Ted Bundy's dump site at Taylor Mountain
Crime Scene Location in King County, Washington
This is the Taylor Mountain site where serial killer Ted Bundy dumped the remains of at least four of his victims.
It is situated on Washington State Route 18, near the southern entrance to Tiger Mountain. The exact coordinates are available in the "Address" section below.
On Sunday, March 1st, 1975, two forestry students from a local community college were doing a project in these woods when they spotted a human skull lying among the damp, moss-covered trees.
After calling the police, the pair agreed to return to the site the following day and lead them to the exact location where they had made the discovery.
When King County detective Robert Keppel arrived at the scene, he soon realized that the silver filings on the upper teeth matched the dental records of Brenda Ball, a 22-year-old college dropout who had vanished nine months earlier after leaving a dive bar in Burien.
Although the authorities were aware that a killer who called himself "Ted" was targeting young women in the Seattle area, they did not believe that Ball's case was related to the other missing girls. In their opinion, the M.O. and the victim profile didn't match.
However, the gruesome discovery at Taylor Mountain quickly proved them wrong.
Another skull is found
During the second day of the investigation, Keppel was searching the wooded area for more of Ball's remains when he tripped over a branch and stumbled across an unexpected sight.
On the ground before him was a second skull.
The victim was Susan Elaine Rancourt, an 18-year-old college student who had been abducted from Ellensburg in April 1974.
Once the initial shock wore off, it immediately dawned on Keppel that they were dealing with another one of Ted's dump sites. Six months earlier, a pair of grouse hunters had uncovered the killer's other "burial site" in a wooded area near Issaquah.
Notably, these two locations were only 12 miles apart.
Following the discovery, a large-scale operation was launched, and the police called in a team of search volunteers to comb the area for evidence. During the operation, ESAR volunteers found another skull and mandible. These remains proved to be a match against the dental records of missing women Roberta Kathleen Parks and Lynda Ann Healy.
The find was so significant that it forced Keppel and the other detectives to reevaluate many of their original theories about the elusive Ted. Up until that point, they believed that he was solely focusing on university campuses in and around the Seattle area.
However, Ball's murder made it clear that the killer was willing to switch up his M.O. by abducting hitchhikers. Furthermore, he had also strayed far outside of his comfort zone by kidnapping Parks from Corvallis, which was more than 250 miles south of Seattle.
Consequently, the authorities were now starting to realize that the man they were looking for was prepared to branch out and vary his crimes.
Further information is available in the "Photos" section below.
Ted Bundy's Taylor Mountain site location
Below, you will find the address and the GPS coordinates for this location.
Taylor Mountain, King County, Washington, 98065, USA
To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:
The latitude and longitude coordinates for the Taylor Mountain site are:
The coordinates above will lead you to a gate that is roughly 0.2 miles east of the West Tiger Mountain parking lot. The site sits on the foothills of Taylor Mountain, on the southern side of Interstate 18.
Private Property Warning
This is a private property. It is not a public place. Therefore, you should be respectful and not step foot on the property without permission.
This land is owned by a private company called Sirios Timber Partners. Please do not trespass.
Photos of the Taylor Mountain site and other related images.
Taylor Mountain: Then and now
The photograph on the left was taken in March 1975. The cars at the entrance belonged to members of the search team.
The Google Street View image on the right was taken in September 2021, more than 46 years later.
If you look at the red circles, you will see that these two roads have the exact same curvature. Furthermore, the pylon is visible on the right.
Aerial view comparison
The aerial photo on the left is from Robert Keppel's book Terrible Secrets: Ted Bundy on Serial Murder. The satellite image on the right is from Google Maps.
If you compare these two images, you will see that all of the landmarks match up.
Note that the photographer was facing west when he snapped the aerial picture on the left. As a result, we had to rotate the satellite image 90 degrees clockwise.
Four missing women were discovered at Bundy's dump site on Taylor Mountain.
All of the skulls showed signs of blunt-force trauma. It is likely that Bundy inflicted these injuries using a crowbar, as he often incapacitated his targets by striking them over the head.
Lynda Ann Healy's skull was never found, as the search team only managed to locate her jaw bone.
Bundy's dump site
This satellite map of Taylor Mountain highlights the exact locations where the search team discovered the remains of Bundy's victims.
Keppel said that Ball's skull was roughly 1,000 feet away from Powerline Road. However, to be precise, it was actually 505 feet.
Because of the victims involved, it became immediately clear that this was his first "burial" site.
The authorities wrongly believed that the victims' bodies were buried elsewhere
During an extensive search of the area, investigators discovered skulls, jaw bones, and clumps of human hair.
Although Bundy claimed that he dumped all of his victims' remains at the Taylor Mountain site, Keppel found this difficult to believe.
It is approximately 500–800 feet from the powerline road to the dump site. Carrying a dead body across that kind of distance would be tiring and demanding, especially on such uneven and wooded terrain.
This, coupled with the apparent absence of other body bones, led Keppel to suspect that the rest of the remains were buried elsewhere.
However, DNA testing in 2008 proved that Bundy was telling the truth. Other bones were discovered at the site. Unfortunately, it seems as though the medical examiner at the time incorrectly determined that they belonged to animals.
During prison interviews, Bundy told investigators that he severed the heads of twelve of his victims.
For example, shortly before his execution, Bundy admitted to severing the head of Georgann Hawkins and burying it at a separate location in Issaquah. Bundy said that he did this to hinder her identification and impede any future investigation into the crime.
In Keppel's book The Riverman, he claims that FBI profiler Bill Hagmaier told him that Bundy admitted to keeping "as many as four heads" at his rooming house in Seattle.
If this apartment story is true, then it raises many questions about the timeline of events.
Did Bundy keep the heads of Ball, Rancourt, Healy, and Parks from the start? Or did he retrieve them from Taylor Mountain at a later date, after they had become skeletonized? Or was this just another example of him lying?
It is the author's opinion that he may have been toying with the "hot shot" from Quantico and possibly trying to inflate his own notoriety.
Bundy claimed that he also buried Donna Manson at Taylor Mountain
Bundy claimed that he also buried Donna Gail Manson at Taylor Mountain. However, he said that he buried her body in a different area that was further along the powerline road.
Manson was Bundy's second murder victim. His decision to bury her remains in a different location suggests that his original plan was to vary his dump sites and keep his victims apart.
However, following Manson's murder, it seems as though he scrapped that plan and reverted back to using the original location.
The most likely explanation for this is that Bundy was beginning to feel less cautious. By the time he abducted his third victim, his confidence had grown, and the first signs of complacency were beginning to creep in. As a result, he no longer felt the need to make such an effort.
Typically, serial killers become more and more careless as time goes on. Interestingly, Bundy actually touched on this topic during one of his prison interviews:
"You learn what you need to kill and take care of the details. The first time you're careful. By the 30th time, you can't remember where you left the lug wrench."
Bundy was often drunk during his crimes. Therefore, his slip into overconfidence may have occurred much earlier than one might expect.
No trace of Manson has ever been found. Following Bundy's confession, two searches of the suspected site failed to turn up anything of note.
It is likely that animal predation led to the victims' remains being consumed and scattered across the mountainside.
The area in question is home to a number of carnivores and omnivores. These include black bears, cougars, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and raccoons.
The last victim to be dumped at this location was Brenda Ball, who went missing on June 1st, 1974. This means that local wildlife had at least 274 days to interfere with the remains.
During his confession with Keppel, Bundy stated the following:
"If the bodies aren't there, it's because... I think... it's because the animals took everything. And where they took them, God only knows. They must have just chewed them up."
He also postulated that the skulls may have been left behind because the animals found it too difficult to break them down.
DNA testing proves the animal predation theory
In 2005, the King County Medical Examiner's Office discovered a bin full of bones pertaining to the Taylor Mountain case. Although most of these bones clearly belonged to animals, at least twelve of them were determined to be human. The bin contained at least one fibula and two tibias (lower leg bones).
Following the discovery, the authorities proceeded to contact the families of Bundy's Washington victims and ask them to provide DNA samples.
All of the families cooperated, except for the family of Lynda Ann Healy.
Healy's brother, Robert Healy, refused to cooperate on the basis that his family had closed that chapter in their lives.
In 2006, the DNA samples and bones were sent to the University of North Texas for testing.
More than two years later, the results finally came back. Four of the bones belonged to Ball, two belonged to Parks, and one belonged to Rancourt. The other five bones belonged to an unidentified individual, whom the police believe is Healy.
These DNA results support Bundy's claim that he dumped the four women's remains at Taylor Mountain.
Ted Bundy used to hike on Taylor Mountain
This police report points out that Bundy did a lot of hiking on Taylor Mountain.
Bundy clearly selected this site because he was familiar with the area. This is unsurprising, as serial killers typically operate in places where they know the lay of the land.
This is a Google Earth image of the site. As you can see, the entrance is very close to the West Tiger Mountain parking lot.
Keppel spoke to reporters at the site while the search was taking place:
"We keep finding more and more every day. You go into those woods and you just don't know what's in there. It's so thick, so overgrown with bushes that you could find anything... a couple of minutes from now... a couple of hours from now. It doesn't matter."
Judging by various reports, the wooded area was dark, damp, and carpeted with wet leaves. The vegetation was so thick that volunteers struggled to see more than 15 feet ahead.
This image shows the search team gathering at Taylor Mountain.
The site itself was described as being nightmarish. It was gloomy, dark, cold, and wet. One ESAR volunteer likened it to something out of a Gothic movie. It was so dark inside the woods that the team needed flashlights to examine possible remains.
This aerial photograph of the site is from 1972.
It was taken roughly two years before Bundy started using it as a killing ground.
The aerial image above was taken in March 2012, at a time when the trees had recently been logged.
Among the skeletal remains, the police found a green military-style jacket and an old lean-to shelter—a sign that someone had slept there in the past.
They also found a large clump of blonde hair, which belonged to Rancourt.
This crime scene photograph of one of the victims' skulls shows how dark and overgrown the woods were.
This location belongs to the following categories:Crime ScenesSerial KillersTed Bundy Seattle LocationsTed Bundy Locations
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