Debbie Harry’s Pre-Blondie Decision That Almost Cost Her Life

Debbie Harry is one of the iconic figures in the world of rock music, with her enduring impact on the upcoming generations of artists. She contributed to Blondie‘s huge success with her distinctive vocals and edgy persona. She also quickly became a fashion icon with her bleached-blonde hair, bold makeup, and daring style.

The singer was also a trailblazer for women in a male-dominated industry, and her success paved the way for other female artists to follow. Yet, Harry might never have had such a remarkable career as this if a scary incident she went through in her pre-Blondie period had turned out differently.

As the story goes, the rocker was left in a frightening situation in the early 1970s when she was just trying to hail a cab on the lower east side of the Village in New York. She wasn’t even in a band then. In a newspaper published back in 1989, Harry recalled her memories of the incident and revealed that a white car pulled up, and the driver offered her a ride.

Harry initially hesitated, but the persistent driver somehow convinced her to get in the car. As they were driving, she realized that the inside of the car was stripped, and there were no handles or window cranks. Feeling nervous, Harry reached out of the small window crack and opened the car from the outside. The driver then tried to turn the corner quickly, causing the vocalist to be thrown out of the vehicle and land in the middle of the street.

However, what was more frightening was that Debbie discovered over 15 years later that the driver was the serial killer Ted Bundy, who was executed in the Raiford electric chair in 1989. As she claimed, she hadn’t thought about the incident in years until she read about Bundy and the details of his crimes. She realized that the description of his appearance and methods all matched what had happened to her.

Here is how Harry recalled the scary incident:

“I was trying to get a cab on the lower east side of the Village in New York, and it was kind of late. This was back in the early ’70s. I wasn’t even in a band then … I was trying to get across town to an after-hours club. A little white car pulls up, and the guy offers me a ride. So I just continued to try to flag a cab down.

But he was very persistent, and he asked where I was going. It was only a couple of blocks away, and he said, ‘Well, I’ll give you a ride.’ I got in the car, and it was summertime, and the windows were all rolled up except about an inch and a half at the top. So I was sitting there, and he wasn’t really talking to me.

Automatically, I sort of reached to roll down the window, and I realized there was no door handle, no window crank, no nothing. The inside of the car was totally stripped out. I got very nervous. I reached my arm out through the little crack and stretched down, and opened the car from the outside. As soon as he saw that, he tried to turn the corner really fast, and I spun out of the car and landed in the middle of the street.”

She detailed it further after years:

“It was right after his execution that I read about him [Ted Bundy]. I hadn’t thought about that incident in years. The whole description of how he operated and what he looked like and the kind of car he drove, and the time frame he was doing that in that area of the country fit exactly. I said, ‘My God, it was him. Very scary. Truthfully, I hadn’t thought of the incident in 15 years. I’m one of the lucky ones.”

According to what Harry recalled from that day, the driver who tried to abduct her was no other than Ted Bundy. Fortunately, she was able to save herself by opening the car from the outside. There is no doubt that her decision to get in the vehicle could have cost her life, and we would never know her as the singer of Blondie.