Theodore Robert Bundy an American serial killer who killed many young women in
Bundy is thought to have been a sociopath. He was highly intelligent, educated, personable, handsome, and charming, but nevertheless, regularly brutally murdered women and girls, usually with a blunt instrument, sometimes by strangulation. He would also often sexually assault his victims before and after they had died.
Bundy was born in November 1946, to Eleanor Louise Cowell, a young department store clerk. His father's identity has never been established. For the first five years of his life, Ted and his mother lived with his psychologically unstable grandfather in
Louise and Ted soon thereafter moved to
Friends generally recalled Bundy as a happy, normal child. He was a good student at
This other self, Ted's "entity," as he described it to Michaud and Ayneswroth, was kept very well hidden. Later, friends and acquaintances would all remember a handsome, articulate young man. The extroverted Bundy worked and campaigned for the Republican Party as an adult. He also worked as a volunteer at a
Bundy had one serious relationship before his serial killing began in earnest, with a college freshman whom Ann Rule referred to by the pseudonym "Stephanie Brooks." At one point she ended the relationship due to a lack of ambitiousness on Bundy's part, and they separated for a period of roughly two years. Ted eventually came back into her life, courted her once more, and then proposed. She agreed to marry him. Two days later, he unceremoniously dumped her by ceasing to return her phone calls. It was shortly after this final breakup that Ted began a homicidal rampage lasting three years.
Ann Rule theorized that "Stephanie" formed the archetype for Bundy's preferred victim: young, white female, with long dark hair parted in the middle.
While some experts, including former
Shortly after on
Bundy's next victim was Lynda Ann Healy, a senior at the
From that January to June he stalked and killed more than one young woman a month, a spree that culminated in July with the double daytime abduction and murder of two females at a lakeside park near
That autumn, Bundy moved on to Utah, where the killings began in October with the murder in Midvale of Melissa Smith, the 17-year-old daughter of police chief Louis Smith. Bundy raped, sodomized, and strangled the Smith girl. Her body was found nine days later.
Next was Laura Aime, also 17, who disappeared on Halloween. Her remains were found nearly a month later, on Thanksgiving Day, on the banks of a river.
He flew TWA from
After being convicted, Bundy was sentenced to death by judge Edward Cowart. While under sentence of death, he was tried in
Judge Edward Cowart said, when sentencing Bundy to death:
"It is ordered that you be put to death by a current of electricity, that that current be passed through your body until you are dead. Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself. It's a tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I've experienced in this courtroom. You're a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer, and I'd have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went the wrong way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don't have any animosity to you. I want you to know that. Take care of yourself."'
This quote indicates that Bundy's persuasiveness and manipulative behavior was so well developed that it even affected the judge, still he was clearly was aware of Bundy's guilt.
In October 1982, his wife gave birth to their only child, a girl, whom Bundy adored. Eventually, however, Boone moved away, divorced him, and changed her and her daughter's last name. Apparently, she somehow discovered that Bundy was guilty—meaning that she had previously believed that Bundy was innocent, yet another testimonial to his unique ability to charm women.
In the years Bundy was on death row, he was often visited by Special Agent William Hagmaier of the FBI's Behavioral Sciences Unit. Bundy would come to confide in Hagmaier, going so far as to call him his best friend. Eventually, Bundy confessed to Hagmaier many details of the murders that had until then been unknown or unconfirmed.
In 1984, Bundy contacted
Bundy contacted Keppel again in 1988. With his appeals exhausted and execution imminent, Bundy seemed to wish to unburden himself by confessing to his crimes, which included eight officially unsolved murders in
The night before Bundy was executed, he gave a television interview to Dr. James Dobson, head of the Christian organization Focus on the Family. Bundy claimed that consumption of violent pornography helped "shape and mold" his violence into "behavior too terrible to describe." Ted Bundy said that he felt that violence in the media, "particularly sexualized violence," sent boys "down the road to being Ted Bundys." It is noteworthy that Bundy had never blamed pornography until this interview and no pornographic materials were found at his home when it was searched.
According to Special Agent Hagmaier, Bundy also contemplated suicide in the days leading up to his execution, but eventually decided against it.