Ted Bundy, who is suspected of killing three dozen young women in the 1970s, broke his grisly pattern of sex slayings when he abducted and murdered Kimberly Diane Leach.
Psychologists said Bundy was out of control in early 1978, consumed by his confessed desire to "possess women by whatever means necessary."Most of the women Bundy is suspected of killing in four Western states were in their early 20s, were pretty and had long, dark hair parted in the middle.
Leach was pretty and had long hair parted in the middle. But she was only 12 - a student at Lake City Junior High.
But by Feb. 9, 1978, psychologists said, Bundy was so out of control it did not matter that Leach did not fit the mold of women he normally desired.
Leach was slain about three weeks after Bundy went on a bloody rampage through the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University in Tallahassee, attacking and killing Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman in their beds.
Bundy was convicted of all three murders and sentenced to death in each.
Bundy stole a van from Florida State University shortly after the Chi Omega slayings on Jan. 15 and began wandering across north Florida. Police traced him through vouchers from credit cards he stole along the way.
The day before Leach vanished, Bundy was in Jacksonville.Comment on this story
Leslie Ann Parmenter, 14 at the time, struck up a conversation outside her Jacksonville school on Feb. 8, 1978, with a man in a white Dodge van she later identified as Bundy.
Parmenter's older brother drove up and challenged the man, causing him to flee and possibly saving his sister from becoming another of Bundy's victims, authorities said.
Kimberly Leach's decomposed body was found under a collapsed hog shed in Suwannee River State Park on April 7, 1978. Soil samples and leaves found in the stolen van led investigators to the spot.
She had been sexually assaulted and beaten.