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Witness claims Ted Bundy involved

By Peter Gillins

SALT LAKE CITY -- Carol DaRonch, a timorous witness under rugged cross-examination by the defense, clung to her contention Monday that law student Theodore Bundy was the man who tried to kidnap her at gunpoint from a suburban shopping mall.

The 19-year-old Murray girl, her voice stuttering and her eyes filling with tears, faced Bundy on the opening day of his trial on a charge of aggravated kidnapping.

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The tall, slender brunette told a packed court room Bundy was the man who posed as a policeman, tried to handcuff her and then threatened to "blow my head off" near Fashion Place Mall the night of Nov. 8, 1974.

Lundy's attorney, John O'Connell, described her in his opening statement as an "immature and unsophisticated girl" who had trouble remembering things.

O'Connell said he would show that police unwittingly programmed Miss DaRonch to pick Bundy from the line up by showing her his picture several times and priming her with information about the kind of person they were about to arrest.

Bundy, 29, a University of Utah law student from Tacoma, Wash., waived his right to a jury trial and left his fate in the hands of Third District Court Judge Stewart Hanson Jr.

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Under the guidance of prosecutor David Yocum, Miss DaRonch told how a man posing as a policeman approached her at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray on the night of Nov, 8, 1974.

She said the man persuaded her to drive away from the shopping center with him by telling her she had to sign a complaint against someone who had tried to break into her car.

Miss DaRonch testified the man drove her in a rust-spotted Volkswagen to a nearby school where "he grabbed me and put handcuffs on my left arm."

"I reached to open the door," she said. "He grabbed me around the neck. I screamed and fought. Then he pulled a gun out and said he would blow my head off."

She said she jumped from the Volkswagen anyway, and the man followed, attempting to club her with a crowbar. But she said she managed to break loose and flag down a passing motorist into whose car she jumped.

But under O'Connell's questioning, she admitted giving a conflicting testimony at earlier hearings about her description of the car her attacker drove and the kind of badge he displayed.

O'Connell asked her how she identified pictures of Lundy's Volkswagen as the one driven by her abductor. She said it had a rip in the rear seat, rust spots on the doors and no license plate on the front.

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The attorney then pointed out that none of the color photographs showed the license plate carrier on either the front or rear of the car. He suggested that police gave her the idea about the license plates by driving her around the city to identify various vehicles.

Miss DaRonch described the badge shown her by the kidnapper as round and silver, but admitted telling an earlier hearing it could have been gold and blue.

She also said she had been unable to positively identify Bundy as her assailant from mug shots shown to her by police.

On re-direct examination Yocum asked if she was sure about picking him from the line up.

"I knew when he walked in, I could tell it was him," she answered firmly. "It was the way he walked."

"Are you sure today?" Yocum asked.

"Yes," she said.

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