Extremely Wicked Facts About Ted Bundy
Theodore Robert Bundy, otherwise known as Ted, was a high-profile serial killer in the 70s. Although his crimes were horrific, some people found him so handsome and charismatic that he became something of a celebrity while on trial.
Women from around the country were quoted as having a crush on the monster, all while knowing the horrible details of what he did to his all-female victims. Ted Bundy was evil personified, but fascination with this serial killer continues today.
He Never Knew His Father
The rumors that swirl around Bundy's father are wild. His mother Louise gave birth to him at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in 1974. Some reports say that his birth certificate lists an airforce man as his father, while others suggest that the paternal name was listed as unknown.
His mother also made several different claims regarding his biological father, but the most well-known rumor is that his grandfather raped his mother. According to the theory, the grandfather is Bundy's actual biological father because of his violent and abusive nature.
Rumors of His Childhood Were Inconsistent
To protect the family name, his grandparents Samual and Eleanor Cowell pretended to be Ted's parents and raised him as their own. When asked about his grandparents at first, Ted spoke very highly of them in interviews and even went so far as to idolize his grandfather.
Other family members, and even Ted himself, eventually denied that Samual was a good man and told reporters that he was a racist abuser of both people and animals and bullied anyone he could, even his own children. He also stated that his grandmother was depressive, obedient and timid.
He Terrified His Aunt When He Was Only 3
Ted might have been born evil. When he was living with his grandparents as their child with his mother Louise and her sister Julia, he was already interested in things that no normal three-year-old would be interested in.
One day, his aunt Julia went to have a nap in her bedroom. When she awoke, she was stunned to find big kitchen knives surrounding her entire body. When she looked up, she saw her nephew, then-toddler Ted, standing over her. He was smiling as he watched her grow afraid of him.
His Killing Spree May Have Started When He Was Only 14
In 1961, Ann Marie Burr, an 8-year-old Tacoma girl, was murdered after her being abducted from her home. Although Bundy denied any connection to the murder, several allegations and theories of his involvement have been proposed.
Years after the disappearance, he became a person of interest because of circumstantial evidence. Because there was no struggle at the scene, it was said that Ann Marie must have known and trusted her attacker, and Bundy was close to the family. He also worked a newspaper route that included her house that morning.
Almost All of His Known Victims Resemble His First Love
His first love, a woman by the name of Stephanie Brook, was a beautiful young woman from an affluent family. She ended up breaking up with Ted because she thought he was immature and unmotivated, but he didn't take it well.
She had long dark hair with a middle parting, and so did many of Bundy’s subsequent victims. It seems as though he attacked women that looked like the woman that spurned him so that he could gain control of the situation.
He Killed Children, Too
Bundy didn't just murder young, pretty college women — he also murdered children, too. His youngest victim, Kimberly Dianne Leach, was only 12-years-old. She disappeared from her middle school in Lake City, Florida in the winter of 1978.
She was missing for two months before her body was found in a shed by Suwannee River State Park. There was evidence that she was raped and beaten before Bundy took her life. She was Bundy's last victim and her murder ultimately led to his execution in January of 1989.
Before His Confirmed Murders, He Was Into Voyeurism
Before Ted graduated to murder (or after, depending on whether the rumors of his involvement with the murder of Ann Marie Burr are true) Ted was a peeping tom. He used to spend nights in Tacoma looking through women's windows to try and spot them undressing.
He also told reporters that he would rummage through garbage cans to try to find pictures of naked women and read true crime reports with the intent of viewing pictures of mutilated bodies, but he later recanted those claims and denied all accounts of being into true crime.
He Was Actually Smart
Ted Bundy graduated from high-school in 1968. His grades at the time were unremarkable, and he was said to have been lazy and unmotivated in school. That didn't stop him from attending several different universities, however. When he first met Stephanie Brook, he was attending the University of Washington with a major in Chinese.
He ended up dropping out to pursue a career in politics and became a driver and bodyguard for the lieutenant governor of Washington State. He was also a Rockefeller delegate, attended Temple University and was heavily involved in politics in Washington State.
He Liked to Play Dress-Up
During his murderous rampage throughout the 70s, Ted resorted to various tactics to help him lure women with a false sense of trust. He would disguise himself as authority figures such as police officers and firemen and make up stories of finding personal belongings to help get potential victims into his car.
Once his victims were in the car, he would then handcuff them and knock them out before taking them to his undisclosed location to sexually assault and murder them. Bundy preyed on the good nature of his victims and used it to his advantage.
His Arrogance Might Have Been His Undoing
Bundy was said to have been arrogant and very full of himself. He was so into himself that he chose to represent himself at his own trial even though he had very little legal training. He had attended law school in Utah but ended up dropping out.
His grandiose illusions about his abilities were unfounded. His scores for the law school admissions test were barely passable, and the only reason he got accepted into law school was that he had glowing recommendation letters from college professors due to his intoxicating and charismatic persona.
He Was Obsessed With Pornography
Aside from his own accounts of looking through trash to find pictures of naked women and visuals of women being tortured sexually, it's rumored that Bundy was exposed to violent pornography from a very early age, which may have sent him down the murderous path.
His grandfather was obsessed with pornography and had a huge collection. Some reports say that Bundy was encouraged to enjoy the pornography collection by his grandfather before he was even of age to know what pornography was. This obsession may have influenced his violent desires.
He Told Interviewers He Was a Loner, But That Wasn't True
During an interview with authors Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, Ted boasted that he was a huge loner. He was quoted as saying that he "didn't know what made people want to be friends," and he "didn't know what underlay social interactions."
His personal account social isolation was challenged by people that knew him, however, with former classmates going so far as to say that he was both popular and well liked by everybody that knew him. He also showed charismatic behaviour throughout his trial.
He Dropped Out of College With an Interest in Politics
When he dropped out of the University of Washington, he got into politics by volunteering and then becoming a driver and bodyguard for Arthur Fletcher. He followed through on his interest in politics by becoming a delegate at the 1968 Republican National Convention.
In 1972, he was also a part of Governor Daniel J. Evans' re-election campaign. He was appointed by Evans to become a spy for the party by infiltrating Governor Albert Rosellini's campaign to help record certain goings-on and reporting back to Evans’ campaign.
He Got Back into Academia With a New Goal
Ironically, Ted Bundy went back to university at the University of Washington with a major in psychology. Before that, he didn't have good marks in school and wasn't a model student, so his enrollment in the program was surprising.
Despite his academic history, he did very well in the program and eventually became a favorite among professors and even made honor roll. He had a new sense of motivation and ended up using his focused attitude to graduate with honors in 1972 with aspirations of attending law school.
He Worked at a Suicide Hotline While in College
Although it may be hard to believe, Ted Bundy worked at Seattle's Suicide Hotline Crisis Center while he was at the University of Washington studying psychology. He was so good at his job that colleagues were quoted as saying that he was "kind, solicitous and empathetic."
It's never been confirmed by Bundy himself. Still, his attention to detail and success at the hotline has been said to have been attributed to his need for control and a God complex that he may have had before beginning his murder spree across the country.
He Worked on the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee
Another ironic position that Ted Bundy held while terrorizing women across the country was a spot on the board of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee. He helped the board pass a hitchhiking law, which is wild considering he used hitchhiking as a means for capturing victims.
He was also nominated to become the director of the commission by the Seattle Police Department. He helped the police catch a robber in the area and was hailed as a hero. Perhaps the creepiest thing he did was write a rape prevention pamphlet for women.
He Planned a Revenge Scheme on His First Girlfriend
After his first love, Stephanie Brook, dumped him for being too unmotivated, he grew angry at women. This helped drive his murderous rage. Years after their breakup when he found success in university and with the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Committee, he got a second chance with Brook.
The two rekindled their romance while he was dating Elizabeth Kloepfer. He ended the relationship with Brook abruptly shortly after they discussed marriage, later divulging that he "just wanted to prove to myself that I could have married her."
He Gave Investigators the Run-Around
Following his convictions, Bundy changed his stories so often that it left investigators and interviewers heads spinning. He flip-flopped on the details of how he grew up, the murders in which he committed and anything else that was asked of him.
The full truth about what he had done to his victims wouldn't come out until close to the date of his execution in the 80s, when he finally opened up about the murders. He admitted to killing around 30 women, but it's been speculated that he killed upwards of 100 throughout his life.
He Was a Necrophile
Bundy kept most of his horrific acts a secret until the 80s. He changed up his stories often in interviews, but eventually, after being incarcerated and put on death row, the truth came out. He told reporters Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Grant Aynseworth the full extent of what he did.
He sexually assaulted women after already murdering them, sometimes on more than one occasion. He left their bodies at secluded spots so he could revisit them as much as he wanted before decay took over to satisfy his sick sexual desires.
He Kept Souvenirs From His Murders
Like many other serial killers, Ted Bundy kept souvenirs from his victims, including credit cards and personal effects. His most grisly trophies, however, were severed heads from his victims. He kept the heads of 12 of his victims in his apartment.
He kept them in his freezer to slow down the natural decay process, and before the heads became unusable, he would take very good care of them by washing them, putting make-up on them and doing their hair. He would then sexually assault the severed heads.
Not All of His Victims Died
Although most of Bundy's victims were long dead before investigators found their remains, some of his victims ended up surviving his brutal attacks with long-term disabilities and injuries. Carol DaRonch was one of his victims that got away before he had the chance to injure her.
Three of the five victims of his infamous sorority attack also survived. Karen Chandler, Kathy Kleiner and Cheryl Thomas were all assaulted when they were sleeping with various blunt objects, but Bundy didn't have the chance to finish what he started after headlights from the driveway scared him away.
He Faked Injuries to Capture His Victims
One of his tactics for getting women to trust him was to fake injuries and ask for assistance. This wounded dog act led to the murders of several of his victims, including a couple of daylight attacks on women at a beach in Issaquah.
He used a sailboat to help lure women into assisting him. He tried this on at least six women, four of which denied to help him. One saw that he was lying before it was too late, and one, Janice Ann Ott, ended up becoming another victim.
His Girlfriend Liz Reported Him to Police—Twice
While he was dating Elizabeth Kloepfer, Ted was committing murders in and around the area where they lived. Witness accounts of his attacks at the beach later led to police identifying the vehicle he used and a composite sketch of his face.
Liz saw the details on the news and called the police tip line saying that she thought that it was her boyfriend, but the police didn't follow up on the tip. In November of that same year, Liz called the police a second time, and Bundy was added to a suspect list.
He Treated His Victims as Dolls
Not only did Bundy sometimes torture his victims and keep them alive for the sheer fun of playing God, but he also did horrific things to them when they were dead. He would keep them or keep their heads in his apartment and revisit them as much as he wanted to.
He would dress them up, put make-up on them and clean their decaying bodies as much as he could so he could sexually violate them postmortem. He treated the women as possessions, as if they were his own personal dolls.
He Escaped Police Custody More Than Once
Ted Bundy was a master of escape. After being arrested and convicted in connection with the kidnapping of Carol DeRonch, he was extradited and transferred from Glenwood Springs Aspen for a hearing. He asked to go to the courthouse library to do some research and escaped from a window.
After being recaptured, he devised another escape plan with the help of a jail blueprint and materials he used to carve out an escape route Shawshank-style. He’d lost enough weight in jail to fit through the tiny space and climbed out to freedom.
He Snapped After Fleeing to Florida
Bundy fled to Florida after his escape and ended up creating a life for himself where he thought he would never get caught. He tried to get work but couldn't without proper identification and turned to theft to sustain himself.
After about a week in Florida, he committed the sorority house murders at Chi Omega at Florida State University. He then drove to Jacksonville and attempted to kill a 14-year-old girl before her older brother stopped his attack. He fled the scene and drove to Lake City where he abducted and killed Kimberly Leach.
He Was Caught Because of a Stolen Car Check
After his Florida killing spree, Bundy was panicking about getting caught and running out of money. He stole a car and tried to get to the Florida Panhandle, where he planned to try to start over yet again. If it wasn't for the stolen car, he may have never gotten caught.
Officers noticed him driving erratically and ran the plates. Realizing the car was stolen, they pulled him over, at which point he tried to escape. The police eventually caught and arrested Bundy after finding I.D.'s and stolen credit cards in his car.
He Got Married and Had a Baby While on Trial
Throughout Bundy's trial, he accrued a fan base of women who thought he was too good looking to be a serial killer. His fans ended up supporting him throughout the trial, and one fan in particular even started a relationship with Bundy.
Carol Ann Boone was a character witness for Bundy while on trial, and the two made a mockery of the courtroom when he proposed to her while she was on the stand. Boone eventually fell pregnant with Bundy's child while he was in jail after the two bribed guards to allow them a conjugal visit.
He "Confessed" While on Death Row
Bundy denied any and all involvement in his horrific crimes all the way up until the 80s. When he finally did confess, he did most of it in the third person to avoid "the stigma of confession." Even so, he ended up detailing almost everything he had done.
He said that "the big payoff for me was actually possessing whatever it was I had stolen," meaning the women. He also said that he murdered them because he didn't want to get caught and that the "ultimate possession was, in fact, taking of the life."
He Was Smiling When He Was Executed
After he was convicted of the murder of Kimberly Leach, he was sentenced to death and put on death row in Florida. He was to die by electric chair. Although the execution kept getting postponed for different reasons, it eventually did happen on January 24, 1989 after the legislative leader pushed for it to be finally over and done with.
Bundy’s execution marked the end of his reign of terror, but even in death, Bundy was a monster. He left the families of his victims and the world alike one final, creepy act at his execution. After he was pronounced dead, his face was frozen in a smile.