In today’s post, we’re jumping to the first unsubstantiated confession to come out of Bundy’s time in Utah. Unlike with Georgann’s or Donna’s cases, however, Bundy’s confession doesn’t seem to quite line up with what we know about the disappearance of Nancy Wilcox. Let’s explore.
Who Was Nancy?
Nancy Wilcox was born on July 4, 1958 to Herbert and Connie Wilcox. She had five siblings – four brothers and a sister – though I could not find anything about where Nancy fell in the birth order. In 1974, she was 16 years old and a junior at Olympus high school, where she had an active social life. She enjoyed cheerleading and participating in her church. She and her family were of Mormon faith. She stood around 5’6” and weighed around 120 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes. And on a seemingly normal day in October, she would vanish.
On October 2, 1974, Nancy Wilcox left her school to go buy a pack of gum. A few individuals near the school claimed to have spotted Nancy in the passenger seat of a yellow Volkswagen Bug shortly after she left school. This is the last time anyone ever saw any sign of Nancy. At the time of her disappearance, Nancy was wearing a new NOI brand coat, a dress (size 9) and shoes (size 6 ½). No further information is available regarding the description of Nancy’s clothing.
It’s unclear how quickly Nancy was reported missing, though the investigation did not get off on a good foot. According to most sources, authorities did not take Nancy’s disappearance seriously, considering her a runaway from the get-go. I think it’s important to keep context in mind here, though. These officers were not on high alert like departments in Washington, as Nancy was one of the first in a long line of missing women in Utah. Of course, this is not to diminish the culpability of the investigators in writing the disappearance off as a runaway case without taking evidence into consideration. It was clear that Nancy had every intention of returning to her life after her errand. She left all of her belongings behind, including jewelry that she held near and dear to her heart. She also had no trouble in her personal life or relationships. There was no reason for her to run away, and no reason for her case to be written of as a runaway.
The Bundy Connection
This is another case in which the Bundy connection is twofold. First, Nancy was last seen in a yellow Volkswagen Bug, and we know that Bundy drove a car that fit that description. Bundy was also known to have been in the Holladay area of Utah at the time of Nancy’s disappearance. However, Bundy disputed the idea that Nancy had ever been in his car, no matter what witnesses said. The second part of the Bundy connection here is that he confessed to Nancy’s abduction and murder. He claimed he abducted her by knifepoint and took her to a nearby orchard to sexually assault her. He then strangled her to death before transporting her to Capitol Reef National Park and burning her remains. It’s important to note that this park is roughly 216 miles away from Halladay, where Nancy was allegedly abducted from.
I have to pause here to again call bullshit on Bundy. First of all, he’s clearly lying about Nancy having never been in his car, since he buried her in a park that is a three and a half hour drive away. Secondly, there’s no way that no one would have not noticed Nancy acting strangely, walking with a strange man. People noticed her riding in a car behaving normally – if something out of the ordinary happened, that would have stuck in their minds. Why really bothers me about this is the why – why would he lie about having her in his car? What was he trying to obscure?
This case seems to have a bit more hope when it comes to tips. Bundy’s information is vague at best and no sign of her has ever been found. So, at this point in the series, I think you all know the drill – if you or anyone you know think they have information regarding the disappearance and alleged murder of Nancy Wilcox, please contact the proper authorities. Though her parents and two of her brothers have passed on without knowing the truth of Nancy’s final moments, her three other siblings are still out there searching for answers. They deserve to know what happened, and Nancy deserves to have her full story told. Pass any information to the Unified Police Department at 801-743-7000, in reference to case number 74-54455.
5 thoughts on “Bundy: Nancy Wilcox (Confessed)”
I have a degree in psychology and have always been interested in human behavior, and of course, the mind of a serial killer, but this is about bringing peace to the families. I was looking into some of Bundys unsolved cases, and of course Nancy Wilcox, being 16, and never being found is one that I would like to try to do anything I can to help in any way to bring some closure to this case. Bundy did nothing to help investigators bring peace to the Wilcox family. I do not believe that Bundy took the girl 200 miles away to a National Park, he said in an interview that he took her back to his apartment, 565 1st Avenue Salt Lake City, Utah, and did not kill her until the next day, but there is no way, that he drove her 200 miles, once he was ready to dispose of the body, I do not think he would have spent so much time and energy doing so, 4 hours and 200 miles is a lot of time for something to go wrong. Holladay, Utah is only 20 minutes from Salt Lake, I do not think he would have driven so far after he committed the crime and take so much additional risk, just to dispose of the body, especially in some of the remote areas he has at his disposal in Utah, there is no need to drive so far. Bundy had an apartment that he had taken other abducted woman to and after he had subdued Wilcox and knocked her out, he brought her to his apartment and spent the night and all day with here until he killed her the following day. Holladay Utah is exactly 22 miles from where Bundys apartment was, and I hate talking like this, but once he was ready to get rid of her, he would not take the time to drive 4 hours south, when there are mountains and forests directly east from where he was, Interstate 80 East into the mountains, into Emigration Canyon, or around that area seems most realistic. Bundy took Janice Ott and Denise Naslund from Lake Sammamish State Park, and their bodies were found only 20 minutes away in Issaquah, where they found many other bodies that Bundy was responsible for, it was his dumping ground, secluded, and thick with vegetation, he would not drive 4 hours, that is just not his M.O. I listened to a recording of him talk about her abduction and what he did to her, and when he got to what he did with her, he said he forgot, and could not remember specifically, which I do not believe, but I think maybe he had others in the same area that were never found, and he did not want to tip them off to where they all were. They never found Nancy Wilcox there because she isn’t there, but I will continue to research until we can help bring some peace to the families.
On October 18, Melissa Anne Smith—the 17-year-old daughter of the police chief of Midvale, another Salt Lake City suburb—disappeared after leaving a pizza parlor. Her nude body was found in a nearby mountainous area nine days later; postmortem examination indicated that she may have remained alive for up to seven days following her disappearance. On October 31, Laura Ann Aime, also 17, disappeared 25 miles (40 km) south of there in Lehi after leaving a café just after midnight. Her naked body was found by hikers 9 miles (14 km) to the northeast in American Fork Canyon on Thanksgiving Day. Both girls had been beaten, raped, sodomized, and strangled with nylon stockings. Years later, Bundy described his postmortem rituals with the corpses of Smith and Aime, including hair shampooing and application of makeup.
None of these women were disposed of very far from where they were abducted or murdered, there is no way he drove 4 hours…
Just found a new one, so he said he remembers driving Nancy Wilcox through Scipio, Fillmore, and Beaver Utah, which is about 2.5 hours west from Capitol Reef National Park, and the road through the mountains would have been way too much at the time. Bundy spoke of being worried about driving the speed limit because a cop may be trying to reach his quota, and said he drove through Beaver, which is 2.5 hours south of his apartment, and Capitol Reef National Park is another 2.5 hours east through a mountainous road at night, I just do not believe he did all of that, I do not. If he feels he went east out of Beaver towards the National Park, he very well could have, that would have been HWY 153 East towards Junction, Utah.
Drive east off Highway 153 east heading towards Junction, it’s a 40.5-mile journey, and about 10 miles down 153 east there is a road that heads north, and it goes nowhere, it is not a named road on the map that I have, and it looks like it would be a perfect spot for Bundy, and it looks like a spot he could confuse with Capitol Reef National Park. I do not think he went down the road very far either once he went North on that road off of 153. He wanted to hurry up at that point and just get rid of her. Jim Reed Creek follows the road I am talking about, and there looks to be a gravel road that breaks off of there as well, which could truly be where Nancy Wilcox is located.
“We need better maps. That would help. We need just a clearer picture of what it looks like. I do not remember this Canyon Reef National Park. But I don’t imagine that it looks any different from the rest of it, except its name.”
– Bundy during his Utah confession in 1989.
On November 30th, 1974, the authorities began a two-day search of the canyons around Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, they were unable to find any trace of Nancy Wilcox or Debra Kent.
They did look at the canyons around Salt Lake, so Ted must have taken her south a little bit, but he does not recall the National Park, she is not there, somewhere between Beaver and Junction on 153 is where I am starting the search.