THE SERIAL KILLER WHO SLEPT WITH DEAD BODIES
As humans, we tend to hate what hurts us and try to distance ourselves from it. But from a psychopath’s point of view, it must be neutralized and eliminated at all cost, no matter what and where it comes from. They play gods by deciding who lives or dies. This is the story of Ted Bundy; the charming American serial killer.
Theodore Robert Cowell was born on November 24th, 1946 in Burlington, Vermont into a highly religious family. He was born out of wedlock so his grandparents convinced him he was adopted and that his mother was his sister. This was done so that the family would avoid public humiliation. He never knew his father and the closest thing to paternal love was his grandfather who was reported to be physically abusive to his grandmother.
While still young, his mother moved him to Washington State where she wed a man named John Bundy. He grew up to be a handsome young man but was heavily introverted since he didn’t understand the social construct of making friends. As years went by, his courage gradually grew and started dating but after every rejection, he harboured so much bitterness that he sought for petty revenge to feed his ego.
One in particular was Diane Edwards, a girl from a wealthy family who Ted felt a bit insecure being around since she was way out his league. Most importantly, she was the first person he was intimate with but felt more attracted to her than she to him. Over the summer, she broke up with him because he didn’t possess the drive she wanted in a partner. Also, she began to detect some red flags that he was not a good person but a user. In fact, this drove Bundy into the depressed lane for a moment thus made it his life’s ambition to be every bit of a man Diane wanted.
Ted Bundy re-enrolled in college and graduated with honours in Psychology at the University of Washington in 1972. He later worked at a suicide prevention centre where he did his work diligently and had the classic “nice office guy” vibe. It was at the suicide crisis hotline that he met Ann Rhule, a woman he befriended for over 10 years who wrote a very definitive book on him in 1980- The Stranger Beside Me. Ted reconnected with Diane as a long-con revenge for Bundy just so he could break her heart. When asked about his motives, he said, “I just wanted to prove myself that I could have married her.”
He gained a lot of political favours due to his good looks, intelligence, charm and innocent face. Soon after, he enrolled in a Utah law school in 1973 but dropped out due to lack of interest. His next venture was the position of assistant Director at the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission where he took upon himself an important initiative of advising women on how to avoid being raped on a pamphlet.
It is believed that his descent to the infamous psychopath began at a young age of 27. His killing spree began in his adolescent years with one suspected case of him kidnapping and killing an 8 year old just at the age of 14. Most of his victims were young women whom he attacked with sharp objects and stabbed continuously to death whiles sleeping or distracted with an activity. To portray himself as physically harmless, he sometimes wore a sling whiles engaging these women. Interestingly, most of his victims resembled his ex-girlfriend Diane Edwards- beautiful women with black hair usually parted in the middle. His signature mode of killing was raping and beating the women to death then decapitating and preserving their remains as trophies, using them as hobbies by keeping the body intact in dresses and makeup or performing sexual acts on their lifeless body (he was necrophiliac i.e. someone attracted to dead people).
Unsurprisingly, his first criminal charge was kidnapping and assault and a year later charged with murder. In the Utah State prison, he was locked up behind bars and from that moment, started to construct escape plans. He was one day found hiding in the prison yard with
an escape kit ready to gallop into freedom.
In 1977, on one of his trials in court, he excused himself to go to the library to gather his case since he chose to defend himself due to his great knowledge in law. His shackles were removed but was escorted by a police officer. As his usual smart and unpredictable self, he jumped off the library window and escaped and headed off to Aspen Mountains in Colorado where he discovered an abandoned cabin in the woods. In a time lapse of 6 days, he was found in his shelter weak, hungry and with an injured ankle by the police officers.
Again, he escaped for the second time and headed to Florida by using stolen vehicles. He went to Florida State University’s Chi Omega Sorority house where he assaulted 4 young women in their rooms and eventually killing two of them in a period of about an hour. The other two were unfortunately left with deep physical and emotional wounds which haunted them throughout their entire existence. In total, he claimed 6 more lives in the State of Florida.
Shortly after the college incident, he brutally killed a 12 year old girl. On his escape, he was picked up by a policeman after he found out that he was driving a stolen vehicle. As bravely as he killed his victims, he showed the opposite by running away from the cop but was caught without knowing the monster in his backseat. With fear climbing up his gut, he told the policeman in a sad voice, “I wish you had killed me”.
Furthermore, in his numerous trials, he partially defended himself with so much boldness and charm that he was deemed sexually attractive by many young women. He made a bold gesture by proposing to Caroline Boon in court during the sentencing phase of his trial. They dated before his initial arrest and when she had a daughter in 1982 with Bundy behind bars, she named him the father of her child. He turned down a 75 year sentence but was served with a death sentence in the verdict.
Initially, he pleaded innocent on all the murder charges but later confessed to killing 30 women which many believed was an underestimation of the actual number which was around 100. He always told different stories to different people and denied all claims or suspicion to any murders connected to him. This was all depicted in a Netflix 2019 drama movie called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
One of the surviving dorm girls who had visible scars years after the attack was interviewed and asked if she wanted to see him die. She replied boldly stating that the biggest injustice was that her friends died so violently and that being Christian, even after all the pain he caused her, it was very hard for her to watch him die.
Although he later confessed to many crimes and recanted to many statements, he couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth. The final verdict saw Ted as a candidate for execution by the electric chair in Florida on January 24th 1989. He was only 42 years.
Ted was a high grade psychopath, charming, bipolar, and narcissistic and had distinct lack of both sympathy and empathy. In one of his interviews, he blamed pornography for his fatal choice of actions and confessed that it was an evil possession that made him do all his disgusting deeds.
After all his evil, why were many women so attracted to him that they pleaded for him?