Tallahassee and Ted Bundy forever linked

The slaying of two FSU sorority sisters dominated the headlines in 1978.
Photo Courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat.

The news spread like wildfire: two Florida State University sorority sisters, Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman, had been murdered and three other students had been severely beaten. Ted Bundy’s Jan. 15, 1978 serial killing, left North Florida residents shaken.

A new Netflix documentary has brought Bundy back into the spotlight. “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” is a documentary series that premiered on Jan. 24 in remembrance of Bundy’s horrific actions that took place 30 years ago.

Mike Vasilinda, News Channel 8 Tallahassee reporter, broke the news in 1978 leaving Florida residents in a frenzy.

During his exclusive interview on “Conversations with a Killer,” Vasilinda said, “He was a guy that was hiding in plain sight.”

According to Vasilinda, after the local murders, the lively college nightlife came to an immediate stop. "This town really shut down. People stopped going out at night. Students un-enrolled from FSU, their parents made them come home," he said during his interview.

Serial killer Ted Bundy was soon after convicted of several murders in Florida.

Jan. 24 marked the 30th anniversary of his execution. Ironically, three decades later Bundy’s name has reemerged.

Thanks to the new Netflix docu-series and movie, the story of Bundy’s horrific murders are resurfacing.

FSU English Professor Barbara Hamby, lived on College Avenue when Bundy attacked the capital city.

“To say that everyone was petrified is an understatement. It was several weeks before they caught him, so everyone was hyper-vigilant during that time,” said Hamby.

The Bundy attack took place at the Chi Omega sorority house at 661 W. Jefferson St., just one block away from Hamby.

Many female students at FSU said the Bundy case is still thought about but rarely discussed today. Allegedly, Chi Omega sorority sisters are still not supposed to talk about the incidents.

Ed Hula, Florida PBS correspondent, shared his thoughts in the Netflix series.

“There had never been a crime like this before in Tallahassee. There was a tenseness in the air and a nagging question that could not be just pushed aside."

At the time, Hula was a journalist at WFSU-TV, which was at that time located across the street from the Chi Omega sorority house. “Nobody knew who did it, we just knew they were still out there,” said Hula.

The Netflix documentary also featured Capt. Burl Peacock from the Tallahassee Police Department, who served as police captain in 1978. “Well, I’d rather say we’ve got a very disturbed sick individual,” Peacock stated in a flashback interview with a local Tallahassee news station.

Jan. 24, 1989 ended the life of horrid serial killer Ted Bundy, but today the story continues. A new movie about Ted Bundy premiers this weekend at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. It's titled, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile 1.”