Theodore Robert Bundy was born November 24th 1946. His mother, Eleanor Cowell, was 22 and single and back in the 40’s this was not an accepted thing to be. Eleanor gave birth to little baby Ted at a home for unmarried mothers in Burlington, Vermont, but the two quickly moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvia soon in order for her parents to take him on as an ‘adopted’ son and that his mother would be his sister. Some experts on Bundy have stated that Bundy did not learn that the sister he grew up with was his mother until he was in high school. It has been said that Eleanor’s father was actually the father of Ted through an incestuous relationship though this was never proven. At the age of 3 Ted had a fascination with knives and was very bright and did very well at school though he did not get on well with his peers.
In 1952 Eleanor married Jonnie Bundy and moved Ted and herself away from PA to Tacoma, Washington to be with her new husband. From then on in Ted grew up in a normal working class family. By the time Ted was a teenager he began peering in through people’s windows and stealing things whenever he wanted anything.
While studying Psychology at the University of Washington he met and fell in love with a wealthy lady from California. When she broke off the relationship Bundy was devastated and most of his victims bore some resemblance to his first love. After graduating in 1972, he applied to and was accepted to law school in Utah where he began classes in 1974. This sounds all well and good except for the fact that wherever Bundy went there were a suspicious amount of women who went missing. It is unknown when the killings started happening but his reach can be traced back to the time he spent while in Washington and then continued while in Utah.
He confessed to 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978. The true victim count remains unknown, and could be much higher. He was regarded as handsome and charismatic by his young female victims, traits he exploited to win their trust. He would approach them in public places, feigning injury or disability, or impersonating an authority figure, before overpowering and assaulting them at more secluded locations. Ted’s methods also included asking women for help putting groceries or something of that sort into his car (the infamous VW beetle that is now on display in a museum), then he would hit them over the head and handcuff them to restrain them further. On a few occasions he simply broke into dwellings at night and bludgeoned his victims as they slept.
This charming, well-educated and manipulative man was anything but the image that he portrayed to his victims, as well as the judge and jury at his trial. He not only kidnapped, raped and murdered his victims, he took his atrocities to another, more sinister level. The site of his apartment was that of a horror show where he would display the decapitated heads of his victims as proud trophies of his handiwork, but further than that, he would sleep with the bodies of his victims in his bed until the rotting corpses began to decompose to the point where even he could no longer bare the smell.
Initially incarcerated in Utah in 1975 for aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal assault, Bundy became a suspect in a list of unsolved homicides in several states. He knew he was about to be charged with murder in Colorado, so he engineered two dramatic escapes and committed further assaults, including three more murders, before his recapture in Florida in 1978.
The trial that he finally had to attend for all the crimes he needed to answer for was televised and it left a whole nation riveted by the gruesome aspects of the reality of the world in which we live in. The jury at the trial only deliberated for 6 hours before they reached the verdict of guilty on July 24, 1974. He received three death sentences in two separate trials for the Florida homicides. Ted Bundy died in the electric chair at Raiford Prison in Starke, Florida, on January 24, 1989.
Biographer Ann Rule, who once worked with Bundy at a suicide hotline, described him as “a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after.” He once called himself “… the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.” Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of his last defense team, agreed. “Ted,” she wrote, “was the very definition of heartless evil.
GJ and Charlotte