The famous bitemark case

At the night of January 15, 1978 The Murder of Lisa Levy and Martha Bowman, two young girls, was reported by a witness. Both girls were brutally killed, using a wooden club. A man, wearing a blue knit cap was seen to leave the premises of, Lisa Levy and Martha Bowman. Witness, Nita Neary, reported a man running out of the house with a cloth-covered log. The investigators described the murder, as a ‘violent, brutal attack’

Lisa Leavy was raped, strangled and beaten on the head. Margaret Bowman was strangled with a pair of pantyhose and severely beaten on the head. Neither was found to be struggling.

No solid evidence was found at the crime scene, which meant that the room had been wiped clean. Ted Bundy was known for his accuracy, and the investigators presumed that Lisa Levy and Martha Bowman were one of latest Bundy’s victims. However their presumptions weren’t a hard evidence for a conviction.

The attacker had taken his weapon with him, which meant that item of evidence was also missing from the crime scene collection. The investigator had collected evidence such blood type, a few print smudges, and sperm samples, however all proved inconclusive. Yet another piece of evidence was found, that later became the centerpiece of the trial: an odd bite mark on the left buttock of Lisa Levy. She had also been bitten on the breast, but this mark on her buttock was a much better impression. One police officer laid a yellow ruler against the abrasion and several photography’s were taken. His presence of mind might have made all the difference between conviction and acquittal of the most notorious killer in America to date, because the tissue specimens were lost by the time of the trial.

The investigators requested suspect to provide a dental impression so that they could use the impression for comparison with the suspicious bite mark, but Bundy refused. The investigators obtained a search warrant that authorized them to get the impression in any possible way; a surprise trip was organized to prevent Bundy from grinding his teeth down in an effort to disguise his bite. An experienced dentist from Coral Gables, Dr. Souviron took several photographs of Ted Bundy's front upper and lower teeth and gums. An uneven pattern was recorded, which would make a match easier to make.

A lawyer was sent in by Bundy, for assistance after Dr. Souviron took the stand in the court. The lawyer had made a request for the bite-mark evidence be thrown out of the case, because there had been no grounds for the warrant. The judge had ruled it admissible.

As stated above, the tissue from Lisa Levy's buttock had been destroyed in all the analyses; however the photograph with the ruler still remained. Dr. Souviron described the bite mark on Lisa Levy’s buttock as the jury examined the photographs. The unique the indentation marks were outlined and showed how it matched the dental impressions of Bundy's teeth. Doctor outlined the structure of the unique alignment, the chips, the size of the teeth, and the sharpness factors of the bicuspids, lateral, and incisor teeth. The comparisons of both Bundy’s teeth structure and the photograph of the bite-mark were put up on a board as an enlarged photo and laid over each other using a transparent sheet

Dr. Souviron went on with the case, explaining that there was a double bite involved: The attacker had bit once, then turned sideways and bit again. The top teeth remained in the same position, but the lower teeth left two rings. Twice as much evidence was obtained in order to prove his case. When questioned by the defense, Souviron explained that several experiments were done, using model teeth to be assured of the standardization of his analysis. Later in the case, the lawyer pointed out that the ruler in the photo had been lost, however Dr. Souviron countered with the obvious fact that it once had existed because it was in the photo.

 Dr. Lowell Levine, the chief consultant in forensic dentistry of New York City's Medical Examiner, was called into the court room by the state.  He testified that the victim, Lisa Levy had to be lying passive for the marks to be left same position as they were found on the photograph. This evidence was found to be the best the prosecutor had. The verdictus was called, and Ted Bundy was sentenced guilty. Death sentence was announced, in the form of electric chair. Ted Bundy’s bite-mark case was first case in Florida’s legal history that relied on bite-mark testimony, also the first time that a physical piece of evidence actually liked Bundy with one of his numerous crimes.