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Laura Coelho de Almeida

Jan 26, 2019

8 min read

The Story Of Ted Bundy, One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

Back in 1974, women at colleges across Washington and Oregon were disappearing at a rate of about one a month. The police in the Pacific Northwest were in a panic and had few leads as to who was behind it.

In six months, six women had been kidnapped. The only description police had was that these women were approached by an attractive young man with his arm in a sling who tried to draw them towards his brown Volkswagen Beetle. He identified himself as Ted.

After witness, who a man kidnapping a woman, contacted the police. A description was released, the cops were contacted by four people identifying the same Seattle resident: Ted Bundy.

These four people were his ex-girlfriend, a close friend, a co-workers, and a psychology professor. Basically everyone who knew him personally said that Ted would never kill anyone. The police dismissed him as a suspect.

Ted Bundy goes far beyond the charismatic, blue-eyed serial killer who figured the American news in the 1970s. He killed and raped more than 30 women before finally being discovered.

Theodore Robert Cowell was born in Vermont, on November 24, 1946.

His mother was Eleanor Louise Cowell and his father was unknown. To avoid a scandal, he was raised by his grandmother and his abusive grandfather as their own child and believed his mother to be his sister.

Due to the agressive behavior of his grandfather, his mother run away with her himto live with cousins in Tacoma, Washington when Bundy was five years old.

There, Eleanor met and married Johnnie Bundy, who formally adopted the young Ted Bundy and gave him his last name.

He showed odd behaviors at an early age. Despite being well-liked, attractive, and well-educated, his unstable childhood led to his isolated tendencies and petty theft.

After graduating from high school in 1965 he enrolled in the nearby University of Puget Sound, before transferring to the University of Washington to study Chinese.

He dropped out in 1968 but quickly re-enrolled as a psychology major. During his time out of school, he visited the east coast, there he found his birth certification and got know that the woman he believed to be his sister was actually his mother. This was considered the fact that triggered the killings

Back at University of Washington, Ted started dating Elizabeth Kloepfer, a divorcee from Utah who worked as a secretary at the School of Medicine on campus.

In 1973, Bundy was accepted into the University of Puget Sound Law School, but after a few months, he stopped attending classes. It was around that time that the first disappearances began.

The first known attack in January of 1974 was not an actual murder, but instead an assault on Karen Sparks, a student and dancer at University of Washington. He broke into her apartment and beated her unconscious with a metal rod from her bed frame before sexually assaulting her with the same object. His assault left her in a coma for 10 days and with permanent disabilities.

Ted Bundy’s next victim and his first confirmed murder was Lynda Ann Healy, another student at UW. A month after his first assault on Karen Sparks, Bundy broke into Healy’s apartment in the early morning, knocked her unconscious, then clothed her body and carried her out to his car. She was never seen again, but part of her skull was discovered years later at one of the locations where Bundy dumped his bodies.

He followed the same pattern: acting injured, luring a young woman to help, beating her with weapon, raping her, and then killing her. He used his good looks to his advantage but if that didn’t work, he posed as a police officer or firefighter to entice women.

Due to disappearances, the police called for a major investigation and got help of government agencies. One of these agencies was the Washington State Department of Emergency Services, where Ted Bundy worked throughout these murders. There, Bundy met Carole Ann Boone, who he would date on and off for years as the murders continued.

In August 1974, received a second acceptance from the University of Utah Law School and moved to Salt Lake City. There the murders didn’t stopped, including a hitchhiker in Idaho and four teenage girls in Utah.

While in Utah, he joined into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in 1975, Bundy was baptized. He was not an active participant in services and ignored most church restrictions, but this was a “perfect” cover for his murders.

On November of 1974, he tried to kidnap Carol DaRonch, an 18-year-old, but she escaped. He approached Carol at Fashion Place Mall and identified himself as “Officer Roseland” of the Murray Police Department and told her that someone had attempted to break into her car. He asked her to accompany him to the station to file a complaint. Carol tried to escape when saw that he was driving on a road that did not lead to the police station, he immediately handcuffed her. She was able to open the car door and escape. Latter on that day he murdered another girl.

On August of 1975, Bundy was arrested by a Utah Highway Patrol. Bundy fled a residential area at high speed after seeing the patrol car. When pulled over, police found a crowbar, face mask, rope, and handcuffs in his car. The detective Jerry Thompson remembered a similar suspect and car description from the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch

He was convicted of kidnapping and assault and sent to prison while police attempted to build further murder cases against him.

Despite the distance he was still dating Elizabeth Kloepfer my this time. When he got arrested, she contacted police with tips that he may be the one responsible for the horrific murders throughout the state.

In 1977, he escaped from the law library at the courthouse in Aspen, Colo. He was allowed into the library, without shackles, because he was serving as his own lawyer during his trial. He recaptured nearby after six days.

Six months after his first escape, he escaped again, through a crawl space in the ceiling he’d created with a saw. This time he was missing during 46 days and went down to Florida.

On January 15, 1978, two weeks after his escape, Bundy broke into a Chi Omega sorority house on the Florida State University campus, in Tallahassee. At the sorority he attacked Margaret Bowman, Kathy Kleiner, Lisa Levy, and Karen Chandler. Bowman and Levy died. After leaving the sorority house, he attacked another student, the 12 year old girl, Kimberly Leach was murdered.

A week later Kimberly murder, he was caught by police, who found physical evidence linking Bundy to the recent crimes, in a stolen car

On July 24, 1979, he was convicted of the Bowman and Levy murders, three counts of attempted first degree murder, and two counts of burglary.

The trial judge imposed death sentences. While on trial, he sabotaged himself by ignoring the advice of his lawyers and taking charge of his own defense.

After the final trial the jury took 15 minutes to get to the verdict. They called Ted Bundy “extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile”

Bundy was sent to the death row and came in and out several times. The sentence was about 10 years when he died in the electric chair on January 24, 1989 at 42 years old. His body was cremated and his ashes scattered at an undisclosed location in the Cascade Range of Washington State, in accordance with his will.

Before he died, he confessed to 30 homicides.

During his life Ted made around 30 victims (that are known). The count of murders is:

  • in Washington, 11 (3 unidentified)
  • in Utah, 8 (3 unidentified)
  • in Colorado, 3
  • in Florida, 3
  • in Oregon, 2 (both unidentified)
  • in Idaho, 2 (1 unidentified)
  • in California, 1 (unidentified)

When asked how many of his victims Ted remebered he said 10.

In 2019 the history of Ted Bundy’s atrocities will be talled in a movie and documentary series.

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes debuted on November 24 on Netflix, directed by Joe Berlinger. Through interviews with people who knew him in life, journalists, police officers and others, the documentary series reveals that he was, in fact, considered stranger in his teens. He had no idea how to interact with the girls and was more reserved. The series has more than 100 hours of audio interviews that the two journalists conducted with Bundy on the death row in 1980 — making room for the notorious serial killer to speak about her life and her unbridled desire to kill women.

Later on this year, the story of Ted Bundy debuts in theaters with Zac Efron as the feared serial killer. Directed as well by Joe Berlinger, the movie “Extremely Wicked, Beringer-directed Shockingly Evil and Vile”, tells the story of Bundy from the perspective of Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins), the psychopath’s girlfriend. In addition to Zac Efron and Lily Collins, the cast includes Haley Joel Osment and James Hetfield, lead singer of Metallica, playing Bob Hayward, the bus driver who arrested Bundy.

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Wanna know more about Ted’s live? Don’t forget to watch Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix”

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