Cold-Blooded Killer: Ted Bundy’s Blood Sample Added to FBI DNA Database

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American serial killer Ted Bundy, 1978.

More than 20 years after his death by Florida’s electric chair, Ted Bundy will join the FBI’s national DNA database. (via AP)

A vial of Bundy’s blood has been discovered in Florida that will allow the bureau to add the serial killer to a national database that uses DNA to match crimes with suspects and convicted felons, reports the Associated Press. The profile, which will be uploaded on Friday, could link the notorious killer to some of the most baffling unsolved cases of the late 20th century.

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Bundy, the infamous and arguably romanticized murderer who was executed in 1989, was convicted of kidnapping, torturing, sexually assaulting and killing several young women in five states between 1974 and 1978. He received the death sentence for the slaying of two college students, and the rape and murder of a 12-year-old child.

This child’s death, which occurred in Florida, is why the vial of blood is around in the first place. The blood was drawn in 1978 after Bundy was arrested for the Columbia County crime.

When homicide detective Lindsey Wade, who was investigating a cold case linked to Bundy in Washington State, learned that a DNA profile for her suspect was absent, she called David Coffman, chief of forensic services at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Tallahassee crime lab. The conversation inspired Coffman to sniff around.

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Attempts to add Bundy to the database have been made before, but a full DNA profile requires proper evidence and usable samples, a difficult undertaking because Bundy’s killing spree predates the use of DNA profiling in criminal investigations. But Coffman soon made some discoveries, namely, dental molds of Bundy’s teeth that could be tested for traces of saliva. Meanwhile, Wade, who was investigating the 1961 disappearance of 6-year-old Ann Marie Burr, had letters, envelopes and stamps that Bundy had sent that could also be tested.

Then came the DNA jackpot: the Columbia County clerk’s office found the original blood sample taken from Bundy in its files.

The newly discovered evidence was submitted and resulted in a complete forensic profile for the FBI database. “We were shocked,” Coffman told the Seattle Times. “It was a beautiful profile.”

After the complete DNA profile is uploaded to the bureau’s national database, Bundy could be matched to any unsolved crime. Authorities will know right away if a match is made.

During the last days of his life, Bundy confessed to about 30 homicides. Though the true number of his victims remains unknown, some estimates run as high as 100.

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Kai Ma is a TIME contributor. Find her on Twitter at @Kai_Ma or on Google+. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.