Utilizing his good looks, intelligence and irresistible charm to win the trust of young women and then violate them, Ted Bundy was the epitome of an organized lust killer. To most, he seemed like a perfectly normal, upstanding guy who once attended law school and worked part time for a suicide prevention hotline. Yet, hiding beneath the surface was a compulsive liar and masterful manipulator addicted to violent, sexual depravities.
Born: November 24th, 1946, Burlington, VT
Died: January 24, 1989, Florida State Prison
M.O.: Luring a victim in with charm or a fake injury to kidnap her, rape, blunt trauma and bludgeoning, strangulation
Signature: Sexual gratification from the assault and murder of women, many of whom resembled his ex-lover Diana Edwards – young, white with brown hair parted down the middle, necrophilia
Victim Count: 30+
Best known for: Grooming the dead bodies of his victims so that he could continue to perform sexual acts on them, escaping custody twice and representing himself in court
“Murder is not about lust and it’s not about violence. It’s about possession. When you feel the last breath of life coming out of the woman, you look into her eyes. At that point, it’s being God.” -- Ted Bundy
“Possessing them physically as one would possess a potted plant, a painting, or a Porsche. Owning, as it were, this individual.” -- Ted Bundy
A childhood built on a lie and an unsavory father figure sparked Ted Bundy’s innate violent behavior, bloodlust and rage against women. It began with his young mother’s betrayal. At her wishes, Bundy was raised believing she was his sister and his grandfather was his father – a fact that would set off Bundy later in life when he stumbled upon the truth. He looked up to his “father,” who--while never abusive to him--had a violent temper that he habitually took out on others. Early on, Bundy showed signs of compulsive lying, manipulation and a disturbing lack of a moral compass. By the time he turned fifteen, he was an expert shoplifter, stalker, Peeping Tom and possibly even the culprit in the murder of an eight year old girl.
Tightly wound with a predisposition to kill, it was only a matter of time before Bundy took his first victim. The time came soon after he was dumped by “the love of his life,” Diana Edwards, and discovered that his sister is really his mother. Both are catalytic events for an already ticking time bomb. Full of pent up rage and lust, Bundy had an unquenchable thirst for violence, destruction and revenge, which he had no problem taking out on other young women. Bundy craved the power and gratification he felt from overpowering and dominating women. Like a pressure cooker about to explode, he needed to kill at least one girl per month. However, Bundy prioritized the assault over the kill, so some of his victims survived their encounters, and others he kept after they died for continued sexual gratification. Necrophilia appealed to Bundy for one reason: the women didn’t fight back. He relished in having ultimate control over their bodies.
Bundy rarely knew the names of his victims. He was an opportunist, preferring to stalk and take advantage of those alone, even during daylight hours and in public areas. Sometimes he feigned disability or injury to lure his victims. On other occasions, he impersonated a police officer. The more Bundy killed, the more frequently he needed to do so again. For a period of time, Bundy attempted reducing how much he killed but his lust and ego kept him going, despite the rapidly increasing risk of being caught.
When inevitably caught, Bundy insisted upon representing himself in court and, had he kept his urges under control, he may have been able to away with his crimes. During his trial, he escaped from jail twice. Upon the second time, after months and months without an outlet for his depravities, he attacked five young women in the same night. At that point, no amount of lying and manipulation could convince the jury of his innocence. Fate sealed, he took ownership and pride in his crimes, confessing to them and finding pleasure in the intense media attention that followed. Ted Bundy was only forty-two when he served the death penalty in the electric chair, but, unfortunately, his psychopathic behavior and preference for young girls will forever cement him in history as one of America’s worst serial killers.