The term "Serial Killer" was first used to describe Ted Bundy.
November 24, 1946 marks the birth of one of the worlds most feared and hated serial killers: Ted Bundy.
The Childhood of Ted Bundy:
Ted and his mother moved from his birth place of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Tacoma, Washington at the age of four. There Ted and his mother changed their names. Ted's mother, Elenore, became Louise Cowell and Ted, who's birth name was Theodore Robert Cowell, had his name changed to Theodore Robert Nelson. There Louise met and married Ted's step father, a man by the name of Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. Johnnie tried very hard to be a good father to Ted, but the only male father figure Ted looked up to was his grandfather who lived across the country. Ted took Johnnie's last name and that is how Ted Nelson came to be Ted Bundy. Although Ted recieved good grades in junior high school, he was often teased and made fun of. Ted was a shy child. His friends from highschool remember Ted as a popular, well dressed, well mannered individual. In 1965, after highschool, Ted attended the University of Washington where he studied Chineese. His intrest in politics increased as did his grade point average. In 1967, Ted entered into a relationship with Stephanie Brooks. Brooks was Ted's world. Although Ted was maddly inlove with Stephanie, she cared for him deeply but did not share the depth of his feelings and after her graduation in 1968, She broke off their relationship. Although they kept in touch when Stephanie moved to Calafornia, they never got back together, and Ted was never the same. Ted was obsessed with her and couldn't see how or why this had happened. He soon dropped out of school and lost intrest in much that he had enjopyed in life.
Not the same old Ted...
Soon after the split Ted learned the truth about his "sister" who actually was his mother. Making his "parents" his grandparents. As it would any man, this changed Ted. He became cold and distant, where before he was simply shy and timid. He became more focused, more dedicated. Bundy then returned to school where he would study psychology, a subject he excelled in. He recieved high marks, becoming an honors student. Meg Anders was the next love intrest in Bundy's life. He shared a relationship with her for nearly five years. Meg fell instantly in love with Bundy, although she knew his feelings were not as strong for her. Meg felt that, given enough time, Ted would come around. Meg had feelings that Bundy was seeing other women as he slept alot durring the day and went out at night. Sometimes he would sleep away from the house, although where, she did not know. He would frequently go away for weekends on "business trips". It was on one such trip where Bundy met back up with Stephanie. Stephanie was shocked at how the once meek Bundy was now a man with purpose and goals. After a short courtship on Bundy's part, Stephanie soon fell in love with Bundy. Meg did not know of Stephanie and Stephanie did not know of Meg, and that's the way Bundy liked it. After making Stephanie fall head-over-heals in love with him, Bundy grew cold and distant and eventually dropped Stephanie and all contact with her, the same way she had done to him afew years before. Short but sweet revenge. Bundy's home life with now live in girlfriend meg changed too. He became colder and showed little intrest in their sex life. When he did show intrest, it was in the form of strange bondage fantasies that Meg did not enjoy and soon put a stop to. To any one who did not see the "night side" of Bundy, his life seemed to be changing for the better, with peeked intrests in law schools and politics. Durring this time he even saved the life of a little boy who was drowning in a lake.
The first body discovered was that of 15year old Kathy Devine, a runaway who was last seen alive a month before her body was found. Her throat was cut and she had been sodomized. She was the first victim found but not even close to the last. One by one, young, thin, white, attractive, single girls began dissapearing in the evening. Eight more in all, taken from the states of Oregon, Utah and Washington. Police began interviewing witnesses that last saw the women usually around college campasses. Many of the witnesses claimed to have seen a handsome man with a cast who claimed to need help with his books, or car, and called himself "Ted". Some witnesses claimed to have seen the same man with a cast on his leg. In 1974, the bodies of some of the girls were found in the Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington State. Only two of the bodies could be positivly identified, due to the lack of evidence. Many of the victims were found to have been sodomized, raped, beaten, then murdered. Another victim was found in the Wasatch Mountains, having been beaten about the head with a crow bar, sodomized and raped. After taking many witness statements, police from all three states joined together to try to catch this "Ted". The police began running a composite sketch in the local papers, which Meg Andrews saw. After some coaxing from friends, Meg came forward and claimed that the sketch looked alot like her boyfriend Ted Bundy. Police had recieved four other tips implementing Bundy, but had filed away the paperwork, to investigate more "solid leads". Police felt that Bundy did not fit the profile of a killer and that investigating him would be a waste of their time. Bundy then approached a young woman at a book store claiming to be a police officer. He convinced her to get into his VW bug where he attemped to handcuff her. She escaped. Later that night a girl dissappeared from a highschool auditorium. Police found a handcuff key at the scene, that happened to fit the cuff left on the woman from earlier that night. Two more bodies turned up in Colorado, both fit the profile of the victims from before, and both had blunt force trauma to the head. More and more bodies were found on the Colorado mountian, some were victims from earlier in the summer, while others were new victims. On Aug. 16, 1975, a state patrolman in Utah, pulled over a VW bug registered to one Theodore Robert Bundy. Apon investigation of the vehical, Police found the passanger seat to be missing, A crow bar, A Ski mask, rope, handcuffs, an icepick, and wire. The police brought Bundy in for questioning, believing he might be into burglary. After his arrest, police began to find striking similarities between him and the man who attacked one of the victims who survived. The victim picked Bundy out of a line up. Two other women picked him out of a line up as well and the police were not surprised. Police began to further investigate Theodore Robert Bundy feeling that there was much more to the story.
Investigating Mr. Bundy
Police decided to interview Meg Andrews after finding the filed complaint issued by her so many months ago. When she came in for questioning, she told the police of her distant and cold relationship and sex life with Bundy and how rarely he spent the night at home. She later told police that she had found plaster of paris in Bundy's room which can be used for making casts. She mentioned that she had seen a hatchett in Bundy's car and gave the dates of his "business and ski trips" which usually coensided with the time victims turned up missing. Apon further investigation, the police spoke to Stephanie, Bundy's first girlfriend, and found that he was living a life of lies and betrayal. They also found out that Bundy was connected to one of the victims through one of his cousins. An investigation into his credit card records revealed that Bundy had purchased gas in many of the towns that the victims were found. A friend of Bundy's later admitted that he had seen Bundy with a cast, although he knew, and there was no record of, Bundy ever breaking his arm.
Bundy in jail
Bundy was tried for the kidnapping of the victim that got away sixteen months before, and found guilty. He was sentanced to 15 years in prison with out the posibility of parole. Psychiatric evaluation while in prision would show Bundy not to be psychotic, but to have a strong dependancy on women and a fear of being humiliated or rejected by them. On Oct. 22, 1976, police had mounted enough evidance to filed charges against Bundy for the murder of Caryn Campbell. Bundy soon became unhappy with his lawyer and fired him. Having some law experience, Bundy decided to represent himself and was granted permission on some occasions to leave the county jail that he had been moved to, so that he could use the library in the courthouse in Aspen. It was durring these times that Bundy planned his escape. Bundy made his move by jumping out of a window at the library, injuring his ankle, and fleeing. He had no restraints on him at the time and was not easily spotted among ordanary citizens. The police set up road blocks around Aspen, and Bundy laid low. Bundy stole what he ate and slept in an abandoned cabin. Six days after his escape, Bundy found a car with the keys in it and tried to make his escape from Aspen, but was caught. Although he was ordered to wear leg and arm restraints at all times, he was still allowed to use the library. He made a second, more successfull escape on Dec. 30th, crawling through the celing and going unnoticed for 14hrs. Bundy managed to walk out the front door un detected. By the time police noticed he was gone, Bundy was on his way to Flordia, under the new name of Chris Hagen. Bundy settled into a one bed room apartment in Flordia, close to a college campass, and lived off of stolen goods. Bundy was quite the theif. His life was quite decent since no one in Flordia seemed to know of him or his past, it only lacked one thing. Romance.
New town, new murders
Living close to campass had it's advantages for Bundy. He could walk around campass un noticed, attend classes, even go to keg parties at sorority houses. On January 14th Bundy went to such a party. Apon entering the house one sister said that she saw a man in a blue cap run out of the house as she hid. She went up stairs to find two sisters near death with head traumas. Police later found two other girls dead in their beds, attacked while they slept. One of the victims had signs of bite marks, and having been strangled and sexually abused. The other had blunt trama to the head and signs of having been strangled by pantyhose. Less than a mile away, Bundy struck again. This time a woman named Cheryl Thompson was Bundy's target. By the time police arrived they found her to be alive but half naked and beated severly. Police found a mask at the scene which matched the same exact style of the one found in bundy's car. They were also able to obtain sperm and blood samples which were, unfortunatly, inconclusive. Later a 12 year old girl turned up missing only to have her body found in a state park several months later. Bundy later tried to pick up the son and daughter of the cheif of police in Jacksonville, Flordia. The children did not go with Bundy who drove a white van and claimed to be with the fire department. The children later identified Bundy as the driver of the van from a stack of photos. Bundy later fleed Jacksonville and headed to another small Flordia town, this time in a stolen orange VW Bug. An officer spotted him and a chase followed. When Bundy did stop he put up a fight and was over powered eventually by the officer.
Bundy on Trial
Bundy was tied to most of the recent murders and would be tried facing the death penalty. Again he defended himself, saying he was not guilty. The sorroraty murders were the first of three trials that Bundy faced and the only one that mattered, in the end. Eventually, Bundy would be sentanced to die in the electric chair. Three times. Theodore Bundy was finally executed on January 24, 1989 via the electric chair. His final words were: "Tell my family I love them. Tell them..."
One of the victims thought to be tied to Ted Bundy was Kathy Devine. It would later be discovered (2001) that William E. Cosden Jr. Had commited the rape and murder. Bundy confessed to the murder of 28 different women before his execution, however the real number of victims he claimed, Bundy took to his grave. I believe that Bundy's life could have been drastically different. I find him to be one of the most facinating serial killers to date. I believe that all serial killers have what I call a "Trigger", or a turning point in their life that determines the course of their future. Bundy's life took a turn for the worst after his first break up with his first love Stephanie. Some thing to think about, Now you know the full story of Theodore Bundy.
Bundy in film
A movie about the life of Ted Bundy was released in 2002. The movie was very acurate and true to his case. For a full review of the film, click H E R E
For another version of this story please see the Crime Library's Story of Ted Bundy
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