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Oscar's Restaurant Today
Cross and W Streets Today Looking South
 
 

Shortly after 1 a.m on February 15, 1978, Pensacola, Florida police officer David Lee spotted a suspicious looking car parked in the dark alley behind Oscar’s Restaurant, located on West Cervantes Street. Lee patrolled this area enough that he knew the cars driven by Oscar's employees and this was not one he recognized. Lee radioed the dispatcher with the license plate number of the suspicious vehicle to learn that the vehicle was reported stolen. The car left the alley and headed west on Cervantes Street. Lee turned around and followed the car as it turned north on W Street. As the car approached Cross Street, Lee turned on his flashing lights and pulled the man over.

Lee ordered the man out of the Volkswagen and had him lie on the ground while he searched the vehicle. Much to Lee's surprise, the man began to struggle with him. He broke away and tried to flee on foot. Lee raised his pistol and fired; the man fell. Again, as Lee approached him, he began to fight, but this time Lee succeeded in getting handcuffs on him. He had not been wounded. As he sat in Lee's car, he stated that he wished the officer had killed him! The driver's license was that of Kenneth Misner. Mister Misner was taken to jail.

Officer Lee then returned to his duties. He didn't consider the incident with Kenneth Misner to be terribly unusual. Nobody actually wanted to go to jail for stealing an automobile and some would fight to avoid it. When his shift ended, Lee went home, considering the night to have been fairly routine. It would not be until the next day that he would learn the full truth about the man he'd arrested.

The driver's license used by Mister Misner had been stolen. In reality, the man in the stolen orange Volkswagen was the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy, who had only a month before brutally attacked four female college students at Florida State University's Chi Omega Sorority House in Tallahassee, killing two! Additionally, he had viciously attacked another young lady who lived about 8 blocks from the Chi Omega Sorority House.

BEFORE PENSACOLA

Ted Bundy was bornTheodore Robert Cowell at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vermont on November 24, 1946. His mother was Eleanor Louise Cowell. Shortly after his birth, Louise returned to her parents’ home in Philadelphia to raise her son. Ted was led to believe that his grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor Cowell, were his real parents and his mother was his older sister. This was done to avoid the stigma associated with unwed mothers at that time. He would not learn the truth for many years. In time, young Ted greatly admired his grandfather, who was described by family members as a violent, wife-beating bully who hated Blacks, Italians, Jews and Catholics. Some family members even suspected that Samuel Cowell was Ted's real father.

In 1950, Louise changed her last name to Nelson and dropped her first name, Eleanor. With the encouragement of family members, she and Ted moved to Tacoma, Washington to live with her cousins, Alan and Jane Scott. While attending a singles night at Tacoma’s First Methodist Church in 1951, Louise met Johnny Culpepper Bundy, a cook for a local hospital. The two were married later in the year. Bundy adopted young Ted, changing his last name.