“The Angel of Decay” – Ted Bundy
“What’s one less person on the face of the earth, anyway?”
The American rapist and serial killer Ted Bundy was one of the most infamous criminals of the 20th century. Everybody knows the name Ted Bundy. The well-known serial killer has evoked disturbing images of his woman victims. But he was not famous because of the number of victims. Ted Bundy‘s ability to fascinate an audience was his most dangerous weapon.
Born as Theodore Robert Cowell on November 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vermont, Ted Bundy never knew his father. It is believed that his mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, had an adventure with Air Force veteran and salesman named Lloyd Marshall.
For the first three years, Bundy lived in Philadelphia with his maternal grandparents. Bundy always spoke warmly of his loving grandparents, and he always identified himself with his grandfather, Samuel Cowell. In 1987 it was found that his grandfather was a tyrannical bully who hated blacks, Catholics, Jews, and Italians, and who regularly beat his wife and their family dog.
In 1950 he and his mother left Philadelphia to live with some cousins in Tacoma, Washington. In 1951 Louise fell in love with Jonny Culpepper Bundy, a hospital cook, after an adult singles night at The First Methodist Church. Later that year they got married, and so Ted Cowell became Ted Bundy.
Ted’s studies and love life
Ted Bundy graduated high school in 1965 and spent a year at UPS (University of Puget Sound) before transferring to UW (University of Washington) in 1966. During his time at UW, he became romantically involve with a classmate, Stephanie Brooks.
Bundy later dropped out of school and, in 1968, worked as a minimum-wage employee. In 1970 he re-enrolled at the University of Washington and became an honor student. Bundy graduated in 1972 from UW and joined Governor Daniel J. Evens for his reelection campaign. In 1973, despite obtaining mediocre law test scores, Bundy was accepted at the University of Utah and UPS with the help of the recommendation letters sent by Evans and Bundy’s former UW psychology professors.
In the summer of 1973, Ted Bundy rekindles his lost relationship with Brooks, who is captivated by his transformation into a dedicated professional. They were together for a year. Bundy even presented her as a fiancé, but in 1974 he abruptly broke everything off without explanation. Later Brooks concluded that all this was just a game for him that was deliberately planned as vengeance for the 1968 breakup.
He slowly started skipping classes at the university and by April he stopped going entirely. At the same time, women were starting to disappear in the Pacific Northwest.
“I’m the most cold-hearted son-of-a-bitch you’ll ever meet.”
The first murders
There is no exact date on where and when Bundy began its killing spree. He always told different stories to people and refused to confess the specifics of his first crimes, although he divulged in graphic detail dozens of later murders.
Around 1972 many women from Oregon and Seattle started to go missing. Stories circulated about when the victims were last seen and that they were in the company of a dark-haired, young man known as “Ted”. Bundy was often luring his victims to his car by pretending to have an injury and asking for help. Unfortunately, their kindness was a fatal mistake.
In the fall of 1974, he moved to Utah to attend the law university. At the same time, women started disappearing in his area. In 1975 Bundy was pulled over by the police who discovered a set of burglary tools, a crowbar, rope, handcuffs, and a face mask. He was then arrested because of the tools and slowly the police started linking him to other more sinister crimes.
In 1975, Ted Bundy was arrested for the kidnapping of Carol DaRoch. Carol was one of the few women who ever escaped his clutches. He was convicted for a 1-15-year jail sentence in this case. Two years later he was found guilty of the murder of a young Colorado woman.
During this trial, Bundy decided to act as his own lawyer, but during a trip to the courthouse library he jumped out a window. He was recaptured eight days later.
The final crimes
In 1977, Ted Bundy escaped again by climbing out a hole he made in his cell. The guards of the prison did not realize he was gone missing for 15 hours, giving Bundy a big head start. He managed to travel to Tallahassee, Florida, and on one night in January 1978 he broke into the Chi Omega sorority house from Florida State University. There Bundy attacked four female residents, managing to kill two of them.
In February 1978, Ted Bundy kidnapped and murdered his last victim, a twelve-year-old girl named Kimberly Leach. He was soon after pulled over by the police and imprisoned.
Conviction and capital punishment
In July 1979 Bundy received two sentences for the murders at the Chi Omega sorority house. One of the most damning evidence was a bit mark from one of the dead girl’s body. For this case, he received the death penalty. Soon after, he received another death sentence for the murder of Kimberly Leach.
Ted Bundy fought for his life as hard as he could, spending years and year appealing his death sentence. He even offered to divulge information on some unsolved murders, just to avoid the electric chair. But in the end, he could not evade justice forever.
On January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was put to death at 7 a.m. in an electric chair known as “old Sparky”. Many people came to cheer for the execution of Ted Bundy. Before his death, he admitted to no more than thirty-six killings, but specialists believe that the final number should be closer to one hundred.
Ted Bundy, one of the most heinous men that ever lived, still eludes the public. His life is the subject of countless documentaries and books that try to bring light on his vicious killings.
“We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow.”
About the Author: Ruxandra Burcescu
Being born in the land that gave birth to Prince Vlad Tepes (you may know him by the name of Dracula) shapes you. I grew up with myths, legends, and stories that many people believe to be true. And so do I as a matter of fact. That’s why I combined my two great passions – writing and seeking the extraordinary.
I am an avid hunter of secrets and legends, and I travel to discover mysterious and fascinating places that inspire me to offer you more than articles – to provide you with the means to see through my eyes and experience goose bumps as you read about the unknown lurking in the shadows.
Besides paranormal, mysteries and legends, I also like red wine, snowflakes, and burgers. Yep, we all need our passions, so I am still seeking for the burger-man who lives in Antarctica and has a cellar full of spicy, 100-years red wine bottles. But, in the meantime, I discover exciting places filled with mystery and reveal them to you. Enjoy!