On 24 November 1946, a monster was born in Burlington, Vermont. Theodore ‘Ted’ Bundy. There are many other names you could call him. Murderer. Serial killer. Rapist. Kidnapper. Sadist. Necrophile. Ted Bundy took evil beyond all imagination, and there are few who ever lived who were more evil...
A Monster Is born
It all started with a disturbing childhood and a twisted family tee. Bundy was born to 22-year-old Eleanor Louise Cowell – known as Louise – at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers.
It was a scandal.
His grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor, insisted on raising him as their son and, for most of his life, Bundy believed Louise was his older sister. Louise claimed his real father was a sailor. But some family members expressed suspicions Bundy was fathered by Louise’s own violent and abusive father – although it has never been proven.
At a terrifyingly early age, Bundy was already exhibiting macabre behaviour. Aged 3, he assembled a collection of kitchen knives around his sleeping aunt, who at the time he thought was his sister. When she woke, she looked up to see tiny Bundy staring at her from the end of the bed.
‘He just stood there and grinned,’ his aunt later said.
Bundy eventually stumbled across his birth certificate, discovering the secret of his maternity.
He had an interest in death and violence, was incredibly materialistic. In 1951, Louise married Johnny Bundy, and, after being adopted by his stepfather, Bundy took his name. And by the time he’d finished Uni, Bundy was handsome, charming, charismatic.
And utterly psychotic.
No one knows when he started abducting and murdering women, after his arrest Ted Bundy refused to divulge specifics. But his first known attacks began in 1974. He’d travel the country targeting mostly brunette, petite white women aged 12 to 26 years old. Most were college students.
He’d charm victims, faking an injury or pretending to be an authority figure. He’d lure them away, get them alone. Then unleash his inner psycho.
Some victims woke in the night to find Bundy looming over their bed. Some were strangled, others bludgeoned or beaten, mutilated. Bundy raped them – often when they were unconscious or already dead. Sometimes they’d been dead for days when he had sex with their corpses, or sexually violated them with inanimate objects. He’d dismember their bodies, even kept some of their skulls as trophies. But many of his victims’ bodies were never found.
At the height of his murder spree, female college students were going missing at a rate of one a month. After his arrest in 1977 Bundy managed to escape custody twice, before finally being caught driving a stolen vehicle, in February 1978.
In February 1980, Bundy was sentenced to death. After, he admitted killing 30 women in seven states. Many criminologists and experts interviewed him, attempted to get into his twisted mind. But one of his most chilling quotes came from a death row interview just before his execution in 1989.
‘We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow,’ Ted Bundy said.
The murderous psycho went to the electric chair in Florida on 24 January 1989, aged 42. After his death, Bundy’s former lawyer, John Henry Browne, claimed the serial killer told him he’d killed more than 100 people.
‘Ted really knew he was evil. Evil, evil, evil. And, believe me, really evil,’ Mr Browne said.
But the depths of his depravity and true number of his victims, we’ll never really know. And perhaps Ted Bundy’s killing was so out of control, even he lost count.