In January 1978 at 3:00 am, a student from Florida State University came home late to her sorority house and heard footsteps upstairs. Suspicious, she hid in a doorway and saw a man running out with a mask and a club. When she walked into her room, she was horrified to find her roommates badly beaten and two even dead. A bite mark on a murdered woman’s backside (12) match confirmed that the killer was Ted Bundy, who was serving 15 years for attempted kidnapping. What would compel someone to commit a crime this gruesome? No one is born a killer, so investigations into Ted Bundy’s childhood will help explain how, or why Bundy, one of the most notorious killers in America, could commit such acts.
37.5% of prisoners serving time for murder were abused as chidren. (12) So did Bundy’s childhood have anything to do with his career as a serial rapist killer? Ted Bundy said that there was nothing wrong in his family. There was no abuse and he was a normal person. Upon further investigation, that is false. He did say that there was one thing he would never share with anyone. This could be the confusion of who his parents were, or the abuse of his grandfather.
Ted Bundy, or at the time, Theador Cowell, was born on November 24 in a home for unwed mothers in 1946. His mother, Eloner Cowell who went by Louise, had no idea that her ewborn baby would someday be one of the most infamous killers in America.(1) Bundy’s biological father is unknown, but there are speculations of him being a result of his grandfather raping his mother. (9) Bundy being incest would explain alot of his physcological issues. Incest children are very likely to have genetic disorders. If Bundy is a result of incest, this can explain his insane behavior. When two of the same bad genes mix, it can result in a genetic disorder. These allegations, however, were never confirmed. (10)
For most of his life, Ted thought his grandparents were his actual parents and his mother was his sister. This was an attempt to protect both him and Louise, his mother, because unwed mothers and their children were often shamed during this time. (1) His grandfather had Agoraphobia, which caused him to be aggressive and his grandmother had Depression. There was most likely some type of physical abuse and definitely mental abuse. Ted had social anxiety and typically crossed peoples boundaries. There were multiple concerning situations that occured in the home he lived in when he was young. For instance, his aunt woke up multiple times to her toddler nephew slipping knives under her sheets. He was also involved in animal mutilation which is a pattern that is consistently found in serial killers childhoods. These are huge concerns that parents should be aware of and worry about, but Ted was never evaluated. This may be because his family just thought he was going through a phase and would grow out of it, however, from the outside looking in, he seemed to have a fairly normal life. (12)
When Ted was about 10, his mother left Vermont in hopes of a new life with her son. Adjusting to the fact that who he thought was his sister was actually his mother was very difficult for Bundy. He was very upset when his mother met a man named Johnnie Bundy who was a military chef from North Carolina. That didn’t stop Johnnie from adopting Ted, making him Ted Bundy. Elenor went on to have three more children with Johnnie.
It is believed that he was responsible for the disappearance of one of his neighbors, 8 year old Ann Marie Burr in 1961. He would’ve been about 14. Ann’s bed was empty when her mother went to check on her one morning. There was no sign of struggle, but there was a window open with a bench pulled to it from outside. Police found a ¨teenager sized¨ footprint in the garden bed under the open window. Ann’s father and a neighborhood friend went to go look at a nearby college campus that was being reconstructed and saw a teenage male kicking in the dirt as if he was trying to cover something up. When officers arrived at the scene, everything was paved over. Bundy in an interview later mentioned he broke into a child’s house, abducted her, molested her in an orchard field nearby, and buried her remains. They never originally looked into Ted because Ann’s family didn’t know him, and were not aware that Ann and Ted played together in the neighborhood. A friend of both of the children later confirmed they knew each other very well. This case unfortunately was never solved, and eventually became a cold case. (17) Around that time is when Ted´s pornography addiction started. Ted admitted that he had an obsession with nude women from a young age, but didn’t admit to raping anyone until later in his life. He even talked about being a peeping tom. During his confession tape, he said ¨pornography consumed¨ his life. He said that
scientific investigations have discovered that a lot of murderers have uncontrolable pornography addictions that give them a sudden urge to watch or look at nudewomen/men. (17)
When he was murdering women, he moved into a college town. He drove a Volkswagen Beetle, and looked as if he was a college student. This is how he lurrend in his victims. He was charming and attractive to women and many even showed up to his trials just to see Bundy. One day at a mall around this time, he witnessed a man take a woman’s purse. He charged after the man and took him down. He held him down until authorities arrived at the scene. People believe that he mainly did this for the attention as in the newspaper, he was dubbed a hero. Around 1978, c vc cche was pulled over speeding. When the police officer confronted him, he noticed the front passenger seat was missing. When Bundy tried to explain himself, the officer became suspicious and asked him for permission to check his car. He found what some may describe a “murder kit”. There was no excuse for this as it included panty hose with the eyes and mouth cut out, a ski mask handcuffs, and a crowbar. He was taken into investigation and then looked into for an attempted kidnapping.
Teds last known murder and youngest confirmed victim, was Kimberly Leach, who at the time was a 12 year old from Seattle, Washington. It was a very stormy day and Kimberly’s friend went to the spot they would meet up every day at recess, but she never showed up. She wasn’t the type to skip class or leave the school’s campus, so her friend immediately became suspicious. An astonishing 2 months later, Kimberly’s remains were discovered in a small shed behind a national park. Her body was assaulted and beaten. Ted was immediately looked into for this as he was at the top of the FBI’s murderer list.
Ted went to the University of Florida and got a degree in psychology. Some people believe it was because he wanted to have the ability to manipulate people (18 Soand met his first love, Diane Edwards. Bundy felt she was out of his league so he spent a lot of time trying to impress her. Diane said that he was controlling and protective and because of this, she broke up with him. After this, Bundy met a young single mother at a bar one night named Elizabeth Klopfer. They began a relationship. Even though they were in a relationship and Bundy was a father figure for Elizibeth’s daughter, he kept trying to get a hold of Edwards who wanted nothing to do with him. Diane got married 12 months after her relationship with Bundy ended. It is believed that Diane’s rejection fueled his aggression towards women.
Ted bundy and Elizabeth Klopfer never married or got engaged even though they acted as if they were. In the time Bundy and Klopfer were in a romantic relationship, he killed a numerous number of women. When he was arrested for speeding and taken into investigation for an attempted kidnapping,(15) he tried to convince Liz that he had nothing to do with these crimes. Elizabeth was skeptical because she was in fact the one who turned him in.(16)
Nobody looks at a tiny innocent baby and ever imagines it will be a cruel, and cold blooded killer. Ted Bundy’s hard and confusing childhood scarred him and made him very mad and upset at the world. (7) To this day, the exact amount of people that he killed is still unknown. People still look into Bundy and his diagnoses as examples when investigating murderers, serial killers, and rapists. These studies give good out of a very bad and unfortunate situation. On January, 24, 1989 at 7:16 am, Ted Bundy was executed on the electric chair. Ted Bundy is gone, but he is definitely not forgotten. (12)