Ted Bundy

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Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy headshot.jpg
Full Name: Theodore Robert Bundy (née Cowell)
Alias: Ted Bundy

Kenneth Misner
Chris Hagen
Richard Burton
Officer Roseland
Rolf Miller
"The most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet"
"The very definition of heartless evil"

Origin: Burlington, Vermont, United States
Occupation: Crisis hotline operator
Political campaigner
Serial killer
Skills: Very High Intelligence
Master of disguise
Murder skills
Superficial charm
Hobby: Kidnapping, raping and killing women
Goals: Get away with his murders (failed)
Evade execution (failed)
Crimes: Serial Murder

Attempted murder
Serial Rape
Drunk driving
Phone harassment
Prison break
Grand theft auto
Breaking and entering
Credit card fraud
Identity theft
Impersonating a police officer
Drug possession

Type of Villain: Dangerous Serial Killer

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 describing how it feels to murder someone

Theodore "Ted" Robert Cowell Bundy (November 24th, 1946 - January 24th, 1989) was an American serial killer, burglar, and rapist. Being one of America's most notorious and dangerous serial-killers and perhaps one of history's most well-known killers, he was active between 1974 to 1978, but it is believed that he could have been active as early as 1961.

He killed in totally 20 known women but its believe that he killed up to 100 women or even up to 200 women. His preferred method of execution for his victims was bludgeoning and strangulation; a misogynist and a necrophile: traits that only served to make him more reviled in the eyes of the public.


Bundy was a manic-depressive psychopath with co-morbid antisocial personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder.

Ann Rule, who wrote the book The Stranger Beside Me about Bundy, described him as "a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human's pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after." He once called himself "the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet." Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of his last defence team, wrote he was "the very definition of heartless evil."

Early life

Bundy was born in Burlington, Vermont to Eleanor Louise Cowell. 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 his older sister. He didn't find out that "Louise" was his mother until his college years. This was done to avoid any social stigma placed on Louise for being an unwed mother. He lived with Louise in a house 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". Johnny treated Bundy well, including him on the camping trips and other outdoor activities he often took with his and Louise's own children. 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 behavior 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."

Ted Bundy as a senior in high school.

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" and also wrote more true crime books, one of which was about the Green River Killer case. After a breakup with a fellow student, who cited immaturity and lack of ambition as her reasons, Bundy became depressed and dropped out of school. He returned to Burlington and, by 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 honor student who was well-liked by professors and students alike. Bundy's personality underwent a major paradigm shift; from shy and introverted, to confident and social.


Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, Bundy made his first confirmed murder attempt. He broke into the basement bedroom of 18-year-old University of Washington student Karen Sparks, bludgeoned her in her sleep and sexually assaulted her. Sparks survived but suffered permanent brain damage. Over the following four months, he killed three students; another from the University of Washington on January 31, one from Evergreen State College on March 12 and one from Central Washington State College on April 17. On July 4, Bundy was descending the Yakima River with his girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer, when he pushed her into the water without a word or apparent motive. Kloepfer returned to the boat without Bundy's assistance, who stood still as if he was seeing through her. Ten days later, on July 14, Bundy inquired Kloepfer until he learned that she was going to suntan at Carkeek, near Seattle. Kloepfer assumed that Bundy wanted to join her there, but he went instead to Lake Sammamish. There he wore a fake arm cast and imitated a British accent to request assistance from young female holidaymakers until two, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, went with him roughly four hours after one another. It is believed that Bundy forced one of the women to watch him as he raped and killed the other before also killing her. Their skeletons were found on September 6 in an abandoned road four miles from the lake, along with that of Georgann Hawkins, a University of Washington student who had disappeared on June 12. Both Ott and Hawkins were missing their heads.

Based on a large number of witnesses, the authorities released a sketch of the suspect on the disappearances of Ott and Naslund, who was also said to have called himself "Ted" and driven a metallic brown Volkswagen Beetle. Among the people who reported Bundy were Kloepfer, one of his psychology professors, and Ann Rule. Because of his reputation as a clean-shaven and well-mannered student, the police paid no attention to their tips. Bundy cut his hair short and moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah on September 2, where he continued his studies in 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. 

Ted Bundy in prison after getting arrested.

On August 16, 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 1, 1976, he was sentenced to 1-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 30, 1977, by somehow getting his hands on a hacksaw and $500 and getting out through a crawlspace. By the time the jail staff realized that he was missing, 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 8, where he supported himself through shoplifting and purse snatching. On January 15, 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.

Ted Bundy put under custody after leaving the Leon County, Florida court.

On February 9, 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 15, he was arrested for driving a stolen vehicle and was quickly linked to the sorority murders. 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 hadn't been present at the killings and 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, and married Carole Ann Boone, a former co-worker, and had a daughter, Rosa, with her in October 1981. When Bundy talked about the murders, he always did so in third-person and speaking hypothetically. As the execution date came closer, Bundy confessed to more murders for which he hadn't previously been conclusively linked to. In October 1984, Bundy contacted the Green River Task Force and offered personal insights on the case, which hadn't been solved at the time. At 7:06 a.m. on January 24, 1989, Bundy was executed by electric chair. His last words were "I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends."

Known Victims


  1. (possibly) Ann Marie Burr; Tacoma (8/31/61)

  2. Lynda Ann Healy; University of Washington (2/1/74)  

  3. Donna Manson; Evergreen St. College, Olympia (3/12/74)  

  4. Susan Rancourt; Central Washington St. College, Ellensburg (4/17/74)  

  5. Brenda Ball; Burien (6/1/74)  

  6. Georgann Hawkins; University of Washington (6/11/74)  

  7. Janice Ott; Lake Sammamish St. Park (7/14/74)  

  8. Denise Naslund; Lake Sammamish St. Park (7/14/74) 


  1. (possibly) Rita Jolly; West Linn (6/29/73)

  2. (possibly) Vicki Hollar; Eugene (8/20/73)

  3. Kathy Parks; Oregon St. (5/6/74) 


  1. (possibly) Sandra Weaver; Salt Lake City (7/1/74)

  2. Nancy Wilcox; Holladay (10/2/74)  

  3. Melissa Smith; Midvale (10/18/74)  

  4. Laura Aimee; Lehi (10/31/74)  

  5. Debbie Kent; Bountiful (11/8/74)  

  6. Susan Curtis; Brigham Young University (6/27/75)

  7. (possibly) Nancy Baird; East Layton (7/4/75)

  8. (possibly) Debbie Smith; Salt Lake City (2/?/76) 


  1. Caryn Campbell; Aspen (1/12/75)  

  2. Julie Cunningham; Vail (3/15/75)  

  3. (possibly) Melanie Suzanne Cooley; Nederland (4/15/75)

  4. Denise Oliverson; Grand Junction (4/6/75)  

  5. (possibly) Shelley Robertson; Golden (7/1/75) 


  1. Jane Doe; Boise (9/21/74)

  2. Lynette Culver; Pocatello (5/6/75) 


  1. Lisa Levy; Tallahassee (1/15/78) 

  2. Margaret Bowman; Tallahassee (1/15/78) 

  3. Kimberly Ann Leach; Lake City (2/9/78)


Many of Bundy's young female victims regarded him as handsome and charismatic, traits that he exploited to win their trust. He would typically approach them in public places, feigning injury or disability, or impersonating an authority figure, before overpowering and assaulting them in secluded locations. He sometimes revisited his secondary crime scenes, grooming and performing sexual acts with the decomposing corpses until putrefaction and destruction by wild animals made any further interactions impossible. He decapitated at least 12 victims and kept some of the severed heads as mementos in his apartment. On a few occasions, he broke into dwellings at night and bludgeoned his victims as they sleep.

In 1975, Bundy was jailed for the first time when he was incarcerated in Utah for aggravated kidnapping and attempted criminal assault. He then became a suspect in a progressively longer list of unsolved homicides in several states. Facing murder charges in Colorado, he engineered two dramatic escapes and committed further assaults in Florida, including three murders, before his ultimate recapture in 1978.

FBI Agent Bill Hagmaier interviewing Ted Bundy before the final Death Row.

Ted Bundy was eventually convicted of multiple murders and was executed in 1989 by the electric chair - however his legacy continued long after his death, as his name became associated with evil and depravity (like many serial-killers of history).

Portrayal in media

  • The Deliberate Stranger (1986), played by Mark Harmon.
    • This was the only film/TV movie about Ted made when he was still alive.
  • The Stranger Beside Me (2003), played by Billy Campbell.
  • The Riverman (2004), played by Cary Elwes.
  • The Capture of the Green River Killer (2008), played by James Marsters.





  • In October 1984, Bundy was interviewed by Robert D. Keppel, a detective involved in the original Bundy murder investigation, and Green River Task Force detective Dave Reichert, and assisted in their investigation into the then unidentified Green River Killer, later determined to be Gary Ridgway.
  • Prior to beginning his murders, Bundy attended law school worked on various political campaigns, including at the Seattle office of Nelson Rockefeller's presidential campaign in 1968.
  • Bundy's 1968 Volkswagen Beetle was displayed in the lobby of the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C. until its closure in 2015. It is presently on exhibit at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • According to Bundy's Florida Defense Team, Bundy was offered to plead guilty by the Florida prosecutors. Had Bundy accepted the deal, he would have avoided executed in exchange for a firm 75-year prison sentence.
  • Zac Efron portrayed as him in the movie called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, in this movie the movie shows about his life.