On October 5, 1987, Judge George Sharp scheduled the evidentiary hearing on Ted Bundy’s competency for October 22, ordering Ted to attend. Each side would have 2 hours to present its evidence.
To my surprise, Ted didn’t want to attend the evidentiary hearing in Orlando any more than I wanted to have him there. He had not been outside the Florida State Prison since the end of the Lake City trial in February 1980. He liked his routine, he felt comfortable in the prison, and he had no idea what it would be like to be in public again.
I didn’t want him there for other reasons. First of all, his presence was unnecessary. We were not going to call him as a witness, and the issue was his competency at the time of his trials, not at the present time. Second, I was worried about security – his and ours – because this would be his first public appearance in over seven years. Third, we were not sure whether, when it came down to it, if actually, directly, asked by the judge about it, Ted would indeed cooperate with our attempt to establish his incompetency. He did not find that claim any more believable – or flattering – than he ever had.
Ted was in a lather on October 22 when John Sandage (one of the lawyer working on Ted’s case) and I went down to meet him in the holding cell at the federal courthouse in Orlando. He’d been taken from his cell at Florida State Prison at four-thirty that morning, not allowed to shower or shave, placed in the back of a van and driven to Orlando in handcuffs and shackles and without a seat belt. It was the absence of a seat belt that bothered Ted the most : « What’s the point of trying to save my life on this sentence if I’m going to be killed in a car crash?! » He had bounced around the back of the van for three hours on his trip to Orlando, and now he was bouncing off the walls of the holding cell. John convinced the guards to let Ted use a razor, and we managed to talk him down, but I was afraid for a minute there that the public was going to get to see the Ted Bundy they expected to see – a raving madman. We did not need any more distraction; we already had the menacing Guardian Angels who were pacing the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, urging Ted’s immediate execution. « Fry, Ted, fry. » – Defending the Devil by Polly Nelson