Ted Bundy

John Florens | Jan 19, 2024

Table of Content


Ted Bundy, born Theodore Robert Cowell (Burlington (Vermont), November 24, 1946 - Florida State Prison, Bradford County, January 24, 1989), was an American serial killer.

In 1979, after committing numerous murders, Ted Bundy was finally sentenced to death by a Florida state court for the murder of two college students in Tallahassee and again in 1980 for the murder of a 12-year-old girl. By then he had already been sentenced to prison for the attempted kidnapping of a teenager in Utah and was still being prosecuted regarding the murder of a nurse in Colorado. While in custody, he managed to escape twice.

In addition, Bundy was a suspect in more than 30 murder cases in at least five U.S. states. Characteristic were his mobility and cunning modus operandi, posing as needing help or posing as a police or firefighter. He often approached his victims in public and asked them for help. Once at his car (usually a Volkswagen Beetle), they were knocked unconscious, handcuffed and taken away. To transport his victims, he often removed the passenger seat from his car. Bundy usually killed his victims in a pre-selected, remote location. Of some victims, only the skull was recovered with injuries caused by a blunt object (usually a tire lever or crowbar). When victims were found at an earlier stage, the bodies showed signs of strangulation and rape in addition to skull injuries. Only a few cases are known where a victim survived: either by immediately resisting violently, allowing her to escape, or because Bundy was disturbed during the assassination attempt, forcing him to flee.

Just before his execution, he confessed to more than 30 murders. Estimates, however, run to more than 100 women he allegedly killed. His lawyer Polly Nelson mentioned him in her book Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer, published in 1994, called him "the very definition of heartless evil."


Ted Bundy was born Theodore Robert Cowell, the illegitimate son of Eleanor Louise Cowell (1924-2012), on November 24, 1946, at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers, a home for unwed mothers in Burlington, Vermont. Although the birth certificate listed as the father a certain Lloyd Marshall, his mother claimed to have been seduced by a sailor named Jack Worthington. (However, no Jack Worthington can be found in naval or merchant marine records.) Eleanor's family gave little credence to that story, and it was suspected that Eleanor's father, Sam, was the father. Although these rumors were very persistent, DNA testing has since revealed that Sam was not Ted's biological father. There is evidence that Eleanor left her son to his fate for the first time after he was born and returned to her parents.

Eventually Ted came to live with Eleanor and her parents in Philadelphia. To avoid being referred to Eleanor as an unmarried mother, her parents told Ted that he was their son and Eleanor was his older sister. Sam Cowell was a tyrannical man who abused his wife and daughter and animals and held racist views. Once he had a huge temper tantrum when it was discussed who Ted's father actually was. His wife was a shy and obedient woman who suffered from depression and was regularly treated with electroshock for it. She later developed agoraphobia.

As a child, Ted already displayed aberrant behavior: his Aunt Julia once awoke after an afternoon nap surrounded by kitchen knives with the blades pointing in her direction. Ted stood beside her bed and laughed.

In 1950 Eleanor (who allowed herself to be called Louise from then on) left with Ted for Tacoma, to live with relatives. Through the church, she met Johnnie Culpepper Bundy (1921-2007), who worked as a cook in a hospital. They married in 1951. Johnnie officially adopted Ted, and together the couple had four more children. Ted regularly served as a babysitter for his half-brothers and sisters.

Although Johnnie Bundy tried to establish an emotional bond with his stepson Ted remained aloof. Ted felt like a Cowell and had always been very fond of his grandfather in Philadelphia. Ted looked down on Johnnie, who in his eyes earned too little and was not very bright. Johnnie got little hold on Ted and sometimes had to assert his authority by using force.

Ted had an early need for possessions. When buying clothes, he invariably pulled his mother into the more expensive brands. He began stealing and proved to be extremely shrewd at it.

Bundy's memories of his childhood in Tacoma are not unequivocal. To his biographers Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, as well as his lawyer Polly Nelson, he told different stories. To Michaud and Aynesworth, he told of searches in the neighborhood in which he looked in trash cans for images of naked women. Nelson was told that he scoured detective and true-crime magazines looking for stories involving sexual violence, preferably with pictures of dead and mutilated bodies, although he later denied reading true-crime magazines in a letter to Ann Rule. He told Michaud that he drank large amounts of alcohol and then roamed the streets at night to peek into houses to see women undressing. He was stopped several times by police on suspicion of burglary and theft.

How Bundy found out he was illegitimate cannot be said for certain because there are several stories about it. Bundy told his friend that he was called a "bastard" by a cousin and that cousin then allegedly showed him his birth certificate. Michaud and Aynesworth claimed that he found the birth certificate himself while browsing through papers belonging to his mother. Ann Rule claimed that Bundy went to his hometown of Burlington in 1969 and requested his certificate from the birth registry there.

Bundy proved to be a good student in school. Although he later claimed to have difficulty with friendships, former classmates described him as a popular boy. Outside of school, he enjoyed skiing. Because he did not have money for proper ski equipment, he stole skis and also forged ski passes for access to ski resorts. When he turned 18, his juvenile record expired, which is common in many U.S. states.

Studies and relationships

In 1965, he dropped out of high school and left on a scholarship to the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington to study Chinese. After a year, he transferred to the University of Washington. There he met a student, Stephanie Brooks (pseud.). She was beautiful, had beautiful long hair in a center parting, came from a wealthy family and she embodied everything he looked for in a woman. He fell for her like a log. In 1966, he broke off his studies in Chinese and then held a number of low-paying jobs. Although Brooks liked him and had a relationship with him for a time, she noticed that he sometimes lied, which she was decidedly unhappy about. She also felt that he was not eligible for marriage since she was ambitious and set goals while he had dropped out of college, made no plans for the future and otherwise made an immature impression on her. She ended their relationship after a year and went back to her native California. This had a devastating effect on Ted, who was utterly disillusioned. Nevertheless, he volunteered for the office coordinating Nelson Rockefeller's Republican campaign in Washington state and attended the Republican convention in Miami in August 1968. He traveled to Colorado, Arkansas and Pennsylvania to visit relatives. In Philadelphia, he attended college at Temple University for several months. According to writer Ann Rule, during this time he also went to Burlington, Vermont. There he searched municipal records for his birth records and found out he was an illegitimate child.

Once back in Seattle in 1969, he met Elizabeth (Liz) Kendall (pseud.), a divorced dentist's daughter from Ogden, Utah. To support herself and her daughter, she worked as a secretary at the University of Washington's medical school. Their relationship developed quite normally at first, although she noticed that he was not always faithful to her. She loved him and hoped he would lose his wild hair. She also helped him financially. Although the relationship with Kendall continued, Stephanie Brooks remained in his mind. He kept in touch with her through letters despite the breakup, but she seemed unwilling to renew the relationship.

Bundy began studying again in 1970, this time choosing psychology. He did well and was loved by his professors. In 1971, as part of his studies, he worked for a while at a hotline for two dollars an hour where he met former policewoman and budding writer Ann Rule. Rule and Bundy were paired up for work since they always worked in pairs. They became good friends. They stood by people in mental distress and offered a listening ear. When calls came in from people threatening to take their own lives, one kept the person on the line while the other called the police to go to the scene to investigate. Thus they saved several lives, which is remarkable in light of Bundy's later actions. During their shifts, they talked to each other a lot, and Bundy talked about being illegal. Rule found him sympathetic and noticed that he was concerned for her safety. Further, he gave her good advice when he learned of her divorce. She took true-crime magazines at his request. When she learned about his relationship with Kendall and his obsession with Brooks, she advised him not to give up on Kendall. Rule later wrote a biography about Bundy entitled The Stranger Beside Me, published in Dutch as Mijn vriend de seriemoordenaar.

After graduating in 1972 and holding a degree in psychology, he received a grant to work with psychiatric patients at Harborview Hospital as a counselor. A colleague with whom Bundy also had a brief relationship noticed that in his dealings with patients he was giving more orders than actually being a sounding board, was superficial and that he was harassing them.

Meanwhile, he was also active in politics again, working for the re-election campaign of Republican Governor Dan Evans. He flirted with the many women he met at meetings and further stood out for his excellent contact skills. He went to speeches by Evans' Democratic opponent Albert Rossellini and recorded them with a cassette recorder so they could be analyzed by Evans' team. When this became known, a minor scandal ensued as Bundy had posed as a student. After Evans was re-elected, Bundy was appointed to the Crime Prevention Advisory Committee by Ross Davis, the chairman of the Republican Party in Washington. He wrote articles for the newsletter, attended meetings and researched white-collar crime and rape prevention. Then, on the recommendation of his Republican friends, he got a job with the King County Office of Law and Justice Planning. Here he engaged in research on recidivism among criminals. During this research, he discovered how poorly the various jurisdictions and police departments worked together, and he also saw that many crimes did not result in trials. Both Evans and Davis wrote commendations for Bundy when he applied to the University of Puget Sound (UPS) and the University of Utah for law school. However, Marlin Vortman, a Republican friend of Bundy's, recommended that he study law primarily in Washington because it would put him in contact with local lawyers and it would also be important for his political ambitions. He was accepted to UPS and began that study in 1973.

Since he had an obsession with Brooks, he tried to win her over again, and he visited her in 1973. She was overwhelmed by the enormous transformation he had undergone: he was driven, had studied psychology and had begun law school. Their relationship blossomed again and at the same time he maintained his relationship with Kendall. Neither woman knew of each other's existence. Meanwhile, studying law proved immensely disappointing to Bundy and he appeared less in college. Brooks flew to Seattle several times to visit Bundy, and at a political rally he introduced her to Ross Davis as his fiancée. When Kendall went to visit her parents in Utah with her daughter around Christmas, Brooks stayed with him again in Seattle. At the time, Bundy was staying at the home of Marlin Vortman, who was on vacation to Hawaii with his wife. By now, there was already talk of marriage.

In early 1974, he suddenly didn't let up. When Brooks managed to reach him after several weeks, she angrily asked what he was doing. Bundy said he didn't know what she was talking about, disconnected the call and Brooks never heard from him again. Later Bundy would say about that course of action that he wanted to prove to himself that he could have actually married her. Brooks concluded in retrospect, however, that Bundy must have planned the renewed relationship with her and the breakup in order to get revenge on her for dumping him years earlier. A short time later, Bundy dropped out of college.

First murders

It is unknown when Bundy became a killer. He was an active peeping tom for many years, and it is suspected that he made his first victim as early as 1961. In several interviews, he claimed to have killed in 1969, 1972 and 1973. The first murders that could finally be specifically attributed to him were committed in 1974.

In early January 1974, Seattle student Joni Lenz (pseud.) was assaulted in her sleep, severely beaten and left for dead. She survived the attack but was in a coma for a time and eventually suffered brain damage. Beginning in February 1974, young women began disappearing in Washington state, about one per month. On Feb. 1, Lynda Healy appeared to have been abducted overnight from her dorm in Seattle. Her bedding had a blood stain on it and her nightgown hung blood-stained in her closet. Since her clothes were also gone, police initially thought she had had a bloody nose and left to seek help. However, when it was discovered that an outside door had been left unlocked, police suspected she had been kidnapped. Healy's roommates no longer dared to stay in the dorm.

In Olympia, Donna Manson was supposed to attend a jazz concert on the Evergreen State College campus on March 12, but did not arrive there. Susan Rancourt, a student at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, was supposed to go see a German movie with a friend on April 17 after a meeting on campus. However, she did not show up. In Corvallis, Oregon, Kathy Parks disappeared May 6 without leaving a trace at Oregon State University. Police initially had few leads and concrete evidence was few and far between. However, there were striking similarities: the disappeared women were college students, the disappearances usually took place at night on university grounds and a distinctive feature was that the women wore their hair in a center parting. Despite the lack of good evidence, after Rancourt's disappearance came reports of college students who had been approached on the Ellensburg campus by a man with his arm in a sling or walking on crutches with a leg in a cast. He asked them to help him carry some books to his car (a Volkswagen Beetle). One student said he had a strange look in his eyes that frightened her.

In June, there were new disappearances: Brenda Ball was last seen on June 1 at a bar in Burien where she was standing in the parking lot talking to a man wearing a sling. Georgann Hawkins walked to her room on the University of Washington campus at around 1 a.m. on June 11 after a frat party and disappeared without a trace.

The disappearances caused tremendous unrest and panic. There was a noticeable drop in the number of hitchhikers and women took extra precautions. For example, they did not go out on the streets alone at night. Many women changed their hairstyle so as not to match the description of the disappeared women.

Bundy was working at the Washington DES, the Department for Emergency Services, at the time. Ironically, this organization was involved in locating the missing women. Also working there was Carole Ann Boone, with whom he dated regularly and who would play an important role later in his life.

On Sunday, July 14, 1974, it was very hot and many people were visiting Lake Sammamish State Park, a recreational area near Issaquah, that day. A young woman was accosted by a man with his arm in a sling. He asked her for help unloading a sailboat. The woman walked with him but once at his car, the sailboat appeared to be missing. He then said it was at his parents' house further down a hill. The woman said that her friends were waiting for her so she did not have time. He responded extremely kindly and even apologized for not saying the boat was not at his car. Janice Ott had only just started sunbathing when she was approached by the same man asking for help unloading his sailboat. They talked for a while and when she introduced herself using the name Jan he responded by saying his name was Ted. When he told her that the sailboat was at his parents' house in Issaquah, she spontaneously responded by saying that she herself lived there. She gathered her things and walked with him. Ott was not seen alive again. Several hours later, Denise Naslund, who was in the park with a bunch of friends, disappeared without a trace after visiting the restroom. When she did not return to her friends they searched the park themselves for hours. Then they alerted the police.

The disappearances in Lake Sammamish received a lot of media attention and for the first time police received very useful information from witnesses. Several women appeared to have been accosted by him. They described a handsome man in white clothing with dark hair and his arm in a sling. One witness described his accent as Canadian or British, and another witness had heard him introduce himself to Janice Ott as "Ted. Further, a witness reported that the man had a Volkswagen Beetle.

When this information became public and even a composite drawing was shown, 200 tips a day came in. One of those tips involved a certain Ted Bundy. Liz Kendall, Ann Rule, a professor from the university where Bundy had studied and a colleague at the DES had all passed on Bundy's name. Kendall even provided photos of him to police. When police investigated Bundy, nothing showed that he was the wanted Ted: a law student with no (adult) criminal record was not considered a suspect, and police focused on other, more obvious people.

At his job at the DES, Bundy faced teasing from his colleagues who told him he did look a lot like the composite sketch. Yet no one suspected anything further.

Agent Robert Keppel was in charge of investigating the murders in Seattle. He would deal with the Ted murders for years and wrote two books about them. Because the Washington disappearances had occurred in different legal areas, multiple police forces worked on the investigation, but little or no cooperation between them existed. Although Keppel was initially skeptical that a single perpetrator was responsible for the disappearances, he and his colleagues carefully charted all the disappearances. The similarities between the cases were unmistakable, so every effort was made to find the man.

Partly at Liz Kendall's urging, Bundy moved to Utah in early September 1974 to continue his law studies at the University of Salt Lake City. Since she was from that state and much of her family lived there, she hoped to eventually live with Bundy in Utah. She let him go with regret since she knew he had not been faithful to her, and she rightly feared that he would resume relationships with women in Utah.

In early September 1974, two hunters a few miles from Lake Sammamish State Park found a skull and other bones such as a rib cage. They also found strands of black hair. Forensic examination revealed that the remains belonged to Ott and Naslund. A vertebra was also found that indicated a third victim. Only years later would Bundy tell that that victim was Georgann Hawkins.

Bundy's departure caused the killings in Washington to stop abruptly. In Utah, however, women were soon reported missing. For example, Nancy Wilcox successively disappeared on Oct. 2 in Holladay, Melissa Smith (the daughter of Midvale Police Chief Louis Smith) on Oct. 18 and Laura Aime on Oct. 31 in Lehi. Wilcox's body was never found. Smith was found after nine days and Aime after nearly a month. Investigations revealed that Smith had been kept alive until seven days after her disappearance. Both bodies showed signs of blunt force trauma, rape and strangulation. Makeup she never used was found on Smith's face and Aime's hair appeared to have been washed.

On Nov. 8, Carol DaRonch was accosted in the Fashion Place shopping center in Murray by a neatly dressed man with a mustache who introduced himself as Officer Roseland. He asked her for the license plate number of her car and said someone had tried to break into her car. She walked with him, but at her car everything was fine. Roseland asked if she wanted to go with him to the station for an official charge because his colleague had arrested a suspect. DaRonch then asked him for identification upon which the man showed her a gold badge in a flash. She got into the car with him, a Volkswagen Beetle. Although she found it strange that he was not driving a police car, she figured he might be undercover or off duty. Soon she noticed that he was not driving in the direction of the police station and she commented on that. Suddenly he stopped and grabbed her arm on which he put a handcuff on her wrist. Panicked, she fought back and in the struggle the second link of the cuff became attached to the same wrist. Before he could crush her skull with a crowbar, she managed to get the car door open and let herself fall out of the car. She ran away totally upset whereupon the Beetle immediately drove away. DaRonch stopped a car and she was taken to the police by the occupants. Officer Roseland was not known to the police. DaRonch gave clear descriptions and her information proved very valuable. A blood stain was found on her clothing. DaRonch herself had blood type A-positive, but the blood on her clothing turned out to be blood type O. Later, Bundy was found to have this blood type.

Bundy, however, was still looking for a victim after the failed kidnapping attempt on DaRonch. Later that evening, he arrived at a high school in Bountiful. A play was being held there and he tried to lure several female students and a teacher along, probably again under the guise of being a police officer. All refused. Debby Kent was with her parents at the performance which ran a little late. She left the school to pick up her brother at the roller rink by car. She disappeared from the parking lot, but the car was still in place. When the alerted police investigated the location, they found a key to a set of handcuffs. That key turned out to match the handcuffs DaRonch had been wearing. A witness reported seeing a Beetle drive away from the parking lot at high speed. Several witnesses reported hearing someone yelling in the parking lot.

When Liz Kendall read about the events in Utah, she decided to inform the police in Salt Lake City about her friend. At that time, by the way, Bundy was already on the radar of Seattle authorities. For example, investigations had revealed that he had taken the same classes in college as Lynda Healy and also both had been in the same store shortly after each other, leading to the conclusion that he might have been following her before he struck. Bundy's name had also come up in another missing persons case: Bundy had visited a friend on campus where Susan Rancourt had disappeared. That visit turned out to have been a week before her disappearance, and it was later discovered that a student had come across a man around the same time who needed her help carrying some books to his car. He was further scrutinized.

In 1975, Bundy shifted his scope to Colorado and Idaho. On Jan. 12, Caryn Campbell, a nurse from Michigan, was on a ski vacation in Aspen when she disappeared. Her body was found a month later. Her skull had been bashed in and it was suspected she had been raped. On March 15, he struck in Vail, where he kidnapped Julie Cunningham, a ski instructor. Less than a month later, after an argument with her husband, Denise Oliverson of Grand Junction rode her bike to her parents' house but never arrived. Her bicycle and sandals were later recovered under an overpass. On May 6, Lynette Culver was abducted in Pocatello, Idaho near her school. Susan Curtis disappeared from a conference in Provo on June 28. The bodies of Cunningham, Oliverson, Culver and Curtis were never recovered.

In Washington, however, police were still busy investigating the disappearances. In March 1975, several skulls were found on Taylor Mountain near Seattle. After examination, their identities could be determined: they were the disappeared Healy, Rancourt, Ball and Parks. Traces of brutal violence were visible on the skulls. The investigation established that the skulls must have been left there at about the same time. The killer had apparently kept the skulls somewhere.

Because the Washington police wanted to organize the vast amount of clues and information, Keppel suggested using a computer. The available computer (compared to now a huge machine with magnetic tapes) was normally used for payroll. Lists of suspects were prepared in various categories. For example, there were lists of names of acquaintances of victims, people named Ted, owners of Volkswagen Beetles, sex offenders and countless other pieces of information. Putting all those lists through the computer and having them search for similarities reduced the number of suspects from 3,000 to 200 and then to 25, looking at which individuals appeared on more than one list. Ted Bundy appeared on four lists, so it would only be a matter of time before police focused on him. Shortly thereafter, news came out of Utah: Bundy appeared to have been arrested.

Arrest, trial and escapes

Around 2:30 a.m. on August 16, 1975, an officer saw a Volkswagen Beetle parked on the side of the road in a Salt Lake City suburb. When he tried to speak to the driver, he took off with his lights extinguished. After a short chase, the Beetle finally stopped at a gas station. The officer asked the driver for his driver's license. That turned out to be in the name of Theodore Robert Bundy. When asked why he took off, Bundy replied that he was smoking marijuana and was afraid of an arrest. The officer asked what he was doing on the street so late to which Bundy explained that he had been to the movie theater and had seen The Towering Inferno. The cop became suspicious because he knew only westerns were shown and asked permission to search the Beetle. He noticed that in Bundy's Beetle the passenger seat was missing. Inside the car he found plastic bags, rope, a crowbar, an ice pick, gloves, handcuffs and a mask made of a nylon stocking with peepholes. During questioning, Bundy calmly explained that he used the mask while skiing, found the handcuffs in a dumpster and the rest was "just household stuff. The officer, however, believed they were burglary tools. He took Bundy into custody on suspicion of fleeing from police and possessing burglary tools. He was taken to the station, photographed and registered. He was then allowed to leave on the condition that he remained available for further questioning. The next day, a detective took up the investigation. Partly because of the Beetle and the handcuffs found, he made a connection to DaRonch's failed kidnapping. The name Bundy was familiar to him, as that name appeared in a report from Washington. Bundy was formally arrested several days later on suspicion of possession of burglary tools and attempting to flee from police. He was questioned at length. He behaved extremely calm and seemed to find the whole situation quite amusing. When he was presented with a document requesting permission to search his home, he smoothly signed it. He was then allowed to leave the station.

DaRonch was shown a large number of photographs. Among them were several of Bundy. Although she initially had doubts, she pulled out Bundy's photo noting that the mustache was missing.

When Bundy's home was searched, police found brochures of ski resorts in Colorado and also found a map marking the hotel where Caryn Campbell had disappeared. They also found a flyer announcing the Nov. 8, 1974, school performance at Bountiful. Bundy would later recount that he kept Polaroid photos of his victims in a work locker and they had not been found during the search. After the search was completed, he destroyed those photos.

Bundy was observed and agents saw him thoroughly cleaning his Beetle. In September, he sold his car to a teenager, who happened to be a classmate of Melissa Smith. Police later seized the car and took it completely apart for forensic examination. Traces of blood were found. A hair was found in the trunk that turned out to belong to Caryn Campbell and a pubic hair belonging to Melissa Smith.

Liz Kendall was heard at length by Utah agents in Washington in September about her relationship with Bundy. She said he often slept during the day and regularly left at night. She had found items in the house that she didn't understand: materials for putting plaster casts on, crutches and even a bag of women's clothing. She also said he had bizarre sexual ideas. For example, he asked her if she wanted anal sex, which she horrifiedly refused. She did, however, allow him to tie her up several times. She went on to say that she woke up one night and noticed Bundy under the covers studying her body with a flashlight. What she also noticed was that Bundy owned all sorts of items that he could not afford with his financial means. When she said something about that, he threatened to break her neck if she told others. He became quite upset when she once suggested she cut her hair (which she wore in a center parting). The conversation also revealed that Bundy was not with her on the nights when the college students disappeared in Washington. Kendall was later interviewed again and was then informed of Bundy's 1973 relationship with Stephanie Brooks.

On Oct. 2, Bundy was summoned to appear at an Oslo confrontation (aka lineup). The officers were amazed when they saw him: Bundy had been to the hairdresser and wore his hair completely different, making him look almost unrecognizable. He did this to fool the witnesses. He was placed in a line among other men where they were shown from the front and sides. They also had to recite a few lines of text. Bundy was seventh in the line. Carol DaRonch was present as were several witnesses who had seen Bundy at the school performance in Bountiful. All were asked to write down the suspect's number and all noted number seven. After this identification, Bundy was informed that he had been recognized, which greatly shocked him. He was then formally arrested and detained. Bail was set at $100,000, but that was later reduced to $15,000. Now a criminal case was built against him for the attempted kidnapping and murder of DaRonch. Due to lack of evidence, the attempted murder charge eventually had to be dropped.

Bundy's arrest, meanwhile, had already caused a stir in Washington. People could not imagine that he was guilty and almost everyone believed in his innocence. Bundy himself expressed that the many expressions of support did him good and made him feel that he had really accomplished something in life.

In November, Bundy was released on bail after his parents paid the $15,000 bond. During the period until the trial began, Bundy lived with Liz Kendall while police observed him. Kendall later wrote in her book The Phantom Prince about her relationship with Bundy that during that time it was practically impossible for them to go out the door as there were so many civilian police cars starting up that it felt like the Indy 500 race was starting.

In November, the key police officials working on the Bundy case (Robert Keppel of Washington, Jerry Thompson of Utah and Mike Fisher of Colorado) met with a team of thirty investigators and prosecutors from five states in Aspen. At this meeting, later known as the Aspen Summit, they exchanged information extensively and collectively came to the conclusion that Bundy was the man they were looking for. At the same time, they had to recognize that charges against him required much more concrete evidence.

The trial began on Feb. 23, 1976. On the advice of Bundy's attorney John O'Connell, a trial without a jury was requested since the case had received much publicity. DaRonch was sharply questioned, but identified Bundy as the perpetrator. Bundy admitted that he had lied to agents about his activities on August 16, 1975, and further had no conclusive alibi for the evening on which Carol DaRonch was nearly victimized. Bundy's lies did not please Judge Stewart Hanson. After a week, he was found guilty of the attempted kidnapping of DaRonch. A psychiatrist, meanwhile, was ordered to examine Bundy. When that examination was complete came the official sentence: 1 to 15 years in prison with a chance of parole.

In October, Bundy was caught in the bushes on the prison grounds. There, maps, airline flight schedules and other information were found. Suspected of possessing an escape package, he was locked in isolation for several weeks. On Oct. 22, Bundy was officially charged with the murder of Caryn Campbell in Colorado. The charge was based (in part) on Campbell's head hair found in Bundy's car. Bundy wanted to defend himself in the case. To avoid extradition to Colorado, he initially filed a legal protest but later withdrew it. In January 1977, he was extradited to Colorado and transferred to Glenwood Springs.

Bundy, however, had escape plans. During preparatory sessions at the Aspen courthouse, he noticed that windows on the second floor were always open in good weather. To prepare for a breakout attempt, he trained his ankles by practicing jumping jacks in his cell. He did this by jumping from his bunk bed. On June 7, 1977, Bundy was taken to the court library by an officer during a break from a hearing at his own request so he could consult some law books. He waited until the officer, who was smoking in the hallway, was not paying attention. He then jumped down from the first-floor window and fled. In the jump, he bruised his ankle. However, his jump was seen by a witness who immediately raised the alarm.

The area was immediately cordoned off and an extensive search was conducted for days. The escape caused much criticism of justice but also became the subject of playful jokes. For example, people could order a Bundyburger, a hamburger without meat, at fast-food restaurants. People walked around in T-shirts with texts such as "Bundy is free, you can bet your Aspen on it" and "Bundy lives in the Rocky Mountains. Hitchhikers also put the text 'I'm not Bundy' on their sign with their desired travel destination.

Bundy, despite extensive searches and roadblocks, remained at large for nearly a week. He wandered around Aspen Mountain and missed two mountain roads that led to Crested Butte, his travel destination. He broke into mountain cabins and stole food. He even encountered an armed member of a search party looking for him but managed to get away with an excuse. He finally returned to Aspen on June 13, by now overtired from lack of sleep and hampered by his ankle. He stole a car but was stopped for his conspicuous swerving driving.

Once back in the cell, Bundy began preparing for another escape. He saw fit to amass $500, partly brought by a friend, partly donated by close friends who believed he could get good legal assistance with that money. Through a fellow inmate, he managed to obtain a hacksaw. Near the lamp in Bundy's cell was a weak welding seam, and Bundy began cutting it to get into the crawl space above it. At the same time, he began to change his diet. He began to lose weight and eventually lost about 16 pounds. Eventually he managed to get into the crawl space, and he immediately began looking for a means of escape. Fellow inmates reported noise in the crawl space but no one bothered to investigate further.

In late 1977, Bundy was told that the first day of trial in the Campbell case would be held on January 9, 1978. Although it was initially agreed that no death sentence would be sought in the Campbell case, it was announced that he would be transferred for the hearing to Colorado Springs where trials often resulted in a death sentence. On Dec. 30, he stuffed books and other materials under his blanket to give the impression that he was simply sleeping. He wriggled through the opening in the ceiling of his cell and crawled into the crawl space. Guard Robert Morrison's house was right next door to the prison, and Bundy managed to get into the house through the ceiling. Morrison and his wife were out that night. Anyway, surveillance at the prison was less during the Christmas season because many guards had time off and some inmates were on Christmas leave.

Bundy changed clothes at Morrison's house and left. It was bitterly cold and there was a blizzard. Bundy stole a car but soon broke down. A motorist gave him a ride to Vail and Bundy got on a bus there to Denver. In Denver, he bought a ticket for the 8:55 TWA flight to Chicago.

Bundy's escape was discovered late. Because he skipped breakfast in the weeks before the escape, security did not discover he had disappeared until around noon, 17 hours after his escape. At that point, Bundy was already in Chicago.

Florida: latest murders and re-arrests

From Chicago, Bundy traveled by train to Ann Arbor, Michigan. He found it much too cold, however, so he stole a car. That's how he managed to get to Georgia, where he left the car in a slum. He took the bus and arrived in Tallahassee, Florida, on January 8, 1978.

Under the name Chris Hagen, he rented a room in a dorm. He resolved to lay low and if he could find work, he might be able to make a normal living, since he was not well known in Florida. When he asked for work at a construction site, he was asked for ID, something he did not have with him. Bundy began stealing (again) and came into possession of several credit cards and identification cards.

Although he wanted to behave inconspicuously, his murderous tendencies returned in full force. On the night of January 14-15, he forced his way into the Chi Omega student union dorm and went from room to room armed with a bat. Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy were severely beaten and strangled. Bundy bit Levy in her buttock and the autopsy revealed that a nipple was almost completely torn off. She had also been raped with a can of hairspray. Bowman was so badly beaten that the coroner could not determine where one skull fracture ended and another began. Two other female students, Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner, who shared a room, suffered severe injuries but survived. Kleiner later said she woke up when Bundy entered the room and tripped over the crate that separated the two beds. While still half asleep, Bundy attacked both students. Suddenly their room was bathed in full light since the curtains were open. The light came from headlights. At that moment, Nita Neary was dropped off at the Chi Omega student house by her boyfriend. Bundy fled in a hurry. Neary had just entered the house and watched him flee. Bundy penetrated another house a few blocks away and attacked student Cheryl Thomas. Two female students who lived next door to Thomas were awakened by noise and tried to call Thomas. Bundy fled when he heard the phone ring in Thomas' house. When she did not answer and groans were heard, the female students alerted the police who were quickly on the scene. Thomas was found to have several skull fractures and would go deaf in one ear as a result of the attack. She also had to end her dance training because she suffered balance disorders from the seizure.

On Feb. 8, Bundy went to Jacksonville in a stolen van and spoke to 14-year-old Leslie Parmenter. She was on her way home and would be picked up by her brother. Posing as firefighter Richard Burton, he asked where she went to school. She noticed that he was acting very nervous. She wondered why he wanted to know. At that moment her brother arrived by car and he immediately asked what the man wanted. Bundy stammered an excuse and hurried away. Leslie's brother wrote down Bundy's license plate number and gave it to their father, who was a policeman and immediately took care of it. Bundy left Jacksonville and drove west toward Lake City.

On Feb. 9, Bundy kidnapped a 12-year-old girl, Kimberly Leach from her school in Lake City and killed her. She would be his latest victim. Bundy left Tallahassee on Feb. 12 in a stolen orange-colored Beetle and fled. On Feb. 15, 1978, he was seen in Pensacola striking at a closed restaurant. When Officer David Lee requested the license plate number of the car, it turned out that the car had been stolen. Upon his arrest, Bundy attempted to flee. After a brief chase during which Lee fired warning shots, a struggle ensued. Lee managed to overpower him shortly thereafter. In the Beetle, 21 credit cards, 3 sets of ID cards and a TV were found. Also found were the clothes Bundy wore during the failed kidnapping attempt in Jacksonville. When Lee had overpowered his arrestee, he heard Bundy say "I wish you had shot me. Moments later, he asked if he would be shot if he tried to flee at the jail. In addition, he indicated that Lee would certainly be promoted with his arrest.

Initially, Bundy impersonated Kenneth Raymond Misner, whose identification card he held. When the real Misner heard that he would be arrested he reported to the police. Bundy then changed his name to John Doe, which is the standard name in the U.S. for male unidentified individuals. After several days, he revealed his true identity after consulting with an attorney. Although the name Bundy meant little to the agents at first, that changed when it was learned that he was on the FBI's list of ten most wanted criminals.

After his arrest, credit cards were found to be linked to Tallahassee and Lake City so that Bundy became a suspect in the Chi Omega student house murder cases and the missing Kimberly Leach. Thus, an extensive criminal case was built against Bundy. Leach's body was found in Suwannee State Park in April 1978. Traces of Bundy were found at the site of the body.

The lawsuits in Miami and Orlando

Because a conviction was not a foregone conclusion, the prosecution offered Bundy a deal in May 1979: A confession to the murders of Levy and Bowman as well as Leach would get him 75 years in prison, with no chance of parole. Bundy was initially comfortable with the deal. If he accepted the deal, he could wait for witnesses to recant their statements and wait for evidence to be lost and then request a reopening of the case. Yet at the very last minute, he turned down the offer. Attorney Mike Minerva said in regard to it that Bundy would then have had to admit that he was guilty, something he could not or did not want to do.

On June 25, 1979, the trial began in Miami. Bundy, who again chose to defend himself despite the presence of several lawyers, had succeeded in having the trial rescheduled because of the much publicity in and around Tallahassee.

Bundy's trial was one of the first to be televised and the media coverage was overwhelming. The courtroom was packed and among those in attendance were Bundy's parents and Ann Rule. Bundy enjoyed all the attention and grew into a media sensation because of his charisma and handsome appearance. He made eye contact with many female admirers who fought over a court seat, so to speak. Rule would later say of this that those women did not realize they could have been his victims if he had encountered them during his pursuit of women. Bundy was confident that he would be acquitted and played the role of his own lawyer with conviction.

Several witnesses came forward. Student Nita Neary who had seen him flee from the Chi Omega student house pointed to him as a suspect. Other female students told how they had seen Bundy at Sherrod's, a bar right next to the Chi Omega house, on Jan. 14, 1978, a few hours before the murders. One student told how she had danced with him but that she found him creepy and that he looked like a baying customer.

The bite marks on Lisa Levy's buttock proved crucial as evidence. Two dentists, Richard Souviron and Lowell Levine, had taken plaster casts of Bundy's teeth at the behest of the prosecution, and these were compared via transparent sheets to the prints on Levy's buttock. They were found to match.

Although Bundy looked nothing like a homicidal maniac, the courtroom got a glimpse of the killer Bundy. When Bundy questioned officer Ray Crew and asked him to recount in detail what he had seen when he discovered Levy's body, the room saw how Bundy was amused.

In late July 1979, sentencing was determined. The jury found him guilty of double murder and three counts of attempted murder. Judge Edward Cowart pronounced the death penalty (by electric chair) in a separate hearing. Even he had to acknowledge that he was impressed by Bundy: "You would have been a good lawyer and I would have liked to see you working here in front of my bar. However, you have taken a different path. Take care of yourself and I want you to know that I have nothing against you.'

In January 1980, Bundy appeared in court again, this time in Orlando where he was on trial for the murder of Kimberly Leach. There was sufficient forensic evidence in this case to convict him. Bundy used an old law during the case that makes the exchange of wedding vows in a court of law a valid marriage. Bundy asked Carole Boone to marry him when she was called as a witness. Boone had been Bundy's staunchest supporter for years and came into the picture as his girlfriend when Liz Kendall broke off her relationship with Bundy in 1976 during his imprisonment in Utah. She accepted his marriage proposal. As Bundy declared his intention to marry her, the marriage became official.

Judge Wallace Jopling eventually sentenced him to death again. The execution of this sentence finally landed him on the electric chair after years on death row.

While on death row, Bundy began a legal battle against his death sentences by challenging the sentences or having the cases reopened. During a visit by Carole Boone to the prison, she became pregnant by Bundy and gave birth to a daughter in 1982. In 1984, there was an uproar when it was revealed that a bar of his cell had been sawed through and reattached with a compound made with soap. Bundy was assigned another cell and cell checks were conducted more frequently. One later found another mirror on him. In 1984, he offered his help to Washington police in their hunt for the so-called Green River Killer. Officers Robert Keppel and Dave Reichert came to Florida and spoke with him. Later Keppel would argue that they had come to Florida primarily to see if they could get Bundy to talk about his own actions. His help in tracking down the Green River Killer was not crucial. It was not until 2001 that this killer was arrested in the person of Gary Ridgway.

In 1984, the relatives of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund requested the release of both women's remains, which had been kept as evidence until then. When it turned out that the remains had been lost, both families sued the police. That eventually resulted in compensation.

Several execution orders were issued in March, July and November 1986, but Bundy and his lawyers managed to stop them all.

The end

In December 1988, another execution order was issued. His lawyers tried unsuccessfully to get another stay of execution. When it became clear that Bundy no longer had any legal recourse to challenge the execution, he had his lawyer appeal to the families of his victims: if they lobbied for a stay of execution Bundy would disclose all the details. Governor Robert Martinez responded by saying "we will not let the justice system be manipulated. For him to negotiate his life over the backs of his victims is despicable. The families refused to accede to Bundy's request, since they assumed Bundy had killed their children. They did not feel a confession was necessary. The final verdict was set for Jan. 24, 1989, at 7 a.m. When his plan did not work, Bundy decided on a full confession. When asked, Robert Keppel came to Florida to speak with Bundy and he recorded numerous confessions. Bundy also spoke with FBI agent William Hagmeier. Furthermore, Bundy confessed to murders to police officials from Utah and Colorado. Eventually, more than 20 murders were solved.

The following is a list of the murders and attempted murders Bundy confessed to:







Still, many issues remained unexplained, and Bundy tried to avert execution by withholding details. A day before his execution, he gave an interview to James Dobson and told him that pornography had led him to his actions. Experts said of the interview that Bundy said exactly what Dobson wanted to hear, since the latter was an outspoken opponent of pornography. Bundy thus tried to gain the public's sympathy, and again he tried to avoid his execution. However, to no avail.

In the early morning of January 24, 1989, dozens of people gathered at the Florida State Prison in Starke. They carried banners and signs with lyrics like "Tuesday is Fryday" and "Roses are red, violets are blue, good morning Ted, we're gonna kill you. A DJ urged people not to use too much power because they needed it for Bundy's execution. At about 7 a.m., Bundy was brought into the execution chamber and placed on the electric chair. He was strapped in and two electrodes were placed on his body. He was then asked if he had anything else to say. 'Tell my family and friends that I love them,' he said. Then he was executed with several electric shocks. The prison doctor determined at 7:16 a.m. that he was dead. As the hearse carrying Bundy's body left the prison grounds, the crowd began to cheer.


In the days that followed, photos of Bundy's corpse were published. He was cremated in Gainesville, Florida. In his will he had stipulated the wish that his ashes be scattered in the mountainous areas around Seattle, where many of his victims had been found. When that became known there were many protests but the scattering did take place.

Ann Rule, who had already published her bestseller about Bundy in 1980 released revised editions of her book. In the years following the execution, many women reported to her who claimed to have been approached by Bundy at one time or another. Rule incorporated the most credible reports into one of the reissues. She also answered questions in a separate added chapter.

Bundy had indicated during his confessions that he had buried Debra Kent in Fairview, Utah and gave clues as to the find location. Upon examination, they found a kneecap that matched the size and dimension appropriate for a female of Debra Kent's age. Kent's family came into possession of the kneecap and thus deemed Debra's find proven. In 2015, DNA testing was conducted with the help of the family and revealed that the kneecap did indeed belong to Debra Kent.

Although Bundy confessed to over 20 murders, the actual number of victims remains conjectural. Bundy made it bluntly known that he had more on his record by his comment that for every murder that came into the public eye "there could be one that stayed hidden. There are numerous cases in the states of Washington, Oregon, Utah and Colorado in which Bundy can be considered a suspect. There is no evidence, at most clues in the form of credit card records or witness accounts that place him in close proximity. They are:





Bundy appeared to have been in many states: California, Arkansas, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Vermont, Kentucky and Georgia. That led many police departments from those states to check their files on missing persons and murders to find out if Bundy might have been involved. Two cases stood out:


New Jersey:

In 2002, a case in which Bundy had long been considered a suspect was solved. In the 1973 disappearance and murder of Kathy Devine, DNA testing found a suspect, a certain William E. Cosden.

In 2011, a tube of Bundy's blood was recovered in a Florida courthouse. He had been required to give that blood in 1978 for police investigation. The quality of the blood sample turned out to be so good that a complete DNA profile could be established. That profile was entered into the FBI's DNA database and one of the first cases they tried to solve was the disappearance of 8-year-old Ann Marie Burr in August 1961. Bundy was 14 at the time and had a newspaper route that included the street where the girl lived. Bundy knew the girl because she lived next door to an uncle of his. Burr's father claimed he had seen Bundy near their house the morning after the disappearance. Bundy has always denied having anything to do with the disappearance and he even wrote a letter to the parents in 1986 telling them he was innocent. From the traces left from Ann Marie Burr's disappearance, Bundy's DNA could not provide conclusive evidence. The DNA remains available for investigation in cold case cases.

Ted Bundy in the media

Numerous books have been written about Bundy. A selection of the books is at the bottom of this article.

There is a large number of films and documentaries about Bundy:

Serial killers are classified into two categories: Organized and Disorganized. Organized serial killers are generally above average intelligence and are able to lead relatively normal lives. They usually prepare their murders extensively, hide their victims in places they have chosen in advance, and follow the news about their exploits. Disorganized serial killers are more impulsive, have lower intelligence and usually leave their victims at the crime scene. Bundy was an organized killer who was very careful and often prepared his murders in detail. He chose his victims with care and sought out a location in advance to hide the corpse. By reading true-crime magazines and working for various investigative committees and agencies, he was well versed in investigative methods, and he used that knowledge to stay out of the hands of the police. Bundy chose victims he did not know, so no direct connection could be found between them and himself. Some victims (Healy and Aime) are suspected to have been stalked before he struck. He deliberately chose strangulation and beatings as his killing methods because they caused relatively little noise and could be carried out with everyday utensils. He therefore avoided firearms because of the noise and ballistic evidence they left behind. He followed media coverage of his killings and struck in far apart places, sometimes hundreds of miles apart. He covered his tracks well, burned his victims' clothing (except for Julie Cunningham's clothing, which he threw in a clothing container) and left little or no concrete evidence at the scenes. The lack of concrete evidence in many cases was one of the arguments for him to plead his innocence.

Although Bundy belongs to the organized type, he also showed traits of the disorganized type. Some murders were not prepared but more spontaneous actions, for example, when he picked up a hitchhiker. After the murder of Georgann Hawkins, he panicked and threw her clothes out of the car, along with the handcuffs. When he regained his composure a day later, he returned to the crime scene and collected the items left behind.

Serial killers become increasingly dangerous the longer they operate. The intervals between murders become shorter and the perpetrator's control decreases. Bundy's exploits also clearly indicated this: in Washington, Utah and Colorado, he killed in a controlled and extremely planned manner, and he behaved almost unobtrusively. In Florida, he lost his grip on self-control and he took ever greater risks. The murders at the Chi Omega student house were a massacre, and he was seen by witnesses both there and in the abduction of Leach. His behavior was also otherwise nothing like his controlled actions in Washington, Utah and Colorado. For example, witnesses from Florida said he looked unkempt, spoke incoherently and behaved nervously.

Stephanie Brooks' termination of the relationship was a traumatic experience that affected him deeply. Many of his victims were very similar to her. Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis called that rejection by Brooks a crucial point in his development. Ann Rule speculated that he held such a grudge against Brooks that he was driven to kill women who looked like her. When Bundy was once asked about this, he responded by saying that was nonsense. According to him, the women were attractive but completely different physically.

In photographs of Bundy, his ever-changing appearance is striking. Bundy was once described as a chameleon: By changing his hairstyle (parting left or right and having an ever-changing hair length), varying a few pounds in weight (making his face look fuller or skinnier) and by sticking on a mustache or growing a beard, he could totally change his appearance. Bundy knew this and used it extensively. Judge Stewart Hanson, who tried Bundy in 1976, said in an interview that Bundy returned to the courtroom one trial day after a recess in court in different clothes and with a different haircut that made him almost unrecognizable. His most striking feature, a birthmark on his neck, he hid by wearing turtlenecks or shirts with collars. In Florida, he grew a mustache and drew a birthmark on his cheek in pencil. Police complained that they sometimes couldn't get anywhere with photos of him since many people didn't recognize him. The same appeared to be the case with his car. Some indicated that the Beetle was a light color, while others described it as dark.

Journalists Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth were given the opportunity to speak with Bundy in 1980. Their proposal to write a book about him fell on good ground but Bundy was reluctant to disclose. Thereupon they suggested that he speculate in the third person about the killer's methods and thus Bundy could speak more or less freely without incriminating himself. During the interview sessions, Bundy began to talk more about his motivations for the first time. About his thefts, he said that he really enjoyed owning things. He also wanted to possess his victims and he did that through the sexual violence he used. At first he murdered to avoid being identified but later the murders became part of the possession.

Bundy further appeared to have an almost obsessive fear of running out of gas. His credit card statements show that he filled up enormously, always in small amounts.

FBI agent William Hagmeier sought out Bundy on death row, and Bundy would develop a good rapport with him. Remarkable, since he looked down on the police and the FBI, which he considered incompetent and beneath him. He liked to play psychological games. For example, he took pictures of the surveilling agents who were watching him in 1975 and 1976. He once snapped at Utah cop Jerry Thompson that he was looking for straws. He advised him to keep looking then he could eventually make a broom with those straws.

Hagmeier noticed how Bundy experienced his murders. He described them as a kind of unification with his victims, who thus became a part of him and were always with him. In 1986, when his execution seemed inevitable, he candidly told Hagmeier and Nelson that he constantly visited the places where he left his victims. He applied makeup to the face of the lifeless Melissa Smith and from the corpse of Laura Aime he washed the hair. He indicated "if you have time you can let them be whoever you want. He confessed to beheading at least 12 victims. He also confessed to being a necrophiliac and abusing the bodies for that purpose.

Although Bundy eventually came to a confession, he refused to take responsibility for his actions. To him, the blame for his actions lay outside himself. For example, he stated that he came to his actions because of the absence of his biological father, the violence used by his grandfather, alcohol consumption, violence on TV, pornography and the police, who he accused of manipulating evidence. At one point, he even put the blame on the victims: in a letter to Kendall, he once wrote that he knew people who exuded vulnerability. Thus, they would provoke violence against them. That he had no compassion for his victims was shown when he once jokingly called them "disposable women" and once let slip, "what's one less woman in the world?

Ted Bundy was extensively examined by psychiatrists several times. The first time was in 1976, when Dr. Al Carlisle analyzed him at the behest of a Utah court. Carlisle determined that Bundy suffered from mood swings, was dependent on women in relationships, and he marked that dependence as suspicious. He further concluded that Bundy was afraid of being humiliated in relationships.

In preparation for the 1979 trial, Bundy was examined by Dr. Emanuel Tanay. He found that Bundy suffered from a personality disorder and was driven by impulsive behavior. According to him, Bundy was more concerned with impressing him than taking advantage of the opportunities that an analysis would afford him. Tanay further noted that because of his disorder, Bundy would be unable to contribute constructively to his defense. He was more interested in rejecting authority and authority than saving his life. He predicted that Bundy would reject an offer of a guilty plea in exchange for jail time because it would prevent him from shining in court. Tanay concluded that Bundy clearly demonstrated psychopathy in his behavior.

Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis examined Bundy in 1987. She diagnosed him with manic-depressive disorder noting that he committed his murders during his depressive episodes but later recanted that diagnosis. She further suggested that Bundy had a multiple personality based on two witness statements. A great-aunt once said she waited for the train with Bundy during which he suddenly seemed like a different person and frightened her. A jailer had a similar experience: he noticed Bundy acting strangely and it seemed like his personality changed. He reported being afraid of him at that moment.

The final diagnosis pointed toward anti-social personality disorder. This term is used for what was previously called psychopathy and sociopathy. People with this disorder can be very charming, are superficially developed in terms of personality, have a flawed or no conscience, know the distinction between right and wrong but nevertheless do not allow themselves to be deterred from committing crimes and have little to no sense of guilt. They manipulate their environment and are irresponsible. How good Bundy was at this was shown when a psychiatrist once had to acknowledge that Bundy knew how to manipulate even him.

The lack of guilt, by the way, was admitted by Bundy himself when he told me in 1981, "guilt solves nothing. I'm in the enviable position of having no guilt.' His irresponsible behavior was evidenced by, among other things, his infidelity in his relationships and the way he handled money: At one point in 1975, he owed money to just about everyone around him. Michaud compared Bundy's charm and attraction to women to an artificial flower that tricks insects. Bundy's superficial character development was aptly described by Larry Diamond, Bundy's colleague at the DES. According to him, Bundy was like an inviting shop window: "you are persuaded to enter the store but once inside there is almost no merchandise present.

That behind Bundy's charm was a cold personality became clear when he was asked if he had actually killed 35 women. He declared that "another figure had to be added to that to get the total. Both Ann Rule and Robert Keppel think he was hinting by this that he had killed more than 100 victims. Later, Bundy toned down that comment and told Polly Nelson that the number of 35 was correct. However, Keppel maintained his position as he noticed in his conversations with Bundy that (both he and Bundy knew) the actual number of victims was much higher than 35.

Bundy said that one victim came to her senses in his car and believed he was going to help her with a Spanish language exam she had to take the next day. He marveled at that. Other victims were told when they recovered that he would take them to the emergency room.

There appeared to be a certain naivete in Bundy's thinking: for example, he was surprised that his victims were missed. He also saw America as a country in which people did not notice each other and expressed surprise when he heard that witnesses had seen him somewhere.

In 1989, when his execution appeared inevitable, Bundy began confessing his murders to Keppel and agents from Utah and Colorado. Keppel was stunned by what he heard: Bundy explained that he had kept the heads of Healy, Ball, Rancourt and Parks in his home for some time. He described in detail how he had killed Hawkins and confessed to burning Manson's head in Kendall's fireplace. About the latter, he noted that Kendall would never forgive him. Hagmeier noticed that Bundy was afraid to die and he wanted to know in detail how the execution was done. Bundy also talked to him about suicide. According to Hagmeier, Bundy did not want to give the state of Florida the pleasure of seeing him die. Bundy eventually renounced his suicide plans after all.

Although Carole Boone Bundy continued to believe in her husband's innocence for years, a separation between them developed in 1986 that ended in divorce. She left with her daughter and changed her identity several times. After illness, she was confined to a wheelchair and lived in a nursing home where no one knew about her past. She finally died at the age of 70 in January 2018.

In one of the updates released of Ann Rule's book The Stranger Beside Me, Rule wrote that her dog, a real everyman's friend, didn't like Bundy. She occasionally took the animal to her work at the hotline, where she and Bundy manned the phones. Every time Bundy came to her, the dog would start growling and set his neck hair up. As a result, Rule indicated that people should "pay more attention to their dogs.

Rule was shocked when she was contacted after Bundy's death by women who told her they were depressed by Bundy's death. Some even said they had suffered a nervous breakdown. All of those women corresponded with him and all were convinced they were "the only one" for him. Rule indicated that to heal, they had to acknowledge that they had been deceived by a master manipulator and were grieving for a person who had never existed. She concluded that Bundy continued to victimize even after his death.

Ann Rule said in an interview that sometimes people are born with a genetic predisposition that can later lead to violence. If such an individual grows up from the beginning in a close, warm family in which the upbringing focuses on respect for others and normal relationships, this predisposition may eventually disappear and thus prevent a person from becoming violent. However, does such an individual grow up in a family in which violence and deviant norms and values are normal, the foundation is laid for an extremely dangerous character development. In the case of Ted Bundy, the latter seems clearly the case: the first four years of his life he lived with an unstable family in which violence was a regular occurrence. Rule also argues that children can realize at a very young age whether they are wanted or not, which also greatly influences their development. Again, Ted Bundy was unable to bond with his mother immediately after birth, which must certainly have damaged his character development. It should be noted, however, that Bundy himself said that he "chose to kill.

In retrospect, it can be concluded that Bundy was "ahead of his time. DNA testing did not yet exist, if at all, and the police did not yet have access to today's extensive computer systems. The fact that surveillance cameras were not yet commonplace in the 1970s also worked in Bundy's favor. Partly as a result of Bundy's crimes, the so-called VICAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program) was put into operation in 1985: a database in which records of murders are stored and compared with other cases to detect similarities and patterns. Through Bundy, knowledge about serial killers was significantly increased and the general perception of such criminals was further nuanced.


  1. Ted Bundy
  2. Ted Bundy
  3. Ted Bundy’s Living Victim Tells Her Story
  5. 1 2 Michaud, Aynesworth, 1999, p. 334.
  6. 1 2 Keppel, 2005, pp. 378,393.
  7. 1 2 Rule, 2009, p. xiv.
  8. Rule 2009, p. xiv.
  9. Rule, 2000, s. 8, 17.
  10. Michaud, Aynesworth, 1999, s. 56.

Please Disable Ddblocker

We are sorry, but it looks like you have an dblocker enabled.

Our only way to maintain this website is by serving a minimum ammount of ads

Please disable your adblocker in order to continue.

Dafato needs your help!

Dafato is a non-profit website that aims to record and present historical events without bias.

The continuous and uninterrupted operation of the site relies on donations from generous readers like you.

Your donation, no matter the size will help to continue providing articles to readers like you.

Will you consider making a donation today?