I research these topics in my spare time so I can share what I am passionate about with others. I'm a stay-at-home-Mom who homeschools three children - this website is not my #1 priority. I like to add my own thoughts while I'm writing and keep it conversational throughout each piece. I like to keep things "light and fun", even when discussing dark subjects like true crime. I agree that my writing style is not for everyone and I apologize if you don't like it. All the opinions expressed in the following piece are my own. And yes, sometimes I use Wikipedia as a source but never solely.
Thanks for reading!
Before I begin, I would like to tell you about a new podcast that I am involved with. The Minds of Murderers”. On this true crime podcast, the host will talk about a specific murderer (their background, victims, aftermath, etc…) and delve into their sociopathy and/or psychopathy. The first episode will be about the big hitter himself - Ted Bundy. The piece that I have presented here at Panic Among Us is similar to the script that will be on The Minds of Murderers but it NOT the exact time.
In Burlington, Vermont at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers, Eleanor Louise Cowell (who went by Louise) gave birth to baby boy Theodore Robert Cowell, who would later become Ted “Fucking” Bundy. At the time of his birth on November 4, 1946, his biological father was unknown. Louise put the name “Lloyd Marshal” (b. 1916) on the birth certificate but later asserted that she had been assaulted by local war veteran Jack Worthington. This was never corroborated, and rumors spread that her alcoholic, abusive father, Samuel Cowell, was baby Ted’s father.
Ted was raised to believe that his maternal grandparents were his parents while Louise was his sister. They came to this arrangement to avoid the social stigma of Louise having a child out of wedlock.
The family stayed around the Philadelphia, PA area for Ted’s youth. Once, while his aunt was napping on the couch, she awoke to find three-year-old Ted giggling madly. He had placed knives all around her while she slept. At the time, his behavior was viewed as commonplace. All children test limits and are beginning to learn right from wrong, don’t they? Even with knives sometimes, I guess.
In 1950, Louise took little Ted to Tacoma, Washington to live with relatives. She wanted to get them both away from her alcoholic, abusive father. Ted wouldn’t find out that Louise was his mother for much longer. He still believed that she was his sister. Wasn’t Jack Nicholson raised in similar circumstances? Once the pair were settled, they began to go to church service at Tacoma’s First Methodist Church. Here she met Johnny Culpepper Bundy and the two were married in May 1951.
Johnny was a good man and officially adopted Ted, giving him the surname Bundy. He attempted to bond with the boy over ordinary father-son activities, but Ted was a difficult child to connect with. Young Ted was beginning to exhibit some behaviors that were making his parents uneasy. Authors Michaud and Aynesworth’s book The Only Living Witness had this to say about Bundy:
Does that mean that he saw something dark lurking inside Ted? I wish we could see the notes that doctor wrote about little Ted. The sessions with the doctor did not continue. Ted became increasingly more shy and introverted as he progressed through school. Outwardly, he later claimed, that he could maintain a “facade of social activity” but he didn’t truly understand how and why people got along.
Once in high school, Ted mastered his semblance of normality. He had learned how to talk to people and make them feel comfortable. He was active in the local Methodist church, even being Vice President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. He was involved in the local boy scout troop. He was popular and well-liked amongst his peers and did well in school. And that unibrow - OMG.
But Ted was hiding his true self. In secret, he was fascinated with crime and detective novels and magazines. He would find ones at the local library that featured sexual violence and showed pictures of dead bodies. He became enthralled by graphic pornography and violence. He called this evolving part of himself, “The Entity.” Ok, so just my brain rambling a bit, but — wasn’t the porn in the 60’s kind of “tame” compared to what it is now? Imagine if he had been a teenager today. He would have done so much worse to those women. Of course, what he did was already fucking horrible.
By the time he graduated in 1965 from Woodrow Wilson High School he was a compulsive liar, a shoplifter, and on the path to becoming a criminal. He was arrested twice as a minor for stealing ski equipment and forging lift tickets, but these charges were later expunged.
Before we move on from his formative years, I would like to make a note. Bundy did not meet the MacDonald Triad criteria for a typical serial killer. He did not wet the bed, he did not torture/mutilate animals, he did not start fires. Nor were there any serious head injuries ever reported. He was suspected of the rape and murder of 8-year-old Ann Marie Burr when he was 16 but it was never positively linked to him. Something in his mind was very unhealthy and unstable from day one.
Bundy was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Puget Sound and attended in the fall of 1965. He majored in psychology and took classes in Oriental Studies. He didn’t stay around long, only two semesters, before transferring to Seattle’s University of Washington (UW). While attending school he continued to put forth the image of the all-American boy; he worked as bagger and shelf-stocker at a Safeway grocery store. He started volunteering for night shifts at Seattle’s Suicide Hotline, which served the greater Seattle metropolitan and suburban areas. It was theorized later that he took this job, so he could hear people in pain, so he could experience their pain. It was erotic for him, like phone sex.
While he may have been aroused on the inside, he put on his mask of humanity for his partner, Ann Rule. The same woman who would go on to become an accomplished true crime author. Ann had this to say about Bundy:
While at the University of Washington, Ted Bundy met the only woman he may have ever truly loved. Diana Edwards or as she would later be referred to as in the media “Stephanie Brooks”. She was said to be the template he would use to choose his victims. Strong women with long brown hair parted down the middle. Even though her hair in this picture isn’t down the middle. Maybe she did her hair different for this photo.
They were a couple for one year before “Stephanie” graduated and broke it off with Bundy. She described him as, “not husband material, immature, and lacking ambition.” This break up was hard on Bundy and he decided to go off and “find himself.” He traveled back to his hometown in Vermont and visited the county clerk. This is when he discovered his family’s secret; that his sister was his mother and his parents were his grandparents. This pushed Bundy to become more dominant and focused. It triggered something inside him to want to succeed.
After a brief stint away from school in 1968 to manage the Seattle office for Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign, he re-enrolled and worked diligently to become an honor student. He was very well liked by his classmates and professors. He was described as brilliant and charismatic.
To overcome his heartbreak from “Stephanie” he began dating Elizabeth Kloepfer. A divorced secretary who had a young daughter. They both loved him dearly and he remained in their lives for six years. Their relationship was very hot and cold. She said Bundy could be loving one minute and cold-shouldered the next. They drifted apart when Bundy moved to Utah.
Bundy graduated from the University of Washington in 1972 with a degree in psychology. It was thought that he chose this as his major, so he could learn how people worked. How they think. And why they do what they do. He was like a scientist studying wild animals. He wanted to observe their behavior and become part of the herd.
After graduation, he jumped back into political work. Bundy was an aspiring official, hoping to be governor of Washington one day. He started work for the Republican party, which included a close relationship with Governor Daniel J. Evens. During the campaign, Bundy would follow the Democratic rival around, weasel himself into the inner circle by pretending to be an eager university student, and take notes about his speeches then report back to Evens. This guise was uncovered and resulted in quite the scandal.
After recovering from the political scandal, Bundy went on a business trip to California where he reconnected with ex-girlfriend “Stephanie.” She was enamored with his new look and new attitude. He was now a man who was dedicated to his work and had been accepted into law school. Bundy and “Stephanie” were in a relationship for approximately one year before he proposed. She said yes but then ghosted her two weeks later. When she was finally able to reach him by phone and confront him all he said was, “Stephanie, I have no ideas what you mean.” He hung up on her and never talked to her again.
Ted Bundy’s first victim and the date of that crime are unclear.
We can confirm, with 100% accuracy that on the night of January 4, 1974, he entered the basement bedroom of 18-year-old Karen “Joni” Sparks (Lenz). Karen was a dancer and student at the University of Washington. While she slept he bludgeoned her with a metal rod that he took from her bed frame, sexually assaulted her with a speculum, (Yep, that duck bill thing use to open body cavities. Ladies, you know what I mean. The thing the doctor uses during a smear test). and shoved the metal rod into her vagina and left it there. She was discovered the next morning in a pool of pool by her roommates. She was still alive, but barely. She may have gone on to survive but she suffered permanent brain damage and was never able to dance again. Karen is the only victim of Bundy that he did not take elsewhere to assault.
Bundy will quickly become known for his quick cooling off periods.
On February 1, 1974, he broke into the room of Lynda Ann Healy, a ski forecaster who gave weather reports for skiing conditions. He knocked her out, dressed her in jeans and t-shirt, wrapped her body in a sheet, and simply walked out of her house. The only thing he left behind was a pool of blood on the bed.
March of the same year, he kidnapped and murdered Donna Gail Manson. A 19-year-old student from Evergreen State College.
In April, he kidnapped and murdered Susan Rancourt. She was a student that disappeared from the Central Washington State campus in Ellensburg, Washington. This was the first time Bundy was identified as being suspicious. He was witnessed by multiple students with his arm in a cast asking for help carrying books to his car. A VW Bug. This car would go on to be synonymous with Bundy.
Bundy was killing one woman per month at this point. This man works fast - unfortunately. My mother was teenager with long dark hair parted in the middle around this time. What do you think Mom? Scary shit, right?
In May he picked up Roberta Kathleen Parks (Kathy) who was last seen on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis, Oregon.
In June, he picked up Brenda Ball from the The Flame Tavern in Burien, OR. Ten days later he picked up Georgeann Hawkins, a student from the University of Washington and member of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. Hawkins had been walking down an alley from her boyfriends dorm to her room in her sorority house. She came upon Bundy, who was wearing a leg cast and struggling with a large briefcase. After this encounter, she was never seen or heard from again. Later, Bundy confessed that Georgeann had been his first experimentation with necrophilia.
Ted Bundy relied on one thing, “to be invisible to everyone except yourself.” He kept his looks generic (albeit, kinda crazy and dead eyed); he was moderately handsome, might change his facial hair or hairstyle slightly, and he almost always wore a turtleneck to cover a distinguishable mole on his neck (and he never really got rid of that unibrow). He became very skilled at presenting a “good” persona to put women at ease but his intent was pure unadulterated evil.
Bundy was not simply having his way with these ladies and dumping them unceremoniously. No, he was tending to his own little graveyard on Taylor Mountain in Washington. He would “pamper” the women’s corpses by putting make-up on them and washing their hair. Then he would have sex with the bodies. He would do this until the body became so putrefied that it was no longer possible.
His two final murders in Washington were near Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah, Washington.
July 14, 1974. Eight witnesses reported a man with his arm in a sling asking for help unloading a sailboat. This man was telling people his name was Ted.
Bundy asked four women for help before one finally agreed to go with him back to his car. Janice Ott agreed to help and was never seen again. A few hours later, Denise Naslund succumbed to the same fate. By this point, he has really become a bold hunter. He is out in the daytime just blatantly asking women to come with him to his car.
Before he left Washington state to move to Utah, Bundy worked at the Washington State Department of Emergency Services. This department was heavily involved in the search for missing women in the area. Bundy could have potentially had direct contact with his victim's families. I know that is common in killers, to involves themselves in the investigation. I do wonder just how much he would have been involved.
While Bundy was committing these atrocious crimes, investigators were working hard on all of the missing girls cases. They were gathering witness statements and had compiled enough information to put together a composite sketch, which was plastered all over the Seattle area. The sketch was so similar to Bundy that an ex-girlfriend, a previous psychology professor, and Ann Rule all called in to report him as a suspect. Unfortunately, the police were receiving upwards of 200 calls a day so no attention was paid to the young, clean-cut Bundy. Hiding in plain sight, just like he wanted.
Pieces of Bundy’s “Skull Graveyard” were discovered by hikers the next year. They were identified as skulls and jawbones belonging to Healy, Rancourt, Parks, and Ball on Taylor Mountain. No remains of Donna Manson were ever discovered.
Now Bundy has left the Washington area and moved to Utah, so he can attend Law School at the University of Utah School of Law in Salt Lake City. Once in Utah, he made a meager attempt at righting his life. He was baptized into the LDS church (aka the Mormon Church or The Church of Latter Day Saints). He was still having murderous urges, but he concocted a plan to take a girl out on a date and “just rape her and release her.” He couldn’t contain himself. He strangled her death and raped her body.
Fall 1974 was Bundy’s first semester in law school. By that October he had kidnapped and murdered Nancy Wilcox from Holladay, Utah. She was last seen getting into his signature yellow VW bug. This may have been the woman I just mentioned in the paragraph above.
Halloween night, October 31st, 17-year-old Laura Aime went missing after she left a party in Lehi, Utah. Her body was found a month later naked, beaten, and strangled near the river in American Fork Canyon.
In November, in Murray, Utah, Carol DaRonch becomes one of the only women to narrowly escape Bundy’s clutches. Bundy approached the young DaRonch while she was shopping at the Fashion Place Mall and said his name was Officer Roseland. He told her that her car had been hit or broken into and that she needed to come with him. She quickly agreed and followed him out to his car. The VW Bug. I’m guessing he still had a front passenger seat this time? As they drove she realized that he was driving in the opposite direction of the police station and became suspicious. He pulled over to the side of the road when she began to ask questions and he attempted to get a pair of handcuffs on her. He only succeeded in getting both loops around one wrist before she tumbled out the car. Bundy followed her and tried to hit her with his crowbar. She stopped him before it could come down on her head. With a swift kick to the balls she booked it out of there.
An hour after his botched kidnapping and murder attempt of DaRonch, Bundy found himself at Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah. The drama club was putting on a play and the auditorium was packed. Bundy skulked around the building and managed to talk to the drama teacher and a student. Whom he asked to accompany him to the parking lot. Seriously? That’s fucking bold. Both women declined. The teacher later told investigators that this man was disheveled and breathing heavily. Another witness saw him lurking around the outside of the auditorium.
At intermission, 17-year-old Deborah “Debi” Kent left the auditorium to pick up her little brother. She was never seen again. When her disappearance was looked into and investigators were scouring the parking lot where she was last seen, they found a small key. This key would end up being the one to unlock the cuffs on DaRonch’s wrist. Bundy was starting to get sloppy and lose his edge.
“Killing someone is like changing a tire. The first time you’re nervous and then the 30th time you can’t remember where you put the tire iron.”
In January 1975, while still attending Law School, Bundy relocated his crimes to nearby Colorado. He kidnapped and murdered Caryn Campbell who was on vacation with her fiancé and his children. She never made it back to her hotel room from the elevator, just a few feet away. Her body was found on February 17.
March 1975, Vail Ski instructor, Julie Cunningham, disappeared after a man using crutches approached her and asked for help carrying his ski boots to his car. Once at his car, he bludgeoned her with the crowbar, handcuffed her, and strangled her to death.
Bundy continued to murder monthly.
April, he murders Denise Oliverson.
May, he murders Lynette Culver, who was only in junior high school at the time.
June, he murders Susan Curtis. This one he did not confess to until moments before his execution.
In order from left to right: Lynette Culver, Susan Curtis, and Denise Oliverson.
The bodies of Cunningham, Culver, Curtis, and Oliverson were never found.
Soon after Bundy’s name was officially added to the “To Be Investigated” list he was arrested at an unrelated traffic stop for failure to stop for an officer.
August 16, 1975.
The officer inspected Bundy’s car and found a ski mask, a crowbar, handcuffs, trash bags, an ice pick, and other burglary tools. His front passenger seat was also missing. He had turned his VW Beetle into a mobile murder machine, kill kit and all. He had a weak excuse for why he had all of these things. The mask was for skiing. He found the handcuffs while he was dumpster diving. Nice try Mr. Bundy. He was taken into custody and his car was impounded.
A search warrant was executed by Detective Jerry Thompson after he made the connection between Bundy and the missing/murdered women and the VW Bug that DaRonch had reported.
His apartment was exceedingly clean. The only evidence that they were able to find was circumstantial at best. A brochure was found that showcases different ski resorts around Colorado. There was a tick mark beside the Wildwood Inn. That was the resort where Caryn Campbell disappeared from. Remember, between the elevator and her room. They also found a program from the high school play that Bundy went to on the night that Debi Kent went missing. No concrete evidence was uncovered.
Bundy later taunted police by saying if they had really searched his utility room they would have found a large stack of Polaroids. These Polaroids were never produced so their existence could be false. Probably just more bullshit from this ass-hat.
DaRonch and witnesses from the high school auditorium all identified Bundy in a lineup. Investigators felt that they had enough evidence, albeit circumstantial evidence, to press charges. He was convicted of DaRonch’s kidnapping on March 1, 1976 and was sentenced to 15 years in a Utah State Prison.
The following year, in 1977, Bundy was extradited to Colorado to face murder charges for Caryn Campbell.
OO but good ole Bundy has grander plans than just rotting away in a prison cell.
While in Colorado, Bundy made the decision to act as his own lawyer. Always a sane move. He requested time in the law library, so he could prepare for his trial, which he was granted. The moment he was left unattended, he jumped from an unlocked second story window down to the ground. He sprained his ankle when he landed but was able to casually saunter away and out of town. You know, I like to imagine that he asked people for help because his ankle hurt but this time no one would help him. Like, the one time you need actual fucking help you aren’t going to get it!
He was on the lam for six days. He had stolen a car, another VW Beetle, but was pulled over for erratic driving. The officer recognized Bundy and he was arrested without incident.
He was free for six days before being arrested after stealing a car and driving erratically. Guess what kind of car he stole - a fucking VW BUG! They should just make a new version of the car and call it the Bundy Bug.
Once back behind bars, Bundy began to concoct another escape plan. He was able to procure a hacksaw blade and $500 cash. He used the hacksaw to grind away at the welds on a metal plate in the ceiling. Once the plate was removed there was a 1 square foot opening that he would need to squeeze into. In order to do that he lost 35 pounds. Once he was able to squeeze himself up into the space, he went on trial runs to make a definitive plan. Another inmate reported hearing something moving around in the ceiling at night but it was not investigated.
Bundy was going to be moved for the Campbell murder trial which was to start on January 9, 1978. He knew that he needed to follow through with his plan before then. He layered his clothing (because it’s winter in Colorado so it’s fucking cold!), stuffed his bed with papers and books to make it look like he was sleeping, and pulled himself through his escape hatch. Since it was around the holiday season, the prison had minimal security. One of the guards that lived on the prison campus was out for the night so Bundy went to a spot above his apartment. He plopped down into a closet, stole some street clothes, and just walked out.
17 hours later he was in Chicago.
After watching his Alma Mater team, the Washington Huskies, beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl he made his way to Tallahassee, FL. He wanted a fresh start. He wanted to do right this time. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last long. It’s about to get really brutal folks. He rented a room under the name “Chris Hagen”, grew a mustache and would draw a mole on his left cheek when he went out. He went in for a job interview for a construction company but left when they asked for ID. I saw in some cases where he also used the name “Rolph Miller.”
Bundy was somewhat successful in laying low his first week in Tallahassee. He would pop into the larger lectures at Florida State University and walk around campus. He did commit some petty crimes, like; shoplifting, purse snatching, stealing credit cards, and auto theft. He also stole the identity of FSU student Kenneth Misner.
Bundy did eventually lose control. On the night of January 15, 1978, Bundy went to the Chi Omega Sorority house on the FSU campus. He found rear door with a broken lock. That makes me wonder if he tried other houses but this was the first one with an open door. What are the chances that he makes a bee-line for this sorority house and the back door is open?
First, he came upon Lisa Levy. A 20-year-old woman. She was found without a pulse, her right nipple had almost been completely bitten off (OMG leave the boobies alone!), her left collar bone was broken, she had been strangled, and a large bottle of hair spray had been shoved up her vagina and left there (You can imagine the giant bottles of hairspray from this time). Bundy had also left a large bite mark on her left buttock. Because of this bite mark, the press dubbed the unknown killer, “The Love Bite Killer.” Until the crime was linked to Bundy.
Next was Margaret Bowman. A 21-year-old woman. A nylon stocking had been pulled around her neck so tightly that it had ripped, and she had been beaten so severely over the head that her skull bone was splintered and her brain was exposed.
He bludgeoned two other girls in the house; Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner.
Kathy was found sitting upright in her bed with her head in her hands. Blood was gushing from the wounds. She had lacerations and puncture marks on her face, broken teeth, a broken jaw in three places, and whiplash injuries to her neck. She would survive but her teeth were permanently loosened, and she had to have a pin placed in her jaw.
Karen was discovered stumbling down the hallway with broken teeth, a broken jaw, skull fractures, cuts, and crushed fingers. She would survive also.
All of these attacks had occurred in less than 30-minutes.
(Left: Karen Chandler. Right: Kathy Kleiner)
A witness saw a man leaving the house hurriedly as she was returning home from a late-night date. She said he had a “log wrapped in a cloth” which turned out to the literal log he used to bludgeon the women
After the Chi Omega assaults and murders, Bundy walked a few blocks and broke into the home of FSU student Cheryl Thomas. Cheryl lived in a basement apartment and was found in her bed whimpering and writhing in pain. She was already beginning to bruise when she was discovered moments after the attack. She was swollen and had severe head wounds. Her skull was fractured in five places which caused permanent hearing loss in her left ear. Her left shoulder had been dislocated. Her jaw was broken. A cranial nerve had been affected and she would suffer from dizziness the rest of her life. She had been a promising dancer before the attack, but it had all been taken from her in a few seconds. Her roommates were alerted when they heard crying and thumping sounds.
Bundy didn’t make a single noise during the attack and got away.
On February 9, 1978, Bundy would abduct his final victim. 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. He raped and murdered the poor girl then threw her body in with some pigs in a pen. A massive search was undertaken by the community and her bare bones were discovered eight weeks later.
A few days later he stole another VW Bug (Geez Ted, pick a different car! Everyone knows you love Bugs by this point!) and left Tallahassee for good. He headed west across the Florida panhandle. On the 15th of February, at 1 am he was stopped by Officer David Lee. When Lee ran the plates he learned that the car had been reported stolen so he proceeded to ask Bundy to get out of the car. Once he was out, Bundy kicked Lee’s legs out from under him and attempted to flee. A warning shot was fired and a scuffle ensued. He was ultimately placed under arrest and Lee did a cursory search of the vehicle. He found three sets of IDs from FSU co-eds.
Under presiding Judge Edward D. Cowart, Bundy was placed on trial for the Chi Omega murder in the summer of 1979.
Bundy had been assigned a team of competent lawyers but chose to represent himself. One of the lawyers assigned to him said,
During the trial, there were two critical pieces of evidence to prove Bundy’s guilt. One – witness Nita Neary was the woman who had seen him leaving the sorority house. And two – the bite marks that he had left on Levy’s buttock had been an undeniable match to Bundy. There were plaster molds made of the bite mark and compared to Bundy. There was no doubt that it belonged to him.
Ted Bundy was convicted on all counts and sentenced to death. Here is what Judge Cowart had to say at the sentencing;
The next year Bundy stood trial for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Once again Bundy acted as his own lawyer. While questioning a former coworker, Carol Ann Boone, who he had called as a character witness on his behalf – he married her. There is an obscure law in Florida where you can ask someone to marry you while they are under oath in a court setting and if they say yes then you are married. Bing, Bang, Boom - it’s that easy!
Bundy was convicted based on eye witness testimony and fibers found in his car that matched Leach’s clothing. He had been so careful up to that point. He really lost his meticulous edge in the end - thankfully, it helped bring him in for good. After the jury read their verdict Bundy screamed at the judge, “Tell the jury they were wrong!”.
He was sentenced to death.
While on death row, Bundy and his wife conceived a daughter during one of their many conjugal visits. She was born in October 1982. Soon after, Carol moved them both to Washington state and had no further contact with Bundy. Her current whereabouts are unknown, though she is suspected to be living in the Seattle area. I’ve heard that her name is Rose.
At this point, Bundy began to talk to the FBI and give interviews. He was attempting to prolong his date of execution or have it commuted to life in prison by appearing useful.
FBI profiler Robert K. Ressler interviewed Bundy, but he found him “uncooperative and manipulative. Willing to speak only in the third person, and only in hypothetical terms.” In his 1992 book, Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI, Ressler had this to say about Bundy:
While giving these interviews, it was discovered that Bundy had acquired and stashed two hacksaw blades and sawed through the bars on the window of his cell. He had reattached them with a soap based adhesive, so he could make his escape later.
It was discovered later that Bundy had acquired two hacksaws and sawed through the bars of his window. He had crudely reattached them with a soap based glue. Some speculated that he did escape, murder a woman, and return to his cell. Just to prove that he could. This was never corroborated, though.
Bundy struck up a close friendship with a young Special Agent William Hagmaier of the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit. The BSU had been trying to get an interview with Bundy for years but he had always refused their more seasoned investigators. They devised a plan to send in the young rookie investigator to play on Bundy’s ego of wanting to manipulate someone “young and dumb”. He would go on to confide many details of his murders to Hagmaier. Many of which were recorded. This opened investigations into many murders and disappearances that had gone unsolved.
In 1984, Bundy reached out to King County Homicide Detective, Bob Keppel. Bundy believed that he could provide insight into the mind of the Green River Killer. Officers were sent to Florida to interview him but said he was of little help. The interviews did provide an in-depth look in the demented mind of Bundy.
In 1988, Bundy contacted Keppel again. This time wanting to talk about the five bodies on Taylor mountain in Washington. They had only discovered four up to this point. He confessed, in detail, to the murder of Georgeann Hawkins. He described how he lured her to his car, clubbed her with a tire iron, and drove away with her body. He then raped and strangled her. They were gruesome interviews. You can hear the amount of pleasure in his voice. He was so aroused to being taking these girls lives. He talked about how he kept severed heads in his apartment as “trophies” until he disposed of them. He blamed various scapegoats as well; his abusive grandfather, his missing biological father, the concealment of his true heritage, alcohol, the media, the police planted evidence, violence on TV, he was brainwashed by TV, mass consumption of sugar retarded his mental growth and pornography.
Keppel said he was shocked by the interview and described Bundy as “born to kill.”
One of Bundy’s famous quotes about guilt came from this conversation with Keppel:
The night before Bundy’s execution he did an on-air interview with Dr. James Dobson on Focus on the Family. It was an Evangelical Christian show. So I’m sure they were known for being very open minded (sarcasm, please don’t hate me). They talked about Bundy’s “pornographic roots to his crimes”. He claimed that porn “shaped and molded” his idea of intimacy. They helped develop his later behaviors and methods. Again, I’m terrified to think what he would have done if today’s porn had been available to him.
Here is what Dr. Dobson said about Bundy;
On the morning of January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison in Starke, FL. His last words were, “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.”
He was pronounced dead at 7:16 am.
Several hundred-people gathered outside the prison and when word came that Bundy was dead they cheered, sang, danced, and set off fireworks.
Bundy was cremated, and his wife scattered his ashes in an undisclosed location in Washington.
Many books have been written about Ted Bundy over the years, including Dr. Al Carlisle who spent one-on-one time with Bundy. He wrote I’m Not Guilty: The Development of the Violent Mind: The Case of Ted Bundy. He said that Bundy appeared “clean” but he was convinced that this man was a very dangerous psychopath when he interviewed him after his first arrest in 1975. He examined how Bundy crossed the line from sexual fantasy to murder and necrophilia. He hypothesized that Bundy gradually went through three phases:
1. Fantasy – “The person imagines scenarios for entertainment or self-comfort”. In this phase, he is creating stories about himself being the “hero”. He imagines how he is different from everyone else and begins to develop a separate set of values.
2. Dissociation – “The person avoids uncomfortable feelings and/or memories”. To avoid what he interpreted as painful memories or strong emotions, Bundy began to drink copious amounts of alcohol. He wanted to forget his problems and separate himself from them.
3. Compartmentalization – “The person relegates different ideas and images to specific mental frames and keeps boundaries between them.” At this phase, Bundy created independent “good” and “bad” personas. He became the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Carlisle claims that Bundy was able to repeatedly kidnap, torture, and murder but also function as a normal person because of this gradual evolution.
If you liked this story may suggest some other popular posts:
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Karla Homolka (True Crime)
The Shocking Murder of Shanda Sharer (True Crime)
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I’m sure you noticed that I mentioned merch. Well, for each story I create a little something to go along with it. For Bundy I did this:
His signature yellow VW Beetle and a quote;
“Society wants to believe it can identify evil people or bad or harmful people, but it’s not practical. There are no stereotypes.”
We have a variety items with this design so go to my ART SHOP and check them out!
The Last Podcast on the Left
Michaud & Aynesworth's "The Only Living Witness." (Chapter 2, around pages 56/57)
Interview with Reverend James Dobson (Jan. 23, 1989) (Transcript)