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Want old VW with stain of owner Ted Bundy?

The 1968 beige Volkswagen Beetle, its interior gutted long ago in a search for the residue of murder, has sat for nearly 20 years in a storage yard. It is haunted, the owner says, by the stain of the man to whom it belonged: serial killer Ted Bundy.

The passenger seat removed to accommodate the corpses, Bundy used the car to haul the bodies of no fewer than 11 of his victims in Washington, Utah and Colorado.And now, says owner Lonnie Anderson, it's time to cash in.

Anderson placed a classified ad in The New York Times listing the car, complete with title and ownership papers bearing Bundy's signature. "Serious inquiries only," the ad insisted.

The asking price, Anderson said, is $25,000 and he says he's had more than three dozen inquiries. He declined to provide the names of any prospective buyers.

"This is a one-of-a-kind," said Anderson, a former Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy who paid $925 for the car at a sheriff's auction in the late 1970s. He makes no bones about his motives.

"I bought it as an investment and I think the time is ripe to sell," he said.

"I know there are (victims') families out there right now," he said. "But I bought it for a purpose and I'll take all the heat that comes as long as that money goes in the bank."

The parents of two of Bundy's estimated 36 victims can't disagree more.

"I just can't imagine what kind of person would do this," said Belva Kent of Bountiful. Her 17-year-old daughter, Debi, vanished from a high school play in November 1974. Bundy confessed to her murder - and those of seven other Utah girls and women - just hours before his execution in Florida in January 1989.

"I'm going to call him and give him a piece of my mind," she said. "He ought to put himself in my shoes before he decides to make a buck."

Don Blackburn of Spokane, Wash., found out about the ad on Monday - 23 years to the day since his daughter, Janice Ott, disappeared along with another girl from Lake Sammamish State Park in Washington.

Witnesses said a man named "Ted," driving a light-colored Volkswagen, had approached several girls at the park July 14, 1974. Bundy confessed to killing both girls, one in front of the other.

"I looked for that Volkswagen hour-in and hour-out," said Blackburn. "On a personal basis, I think this is quite sadistic. It's not something I'd expect a law-enforcement man to do.

"It repulses me," he said.

There is certainly a market for macabre memorabilia. On an Internet site called "Crime and Criminals," collectors can pay $50 for 10 strands of Charles Manson's hair, "direct from Charlie's head."

In Milwaukee, an attorney for Jeffrey Dahmer's victims' families may get as much as $400,000 by selling Dahmer's "tools of death" and the refrigerator in which he kept body parts.

"Bundy's car? I'd love it," said James Dean, curator of the "Museum of Death" in downtown San Diego. His shop, this week displaying the crime-scene photographs from the Tate-LaBianca "Helter Skelter" killings, charges $4 a head for a tour.

But Dean says he rarely pays much for his memorabilia, which include drawings by Manson and Richard Ramirez, the infamous "Nightstalker" killer.

"Most people give it to us because they want to see it displayed and don't want it in their closets."

Dean has sold some memorabilia - some for as much as $2,000 - and thinks Anderson is dreaming to think he might get $25,000.

"Still, for what he bought it for, I'll bet it will end up being a pretty good investment," Dean said.

In the end, according to former Salt Lake County sheriff's homicide detective Jerry Thompson, it was the car - and what police found in it - that brought Bundy down.

Bundy was arrested for the first time in the early morning hours of Aug. 16, 1975, driving the VW with its lights out in a west Salt Lake neighborhood. A search of the car, oddly missing its passenger seat, turned up handcuffs, a ski mask, an icepick and tape.

Thompson made the connection between the car, the handcuffs and the attempted kidnapping 10 months earlier of 19-year-old Carol DaRonch at a south Salt Lake County mall. DaRonch was lured into a tan VW by a man who claimed to be a police officer. She jumped from the moving car after the man snapped a handcuff on her wrist.

That same night - Nov. 8, 1974 - Debi Kent disappeared from her high school play. Police found a handcuff key in the school parking lot that fit the manacle taken from DaRonch's arm.

Bundy was convicted of attempted aggravated kidnapping and sent to prison. Meantime, an inch-by-inch search of the Volkswagen turned up three hairs. One apparently belonged to DaRonch; another was matched to 17-year-old Melissa Smith, whose body was found east of Salt Lake in October 1974, and a third matched the hair of Caryn Campbell, a 23-year-old nurse found murdered near Snowmass, Colo., in February 1975.

Colorado authorities eventually charged Bundy with Campbell's murder and he was extradited.

"There's no question (the car) was a key piece of evidence," said Thompson.

Today, the VW sits beneath an overgrown tree in the corner of a storage yard, the tarp and ropes that once covered it rotting alongside. Rust spots sprinkle its sides and bird droppings dot its sunroof. Everything on the inside - seats, carpet and door handles - is gone.

Bundy was never tried or convicted for any murders in Utah, Colorado or Washington. After being extradited to Colorado, he escaped - twice - and eventually made his way to Florida, where he killed two women in the Chi Omega sorority house on the Florida State University campus.

He also kidnapped and killed 12-year-old Kimberly Leach - the crime for which he was executed in 1989.

Thompson said he and his former boss were "disturbed" by Anderson's purchase of the car 20 years ago, even though Anderson had already left the department.

"I guess there's always some sicko out there," Thompson said. "It's like O.J.'s house," which sold Monday for $2.6 million - considerably less than its appraised value.

"You can go and buy it for 2 1/2 million, if you want to," he said. "But I wouldn't."