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Karen Sparks' house

Crime Scene Location in Seattle, Washington

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Karen Sparks' house

On January 4th, 1974, Ted Bundy brutally assaulted Karen Sparks at 4325 8th Avenue NE in the University District of Seattle.

These days, the house no longer exists, as it was demolished and replaced by apartment buildings during the mid-1980s.

Karen Sparks Epley was Bundy's first victim

Karen Sparks Epley was Bundy's first confirmed victim. Although she survived the attack, it left her with a number of serious, long-term injuries.

At the time, Sparks was living on 8th Avenue with a group of male roommates.

That night, the 18-year-old was sleeping in her basement room when Bundy broke into the house without waking anyone. After creeping inside, he proceeded to beat and sexually assault the young college student using a piece of metal rebar that he had found in the garden.

She wasn't discovered until the following afternoon, after her roommates grew concerned about the length of time that she had spent in bed. When they went into the basement to check on her, they found her bloodied and unconscious.

Westwood Apartments, Seattle
These days, the street is home to the Westwood apartments, which were built in 1985.

She was not abducted

Bundy left during the course of the attack. Unlike in the case of his second victim, Lynda Ann Healy, he did not attempt to abduct Sparks.

Although we will never know for sure what was going through Bundy's mind, it has been suggested that he may have been spooked by her friend Chuck, who had been living at the house during the holiday season.

Chuck was a sleep talker who was staying in the boiler room beside Sparks' bedroom.

Therefore, it is possible that Bundy heard Chuck talking in his sleep and panicked.

Another plausible theory is that he was lurking around the neighborhood on foot when he spotted an opportunity to strike. If this was the case, then it is likely that his Volkswagen Bug was still at home.

In other words, he may not have had the means to carry out an abduction.

Horrific injuries

Sparks was left with horrific injuries, which included a smashed skull and a split bladder. Ten days passed before she finally regained consciousness.

After spending one month in the hospital, she went back home to live with her parents for a year.

Sparks suffered permanent brain damage, which caused partial vision and hearing loss. She also experienced epileptic seizures and had to learn how to regain her balance so she could walk again.

Sparks has said that the only silver lining is that she does not remember the incident. In her opinion, this may have spared her from experiencing any psychological trauma.

Sparks was known as Joni Lenz

Up until recently, Sparks was known as Joni Lenz, a pseudonym that journalists and authors used to protect her privacy.

She has also been referred to as Mary Adams and Terri Caldwell.

It wasn't until she agreed to appear in recent documentaries that her real name was finally revealed to the public.

In the aftermath of the attack, Sparks kept to herself and focused on her recovery.

Although there were various online rumors that she had lost her ability to speak and that she was living out her days in a nursing home, these turned out to be false.

Thankfully, she managed to overcome many of her injuries. Later in life, she started a family and became an accountant.

Karen Sparks Epley attack location

The address and the GPS coordinates for this location are as follows:


4325 8th Avenue NE, Seattle, Washington, WA 98105, USA


To view directions on how to get there, you can use the Google Maps shortcut below:

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GPS coordinates

The latitude and longitude coordinates for the house are:

47.660213, -122.319799


The street lies to the east of the I-5 Express in the University District of Seattle. It is a couple of yards south of NE 45th Street.


Photos of the house and other related images.

Karen Sparks

Karen Sparks

At the time of the attack, Karen Sparks was an 18-year-old college student who lived with three male friends.

We will never know how or why Bundy chose her as his first victim.

The most likely explanation is that he noticed her through the basement window while he was prowling around the neighborhood at night.

In the days leading up to the attack, she was reading in her bedroom when she thought that she saw a man peering through her window. However, he was gone so quickly that she blamed it on her imagination.

She also didn't believe that someone would be bold enough to enter a house filled with men.

4325 8th Avenue NE

4325 8th Avenue NE

Image source: hiimted.blog

This is a police photograph of 4325 8th Avenue NE.

Sparks' bedroom is circled in white.

After noticing her through the basement window, it is likely that he hung around outside the house and started probing for an access point.

The fact that he was able to get inside without waking any of the occupants suggests that he didn't have to use a lot of force.

King County detective Robert Keppel said that a door on the left side of the property was always left unlocked. Therefore, it is possible that Bundy discovered it while he was "assessing" the outside.

By that stage in his life, he was already an experienced voyeur. However, his deviant behavior had escalated to the point that he was now beginning to follow random women that he noticed on the street.

Although he never attacked the unsuspecting women that he shadowed from afar, it did mark a dangerous turning point in his development. The violent fantasies that had been with him since his teenage years were now beginning to take on a more physical form.

He had allegedly murdered a hitchhiker seven months prior, but this was different. This wasn't a chance encounter. This was him actively hunting for a new victim.

If this was a success, he'd be compelled to repeat the process over and over again until he was physically stopped.

This may have been the exact moment when Bundy crossed the point of no return.

When he first began probing Sparks' house, he may have only been curiously toying with the idea of going inside. Although the prospect of attacking the young woman was almost certainly floating around in his head, he may not have been expecting to get that far.

However, when he carefully gripped the door handle and realized that it went all the way down, everything changed.

Sparks when she was younger

Karen Sparks when she was younger

In 1974, Sparks was studying political science at the University of Washington.

She and her friends often visited a local dive bar called Dante's Tavern.

Bundy and his first murder victim, Lynda Ann Healy, also frequented Dante's.

It is possible that he noticed Sparks there at some point, followed her, and made a mental note of where she lived.

For all we know, he visited Sparks' house on multiple occasions during his nightly voyeur sessions in the U District.

Bundy lived very close to Sparks


This map highlights the locations of Karen Sparks' house, Lynda Ann Healy's house, Dante's Tavern, and Ted Bundy's rooming house.

Bundy lived very close to all three of these places. However, he lived particularly close to Sparks' residence. To be specific, it was only 0.3 miles (550 meters) away, and it would have taken him only 5-7 minutes to walk there.

This raises the possibility that he was roaming around the neighborhood on foot when he attacked his first victim.

If this was the case, then his Volkswagen Bug was still parked at home, and he didn't have the means to abduct Sparks.

Bundy was a habitual voyeur who liked to get drunk and prowl the streets at night, looking for things to steal and windows to peep through. During interviews, he admitted that alcohol gave him the courage to engage in this kind of deviant behavior.

His decision to enter a house full of men makes a lot more sense when you realize that he was probably under the influence.

The fact that he used a metal bar from Sparks' yard instead of bringing his own weapon shows that this attack wasn't particularly well planned.

The risky nature of the crime, combined with his choice of weapon, indicates that he did not put a lot of thought into it.

That night, Bundy was likely drunkenly creeping around on 8th Avenue when he noticed a light coming from Sparks' basement room. Then, being the voyeur that he was, he decided to take a closer look.

Upon realizing that a young girl with long brown hair was sleeping in a basement room all by herself, his urges took over.

Following the discovery, it is likely that he hung around the property for a while and waited for all of the lights to go off.

Once the house was shrouded in darkness and he had found an open door, he finally picked up the courage to make his move.



This crime scene photograph of Sparks' room shows the aftermath of the attack.

Numerous authors have claimed that Bundy used a piece of metal that was taken from her bed frame. However, this is false, as King County investigators stated that Bundy used a piece of metal rebar that he found in the garden.

There is no bed frame in this photograph, as the mattress was lying directly on the floor.

U District

U District 1977

This aerial photograph of Seattle's U District was taken in 1977.

The red dot at the bottom pinpoints Bundy's apartment. The red dot in the top left-hand corner highlights the location of 4325 8th Avenue NE.

Bundy habitually got drunk and roamed these streets at night.

The residential houses that lay to the west of his apartment would have drawn him in like a moth to a flame, as he would have known that they were occupied by college students.

This location belongs to the following categories:

Crime ScenesSerial KillersTed Bundy Seattle LocationsTed Bundy Locations

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