Let’s talk about it: Ann Marie Burr

This week’s “let’s talk about it” case is the abduction of eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr from her home in Tacoma, Washington on August 31, 1961.

WHAT happened is clear enough. This is an “every parent’s nightmare” scenario: a child taken from her own home in the middle of the night, never to be seen or heard from again. The mystery here is WHO DID IT. Because there are a lot of people who believe, with very good reason, that little Ann Marie was a then-teenage Ted Bundy’s first victim.

Ted knew Ann and her family and lived just blocks from their home. He was only fourteen years old at the time of her abduction, but it’s not unheard of for a serial killer to begin at that age, and Ted was extraordinary even by serial killer standards. Independent evidence — the size of the footprint outside the Burr family’s living room window — suggests whoever took Ann was young.

Ann Rule herself, Bundy’s biographer and onetime friend, believed Ted was involved. In her book — if I recall correctly, I read it several years ago and no longer have a copy — she said someone had contacted her once claiming they had been a high school classmate of Ted’s and at one point Ted invited to take this person “to see a body.”

The whole “did he or didn’t he?” question has occupied the minds of Bundy hobbyists since his serial murder career exploded onto the national news in the 1970s and 1980s. I don’t really have a strong opinion on the subject and I don’t pretend to be an expert on Bundy.

Rebecca Morris published a book about it, Ted and Ann, in 2013. I read it and thought it was excellent, and it’s got 4 of 5 stars on Amazon with 251 reviews. I highly recommend the book; if you’ve got a Kindle it costs just $4.99.

So do you guys think Ted Bundy took Ann, or do you believe it was someone else entirely? Let’s talk about it.

52 thoughts on “Let’s talk about it: Ann Marie Burr

  1. M86 November 3, 2016 / 1:46 am

    I wouldn’t consider myself a Ted Bundy expert, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was behind it.

    I think to the recent Jacob Wetterling case. I have a feeling that Danny Heinrich is behind more missing boys in Minnesota/Iowa/more than were maybe not reported enough because of the times.

  2. Shari Kizziar November 3, 2016 / 10:40 am

    I am curious about the teen neighbor who failed the first polygraph. And ehy would Bundy deny it? Just my thoughts.

    • Meaghan November 3, 2016 / 11:08 am

      I know Bundy said he thought his final victim, Kimberly Leach, was older than she was. She was twelve years old, and looked it. Ann Rule speculated that he lied because he did not want to have the stigma of having murdered a child. If that’s true, the same motive would apply to Ann Marie Burr’s disappearance.

    • Pazza March 8, 2017 / 11:24 am

      I think this murder, if Ted did it, would be the one that would absolutely destroy his family, and he knew it. In his skewed mind, admitting to all the other murders shortly before his execution was probably far easier than admitting that ‘Yes, that little girl that vanished who we would see nightly on the news and read about in the papers for months and months who lived near us… was raped and murdered by me after all.” She was only 8. Ted’s gotta know that’s abominable, even with everything else he’d done. Even a total degenerate like Bundy can feel shame somewhere inside.

      • Darrel Avery February 8, 2018 / 3:22 am

        Bundy’s later narrative is that he didn’t kill until after 1973 after dumping the woman referred to as Stephanie Brooks. Basically trying to blame her somehow for his rampage. And has mentioned the stigma of killing a child. I haven’t seen enough to convince me he’s her killer but he is the best suspect.

  3. Alice November 3, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    Well, Bundy denied being behind the Brenda Baker murder and it was proven to have been someone else. So I basically think he told the truth to some degree.

    Adults can have small feet. Or a teenage accomplice, who might not even have been male. Don’t get me wrong, I believe a teenager can be this brutal. Levi Bellfield is suspected of killing at the age of 12 (which I believe he did, by the way). I have a strange feeling that Bundy didn’t take her, but whether she is alive now or not or if she was killed shortly after she was taken, I don’t know.

    • Pazza March 8, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Ted also denied having anything to do with Melissa Smith and Laura Aime. We’ll never know why he admitted to some and not others. He was a compulsive liar.

  4. Mario Lanza November 3, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I don’t personally think Bundy did it, mostly because a lot of the evidence against him was circumstantial. If I recall, he didn’t live near Ann Marie’s house, his uncle did, so he wasn’t as geographically close as the rumors always say he was. Also there is the thing that he never came close to admitting to killing her, in fact he would vehemently deny it whenever somebody suggested he might have been responsible for it.

    Now, obviously, Bundy was a known liar and he loved to play games with people (and what Ann Rule said was true, he didn’t want to be known as a child murderer), but I know Bundy’s case pretty well and he never even hinted he might have killed Ann Marie even once. Most of the other cases he was at least reasonably honest about every once in a while.

    I have never seen one shred of evidence that Bundy was ever in or near her house, so while it is an interesting theory to think he might have been responsible for it, and it would tie her story up nicely with a little bow on top, I just don’t think the facts fit the theory in this one. Of course, if it turns out he DID kill her, I wouldn’t be surprised, but at the end of the day I think Bundy gets blamed for a lot more killings than he actually did.

    • Pazza March 8, 2017 / 11:33 am

      Read Ted and Anne. You might change your mind. “Never even hinted he killed her”? Yes he did, if Art Norman is to be believed. I’d believe anybody over Ted. Ted lived three miles away – that’s been proven. That is NOT far for an avid bike-riding 14 year old at all. There was never a shred of proof that Bundy was in Linda Ann Healy’s house either, or on Taylor Mountain, or most other places he nabbed victims. We can apply the same principle to Burr’s house.

      • Erine February 8, 2018 / 8:40 pm

        The book persuaded me.

  5. Mario Lanza November 3, 2016 / 1:18 pm

    Here is a great article that says pretty much the same thing I just said. Bundy is an intriguing suspect but the fact just don’t fit the case Ann Marie’s mother never thought Bundy did it either.


    One paragraph especially is important near the top of the article:

    “Bundy’s death house disclaimer argued that “the Burrs lived all the way across town from where I hung out as a kid and had my paper route… it was a different part of the world with different schools.”

    A Mapquest today confirms it. Bundy’s house on Sky Line Drive was 3 miles away from the Burr home on 14th Street – yet legend wants him on the next block.”

    • Pazza March 8, 2017 / 11:39 am

      You’re going to give Bundy the benefit of the doubt just because he said “the Burrs lived all the way across town from where I hung out as a kid and had my paper route… it was a different part of the world with different schools.” ??

      Meaning what, Ted? You also tried to convince a court that authorities had “twisted the bite mark evidence every which way but loose to fit the teeth” in Florida!

      Anne-Marie’s mother wrote to Ted twice begging for answers. They’re not the actions of a mother who thought Ted ‘didn’t do it’.

      When you take into account everything Bundy did… he is by far the most logical, probable, and likely suspect. People just can’t bring themselves to believe a 14 year old kid could do this.

      • Darrel Avery February 8, 2018 / 3:28 am

        If Ted were the killer and I’m not saying he isn’t then Anne Marie’s body had to be close to home. Just how good of a search was made? We’ll never know.

  6. Amy November 3, 2016 / 2:32 pm

    I’m not say he didn’t do it, but here’s what I researched…..Bundy grew up at 658 Skyline Drive. Ann Marie was abducted from the 3300 block of N 14th Street. This is 3.3 miles from each other. 10 minutes by car. Roughly an hour by foot. That’s actually awfully far by foot. Although one article I read did say he had a paper route and an uncle living in the area. Ann Marie’s mother found the door unlocked from the inside which also let to speculation that Ann Marie knew her abductor. I find it hard to believe she would open the door and quietly go with him into the night. If someone did come through a window and grab her, I think it’s a stretch that she didn’t make enough noise to wake the house. She walked several blocks to school….ALONE. Could someone have been watching her? Lastly, Bundy didn’t admit it. Most serial killers like to be known for there crime regardless of age, gender, etc. He admitted to several he was never charged with.

    I suppose it very well could have been him, but I understand why he may have never been charged in this one. Just doesn’t appear to be enough evidence. I am torn on this one. However, I don’t know enough about Bundy to actually draw a conclusion.

    • Katja July 17, 2020 / 6:23 pm

      Everyone walked to school then unless you were a farm kid. People slept with windows open, Kids “camped out “ in sleeping bags on hot nights. A child in that age would have no problem going with an acquaintance with a Any story. Ted had a paper route and it’s easy to get anywhere on a bike in the middle of the night…no traffic or stop sighs. Quicker on a bike in a residential neighborhood

    • Meaghan November 3, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      It seems unlikely because they say the body hasn’t been there long judging by the decomposition.

  7. Aja November 4, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    There is something that keeps sticking in my mind. Ann Marie’s sister was awake and crying in a great deal of pain and discomfort as a result of her broken arm. The two girls shared a bedroom apparently. Although the sister was then a toddler I wonder if anyone ever bothered to ask her what she remembered and saw during the night Ann Marie went missing? Just because their parents sent the girls back to their own beds without doing anything, doesn’t mean the little one suddenly got over her discomfort and fell soundly asleep.

    • Jessee S. Ferrara February 19, 2017 / 9:52 am

      The little one did remember seeing things, and even put it into a letter naming a Ted, but the Ted in her letter might well be because believe that the person she might have seen that night was indeed what everyone claimed was person Ted Bundy. This event undoubtedly traumatize that youngest child, and so do strongly believe that this youngest sister did in fact see oldest sister be abducted that fateful night, whether it be Ted Bundy, or someone else…

      • Erine July 16, 2017 / 12:43 pm

        The 3 year old sister slept across the hall from Ann Marie. The sister that slept in the same room was sleeping with the 5 yr old brother in a tent in the basement that night. Ann heard Mary and took her to the mom downstairs then qback to her own room. Sometime between then at 3am and 5:15am Ann disappeared. Mary wrote about that night as an adult but by then was fully schizophrenic.

  8. Gaia227 November 5, 2016 / 2:19 am

    Size 6 is a small foot for a man. I know it is certainly possible but it is rare for an adult male to have a size 6 foot. I am curious about the teenage boy who failed the polygraph. He failed the first time, not the second. It makes sense he would be less nervous on the second attempt, he know roughly what quesitons they were going to ask him and had time to prepare answers. Wonder it police ever obtained a search warrant and searched his house looking for a pair of Keds. Did they take note of his shoe size? There are so many unanswered questions and at this point it seems unlikely we will ever get answers.
    And whats up with the neighbors reporting they saw a man looking in her window a few days prior to her disappearance? Did they say anything to the parents at the time? Was it reported? If I saw a man peering into my neighbor’s daughters’ window I would tell them ASAP.

  9. CHRISTIE M GROVES January 16, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I am pretty certain he took Anne wasn’t he her paperboy. We had some family friends they were the neighbors and said he was their paperboy.

  10. Jessee S. Ferrara February 19, 2017 / 10:12 am

    I want to add something that no one online is aware about concerning book “Ted and Anne.”

    1. The author Rebecca Morris did her job and wrote a book about Ann Burr (+Ted Bundy), & so should be commended for writing it, and a therefore bringing interest to her case…

    However, the author has no concern about any real part in finding Ann Burr. I contacted her a little over a year ago about promoting her book alongside AMBURRProject Northwest & didn’t even receive a response from her.

    2. There is a crucial error in the book locating a part of the construction going on at that time (1961) as being between 16th & 26th streets on Union Housing…

    This information actually does quite a bit of an injustice for any real organisation who is still a out there looking for her. Luckily, I went into a Archives at University of Puget Sound and have about 30 of the aerial photographs that show a where construction was going on at a time of a her abduction (1961).

    I am under written agreement with UPS that it could not be shown through any social media a sites, but I will tell you that no location from an area stretch of 16th through 26th was under an construction in 1961. It was all being done at an area on 14th (Union), and Ann Burr family lived on 14th & Junett, only two blocks away.

    You would think that someone writing an book about a child abduction would at least research these things to the fullest, so that organisation still searching for her wouldn’t have to go on a wild-goose-chase, but this is what we are very prepared to do, is to turn up every stone that it may be where Ann Marie Burr lays.

  11. markb March 4, 2017 / 8:43 am

    Jessee: i also wrote to Ms. Morris and never received a reply.

  12. markb March 4, 2017 / 9:12 am

    i am not an expert on bundy, but i spent some time last year researching all the literature on him for a possible book on unsolved crimes, which i may or may not ever finish. i tend to think think mr. bundy did murder Ann Marie Burr. but i’m not fool enough to think i’ve solved the crime. i truly hope her remains are found someday, and it is possible, but even if that happens, i doubt it will tell us anything about who her murderer was.

    But: here are some points to consider about bundy and Ann:

    jeffery dahmer, ed kemper, and several other serial killers are known to have committed murders in their adolescence, then went “dormant” for a period of years before committing another murder.

    bundy is known to have murdered a 12 year old child in florida. he was ashamed of that crime in a way he was not, as compared to his other crimes, and would not discuss it with any interviewers. (if i am wrong and he did discuss this murder, someone please point this out to me)

    bundy denied the murder of Ann Marie Burr, both in words and in a letter to Ann’s family. bundy also denied the murder of Kimberly Leach, in florida. the words of these denials should be closely compared.

    bundy told dr. dorothy lewis ortnow, a psychologist he grew close to near the end of his life, that he was obsessed with murder at a very early age.

    those are some thoughts concerning bundy and Ann. personally, i myself have no problem with the thought that “ted’s” precious reputation is “stained” with this crime. he murdered children. he probably killed Ann Marie Burr, his “starter murder”.

    • Pazza March 8, 2017 / 11:46 am

      Absolutely agree with you. The whole case reeks of Ted. The lack of evidence, the lack of clues, the fact that there was no forced entry, the fact that no one saw or heard anything. It’s almost identical to the murder of Linda Healey 13 years later. Too coincidental to consider it was anyone but Ted.

    • Erine July 16, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      I think paper routes in those days covered a lot of area in small towns. Ted lived with an uncle just a few blocks from Burrs. He admired this uncle and it stands to reason he would want to spend time in that neighborhood. Kids then were allowed to go on their own for hours at a time and with a bike it’s only a matter of minutes.

  13. Mario Cutini March 23, 2017 / 7:14 am

    Ted Bundy was always reluctant to talk about his FIRST murder.Like he alluded to Robert Keppel : there were certain crimes a serial killer would never admit to:if the victim was a child;the crime commited when the perp was young;and,crime commited near to home.All this seem to fit Ann-Marie’s abduction !

    • Erine July 16, 2017 / 1:02 pm

      I believe he said there are 3 types of crimes you don’t talk about, ones near you, someone you know, and a child..all fit Ann Burr

  14. markb March 29, 2017 / 11:36 pm

    bundy was arrested during his teenage years for burglary and auto theft. no information on those crimes has ever been found. burglary is a crime – like voyeurism, which bundy also admitted to – that often escalates into rape and murder.

    bundy also told Dorothy Lewis that in his teenage years, he liked to go into the woods near his home at night and take off his clothes and run around in the woods naked.

    one of bundy MO’s was to attack women in their rooms, in their beds at night. his 1st known murder involved carrying a grown woman from her room to his car. bundy liked to sneak into women’s bedrooms.

    ted bundy murdered Ann Marie Burr.

    • Jill April 1, 2017 / 7:42 am

      Even if Bundy did kill someone when he was 15,his victim would’ve probably been between age 12 to 14,someone in his eyes had who reached puberty.I’ve never believed he would have had sex with an 8 year old;it had to be someone else!

      • markb April 17, 2017 / 1:56 pm

        no, it wasn’t someone else. ted bundy murdered this child when he was 14 yrs old. by his own words, he was never “right”. the murder of this child was something that completed the warp that was already started. it probably frightened him deeply and thrilled him equally. and he held it close in his heart til the day they fried him. you assume the murderer of Ann had sex with her, and you assume that bundy couldn’t have had sex with her. neither assumption is based on anything.

        he was a maddog of a human being and by his own confession, had been ever since childhood. it’s almost funny, how many people pop up that want to “defend” his reputation. he was a child murdering piece of refuse.

      • Katja December 17, 2019 / 8:14 am

        At 14 he didn’t have a car. If he lured her far enough from the house to kill and probably rape her in a private spot he would have to do so on foot. Then concealing a body (which Ted did) would mean carrying the victim. He could care someone close to his age very far but a tiny girl would be easier. Also Ted told the Burrs he was a “normal” kid at that age and that wasn’t true and he knew it. Ted’s chief talent was lying.

  15. Greg April 15, 2017 / 11:58 am

    At three Bundy placed knives around a sleeping female relative while living in the home of his violent and tyrannical grandfather. It is speculated that Bundy was the product of incest from his grandfather raping his mother. We know that at fourteen he was still living under the belief that his mother was his sister as this is the lie told to him. Of course if this is true she was not just his mother but half sister, as well. Bundy admitted to stalking, voyeurism and a predilection for hardcore pornography as well as detective magazines as a teen. His childhood and adolescence were marked by extreme pathology. Could he have killed, too? Absolutely. As has been stated many serial killers murder their first victim as teens and remain dormant for years, only to resurface as full blown psychopaths in their twenties. Add the fact that the Burr disappearance is so similar to later crimes committed by Bundy and it’s highly probable that it was him.

  16. Mason May 12, 2017 / 9:42 pm

    Like many others i have no trouble accepting that Ted Bundy murdered Ann-Burr.I wonder why the leading detective in the case,Tony Zatkovich,believed otherwise?

    • Pazza June 8, 2017 / 6:02 am

      Because cops naively go by leads and evidence – and there was none. So, in their mind, there was no real probable reason to believe he did it. Even though it’s highly likely he did.

  17. MARKB January 4, 2019 / 1:33 pm

    anybody who really wants the facts in this case needs to read “Ted and Ann” by Rebecca Morris. She did a great job putting the known facts together and her book is highly readable.

  18. GILBERT November 25, 2019 / 5:33 am

    Many people believe Ted abducted Ann Marie based on proximity,a footprint and similarities to his later crimes.

    What about the assault on the two flight stewardesses?:Lonnie Trumbull and Lisa Wick.It was very similar to the Chi Omega attack. Bundy lived nearby and a good suspect.But he denied it to the end.

    In recent times,the living victim Lisa Wick,somehow managed to give a description of her attacker;he DID NOT fit Bundy’s description.

    My point is there is always a chance that Bundy told the truth of not having anything to do with Ann Marie’s disappearence.

    • Edwardskat@bellsouth.net December 17, 2019 / 8:24 am

      Look at it from mother way…motive. In the early 60’s families were not suspected the way they are today but an unlocked door and an opened window make me think someone was very unsophisticated while committing this crime. Also if it wasn’t personal who did do it? The neighbor boy never committed any more and no one else was a suspect. I also think someone knew this child and the child knew him and went along willingly…just my thoughts but the book was good.

  19. Adrian December 6, 2019 / 9:37 am

    Rob Dielenberg the author of “Ted Bundy:A Visual Timeline” gave a very detailed analysis of Bundy’s psychopathology.The author gives his views on the ann marie case.I strongly recommend you read this book.And i tend to agree with Dielenberg that Bundy was not involved in her abduction.

  20. ANONYMOUS December 8, 2019 / 12:31 am


    • Kathy December 8, 2019 / 12:54 pm


  21. JJ December 11, 2019 / 12:52 am

    I’ve read Rebecca Morris’ book and discovered many things about ted bundy that i didn’t know,like killing of animals,urinating on girls etc.

    Based on available circumstantial evidence everything seems to point to ted bundy.He could have easily led a trusting 8 year old out of her house by using some kind of ruse(maybe like help him with his newspapers).

    Another theory was that she may have been a victim of a child abduction ring.But i very much doubt this.I don’t think anyone will be foolish enough to kidnap somebody from their house with other occupants;child kidnappings usually happen at places like schools,playgrounds,shopping complexes.

    On the other Ted Bundy was known to have broken into residences full of occupants(Chi Omega)to maim/kill or abduct(Lynda Healy) his victims.

    Bundy may have been exonerated of certain crimes where he was a prime suspect(Kathy Devine/Carol Valenzuela) but that still doesn’t rule him out as a suspect of Ann Marie’s abduction.

    As everyone would probably know,Bundy’s deathbed confessions were only a desperate attempt to have a stay of execution.He confessed to pre-selected cases( murder victims 1974-75)whose remains were not discovered.He was certainly not prepared to discuss any cases(of which he was a suspect) earlier than those.

    The other suspect,the 17 year old,never had any criminal record though he was estranged from his family.While Ted Bundy went on to become the most notorious serial killer of our time!!

    • Adrian December 14, 2019 / 12:21 am

      Read Rob Dielenberg’s book and you might change your mind.He is a professional and has done thorough analysis on the subject.I notice many give too much credence to what Ann Rule postulated about Bundy.

      • Katalina August 2, 2020 / 3:22 pm

        Why is Rule less credible than Dielenberg? She actually knew Bundy. I feel like some people are quick to dismiss Ann Rule simply because she’s female.

  22. Tacoma kid December 17, 2019 / 12:09 am

    People who grew up in bundy’s neighborhood knew him to be a messed-up kid.At age 12,he molested young girls and butchered cats.He was no ordinary kid but a monster.

    He somehow got turned on by Ann Marie just like the other suspect Robert Bruzas.But Bundy knew that he would get away with crime as he lived 3 miles away while the other was a neighbor.

    And the poor kid(Robert) was not only interrogated by the police but had to bear shame for being a suspect.While the actual culprit psycho kid Bundy was probably laughing his demented brains out.

    If only bundy knew how much of agony he’d put the Burrs’ through! This was probably the only murder that he didn’t want to cop out too.Was likely his first and he executed it to such perfection(in his sick mind,of course).

  23. Kathy January 7, 2020 / 3:49 am

    Yes,Ted Bundy was a messed up human being but he did not do it.There were other suspects like Ralph Everett Larkee and Robert Bruzas.It is always easy to pin an unsolved murder on Bundy.

  24. Murdoch January 17, 2020 / 8:09 am

    Its not easy to snatch a person from the confines of their home.This case is eerily similar to the polly klaas abduction.Whoever kidnapped ann marie had to have a car and took her somewhere where he could commit murder.Her abductor could have held her at gunpoint or knife point and threatened to harm her family if she didn’t obey him,hence the seeming lack of any struggle.Had ted bundy already learnt how to drive then?I think the presumption that ann’s body was buried in the grounds of university of puget sound is somewhat of a myth.I don’t doubt that a 14 year old is certainly capable of murder but to plan it to such extent and evade detection,it does make me wonder.

  25. Jessica April 15, 2020 / 11:18 am

    Ted Bundy knew Anne Marie, and by all accounts she was fond of him. That means that she probably would have gone with him willingly. Whoever kidnapped her, all evidence points to her being taken willingly.

    Ted Bundy never copped to any murders where the victim was under-aged.

    Ted Bundy was admittedly a peeping Tom and night-creeper from a young age. Whoever was creeping around the house had probably had experience doing that sort of thing before.

    The modus operandi (kidnapping someone from her own home) was one he would repeat later.

    I don’t know if he did it, but he is a damn good suspect.

    • Jack July 17, 2020 / 10:49 am

      There was another suspect,a 17 year old neighbor who failed his polygraph.

      • Art July 26, 2020 / 5:14 am

        Between the 17 year old and Bundy,who would you put your money on?Nothing much has been heard of Robert Bruzas but Ted Bundy on the other hand went on to become the nation’s most notorious serial killer.

  26. Benson August 1, 2022 / 1:08 am

    Unfortunately the only evidence that could have solved this case,the DNA test proved inconclusive.

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