Serial Killer Ted Bundy Had Ties to Idaho
Last weekend, my friends and I traveled to Ketchum to be part of the Sawtooth Relay and stayed in one of the fanciest Air BnBs I've ever seen. (Seriously, the toilets had heated seats.) We were grateful for our host's hospitality, but I have a feeling he's going to have a few questions about us when he looks at his "continue watching" menu on Netflix.
I watched Zac Efron's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile the week that it was released on the streaming service, but my friend Jill hadn't had time to watch it yet. We were trying to figure out what to watch in our room once the rest of the relay team had gone to bed. We settled on that movie so that I wouldn't be disappointed if I drifted off in the middle of it.
The next day, we were talking about the movie after dinner and brought the rest of the team up to speed on the two different Ted Bundy projects on Netflix. Not only are they currently streaming the Zac Efron movie, but also a series where they play real life conversations with the actual Ted Bundy. The true-crime series piqued everyone's curiosity so we decided to watch it.
In the opening moments of the series, Idaho was mentioned as one of the states where Bundy had committed his murders. Everyone in the room stopped what we were doing and stared at each other. We knew from the Zac Efron movie that he was linked to murders near Seattle and Aspen, Colorado but none of us knew that some of his some of his admitted 30 homicides happened in Idaho.
According to a 1989 article from the Orlando Sentinel, Bundy confessed to killing a 12 year-old girl who went missing while walking from from Almeda Junior High in Pocatello. Bundy wasn't able to give investigators the girl's name, but Idaho authorities confirmed that the victim's name was Lynette Culver. They were able to narrow it down because Bundy could clearly recall the details of a conversation with his victim like where her parents worked and how the family had recently relocated from the other side of town. Culver's body was never downed, but Bundy claims to have thrown it in the Snake River.
After the Netflix series started trending, a GoFundMe campaign launched. The organizers hoped to raise enough money to build a public bench honoring Culver's memory. They reached their fundraising goal in mid-May and it looks like the bench should be ready to share with the public on July 31, Culver's birthday. It will placed at Ross Park in Pocatello, a park where Lynette loved to play. The fundraiser page is still active and any additional funds raised, will go toward covering travel costs for some of Culver's family members who are now living in Boise to be there for the ceremony.
During Bundy's confession, he also admitted to strangling a teenage female hitchhiking on a freeway near Boise before tossing her body into a river. They've never been able to identify the victim or locate her body.