November 8, 1974, Salt Lake City, Utah, resident Carol DaRonch narrowly escapes being abducted by serial killer Ted Bundy. DaRonch had been shopping at a mall when a man claiming to be a police detective told her that there was an attempted theft of her car and she needed to file a police report.
Despite her misgivings, DaRonch accompanied the man to his Volkswagen and got into the car. Once inside, he placed a handcuff on her and attempted to hit her with a crowbar, but DaRonch fought back and jumped out of the car to safety.
DaRonch’s attempted abduction was of special interest to the Utah authorities at the time, who were trying to figure out what had happened to several young women who disappeared earlier in the fall of 1974.
After DaRonch escaped, Bundy quickly found another victim and continued his Utah killing spree until his arrest (in his VW, with handcuffs at the ready) in August 1975.
DaRonch picked him out of a lineup, and her testimony helped convict him for aggravated kidnapping, which kept Bundy in jail while police in multiple states worked on building murder cases against him.
On December 30, 1977, Bundy lost a lot of weight and shimmed through a ceiling vent to escape from jail. A few months later, he was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, and on February 15, 1978, he was finally captured. He eventually confessed to the murders of 28 women and was executed by electric chair in Florida on January 24, 1989.