The Jacana

 Great Lives Site

 

Back to Jacana

Great Lives index

 


Ted Bundy
November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989
 

 

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.

 

 

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 ran away.

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 car.

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 anyways.

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 and friends."
 


~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~
 


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.
 


Socially Challenged

 

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

 

Ted fell 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

 

Bundy 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.
 


"Elizabeth"

 

Bundy 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

 

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"

 

In 1974 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 again.

 


Bundy Moves to Utah

 

In the 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 disappeared.
 


A Grave Yard of Bones

 

Around 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.
 


Profiles

 

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

 

On 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 crowbar.
 


Ted Bundy's First Arrest

 

In 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

 

Police 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

 

Bundy 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 later.

 


The Second Escape

 

On 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

 

On 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 victims.
 


An Eye Witness

 

Nita 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

 

On 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

 

Bundy, 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 25-year sentences.

 


The End of Ted Bundy

 

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 sentence.

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 100 women.

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.

 

 

~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~<"((((((><~~~

 

 

The 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 commission.

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 Bundy.

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 van.

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 kid."


 

 

JACANA HOME PAGE | CLASSIC VIDEO CLIPS | JACANA ASTRONOMY SITE

JACANA PHOTO LIBRARY | OLD MAUN PHOTO GALLERY | MAUN PHONE DIRECTORY

FREE FONTS | PIC OF THE DAY | GENERAL LIBRARY | MAP LIBRARY | TECHNICAL LIBRARY

HOUSE PLANS LIBRARY | MAUN E-MAIL, WEBSITE & SKYPE LIST | BOTSWANA GPS CO-ORDINATES 

MAUN SAFARI WEB LINKS | FREE SOFTWARE | JACANA WEATHER PAGE

  JACANA CROSSWORD LIBRARY | JACANA CARTOON PAGE | DEMOTIVATIONAL POSTERS

 

This web page was last updated on: 24 December, 2008