This retelling of a notorious murder investigation asserts that clues from a psychic’s dreams were key in helping police catch serial killer Ted Bundy.
In January 1978, Bundy murdered two students and injured three others at Florida State University’s Chi Omega sorority house in Tallahassee, Florida. He claimed another victim—12-year-old Kimberly Leach—a few weeks later. This book’s story follows the investigation led by Sheriff Ken Katsaris and Sgt. George Brand of the Leon County Sheriff’s Department that led to Bundy’s capture. Actual interviews with members of law enforcement and others involved in the case, including Brand and a psychic referred to only by his first name, Richard, were central to author Yasmer’s research, although some characters and conversations are fictional. With few leads, police had to sift through numerous outlandish tips from attention-seeking callers, which made Richard’s dreams about the murders seem reasonable in comparison. Although Richard’s scenes are sparse, the statements that he gives to Brand have the timing of horror stories and the hazy, eerie nature of a nightmare. Meanwhile, the investigation falls apart: an unscrupulous reporter prints personal information that endangers survivors; budget constraints threaten public safety; and a police officer lets a suspect get away. There are a few intriguing details, too; for example, inside the crowded sorority house, there are too many fingerprints on the walls—and even the ceiling—for the police to reasonably identify the suspect’s. The cops speak with rough language that reflects the era’s attitudes, but they also provide thoughtful analyses of the impacts of racism, rape culture, homophobia, and even religious conflicts on police investigations. Sgt. Brand is portrayed as a good cop and a devout Christian who believes that God is leading him to the killer. Although the narrative focuses tightly on the police station, keeping the victims, their families, and the killer at a distance, its scope widens to encompass the fears of the community and magnifies the importance of intuition in searching for concrete evidence.
An unusual and thoughtfully detailed perspective on the spiritual side of police work that highlights lesser-known details of a well-known case.