In the 1970s or earlier an American serial killer called Theodore Robert Bundy better known as Ted Bundy was known for committing gruesome crimes like kidnapping, raping, and murdering a lot of young women. One of his victims was Karen Sparks, an 18-year-old student, and dancer at the University of Washington.
After the attack, she wanted to just have a private life just with her family and so she refused to share her traumatic experience on camera even though Bundy was later arrested and executed in 1989 before which he confessed to having committed 30 homicides which he committed in 7 different states in the United States from 1974-1978
Sparks decided to open up and share her story in the new amazon prime docu-series Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer. The director and producer, Trish Wood commented that it was Spark’s decision and responsibility to guard her privacy after Bundy attacked her. He also expressed his joy when she answered his call and agreed to be on the series.
Important things you don’t know about Karen Sparks
1. She was the first known survivor of Ted Bundy
Karen Sparks is believed to be Bundy’s first victim in his series of brutal attacks. She is also one out of the only two to have survived the horrible attack.
2. Education of Karen Sparks
She was a young student and dancer at the University of Washington studying political science during the period of the attack. She was also living in the University District neighborhood of Seattle.
3. Bundy attacked and left her for death
On January 4, 1974, she was attacked by the serial killer, Bundy, who was previously suspected of abducting and killing a college student, Lynda Ann Healy. Sparks was sleeping in her room when entered and attacked her and left her for dead.
4. Karen Sparks was found by her roommate
It took almost 18-20 hours before her roommate, Bob found her even though he thought was still sleeping but he later discovered she was lying in her own pool of blood. He was very scared and terrified to find her like that.
5. She was left with permanent brain damage
Her injuries resulted in permanent brain damage with a loss of 50% of her hearing and 40% of her vision. She also claimed she had horrible ringing and roaring in her ears after the unspeakable incident.
6. Sparks revealed that Bundy used a bedframe from her bed and smashed her skull
He probably used the same bedframe to smash her vagina deep into her bladder and it totally split. He penetrated her causing severe internal injuries. After the attack, Sparks said she suffered epileptic fits but thank goodness she eventually overcame it.
7. 10 days coma
When she woke up in the hospital after being in a coma for close to 10 days, she could not remember what had happened. She was institutionalized after her brain was severely damaged and she was even incapable of speaking about her experience.
8. She was referred to as Joni Lenz
Karen Sparks was referred to as Joni Lenz in Ann Rule’s books. Since she did not speak about her experience on camera, she was the unknown survivor nobody knew. Her name was previously mentioned in books and other stories written about Bundy’s crimes. When she opened up, she claims most women just choose to keep their secrets to themselves probably because they don’t want to be seen as victims but rather as normal people with normal lives.
9. Bundy’s motives
All Bundy’s victims were quiet and shy young women which made people wonder what were his motives. It was later discovered he picked them at random and then stalk them before attacking them so in Sparks’ case there was nothing to link her with him. According to the producer and director of Ted Bundy’s: Falling for a Killer, Wood, Sparks’ assault was inaccurately reported in the media.
10. Sparks’ family and career
Sparks said she made a decision not to let the brutal attack define her life. After she recovered, she went on to live a happy and successful life with a beautiful family of her own. In as much as she finally opened up, she said she cannot bring herself to sharing her story with her kids directly. She once mentioned she doesn’t want to be marked as a victim at any point. Only strength and grace could have seen her through the traumatic experience. Sparks definitely is one of kind, she went further to become an accountant.