“So what’s one less? What’s one less person on the face of the planet?” – Bundy
American serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century.
As well as a killer, Bundy was a rapist, hebephile, ephebophile, and necrophiliac.
Aka. A real sicko.
As you can imagine, this is going to be lengthy. I have condensed the information as much as I thought necessary but so much was necessary! Please stick with it.
The Campus Killer
Place of Birth
Date of Death
Place of Death
Rockefeller campaign manager
Bundy was born in Burlington, Vermont to Eleanor Louise Cowell (she went by Louise); his father’s identity remains unknown. For most of his life, Bundy was raised to believe that his grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor, were his actual parents and that Louise was in fact his older sister. He didn’t find out that “Louise” was his mother until his college years. That’s gotta be enough to fuck you up a bit, surely.
He lived with Louise in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, Louise had Bundy’s surname changed from Cowell (at that time) to Nelson. Later, when the two moved to Tacoma, Washington, Louise met a man named Johnny Culpepper Bundy at a local church function. They were soon married and Johnny adopted him, thus changing his surname to “Bundy”.
‘Ted Bundy’ was born.
Johnny treated Bundy well, including him in the camping trips and other outdoor activities he often took with his and Louise’s own children. But despite this, Bundy remained distant from his stepfather.
During high school, Bundy was often isolated from other kids his age. He couldn’t seem to understand teenage social behaviour but was skilled in “faking it”, indicating a propensity towards psychopathy. He stated once that, “I didn’t know what made things tick. I didn’t know what made people want to be friends. I didn’t know what made people attractive to one another. I didn’t know what underlay social interactions.”
It was during this time that Bundy developed a compulsion for thievery and shoplifting. He typically stole skiing equipment and forged ski lift tickets to support his interest in the sport. In college, Bundy studied Psychology and Asian studies. He worked at various jobs (never longer than a few months at a time), such as bagging groceries, stocking shelves and working at a suicide hotline.
During this time, he met writer Ann Rule, with whom he became friends. Ann would later write a defensive biography of Bundy entitled, “The Stranger Beside Me”.
After a breakup with a fellow student, who cited immaturity and lack of ambition as her reasons for the separation, Bundy became depressed and dropped out of school. He returned to Burlington and, doing a search of public records, discovered his true parentage. After this, he became more focused and dominant.
Returning to Washington, Bundy became Campaign Manager for Nelson Rockefeller’s campaign for Presidency. He enrolled in the University of Washington as a psychology major and became an honour student who was well-liked by professors and students alike. Bundy’s personality underwent a major paradigm shift during this time; from shy and introverted, to confident and social…
Killings, Conviction and Execution
It was shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, that Bundy first attempted murder. He broke into the basement bedroom of a female student at the University of Washington, bludgeoned her in her sleep and sexually assaulted her with a metal rod from her bed frame. She survived, but suffered permanent brain damage. Over the following four months, he killed three students; another from the University of Washington on January 31st, one from Evergreen State College on March 12th and one from Central Washington State College on April 17th. After more abductions and murders, the authorities became aware that the same man, who a number of witnesses had said called himself “Ted”, was responsible for the disappearances.
Among the people who reported Bundy as a potential suspect were his ex-girlfriend, one of his psychology professors and Ann Rule, but because of his reputation as a clean-shaven and well-mannered student, the police paid no attention to their tips. During this time, he also killed women in Oregon.
Bundy then moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah where he attended the University of Utah College of Law and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, though he never really attended any gatherings. During the first semester, he killed four more women, one of which was the daughter of a police chief. The next semester, 1975, he killed four more women, three of which were taken in Colorado. The fourth was 13-year old Lynette Culver, who was abducted from a school playground in Pocatello, Idaho, taken to a hotel room and raped and drowned in a bathtub.
As with a number of Bundy’s victims, her body was never found. He killed another girl, 15-year old Susan Curtis, during his summer break. On August 16th, he was pulled over when he wouldn’t stop for a police officer; inside his car, the officer found balaclavas, gloves, a crowbar, handcuffs, and other items he suspected to be burglary tools. On March 1st, 1976, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch, who he had tried to abduct in Utah in 1974 by pretending to be a police officer.
In 1977, investigators had found enough evidence to charge Bundy with the January 1975 murder of Caryn Campbell, who had disappeared while on a ski trip and managed to extradite him to Aspen. At the Pitkin County courthouse, Bundy was allowed to visit the courthouse library. From there, he escaped through a window but was pulled over in a stolen car for having dimmed headlights and arrested again. He was placed in a jail in Glenwood Springs, from which he escaped on December 30th, 1977, by somehow getting his hands on a hacksaw and $500 and getting out through a crawlspace…
Is anyone else getting a young Robert De Niro, or is it just me?
By the time the jail staff realised that he was missing however, he had already made his way to Chicago.
After then spending some time at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in Atlanta, he settled at Tallahassee, Florida on January 8th, where he supported himself through shoplifting and purse snatching. On January 15th, 1978, Bundy committed his first murders in almost two-and-a-half years. He broke into the Chi Omega sorority at the Florida State University, raped, strangled and bludgeoned students Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. Two other students were also attacked but survived. The same night, he attacked another woman eight blocks away – she also survived.
On February 9th, 1978, Bundy committed his last known murder. He abducted 12-year-old Kimberly Leach outside her school, raped and killed her and tried to hide the body in an abandoned hog shed. On the morning of February 15th, he was arrested for driving a stolen vehicle and was quickly linked to the sorority murders.
If Bundy stayed away from stolen cars, he’d probably still be out here now 🙈
In the end, Bundy received two death sentences; one for the sorority murders and one for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Two pieces of evidence proved crucial: a set of bite marks on Lisa Levy’s buttocks and the testimony of a Chi Omega resident who saw Bundy leave the building.
Bundy spent the better part of the 1980s fighting his sentence. During this time, he was interviewed by FBI profiler Robert Ressler, who ‘found him uncooperative’. He also married Carole Ann Boone, a former co-worker and had a daughter, Tina, with her in October 1982.
When Bundy talked about the murders, he always did so in third-person and speaking hypothetically (which is weird anyway).
Then, as the execution date came closer, Bundy suddenly confessed to more murders for which he hadn’t previously been conclusively linked to. In October 1984, Bundy even contacted the Green River Task Force and offered personal insights on the case, which hadn’t been solved at the time. How helpful!
It was at 7:06 a.m. on January 24th, 1989, that Bundy was eventually executed by electric chair. His last words were, “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.” In May of 2012, John Henry Browne, who defended Bundy during his final trial, claimed in a memoir describing his conversations with Bundy that he claimed to have killed over 100 people and that his first victim had been a man.
“You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!” – Ted Bundy
Obviously Bundy represented himself in court. Here are some photos of him seriously trying his best to overturn his conviction…
Bundy targeted brunette, petite Caucasian women aged 12 to 26 years old. All of the victims were either in college or had a middle-class background. While looking for his victims, he would consume large quantities of alcohol. His method of obtaining the victims varied though; sometimes he would burglarise their homes and bludgeon them in their sleep, sometimes he would use an elaborate ruse and sometimes he merely relied on his looks alone.
He liked to mix it up, y’know 🤷🏻♀️
The latter method was successful for Bundy because of the fact that women considered him to be good-looking and charming. In fact, this characteristic even allowed him to successfully abduct women in broad daylight, even if they were aware that a serial killer was present in the area.
His facial features were “unremarkable”; that is, though attractive, not especially memorable. This allowed him to completely change his appearance with only minor adjustments; a moustache, different hair style, a hat, etc. He would even disguise himself as a police officer or a firefighter to gain his victim’s trust. Sometimes, Bundy would use a fake cast, have his arm in a sling, or use crutches to play on a potential victim’s sympathy.
He would ask them for assistance of some kind, such as helping him put something in his car or asking for directions. They were then struck in the head with a crowbar, shoved into his car, and forced to wear handcuffs.
His initial attacks involved him raping them (either with incidental objects found in the victim’s bedroom or ones he brought with him) and then fatally bludgeoning them with a crowbar. Before raping his victims, he would have them remove their clothing (and later burn it after killing them, or in the case of Julie Cunningham, deposit it in a Goodwill Industries collection bin) or take off his own clothing to prevent the authorities from finding any trace evidence.
He would later kill his victims by strangulation and would sometimes decapitate them post-mortem, keeping a few of their skulls as trophies. In one case, he cremated the severed head of one victim in a fireplace. When he killed Lynette Culver, he drowned her in a bathtub. When he attacked his victims at the Chi Omega sorority house, he bludgeoned all of them with a log. #Resourceful
Bundy would often visit his victims, whom he dumped at a site in Taylor Mountain. He admitted to applying makeup to the corpses, having sex with them and laying with them for hours afterward. He also dressed them in clothes that they never wore and applied nail polish that their families had never seen them use. Bundy also kept a collection of photos of his victims that he took with a Polaroid camera as a way of remembering the crimes.
Bundy admitted to killing 36 young women, but as you can see from this list, it could have been so many more…
- January 4th, Seattle, Washington: Karen Sparks, 18 (bludgeoned in her bed with a crowbar and sexually assaulted with a speculum; survived)
- February 1st, Seattle, Washington: Lynda Ann Healy, 21 (bludgeoned while asleep, abducted from her house, and decapitated and dismembered post-mortem; her skull and mandible were found on March 3rd, 1975)
- March 12th, Olympia, Washington: Donna Gail Manson, 19 (abducted and killed; body was never found)
- April 17th, Ellensburg, Washington: Susan Elaine Rancourt, 18 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 3rd, 1975)
- May 6th, Corvallis, Oregon: Roberta Kathleen “Kathy” Parks, 22 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 3rd, 1975)
- June 1st, Burien, Washington: Brenda Carol Ball, 22 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 1st, 1975)
- June 11th, Seattle, Washington: Georgeann Hawkins, 18 (abducted and strangled; body never found)
- July 14th, Issaquah, Washington (both abducted and killed four hours apart in the same location; their skeletal remains were found on September 6th, 1974)
- Janice Ann Ott, 23
- Denise Marie Naslund, 19
- September 2nd, unspecified location in Idaho: An unidentified teenage hitchhiker (confessed to killing; her body was never found)
- October 2nd, Holladay, Utah: Nancy Wilcox, 16 (assaulted and strangled; her body was never found)
- October 18th, Midvale, Utah: Melissa Anne Smith, 17 (abducted, raped, sodomised, and strangled; her body was found nine days later)
- October 31st, Lehi, Utah: Laura Ann Aime, 17 (abducted, raped, strangled, and bludgeoned with a crowbar; her body was found by hikers four weeks later)
- November 8th:
- Murray, Utah: Carol DaRonch, 18 (abducted and intended to kill; she escaped by jumping out of his car)
- Bountiful, Utah: Debra Jean “Debby” Kent, 17 (abducted and killed; minimal skeletal remains not positively identified to hers were found)
- January 12th, Snowmass, Colorado: Caryn Campbell, 23 (abducted, raped and bludgeoned; her body was found on February 15th, 1975)
- March 15th, Vail, Colorado: Julie Cunningham, 26 (abducted and killed; her body was never found)
- April 6th, Grand Junction, Colorado: Denise Oliverson, 25 (body was never found)
- May 6th, Pocatello, Idaho: Lynette Culver, 13 (abducted, raped and drowned in a bathtub; her body was never found)
- June 28th, Provo, Utah: Susan Curtis, 15 (abducted and killed; her body was never found)
- January 15th, Tallahassee, Florida:
- Two killed and two injured in the Chi Omega killings (all of the following were bludgeoned with a log as they slept)
- Margaret Bowman, 21 (also raped and strangled with a pair of pantyhose)
- Lisa Levy, 20 (also raped, bitten and strangled)
- Karen Chandler, 21 (survived)
- Kathy Kleiner, 21 (survived)
- Cheryl Thomas, 21 (bludgeoned in her bed just a few blocks away from the above killings; survived)
- Two killed and two injured in the Chi Omega killings (all of the following were bludgeoned with a log as they slept)
- February 9th, Lake City, Florida: Kimberly Diane Leach, 12 (abducted, raped and killed; her skeletal remains were found)
- January 15th, Tallahassee, Florida:
- August 31st, 1961, Tacoma, Washington: Ann Marie Burr, 8 (disappeared; was never found)
- June 23rd, 1966, Seattle, Washington (both were bludgeoned with a log as they slept)
- Lisa E. Wick, 20 (survived)
- Lonnie Trumbull, 20 (killed)
- May 30th, 1969, near Somers Point, New Jersey (both were stabbed to death; their bodies were found in the nearby woods three days later)
- Susan Davis, 19
- Elizabeth Perry, 19
- July 19th, 1971, Burlington, Vermont: Rita Curran, 24 (raped, beaten, strangled and bludgeoned)
- June 29th, West Linn, Oregon: Rita Lorraine Jolly, 17 (disappeared; was never found)
- August 20st, Eugene, Oregon: Vicki Lynn Hollar, 24 (disappeared; was never found)
- November 24th, near Olympia, Washington: Katherine Merry Devine, 14 (disappeared; her body was found; the murder was later attributed to one William E. Cosden in 2002)
- May 27th, near Puyallup, Washington: Brenda Joy Baker, 14 (disappeared; her body was found a month later)
- July 1st, Salt Lake City, Utah: Sandra Jean Weaver, 19 (disappeared; her body was found near Grand Junction, Colorado)
- August 2nd, near Vancouver, Washington: Carol L. Valenzuela, 20 (disappeared; her body was found two months later along with Martha Morrison)
- September 1974, near Vancouver, Washington: Martha Morrison, 17 (her body was found alongside that of Carol L. Valenzuela; remained unidentified for 41 years)
- April 15th, Nederland, Colorado: Melanie Suzanne “Suzy” Cooley, 18 (abducted, bludgeoned and strangled; her body was found eight days later)
- July 1st, Golden, Colorado: Shelly/Shelley Kay Robertson, 24 (disappeared; her body was found a month later)
- July 4th, Farmington, Utah: Nancy Perry Baird, 23 (disappeared; was never found)
- February 1976, Salt Lake City, Utah: Debbie Smith, 17 (disappeared; her body was found two months later)
- Minutes before his execution, Bundy was questioned about unsolved murders in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, and Miami, Florida. Though he denied involvement in any of the cases, Bundy previously stated that he didn’t want to talk about certain murders he committed, leaving the cases still open.
- After his capture, Bundy was suspected of committing the so-called Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders, in which at least seven female hitchhikers were all murdered in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in 1972 and 1973. Bundy had spent some time in neighbouring Marin County, but was ruled out by a Sonoma County detective. In addition, it was proven that he was in Washington on the dates of some of the victims’ disappearances.