Investigator in Grand Junction Ted Bundy case still haunted by alleged murder

Published: Feb. 1, 2019 at 9:09 PM MST
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Doug Rushing doesn't forget much. He remembers exactly where roads and overpasses were back in 1975, every business and street name.

His memory is probably one of the reasons he made detective at the Grand Junction Police Department when he was in his early 20's.

It's also why he remembers the investigation into Denise Lynn Oliverson's disappearance so well.

"I've often thought about Denise Lynn Oliverson," Rushing, an investigator on the Oliverson case in 1975, said. "It always brings back those memories, trying to figure out what happened to Denise. I just feel rather badly that we didn't find her alive."

Oliverson was allegedly murdered by Ted Bundy, one of America's most notorious serial killers, back in 1975.

"Her description, of course, matched a lot of women that Ted Bundy caused to disappear, or murdered," Rushing said.

Investigators believe Oliverson was biking home in April of 1975 when she was murdered by Bundy under the 5th Street bridge, just miles away from her parent's house. She was 24-years-old.

The next day, police found her bike, shoes and belt under that bridge near the railroad tracks but never found her body. They did, however, confirm that Bundy had been to a gas station nearby the day of Oliverson's disappearance.

In 1989, just a few days before he was put to death, Bundy confessed to investigators in Florida that he had dumped Oliverson's body in the Colorado River near Grand Junction.

"We were glad to hear him say that he had actually killed her," Rushing said. "It is always terrible not to get a closure on something like that."

Despite Bundy's claim, Oliverson's body still hasn't been found to this day.

"She's maybe along the river somewhere, whether we find her or not I'm not sure," Rushing said.