“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.”

Thanks so much for that troubling bit of information, Mr. Bundy. “Ted Bundy: The Poster Boy of Serial Killers”, an article found on crimemagazine.com, documents the lunatic’s early sullen existence, eventual success, and rape and murder of 40 young women.

“Bundy’s mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, was unmarried and just 22-years-old at the time of his birth. Bundy’s father, Lloyd Marshall, apparently wanted nothing to do with him [how surprising], so he and his mother moved to Philadelphia to live with her parents. In an unusual twist, Eleanor’s parents, out of fear that their daughter would be criticized for having a bastard child, raised Bundy as their own son, leaving him to believe that his mother was his older sister”. Oh boy, another psycho sob story.

In 1950, Bundy’s mother moved them to Tacoma, Washington to stay with relatives. Eleanor then legally changed their names. “Ted Cowell became Theodore Robert Nelson, and Eleanor became Louise Cowell”. One year after the move, Bundy’s mother married a military cook: Johnnie Culpepper Bundy (sweet name). “From then on Ted Cowell became known as Ted Bundy”.

Over the next few years, Louise and Johnnie had four other children, “whom Bundy spent much of his time looking after”. How very kind of him. “Ted never seemed to form a bond with his stepfather”. Would anyone else label this a shocker? Next time any of you dead-beat fathers consider skippin’ out on knowing your child, remember they could grow up to be raging lunatics. And obviously it’ll be all. your. fault. “As a child, Bundy was shy and often teased by bullies”. Oh yeah, hey bullies,  it’s your fault too. Jerks.

In 1967, Bundy met a very attractive young woman named Stephanie Brooks and quickly fell in love. “It was the first time in his life that he ever felt close to a woman and also…the first time he engaged in any form of sexual activity”. After about a year of dating, Stephanie graduated from the University of Washington and quickly ended their relationship, claiming that Bundy did not seem to have any goals for the future. “Bundy was devastated at losing his first love and was unable to concentrate on anything. Eventually his grades suffered so badly that he decided to drop out of college”. Way to prove her wrong.

While traveling around the country in an attempt to get his life back in order, Bundy visited his hometown of Vermont and looked up the record of his birth, discovering that the woman he thought was his sister was actually his mother and that his grandmother had been raising him as her own son. Oops!

In the fall of 1969 Bundy re-enrolled in the University of Washington and excelled in all of his classes, hoping to win Stephanie back. However, she was not interested. Even so, he became deeply involved in politics and began applying to law schools, and even began dating a divorced secretary named Meg. He was quickly accepted into the University of Utah Law School but chose to delay his enrollment.

“During one of Bundy’s business trips for the Republican Party, he decided to meet up with Stephanie, to reminisce about old times. The new Bundy profoundly impressed Stephanie and sparks began to fly once again. Meg had no idea Bundy was secretly meeting Stephanie, all the while he continued to profess his love to her”. He thought he was slick…

“While neither woman knew about the other, he began focusing his energy into a murderous downward spiral, which began just three days after New Years. Each victim was methodically chosen and each evoked Stephanie’s slender build and hairstyle”. Does a person just wake up one morning and choose rape and murder over a bowl of Cheerios?

“On January 4, 1974, 18-year-old Joni Lentz became Bundy’s first victim”. Joni lived in a large house in Seattle with many roommates. When she did not come down for breakfast, no one was concerned. However, after several hours had gone by, her friends became concerned. Upon entering her room, Joni’s roommates found her lying in a pool of blood.

“When they pulled back the covers, the seriousness of the situation was amplified to that of pure terror – a bed rod had been broken off and rammed deep into her vagina. Joni appeared to still be breathing, so her roommates quickly called paramedics and local police. Joni was in a comatose state when the EMT’s arrived, but she had amazingly survived the attack”. Besides spending the next ten years in therapy, she would be juuuust fine.

Not long after Bundy made 21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy his second victim, he dumped Stephanie Brooks without warning and for no apparent reason. Boy, you sure did show her! And what ever happened to Meg?

“Over the course of the next few months, seven more women mysteriously vanished within the states of Utah, Oregon, and Washington. Each case was remarkably similar: each of the victim’s was a slender Caucasian female, wore her hair parted in the middle, and had disappeared in the evening hours”.

A slightly seedy (and obviously eccentric) Ted Bundy. (google.com)

“As the investigation of the disappearances intensified, investigators learned from several witnesses that a handsome man, driving a VW bug, and wearing a cast on either his arm or his leg, had been seen during many of the incidents”. The women he had approached also recalled him saying his name was Ted. Could he be any more obvious? And the cast? Guess it was a clever technique for drawing in the ladies.

There was no evidence regarding the missing girls until two bodies were discovered in Washington in August of 1974, four miles from Lake Sammamish. “It appeared to investigators that the victims, Denise Naslund and Janice Ott, had been murdered during a crazed sexual frenzy”. Whatever floats your boat…(weirdos).

After discovering the similarities between the murders in Washington, Utah and Oregon the three states began working together and agreed that one man had committed the crimes.

On November 8, 1974, investigators were notified of an attempted kidnapping of 18-year-old Carol DaRonch from a mall in Salt Lake City by a man driving a VW bug. Luckily she managed to escape, and described the man and his vehicle to police. “As investigators in Salt Lake City looked for their suspect, authorities in Bountiful, Utah were notified that a 17-year-old girl, Debby Kent, had disappeared from Viewmont High School. A witness later reported seeing a tan Volkswagen bug speed away from the high school parking lot”. He really needs a new getaway vehicle.

The killings stopped for about 4 months then resumed in Colorado, where at least 4 women went missing. “Back in Washington, the Taylor Mountains were becoming well known as the burial site for the killer, as the mountain slowly revealed the remains of several women, one of which was later identified as 21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy”.

On August 16, 1975 finally received a break when a highway patrolman in

I thought everyone carried rope, handcuffs and a nylon in their trunk? Hm. (google.com)

Granger, Utah, noticed an unfamiliar man in a VW bug. When the officer attempted to shine his light on the driver’s license plate, the driver sped away. After a short chase, Bundy pulled over to the side of the road. After searching the vehicle, the officer discovered “a pair of handcuffs, a length of rope, a crowbar, a ski mask, an ice pick, and a nylon stocking. Bundy was placed under arrest for suspicion of burglary”. How does the officer know he isn’t just kinky, or planned on chippin’ some ice later that day?

After noticing the physical similarities between Bundy and the man Carol DaRonch described, they began building more evidence against him to confirm their  suspicions. Several witnesses were able to pick Bundy out of a police lineup and an extensive investigation into his background began. Not surprisingly, he denied having any knowledge of the attempted kidnapping or the murders. Duh.

Bundy went to trial on February 23, 1976 for the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch and was found guilty, being sentenced to 15 years in prison.

“On October 22, 1976, Colorado police charged Bundy with the murder of 23-year-old Caryn Campbell. Her raped and battered body had been found on February 17, 1975, and investigators felt they had sufficient evidence to link him to the crime”. After being held in the Garfield County Jail in Colorado while awaiting trial, Bundy managed to escape for 8 days before being recaptured on June 15, 1977. He had jumped out of a second story window while no one was looking. Too bad he didn’t break the fall with his head. “He was recaptured eight days later while trying to leave town in a stolen car”. I wonder if it was a VW bug.

About seven months later, on December 30, 1977, Bundy escaped again. (Were the prison guards too busy betting tasers and pb&j’s in poker?) “In the intervening months he had eaten very little food and had shed 30 pounds, enough to allow him to shimmy through a small light fixture hole in the ceiling of his cell at the Garfield County Jail. Once inside the ceiling, Bundy made his way through a crawl space and into the closet of his jailer’s apartment. He waited until all was quiet and casually walked out the front door. It took jailers nearly 15 hours to realize he was gone”. Idiots.

After making his way to Chicago, Bundy boarded a plane to Florida, leaving investigators in the dust with no clue where he had gone.

By January of 1978, Bundy had an apartment in Florida and went by the alias Chris Hagen, growing a beard to change his appearance. I’m sure it truly was a dramatic difference. “On the night of Saturday January 14, 1978, he entered the Chi Omega House and attacked four sleeping coeds one at a time by sneaking into each victim’s room and knocking the victim unconscious. Two of the young women suffered such severe injuries that they died as a result, while the other two survived the brutal attack”. An autopsy revealed that one of the victims had been assaulted with a metal hairspray can.

On February 9th, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach was reported missing by her parents. “Just six days after Kimberly’s disappearance, a Pensacola police officer, patrolling a residential area, noticed a man who seemed to be casing the neighborhood in an orange VW bug”. He really doesn’t understand the concept of subdued, does he?

After running a routine check and discovering that the plates on the vehicle had been stolen, the officer turned on his lights and followed the suspect. Bundy pulled over after a brief chase (sound familiar?). Bundy attempted to escape as the officer cuffed him, but was not successful.

“Once the Pensacola police were able to identify the suspect as Theodore Robert Bundy, Florida investigators immediately ordered impressions of his teeth, to compare with bite marks on one of the Chi Omega victims. The match was indisputable and would seal Bundy’s fate once and for all”.

On July 23, 1980, Bundy was found guilty of two counts of murder and sentenced to death by electric chair. “A third conviction and death sentence was also obtained in the case of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, whose body had been discovered just weeks after his arrest”.

After about ten years of appeals, Ted Bundy was executed on January 24, 1989. “During his final interview, he confessed to a total of 40 murders”.

Following his execution, Bundy’s remains were cremated (by his family’s request) and scattered over the mountains in Washington State, where several of his victims had been discovered. Hopefully they’re kickin’ his ass in the afterlife.

It chills you, how he discusses it as just another addiction.

Resources:

Lohr, D. (2002, October 6). Ted bundy: the poster boy of serial killers. Retrieved from http://www.crimemagazine.com/ted_bundy.htm

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