Bond Raised For Chattanooga Man Who Said He Wanted To Be Like Ted Bundy

Wednesday, January 16, 2013
Tyler Benson
Tyler Benson

Bond has been raised for a 23-year-old Ooltewah man who told police he had been reading about serial killer Ted Bundy and "wanted to be like him" after testimony about the concerns of a licensed clinical social worker.

Joel Davenport, whose firm has been monitoring Tyler Benson after he made an initial bond, said he received a call from the counselor.

Mr. Davenport told Criminal Court Judge Don Poole that the counselor "is extremely concerned that he is a threat to his parents and others."

Mr. Davenport said he then relayed the information to Neal Pinkston of the District Attorney's Office. A hearing was then set.

Judge Poole, saying one reason for bond is the safety of the public, raised the bond to $250,000 on each case he faces.

He set an additional hearing in the matter will be held soon.

Benson, of 1757 Torbett Lane, had been charged with beating a known prostitute in the head with a hammer.

He was charged with especially aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and patronizing prostitution. He iinitially was held on an $80,000 bond.

An officer said he responded last August to a report of an assault at 1610 S. Willow St. He said he talked with Cynthia Denise Pittman, who said she had been picked up by a white male and taken near the Bojangles on E. 23rd Street. She said the man attacked her there.

Police said she had cuts on her arms, face and head.

Ms. Pittman, 39, was taken by ambulance to Erlanger Hospital.

Four days later, police said Benson was seen driving around Highland Park in a red Chevy SUV. Benson was stopped and gave police a statement. He said he has been picking up prostitutes and trying to trick them into giving him free sex.

Benson said he had picked up Ms. Pittman and tried to rob her, but she began to fight back. He said he "did not like that she was fighting back and wanted her to be afraid and to do what he said."

He said Ms. Pittman "was putting up a good fight" so he pulled out a hammer and began to hit her in the head. He said at one point he and Ms. Pittman were fighting over a knife.

Police said Benson also confessed "to attacking a number of unidentified prostitutes in the same manner as Ms. Pittman."

He said he "enjoyed the power he felt" while beating the prostitutes.


Current Benson photo
Current Benson photo

Cleveland Growing Through Voluntary Annexation

The city of Cleveland is growing because of requests from property owners who have asked to be annexed. At the city council meeting on Monday, public hearings were held regarding annexing of two properties totaling about 27 acres, and rezoning it for residential use. Two other properties, already in the city limits were also rezoned to residential.   The council ... (click for more)

John Wilson To Autograph New Hiener Photo Book Of Historic Chattanooga On Tuesday At Zarzour's

John Wilson, publisher of, will autograph the new historic photo book being published by on Tuesday at Zarzour's Restaurant from noon until 2 p.m. Paul Hiener's Historic Chattanooga Photos features a wide range of interesting old Chattanooga pictures ranging from the Civil War to local personalities. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Picture a sold-out baseball game at Wrigley Field or Nationals Park packed with 40,000 fans. That image represents roughly the same number of women and men who die from breast cancer each year.  In Tennessee alone, an estimated 900 women will die from the disease in 2016. It is a sad statistic, but there is some good news: thanks to early detection and improved treatments, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Testerman Forum

I badly misjudged how long it would take me to do my “early voting.” I was in-and-out in no time so I got to the Hamilton County School Board’s agenda meeting well enough beforehand to have an “educational forum” with board member David Testerman. If you haven’t noticed, forums and summits and “community enlightenment” groups are the new rage and, as my friend David laughed, “They ... (click for more)

After Productive Open Week, Vols Eye Gamecocks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. --  Tennessee football coach Butch Jones, Josh Malone, Colton Jumper, Ethan Wolf and Emmanuel Moseley spoke to reporters at a weekly press conference. No. 18 Tennessee (5-2, 2-2 SEC) is coming off of its bye week and next face South Carolina (3-4, 1-4 SEC) on Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. ET broadcast on ESPN2. ... (click for more)

Notre Dame Draws Top Ranked Greeneville, CCS Opens With Madison Magnet

For the second year in a row, Notre Dame drew the top-ranked Greeneville in the opening round of the TSSAA Class A/AA state tournament.  Notre Dame is scheduled to play Greeneville on Wednesday at 8 p m. (EST)  in Murfreesboro. CCS will play Madison Magnet in the first round on field #1 at 7:30 p.m. (EST) . CCS and Greeneville met in the state championship game ... (click for more)