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Ted Bundy And His Crimes

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Intelligence is the key factor which drives the constant advancement that defines our country, the United States. Our nation is full of deeply intelligent, bright, talented and skilled individuals. These people have led to discoveries and technological advancements that have benefited the world in many ways. However, not all intelligence leads to a positive impact, and a clear example of this is Ted Bundy.

Theodore Bundy was a serial killer from the 1970s that committed violence, physical abuse, and crimes against women. He was born to Eleanor Louise Cowell, a 22 year old unmarried woman, in Burlington, Vermont on November 14, 1946. He was born at a home for unwed mothers, as his life started as a secret because it was unethical for his mother coming from a religious family to have a child before marriage. He lived there for 2 months, and his mother wanted to put him up for adoption but his father, Sam Cowell, decided it would be best to take him as part of Eleanor’s family, having Ted apparent to be Eleanor’s brother rather than her son. “However, in The Stranger Beside Me, Ann Rule notes that Bundy had told her he’d seen through the lie: ‘Maybe I just figured out that there couldn’t be twenty years’ difference in age between a brother and a sister, and Louise always took care of me. I just grew up knowing that she was really my mother.’, Biography states. Even if they tried to keep the truth about Eleanor to him, his common sense told him she was actually his mother. Him and his mother then moved to Tacoma, Washington when Ted was 6, where his mother married John Culpepper Bundy. John and Eleanor had 4 other children apart from Ted, so the transition from being an only child and having all the attention to being a sibling of 4 others was a big one for him. He grew up with a very violent grandfather which Ted might have experienced physical or psychological abuse from, strangely not affecting their relationship. Even as a child he would cause disturbance. At least once, his aunt was awakened by him putting knives along the outline of her body… something a child doesn’t quite do. When growing up he also became a Peeping Tom, spying on strangers, which again is something quite disturbing.

For many people, Bundy was categorized as a socially awkward person. Growing up, he lacked social skills, and was teased for having a speech impediment. Ted was an athletic boy, he grew up playing football, track, crosscountry and even baseball, but would never shower in the presence of the other boys in the team. His behavior went further on than just being socially awkward; he began having violent tendencies and doing illegal activity. He was part of the boy scouts, and one of his friends claimed that he would set up tiger traps so people would trip and fall; another time he went up to another of his friends from behind to hit him on the head with a stick. Some ways he began breaking the law were shoplifting, theft, and burglary. Apart from these details of his childhood, he still lived a very normal one; he had friends, a few but he had some, he would work, but he never had a girlfriend.

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After high school, Ted assisted college, which just aided him in becoming a serial killer. He attended many schools as an undergraduate, and the variety of schools gave him many opportunities on studying habits of women, which were his main targets. In his college career, he dated Stephany Brooks, a girl from California which had a mutual connection with Ted. She later broke up with him, which hurt him for a long time; it was seen that many of his victims later had a similar appearance to Stephany. He graduated with distinction from the University of Washington with a psychology degree, and then moved on to study law at the University of Puget Sound. His degree in psychology helped him understand ways on how to capture victims. Some ways Ted would abduct people was by putting on fake casts or crutches, and dropping things, as women would pick them up in sympathy for the “injured”, and he would also dress up as a police officer for most people obey authority figures. He was also helped by his physical attractiveness, charming voice and way of talking to women.

Ted Bundy’s first known murder, Lynda Ann Healy, was killed in February of 1974. “Disappeared Feb. 1, 1974, from her basement bedroom in Seattle. Body found (with Susan Rancourt, Roberta Parks, and Brenda Ball) in March 1975 on Taylor Mountain, 20 miles east of Seattle. Forensic indication: bludgeoned.”, shares Orlando Sentinel. All of those girls were sexually assaulted, decapitated, and their bodies were mutilated. It was also indicated that the bodies were engaged in necrophilic acts. Meanwhile, Bundy was studying law and working with the Republican party, which to officials, never made him a serious suspect.

Another of his victims was Melissa Smith, she disappeared on October 18, 1974 in Midvale, Utah.“Wounds indicated that she had been beaten on the head and strangled with a pair of her nylons. Acid phosphatase (an enzyme found in semen) was in her vagina. The pathologist believed that she had been dead 48-72 hours. Someone had freshly re-applied her make-up before her death. (James 1991, p. 249)”, explains Janet Mclellan. Melissa’s body was found 10 days later in a canyon in the Wasatch Mountains, a few miles from Salt Lake City. Ted Bundy’s actions were taboo in every way possible, but despite all of his atrocious crimes, there was no doubt of his intelligence.

There were several times when Ted Bundy was represented by himself when it came to court cases. When he murdered Caryn Campbell, a 23 year old nurse, he decided to use his knowledge on legal and law related events. Officials gave him permission to the law library because of his position as a lawyer, but when allowed to go to the court library during a pretrial, he jumped out of a window and escaped. He was recaptured eight days later in Florida, and in the span of eight days he managed to kill three women and hurt other three. He was put on trial in Florida and represented himself again, but this time this case didn’t go as he expected; Bundy was found guilty of three murders of two different trials and was sentenced to death. Although he had a great education, he never finished law school, which made his knowledge limited to certain topics and didn’t make him a great lawyer. Instead of carrying capital punishment, Ted Bundy turned down a plea deal with Florida prosecutors that resulted in a life sentence. He was put on death row and his execution was postponed for many years for an exchange of information about committed murders he had made in the past, but eventually his time was up, and Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair on January 24, 1989.

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Ted Bundy And His Crimes. (2021, October 04). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 30, 2023, from
“Ted Bundy And His Crimes.” Edubirdie, 04 Oct. 2021,
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Ted Bundy And His Crimes [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Oct 04 [cited 2023 May 30]. Available from:
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