I read a little more about it and it’s obvious it wasn’t him. According to her he was looking for a spot while driving. It was in Utah, he knew the area pretty well and let’s not forget he was at his peak at this time, he knew before hand where he would “do his thing” and where he would dump the body.
She also said that after strangling her 6/7 times he was sure she was dead. Ted wouldn’t make that mistake, if he thought she was dead, she would be dead.
He didn’t used the crowbar, he didn’t used the handcuff. She sure as hell was a special woman for him to change entirely his MO!
And she managed to run away after being strangled 6/7 times, with her pants down her ankles, by falling into a river with barely any water in it.
In Hagmaier’s words, Utah Ted was a killing machine, if he had her at his chosen spot, she wouldn’t have survived.