Ted Bundy One Of America’s Most Notorious Serial Killers

Ted Bundy: Rapist, Murderer, And Necrophiliac


Image courtesy of The Blast.

Kalani Shipley, Writer

Ted Bundy, born in Vermont and the son of Eleanor Louise Cowell. Ted’s father was unknown. Ashamed of Eleanors out of wedlock pregnancy, Ted’s grandparents raised him as their own child. Ted spent most of his childhood believing that his mother was his sister. His grandfather would regularly beat Ted and his mother, causing his mother to pack up their things and run away with Ted to live with cousins in Tacoma, Washington. When Ted was five years old Eleanor married hospital cook Johnnie Bundy, who would then adopt Ted, giving him the last name Bundy. Not more is known about Ted’s childhood, as he gave conflicting stories.
Ted graduated high school in 1965, and enrolled in the nearby University of Puget Sound, spending a year there before transferring to the University of Washington to study Chinese. Dropping out briefly in 1968, only to re-enroll as a psychology major. During his time out of school Ted visited the East Coast. This is likely the time Ted found out the woman he believed to be his sister was actually his mother. When back at the University of Washington, Ted began dating Elizabeth Kloepfer. Later Kloepfer would be one of the four people to report Ted to the police as a suspect in the Pacific Northwest murders. In 1973 Ted was accepted in the University of Puget Sound Law School. After only a few months Ted stopped attending classes.
January of 1974, the disappearances began. Ted’s first known attack was not a murder, but instead the assault of eighteen year old Karen Sparks, a student and dancer at the University of Washington. Ted had broken into Sparks apartment and bludgeoned her unconscious with a metal rod from Sparks bed frame. He then sexually assaulted her with the same object. The attack left Sparks in a ten day coma, and with permanent disabilities. Only a month after his assault on Sparks, Ted early in the morning broke into the apartment of Lynda Ann Healy and knocked her unconscious. Ted then clothed her body and put her in his vehicle. Healy was never seen again. Part of Healy’s skull was found years later at one of the locations where Ted would dump the bodies of his victims.
Ted continued to target female students in the area. Even developing a technique in which he would wear a cast or otherwise appear disabled and asked women to help him put something in his vehicle. Ted would then bludgen them unconcious before binding, raping, and killing them. Only to later dump their bodies in a remote location in the woods. Ted would then often times revist the locations of these bodies to have sex with the decaying corpses. He would sometimes decapitate his victims, keeping the skulls as trophies. “Murder is not just a crime of lust or violence,” he explained. “It becomes possession. They are part of you . . . [the victim] becomes a part of you, and you [two] are forever one . . . and the grounds where you kill them or leave them become sacred to you, and you will always be drawn back to them.”
The next five months Ted abducted and murdered five female Pacific Northwest students. These victims were Donna Gail Manson, Susan Elaine Rancourt, Roberta Kathleen Parks, Brenda Carol Ball, and Georgann Hawkins. As the manhunt continued, more witnesses had produced descriptions that matched Ted. Just as some of his victims bodies were being discovered, Ted had gotten accepted into a Law School in Utah, and moved to Salt Lake City. While living in Salt Lake, Ted continued to rape and murder young women, including a hitchhiker in Idaho, and four teenage girls in Utah.
Kloepfer had been aware of Ted relocating to Utah, and upon learning about the murders in that area, she called the police a second time to reaffirm her suspicion of Ted being the killer. Now there’s a mounting pile of evidence against Ted, and when Washington investigators had compiled their evidence, Ted’s name appeared at the top of the list. Ted unaware of law enforcement growing interest in him, he kept killing. Journeying to Colorado, from his home in Utah where he continued to kill.
In August of 1975 Ted was pulled over while driving through a Salt Lake City suburb, when police discovered masks, handcuffs, and blunt objects in Ted’s vehicle. Though this was not enough to arrest Ted, a police officer realized Ted was a suspect in the earlier killings, putting him under surveillance. Officers then found his Volkswagen Beetle, which he had since sold, where they discovered hair matching three of his victims. Using this evidence, police then put Ted in a lineup, where he was then identified by one of the women he had tried to abduct. Ted was then convicted of kidnapping and assault. He was sent to prison while police tried to build a murder case against him.
Being under arrest didn’t stop Ted from killing. He was then for the first time able to escape from custody twice. In 1977 Ted escaped for the first time from the Law library in Aspen, Colorado. Ted was serving as his own lawyer, so he had been allowed into the library during a break in his preliminary hearing. Being his own counsel meant he was unshackled. Ted saw his chance and he took it. Jumping from the library’s second floor window, Ted hit the ground running, disappearing into some trees before the guard had returned to check on him. Ted had planned to make his way toward Aspen Mountain, where he broke into a cabin and later a trailer for supplies. Resources were scarce and it wasn’t long before Ted decided to scrap his plan to vanish into the wilderness.
Back in Aspen Ted stole a car, trying to put distance between him and the jail cell he had fled. Police soon spotted Ted recklessly fleeing Aspen. Ted was then recaptured after six days of being on the run. Ted’s next escape took place from his jail cell just six months later. Carefully studying the map of the prison, Ted realized his cell was directly beneath the living quarters of the prison’s chief jailer. The rooms were only separated by a crawl space. Ted then traded with another inmate to get a small hacksaw. While his cellmates were either exercising or showering Ted would work away at the ceiling. Scraping layer after layer of plaster off the ceiling. The crawl space Ted made was very small. Ted deliberately lost weight to be able to fit in the crawl space. Ted planned out his escape this time, after his last attempt failed. He stowed away a small pile of money, smuggled to him by Carole Ann Boone, the woman who would later marry him while in prison.
When ready, Ted finished the hole and crawled through into the chief jailer’s room. Finding the room unoccupied, Ted switched out his prison uniform for a man’s civilian clothes. Ted then strolled out the front doors of the prison. This time Ted didn’t waste any time. He stole a car immediately, making his way for Florida. Ted tried keeping a low profile but Florida life was presenting unexpected challenges. As he was unable to provide identification, Ted was unable to get a job. Ted was then back to grifting and stealing for money. The compulsion for violence was simply too strong. January 15, 1978, only two weeks after Ted’s escape, he had broken into Chi Omega sorority house on the Florida State University campus. In the span of just fifteen minutes, Ted had already assaulted and killed Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy. Bludgeoning them with firewood and then strangling them with stockings. Ted then assaulted Kathy Kleiner and Karen Chandler, who both had suffered horrific injuries, including broken jaws and missing teeth.
He then broke into the apartment of Cheryl Thomas. Ted had beat Cheryl so bad she permanently lost her hearing. While still on the run on February eighth, Ted abducted twelve year old Kimberly Diane Leach from her middle school. Ted then murdered Kimberly, concealing her body on a pig farm. Once again Ted’s reckless driving had caught the attention of police. Police realized Ted’s plates belonged to a stolen car. When pulling Ted over police found the identifications of three dead women in the vehicle, linking him to the Florida State University crimes.
Ted then sabotaged himself by ignoring the advice of his lawyers and taking charge of his own defence. “I would describe him as close to being like the devil as anyone I have ever met,” said defense investigator Joseph Aloi. Ted was then ultimately convicted and placed on death row at Florida’s Raiford prison. He was finally executed by the use of the electric chair also known as “Old sparky” on January 24, 1989. Hundreds of people had gathered outside the courthouse to celebrate his death.