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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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."
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.