Dorian Gray and Ted Bundy were both Serial Killers. But one is a Fictional Character and the other was a Real Person. Serial Killer, someone who commits a Series of Murders, most of the time with no single purpose and sometimes they do follow a predictable behavior pattern as one of their characteristics. “As explained by the FBI in a 2005 report on serial homicide, a serial killer selects victims based on availability, vulnerability and desirability.” In their mind, know whether to think/plan out their kill beforehand because let’s face it, in the world today, it is very difficult to just point out who is a serial killer and who isn’t. Which gives the serial killer a larger variety and selection of people when it comes to who they’ll target next. Someone involved in today’s topic, Ted Bundy has this to say about how he feels about people, “I’m as cold a mother*ucker as you’ve ever put your *ucking eyes on. I don’t give a *hit about those people.” This was said by one of, if not the most famous Serial Killer to ever walk on the planet. Based on that we can pretty much imagine how the majority of the serial killers view innocent people. A Serial Killer Profiler, Paul Harrison described the mind of a serial killer as, “that person’s on their own I’ll be in control and then all of a sudden it’s happened the victim has seen me, they know what I look like, so again snap judgment I’ve killed them nearly on the throttle the victim and it’s that kick that they get when they do that the power of a life and death.” That’s to make sure they won’t be seen or caught by the police for evidence for commiting a murder.
Theodore Robert Bundy, better known in today’s society as Ted Bundy, was born on November 24, 1946 in a town called Burlington in the state of Vermont. His mother was Eleanor Louise Cowell and his father’s identity hasn’t been revealed. In 1946, Louise faced limited options as she gave birth to Ted Bundy in an ‘unwed mother’ facility. As Ted grew up, she constantly told him that her parents, (Ted’s Grandparents) were his Mom and Dad and that she was his sister. In 1974 was when finally he realized that his mother Louise had lied to him all these years. From the time he was an infant till he turned four he was raised and brought up by his grandparents, Eleanor Cowell and Samuel Cowell. Ted’s last name was changed to Bundy when his mom and him moved to Washington where she got married to Johnnie Culpepper Bundy in 1950. Ted Bundy grew up to be a handsome, intelligent and Educated man who appeared to be very acceptable to look at. Before his mass murdering Spree of Young girls and women in 1974, he was in multiple relationships. Stephanie Brooks in 1967 where she put an end to the relationship a year later, Elizabeth Kloepfer in 1969 which happened to be his longest known relationship. But in the meantime, Ted was a student at the University of Washington Studying Psychology. The Fire finally Sparked on January 31, 1974 when an attractive female student at the same university suddenly disappeared. In upcoming weeks, months, and years, more disappearances of attractive female students followed. Ted’s victims were generally young good looking women with dark hair parted in the middle. It was the starting point of Ted Bundy commencing his killing spree. He brutally raped and murdered multiple young women in several states across the country. He was tied up to at least 36 murders, but some people thought he had committed about 100 or even more. His Final Arrest took place on February 15, 1978 where he was arrested and taken into custody by the Pensacola police department when they did a check on his license plates and realized the car that Ted was driving was in fact stolen. At court the officials did a Teeth Impression Scan on the Bite wounds found on one of the Chi Omega victims From Florida State University and the impressions matched the teeth marks on the victim as it was confirmed Ted Bundy was responsible for that murder as well. He was executed by being strapped to an electric chair and in the morning of January 24, 1989 at the Florida State Prison in Starke, he was pronounced dead at 7:16 am. Many people around the country cheered and celebrated his death with champagne. The shaman intelligence made him something of a celebrity during his trial, Ted Bundy’s case inspired many novels and films about serial killers.
From Nonfiction to Fictional, In the picture of Dorian Gray, we don’t really know too much about his past/background other than that he is a very good-looking young man. In the words of one of his best friend basil, “The merely visible presence of this lad, for he seems to me little more than a lad, though he is really over 20, it’s merely visible presence, ah!” (Basil CH.1). Also, Lord Henry’s aunt Lady Agatha had to say this about Dorian, “lady avatars she told me she had discovered a wonderful young man, who is going to help her in the east end, and that his name was Dorian Gray. He said that he was very Earnest and had a beautiful nature.” (Lady Agatha CH 1). One final Character in the book, Lord Henry, Perhaps Dorian Gray’s greatest ally and mentor said, “All the candor of youth was there, as well as all youth’s passionate purity. One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from the world. No wonder Basil Hallward worshiped him. He was made to be worshiped.” (Lord Henry CH 2). The three quotes stated above just shows that they viewed Dorian basically as a God and that there isn’t a single soul walking on the planet who could detrone this greatness. All just for a reason as simple as being such a good-looking human being. In addition, Dorian didn’t see himself much differently than how others viewed him. He knew his looks sparked a fire in any anyones’ eye that has ever seen him. But the spark grew more and more as Lord Henry has such a big Influence on Dorian’s change of behavior throughout the novel. This is portrayed when Basil realizes that Dorian before his eyes is totally different from the Dorian he captured in the painting years ago. Basil expressed his feelings to him by saying, “Dorian, this is horrible! Something has changed completely. You look exactly the same wonderful boy who, day after day, used to come down to my studio to sit for his picture. But you were simple, natural, and affectionate then. You were the most unspoiled creature in the whole world.” (Basil, CH 7) He lets Dorian know why he should stop being influenced so easily by Lord Henry by saying, “Now, I don’t know what has come over you. You talk as if you had no heart, no pity in you. It is all Henry’s influence. I see that.” Basil believes he is partly the reason that Dorian has turned into this Narcissist. So finally he expresses his regret to Dorian by saying “well, I am punished for that, Dorian – or shall be someday.” (Basil, CH 7). All in all, Dorian’s new narcissistic behavior led Basel to believe that he will be punished in the future for the fact that he revealed to Dorian his true beauty through the portrait.
The similarities between Ted Bundy and Dorial Gray are that they were both very good looking men and took advantage of their handsome and everyman appearance . The key fact that they were both “normal-looking,” social, and smart allowed them to attract people and play whatever role needed to trick their victims and of course those closest to both Dorian and Ted. Finally, the handsomeness of Ted Bundy led him to have “fans” even when he was on Death Row. His attractive appearance made him somewhat of a celebrity and he got the attention of a lot of female fans. One of his so-called fans had this to say about him, “He just doesn’t look like the type to kill somebody.” We can conclude that this is how he got so many victims to fall for his trap. It is a known fact that Ted Bundy kept changing his appearance to get away with things and keep the cops guessing whether it’s him or someone else. He went from Young Bundy, to a Clean-cut Bundy, to even “Normal” Bundy and many more different combinations and appearances. In the meantime, all of this chaos of police not being sure and only being able to guess if they have the right man, just helped him out and boosted his time even more to stay free and away from authorities. But he got caught and eventually Bundy gave up and pled guilty to his crimes just before being executed by electric chair in Florida, 1989. And now Dorian Gray on the other hand took his own life. He followed a very bizarre concept of the belief of immortality. After having his soul trapped within a painting of himself in The Picture of Dorian Gray thanks to Basil Hallward, Dorian gained immortality. He does not age whatsoever and it looked to be unaffected to any and every artificial Sickness, weaknesses, illnesses, and overall poor-health was not in Dorian’s life agenda after he trapped his soul. However, Once Basil starts to remind Dorian of the sins he’s managed to do since the portrait was painted, Dorian got very angry and showed a side of aggression toward Basil. The aggressive behavior led Dorian to stab Basil with a knife until he was dead. He believes Basil was the reason for his change of character and even after he’s dead Dorian just continued to blatantly blame Basil for painting the picture and reminding him of his sins. But eventually, Dorian realizes that he has committed multiple crimes and gotten away with them, but not entirely and still feels the guilt very much even after he just committed another crime. He lives with the fear of his picture eventually being unveiled to the people of London so then the public would know the truth about him and what kind of person he really is. This is stated in the book as, “It was his beauty that had ruined him, his beauty and the youth that he had prayed for.” (Wilde CH 20). To round up the novel Oscar Wilde portrays that reality will always break through to win the battle between Reality vs Appearance. Dorian thought that by destroying Basil’s painting the crimes and the sins would vanish from sight. He slashed the painting of himself with the same knife he used to kill Basil, but his plan takes a dramatic and backfires instantly as he stabbed the portrait, he unknowingly kills himself.
- “Ted Bundy.” IMDb, IMDb.com, www.imdb.com/name/nm0120421/bio.
- Harrison, Paul. A Serial Killer Profiler Explains the Minds of Murderers, VICE, 10 Dec. 2018, youtu.be/JbHg6U5DL0w.
- “Serial Murder.” FBI, FBI, 21 May 2010, www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder.
- Kettler, Sara. “Inside Ted Bundy’s Troubled and Disturbing Childhood.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 14 July 2020, www.biography.com/news/ted-bundy-childhood.
- Harfenist, Ethan. “How Did Ted Bundy Get Away With His Murders For So Long? With Good Looks, Friends And More.” Oxygen Official Site, 4 Feb. 2019, www.oxygen.com/martinis-murder/how-did-ted-bundy-get-away-with-murders-so-long.
- Mihalachi, Vlad. “Concept of Immortality in The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Medium, For Future Reference, 6 Oct. 2016, medium.com/vlad-mihalachi/concept-of-immortality-in-the-picture-of-dorian-gray-ec563e06af0.
- McMahon, Alle. “No, You Should Not Think This Serial Killer Is Hot.” ABC News, ABC News, 31 Jan. 2019, www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-01/ted-bundy-why-the-serial-killer-attracted-female-fans/10763676.