Eyewitnesses sketches of the notorious murderer surface for the first time in decades

By Steve Helling
Updated September 11, 2015 05:30 PM
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Credit: AP

In the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 1978, Ted Bundy broke into the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University. Shortly after 2:45 a.m., he began a brutal rampage.

Bundy bludgeoned, raped and strangled several sorority sisters. By the time he was finished, two women were dead and two more were seriously injured. More than 30 other sorority sisters were in the house, but none heard a thing.

The grisly attacks would ultimately lead to his arrest: As Bundy left the Chi Omega house, a co-ed hid an alcove and watched him leave. Nita Neary saw Ted Bundy, but he didn’t see her.

In the hours after the attack, Neary, an art student, sat with a police sketch artist and described Bundy, who had been wearing a ski hat and holding a club.

By today’s standards, the sketches are simple, almost cartoonish. But Neary remembered one detail: Bundy’s pointed nose. She described the nose to the sketch artist. When Bundy was arrested, Neary was a star witness in his trial.

Bundy eventually admitted to killing at least 30 women in 7 states, and was executed in 1989.

For decades, the police sketches of that horrible night were missing, buried somewhere in the Florida state archives.

The photos were recently uncovered by Sara Ivey, a producer for the Reelz Channel’s new show, Murder Made Me Famous. She spent hours combing through boxes of evidence and documents in the archives, hoping to find the sketches.

“I asked the people [at the Florida archives] about them,” Ivey tells PEOPLE. “They said, ‘I don’t think we have those sketches. We’ve never seen them.'”

So Ivey began methodically looking through the boxes herself. Finally, she found the sketches – which had not been seen since the 1970s – in a folder marked “Miscellaneous.”

“These sketches were important at trial,” says Ivey. “So was Nita Neary’s testimony. All of this evidence helped convict Ted Bundy.”

Murder Made Me Famous combines reenactments, exclusive interviews and never-before-seen photos and video to tell the story of infamous murders. Each episode of the show features PEOPLE Senior Writer Steve Helling. The show airs Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET on the Reelz Channel.

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