November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989
attractive, smart, and had a future in politics. He was also one
of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. Ted Bundy
screamed his innocence until his death in the electric chair
became imminent, then he tried to use his victims one more time
to keep himself alive. His plan failed and the world got a
glimpse of the true evil inside him.
Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 in Burlington, Vermont.
He was born fatherless and lived with his mother and grandmother
in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until he was nine years old. The
first evidence of his mental instability appeared at the age of
four, when he appeared at his aunt's bedside with several knives
and a twisted smile.
Bundy and his mother next moved to Tacoma, Washington where she
married a man named John Culpepper Bundy. For most of his life,
his mother had told him that she was actually his sister, but
she finally revealed the truth to Bundy and caused him a great
deal of psychological trauma. He continued living a fairly
normal life as a student and Boy Scout, but he had trouble
getting along with other people.
His first criminal activities began with voyeurism when he would
sneak around the neighbourhood and peep into people's windows.
After graduating from high school, he worked for the Republican
Party as a campaign aide. He also volunteered at a suicide
crisis centre in Seattle, where he ironically worked with a
reporter who wrote stories about his murders.
Bundy attempted to lead a normal life and dated a woman named
Stephanie Brooks. She dumped him at one point, citing his
immaturity and lack of ambition, and the pair were separated for
two years. At that point, he began dating her again and proposed
marriage, to which she agreed. Two days later, he abruptly
stopped returning her phone calls and never talked to her again.
After the breakup, he committed his first known violent crime in
1974. On January 4, 1974, he broke into the home of Joni Lenz,
an eighteen-year-old student at the University of Washington,
and beat her with a crowbar. A forensic analysis showed that he
had also tortured her while she was still alive by sexually
assaulting her with a bed rod. She was discovered in a coma and
lying in a pool of blood the next morning. Joni managed to
survive her severe injuries, but only with dehabilitating and
permanent brain damage.
On January 31, 1974, Bundy broke into the room of Lynda Ann
Healy, another student at the same university. After knocking
her unconscious, he dressed her up in jeans and a shirt, wrapped
her in a bed sheet, and carried her outside to his car. Her body
was found a year later, decapitated and dismembered.
Over the next six months, Bundy killed ten more young women
after stalking them. In July, he daringly abducted two women in
the same day at a state park and murdered them. All of his
crimes occurred in the states of Oregon, Utah, and Washington
and left little or no evidence for the police.
In the fall of 1974, Bundy moved to Utah, where he continued his
spree with the murders of Melissa Smith, the daughter of a
police chief, and Laura Aime. On November 8, 1974, Bundy finally
slipped up when attempting to kidnap a woman named Carol DaRonch.
He was posing as a police officer and managed to lure her into
his car, where he tried to handcuff her. He only managed to get
the cuffs on one wrist before the woman dove out of the car and
DaRonch was able to identify Bundy to police and he was captured
shortly after. He was convicted of attempted kidnapping on June
30, 1976 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. On June 7,
1977, he was transferred to a state prison in Pitkin County,
Colorado, where authorities were preparing to charge him with
murder. However, he managed to escape the local courthouse
during a recess by jumping out of a second story window.
Unfortunately for Bundy, he had injured his ankle and was not
able to escape the city before being captured the next week.
Once back in jail, Bundy managed to pull off another miraculous
escape. He stole a hacksaw from the facility and used it to saw
a hole in the ceiling of his room. On December 30, 1977, he
climbed into the ceiling and entered the main hallway of the
prison. Since the front door guard was gone for the evening, he
was able to stroll out the front door and take off in a stolen
Bundy immediately took a flight from Denver to Chicago, where he
took the train to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Once there, he stole a
car to drive to Atlanta, where he took a bus to Tallahassee,
Florida. While there, he broke into a sorority house, where he
murdered two women and seriously injured two others.
On February 9, 1978, Bundy moved to Lake City, Florida. While
there, he took his final victim, a twelve-year-old-girl named
Kimberly Leach. On the morning of February 15, 1978, Bundy was
pulled over by a traffic cop. When the plates registered stolen,
he was identified and transported to Miami to stand trial for
the sorority house murders.
He was easily convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death by
the Honourable Edward Cowart. He was then tried in Orlando for
the murder of Kimberly Leach and once again sentenced to death
by Wallace Jopling. During this second trial, he married a
female admirer named Carole Ann Boone in the courtroom, much to
the horror of spectators.
In October 1982, Boone gave birth to a baby girl, but she moved
away and changed her name after divorcing Bundy. Bundy spent his
time on death row conducting interviews with behavioural
psychologists and helping to find other serial killers. He also
appealed his case numerous times in order to get a stay of
execution, but failed. His last desperate move consisted of
confessing to eight unsolved murders and promising to reveal
more information at a later date, but the execution went ahead
In an interview conducted the night before his execution, Bundy
blamed pornography and violence in the media for his actions. On
January 24, 1989, he was executed by the State of Florida and
his last words were "I'd like you to give my love to my family
Ted Bundy was a clean-cut, smooth-talking serial killer who
confessed to raping and killing more than 20 young women between
1974 and 1978. Executed in Florida in 1989 for three murders,
his crimes began in Washington state in 1974. Bundy committed
his attacks on women while leading a seemingly normal life,
first in the Seattle area as a local Republican party
campaigner, then in Salt Lake City as a law student at the
University of Utah. He was arrested during a traffic stop in
1975, after police found evidence linking him to a kidnapping in
Utah and a murder in Colorado. While in jail in Utah,
investigators in Washington and Colorado pegged Bundy as a
suspect in the disappearances and murders of several others. He
was convicted of kidnapping in Utah in 1976 and sentenced to 15
years in jail, but he escaped in late 1977 and made his way to
Florida, using the name Chris Hagen. Shortly after arriving in
Tallahassee, Bundy attacked four women in a sorority house at
Florida State University, killing two. A few weeks later he
raped and killed a 12 year-old girl in Lake City, Florida. Bundy
was finally apprehended when a Pensacola police officer arrested
him for driving a stolen car.
Bundy went on trial for murder, proclaiming his innocence and
defending himself in court. The televised trial showed that
Bundy could look and talk just like a lawyer; many viewers
couldn't believe a poised, normal-looking guy could be guilty of
such brutal crimes. After Bundy was convicted and sentenced to
death, he reluctantly began to confess to previous unsolved
murders, saying an "entity" inside him drove him to rape and
kill. In a failed effort to delay his execution he offered to
provide more details and confessions, but the state of Florida
electrocuted him on 24 January 1989. On the eve of his
execution, Bundy was interviewed by Christian media personality
James Dobson. Under Dobson's questioning, Bundy claimed an
"addiction" to pornography led him to commit violent crimes.
He was attractive, smart, and had a future in politics. He was
also one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history.
Ted Bundy screamed his innocence until his death in the electric
chair became imminent, then he tried to use his victims one more
time to keep himself alive. His plan failed and the world got a
glimpse of the true evil inside him.
Theodore Robert Cowell
Ted Bundy was born Theodore Robert Cowell to Louise Cowell on
November 24, 1946, at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers
in Burlington, Vermont. After eight weeks at the home Louise
returned to her parents' house in Philadelphia to raise her new
son. For the first several years of his life Ted thought his
grandparents were his parents and his mother was his sister. In
1951 Louise and Ted moved to Tacoma, Washington and Louise
married Johnnie Bundy, a military cook.
Bundy's Teenage Years: Despite his parental circumstances and
meager surroundings Bundy was well behaved and grew into an
attractive teen who was generally liked and who performed well
in school. After high school he entered the University of Puget
Sound and continued to do well academically, but felt
uncomfortable around his fellow peers who were predominantly
wealthy. In his sophomore year Bundy transferred to the
University of Washington to escape the uncomfortable feeling of
his financial inadequacy.
Throughout his years at high school Bundy suffered from acute
shyness that resulted in his appearing socially awkward. This
affliction followed him to college and although Bundy had
friends he never blended comfortably into doing much of the
social activities others were doing. He rarely dated and kept to
himself. But in 1967 Bundy met the woman of his dreams. She was
pretty, wealthy, and sophisticated. They both shared a skill and
passion for skiing and spent many weekends on the ski slopes.
Bundy's First Love
in love with his new girlfriend and tried hard to impress her to
the point of grossly exaggerating his own accomplishments. He
tried to gain her approval with a summer scholarship to Stamford
that he won although his time there was less than impressive. By
1968 she decided Bundy lacked any real future and was not
husband material. She ended the relationship and broke Bundy's
heart and his obsession toward her haunted him for years.
Depression and Whispered Rumours
suffered extreme depression over the break up and dropped out of
school. It was during this time that he learned the truth that
his sister was his mother and his parents were his grandparents.
Bundy was also getting a whispered reputation by those close to
him for being a petty thief. It was during this phase of his
life that his shyness was replaced with false bravado and he
returned in college, excelled in his major, and earned a
bachelor's degree in psychology.
became involved with another woman, Elizabeth Kendall (the
pseudonym she used when she wrote "The Phantom Prince: My Life
With Ted Bundy") who was a divorcee with a young daughter. She
fell deeply in love with Bundy and despite her suspicions that
Bundy was seeing other women her devotion toward him continued.
Bundy was not receptive to the idea of marriage, but allowed the
relationship to continue even after reuniting with his first
love who was attracted to the new confident, Ted Bundy.
A New Ted Bundy
worked on the re-election campaign of Washington's Republican
Governor Dan Evans. Evans was elected and he appointed Bundy to
the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee. Bundy's
political future seemed secure, when in 1973 he became assistant
to Ross Davis, chairman of the Washington State Republican
Party. It was a good time in Bundy's life. He had a girlfriend,
his old girlfriend was once again in love with him, and his
footing in the political arena was strong.
A Man Named "Ted"
young women began vanishing from college campuses around
Washington and Oregon. Lynda Ann Healy, a 21-year-old radio
announcer, was among those who were missing. In July 1974 two
women were approached at a Seattle state park by an attractive
man who introduced himself as Ted. He asked them to help him
with his sailboat but they refused. Later that day two other
women were seen going off with him and were never seen alive
Bundy Moves to Utah
fall of 1974 Bundy enrolled in law school at the University of
Utah and he moved to Salt Lake City. In November Carol DaRonch
was attacked at a Utah mall by a man dressed as a police
officer, but she managed to escape. She provided police with a
description of the man, the VW he was driving, and a sample of
his blood that got on her jacket during their struggle. Within a
few hours after DaRonch was attacked, 17-year-old Debbie Kent
A Grave Yard of Bones
this time hikers discovered a grave yard of bones in a
Washington forest, later identified as belonging to missing
women from both Washington and Utah. Investigators from both
states communicated together and came up with a profile and
composite sketch of the man named "Ted" who approached women for
help, sometimes appearing helpless with a cast on his arm or
crutches. They also had the description of his tan VW and his
blood type which was type-O.
Authorities compared the similarities of the women disappearing.
They were all white, thin, and single and had long hair that was
parted in the middle. They also vanished during the evening
hours. The bodies of the dead women found in Utah had all been
hit with a blunt object to the head, raped and sodomized.
Authorities knew they were dealing with a serial killer who had
the capability to travel from state to state.
Murders in Colorado
January 12, 1975, Caryn Campbell vanished from a ski resort in
Colorado while on vacation with her fiance and his two children.
A month later Caryn's nude body was found lying a short distance
from the road. An examination of her remains determined she had
received violent blows to her skull. Over the next few months
five more women were found dead in Colorado with similar
contusions to their head, possibly a result of being hit with a
Ted Bundy's First Arrest
August 1975 police attempted to stop Bundy for a driving
violation. He aroused suspicion when he tried to get away by
turning his car lights off and speeding through stop signs. When
he was finally stopped his VW was searched and police found
handcuffs, an ice pick, crowbar, pantyhose with eye holes cut
out along with other questionable items. They also saw that the
front seat on the passenger side of his car was missing. Police
arrested Ted Bundy on suspicion of burglary.
Bundy is Charged With Kidnapping
compared the things found in Bundy‚€™s car to those DaRonch
described seeing in her attacker‚€™s car. The handcuffs that had
been placed around one of her wrists were the same make as those
in Bundy‚€™s possession. Once DaRonch picked Bundy out of a
line-up the police felt they had enough evidence to charge him
with attempted kidnapping. The authorities also felt confident
they had the person responsible for the tri-state murder spree
that had gone on for more than a year.
Bundy is Charged With the Murder of Campbell
went to trial for attempted kidnapping DaRonch in February 1976
and after waiving his right to a jury trial he was found guilty
and sentenced to 15 years in prison. During this time police
were investigating links to Bundy and the Colorado murders.
According to his credit card statements he was in the area where
several women vanished in early 1975. In October 1976 Bundy was
charged for the murder of Caryn Campbell.
Bundy Escapes: Bundy was extradited from the Utah prison to
Colorado for the trial. Serving as his own lawyer allowed him to
appear in court without leg irons plus gave him an opportunity
to move freely from the courtroom to the law library inside the
courthouse. In an interview, while in the role as his own
attorney, Bundy said, "More than ever, I am convinced of my own
innocence." In June 1977 during a pre-trial hearing he escaped
by jumping out of the law library window. He was captured a week
The Second Escape
December 30 Bundy escaped from prison and made his way to
Tallahassee, Florida where he rented an apartment near Florida
State University under the name Chris Hagen. College life was
something Bundy was familiar with and one he enjoyed. He managed
to buy food and pay his way at local college bars with stolen
credit cards. When bored he would duck into lecture halls and
listen to the speakers. It was just a matter of time before the
monster inside Bundy would resurface.
The Soroity House Murders
Saturday, January 14, Bundy broke into Florida State
University's Chi Omega sorority house and bludgeoned and
strangled to death two women, raping one of them and brutally
biting her on her buttocks and one nipple. He beat two others
over the head with a log. They survived which investigators
attribute to fello roommate Nita Neary, who came home and
interrupted Bundy before he was able to kill the other two
An Eye Witness
Neary came home around 3 a.m. and noticed the front door to the
house was ajar. As she entered she heard hurried footsteps above
going toward the stairway. She hid in a doorway and watched as a
man wearing a blue cap and carrying a log left the house.
Upstairs she found her roommates. Two were dead, two others
severely wounded. That same night another woman was attacked and
the police found a mask on her floor identical to one found
later in Bundy's car.
Bundy Gets Arrested Again
February 9, 1978, Bundy killed again. This time it was
12-year-old Kimberly Leach, who he kidnapped then mutilated.
Within a week of the disappearance of Kimberly, Bundy was
arrested in Pensacola for driving a stolen vehicle.
Investigators had eyewitnesses who identified Bundy at the dorm
and at Kimberly's school. They also had physical evidence that
linked him to the three murders, including a mold of the bite
marks found on in the flesh of the sorority house victim.
The Plea Bargain
still thinking he could beat a guilty verdict, turned down a
plea bargain whereby he would plead guilty to killing the two
sorority women and Kimberly LaFouche in exchange for three
The End of Ted Bundy
went on trial in Florida on June 25, 1979 for the murders of the
sorority women. The trial was televised and Bundy played up to
the media when on occasion he acted as his own attorney. Bundy
was found guilty on both murder charges and given two death
sentences by means of the electric chair.
On January 7, 1980, Bundy went on trial for killing Kimberly
Leach. This time he allowed his attorney's to represent him.
They decided on an insanity plea, the only defense possible with
the amount of evidence the state had against him.
Bundy's behavior was much different during this trial than the
previous one. He displayed fits of anger, slouched in his chair,
and his collegiate look was sometimes replaced with a haunting
glare. Bundy was found guilty and received a third death
During the sentencing phase, Bundy surprised everyone by calling
Carol Boone as a character witness and marrying her while she
was on the witness stand. Boone was convinced of Bundy's
innocence. She later gave birth to Bundy's child, a little girl
who Bundy adored. In time Boone divorced Bundy after realizing
he was guilty of the horrific crimes.
After endless appeals Bundy's last stay of execution was on
January 17, 1989. Prior to being put to death Bundy gave the
details of more than fifty women he had murdered to Washington
State Attorney General's chief investigator, Dr. Bob Keppel. He
also confessed to keeping the heads of some of his victims at
his home plus to engaging in necrophilia with some of his
victims. In his final interview he blamed his exposure to
pornography at an impressionable age as being the stimulant
behind his murderous obsessions.
Many directly involved with Bundy believed he murdered at least
The electrocution of Ted Bundy went as scheduled amid a carnival
like atmosphere outside the prison. On January 24, 1989,
Theodore Bundy died at around 7:13 a.m. as crowds outside
cheered his death.
Picasso of the serial killing community. Ted was handsome,
charming, intelligent, self-assured, with a brilliant future,
and deadlier than a rattlesnake. Using his good looks, he was
able to invisibly abduct and kill his victims and continue with
his seemingly charmed life. From early 1974 to early 1978, the
stranger called "Ted" stalked young women on college campuses,
at shopping malls, in apartment buildings and grade schools in
Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, Colorado and finally Florida.
This law student and Young Republican liked to wear an arm sling
to appear vulnerable and get women to help him with his
groceries. Once he lured his victims to the door of his car he
would bludgeon them and take them away to privately enjoy their
death. He favored killing pretty, dark-haired cheerleader types.
He would attack his prey with blunt objects and was fond of
raping and biting them. The bite marks on one of his victims
were used as evidence against him at his trial in Florida.
As a teen, Bundy was shy and sensitive. At a Seattle crisis
center, he counseled the depressed, the alcoholic, the suicidal.
He graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of
Washington in 1972, designed a program for dealing with habitual
criminals and wrote a pamphlet on rape for the King County crime
Although no one knows for sure how many women Bundy killed, his
first victim is believed to be Mary Adams, 18, whose battered
body was found in her Seattle bedroom on January 4, 1974. In the
next year and a half, police investigated several disappearances
and killings of women in the West, some of them since linked to
He was arrested in August 1975 and convicted in March 1976 of
kidnapping Carol DaRonch in Utah. That fall, he was charged with
killing a Michigan nurse in Aspen, Colorado. On December 30,
1977, after a previous failed attempt, Ted escaped from the
Denver court house through a window while awaiting trial. He
relocated to Tallahassee, Florida, near Florida State University
where he perpetrated his blood-soaked "Guernica" of crime. In
January 15, 1978, he set forth on a night of butchery and killed
two girls, Margaret Bowmanand Lisa Levy, and wounded two others,
Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner, in and around the Chi Omega
sorority house in Tallahassee.
Two weeks later, on February 9, he stole a van and killed
12-year-old Kimberly Leach who she abducted outside her school
in Lake City, Florida, for which, eventually, he was fried. Poor
Kimberly's body was found in a pig trough next to a plaid jacket
that was not Ted's. She was buried in a cemetery near a Purina
plant under a heart-shaped tombstone with her picture on it. Two
weeks later, on February 15, Ted was arrested after he was
spotted by David Lee, a Pensacola policeman, in the stolen VW
Ted defended himself in trials in Utah, Colorado and Florida as
the police tried to put together a trail of dead girls leading
to him. During his various trials, a very self-possessed Ted
Bundy defended himself garnishing praise and a legion of female
admirers. After 11 years of trials and appeals, then-Florida
Gov. Bob Martinez signed the final death warrant against Bundy
on Jan. 17, 1989. Ted Bundy was electrocuted on January 24, 1989
at Florida State Prison.
On the night before his execution, Bundy talked of suicide,
recalled Bill Hagmaier, chief of the FBI's National Center for
the Analysis of Violent Crimes. "We had some discussions about
morality and the taking of another life and his concerns about
trying to explain to God about his actions," Hagmaier added. For
his last meal he had steak, eggs, hash browns and coffee.
On September 20. 1999, Ted Bundy's mom held a news conference to
say her son didn't commit his first murder at age 14; but the
mother 8-year-old Ann Marie Burr of Tacoma believes he did. "I
resent the fact that everybody in Tacoma thinks just because he
lived in Tacoma he did that one too, way back when he was 14,"
said his mother Louise Bundy. However, Burrs and several
investigators believe young Bundy stole Ann Burr from her bed on
Aug. 31, 1961, and killed her.
Bundy denied involvement in Ann's death up until his execution
in Florida in 1989. In 1986, he wrote to the Burrs, saying, "I
do not know what happened to your daughter Ann Marie. I had
nothing to do with her disappearance. "You said she disappeared
Aug. 31, 1961. At the time I was a normal 14-year-old boy. I did
not wander the streets late at night. I did not steal cars. I
had absolutely no desire to harm anyone. I was just an average
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This web page was last updated on:
24 December, 2008