She was waiting at a bus stop for the Salt Lake City bus on her way home from the University of Utah, where she was studying Pharmacy.
Eager to save herself the bus trip home, Stapley hopped in. After introducing himself as “Ted”, Bundy told Stapley he had to run a quick errand before dropping her home.
Stapley wasn’t worried. Bundy seems “like the boy next door,” she reveals to PEOPLE in an excerpt from her new book, I Survived Ted Bundy: The Attack, Escape & PTSD That Changed My Life.
“He fit in with the community. He didn’t have fangs and he didn’t have black circles under his eyes.”
But Stapley quickly learned that looks can be deceiving, as Bundy fell silent and drove the car to an isolated picnic spot out of town.
For a while, he didn’t speak. Then, he leaned over and whispered, “Do you know what? I’m going to kill you.”
What happened next scarred Stapley so badly that she didn't come forward with her story for 37 years, even after Bundy was publicly identified and prosecuted as a serial killer.
Now 62, she's finally ready to tell her story.
The book which details her escape is set to be released soon.