice of my life worth it all? Yes, I am a candidate for rehabilitation. Not for what I have done. For what the system has done to me.”
“We’re going to keep on fighting it,” Bundy’s mother called to the judge as her son was escorted out of the courtroom.
The following day, the Utah newspapers concentrated on Bundy’s calm during the sentencing.
“There were none of the protestations one would expect if it were an innocent man who was being sent to prison,” one reporter wrote.
“How are you supposed to act when 8 million people think you’re a mass murderer?” O’Connell’s partner, Bruce Lubeck, said later. “If you’re calm, people will say you’re cool and cunning. If you shout, people will say you’re a maniac. In private, when I visited him in prison, he showed all the emotions. He cried, he swore at the cops.”