The 1970s was one of the most terrifying decades for America, the most notorious and dangerous serial killers ran wild during this decade. One gripping serial killer that made everyone’s stomach twist at the call of his name was Theodore Bundy. Bundy was very different from everyone else in a strange and dark way. The man with the world at his fingertips; He was smart, outgoing, and handsome, but behind the disguise was an absolute nightmare. Theodore Bundy was the epiphany of true evil, killing many young women in the 1970s, causing a public uproar that led to his execution in 1989 and justice for the victims of the devil himself.
On November 24th, 1946 in Burlington, Vermont, Eleanor Cowell gave birth to who no one knew at the time would become the most threatening serial killer of all time. Theodore Bundy never had an easy life. Bundy never had the chance to know who his real father was. His mother married a man who went by the name of Johnnie Bundy in 1951. As Ted Bundy grew up he lived with his grandparents; he was told that his mother was his sister. In those times, not having a father was rather odd. Theodore was bullied and ridiculed in his early school years. The Biography of Ted noted that from a very young age Ted Bundy was always intrigued with knives and darker materials. Bundy from the exterior looked like any normal young boy, however, he was fighting his own demons inside.
Ted Bundy graduated from the University of Washington in 1972 with a degree in Psychology. After Bundy graduated in 1972, he was looking to further become a lawyer by attending law school in Utah, however, the beginning of his serial killer ways arose and he would never finish law school. While Theodore attended the University of Washington according to The Biography of Ted Bundy, he dated and fell completely in love with everything he wanted in life. This woman was beautiful, had money, class, and influence. Bundy fell in love with her and the materialistic things she owned in her life. Ted Bundy was destroyed after their breakup. Many victims of Bundy had similar features to his ex-lover.
January 1974 was the beginning of a true nightmare. The rampage of the devil had begun. Early beginning of January, Theodore Bundy killed his first victim, Karen Sparks. Karen Sparks was an eighteen-year-old student at the University of Washington. He broke into her apartment while she was sleeping and beat her with a rod. He sexually assaulted her and eventually killed her that night. The very next month Theodore Bundy struck on a very well-known young woman in the community. Lynda Ann Healy, 21, lived in the University District of Seattle, where the main campus of UOW was located. Lynda Ann Healy did the daily ski report on the radio. He abducted her and then strangled her to death. The sad body of Lynda Ann Healy “was later found on Taylor Mountain outside, located about 25 miles outside Seattle”(Canning, 5). Theodore Bundy killed many women in Washington and Utah. He began killing young college women left and right.
Ted Bundy murdered around 36 women that we know of. There have been rumors and investigations that prove he in fact killed way more women than anyone thinks. Not just a serial killer, Bundy saw himself as an actor playing a role. That is exactly what Ted Bundy did. At first glance, a lot of women thought he was very attractive and it drew them to him immediately. Ted Bundy was known for driving the same yellow Volkswagen Beetle. Bundy most times would dress himself up to look injured and ask women for help. He would be charming and trusting to these women. He knew how to lure the women in. Detectives, who were receiving hundreds of tips a day, dismissed the suspicions, thinking that a law student could not possibly be the perpetrator. Theodore Bundy was truly conveying. He would lure women to his car then sadly sexually assault them and kill them. His charming ways toward everyone even helped him escape. Theodore Bundy was on the FBI’s Most Wanted List and yet he was still able to escape from jail twice. In jail, he was able to build trust with outsiders, gaining a legion of women who fell in love with him. Theodore Bundy was very intelligent with how he could talk to people. He was very confident in himself and knew how to play his own game.
Theodore Bundy escaped court two times. In 1977 police finally started to link Theodore Bundy to crimes. On the night of his capture, Bundy was driving his Volkswagen Beetle. The police pulled him over and asked him to search his car. In the Biography of Ted, they bring up what they found in Theodore Bundy’s vehicle,” The following year, he was pulled over by crowbar, a face mask, rope, and handcuffs”(A&E Television Networks, 13). Theodore Bundy was then linked to the Murder of Caryn Campbell. Ted Bundy was charged with first-degree murder. He was then transferred from Utah to jail in Aspen, Colorado to hold a trial. Bundy eventually was allowed to assist in his own defense, he had the right to use the library whenever he wanted. On June 7, 1977, Ted Bundy jumped from the second-story window of the Pitkin County Courthouse with the motive to escape. He ran for the mountains and made his first official escape. He was captured eight days later. In December Bundy escaped from prison yet again, he climbed out of a self-made hole in the ceiling of his cell, having dropped more than 30 pounds to fit through the small opening. The authorities did not discover that Bundy was missing for 15 hours, giving the serial killer a big head start on the police. On that last escape, Bundy made his way to Tallahassee Florida on January 14, 1978. He broke into the Chi Omega Sorority house and attacked four of the young female residents, killing two of them. On February 9 Bundy kidnapped and murdered a 12-year-old girl named Kimberly Leach.
Ted Bundy was not able to kill all of his targets. However, the ratio of him successfully murdering the poor victims to failing was very drastic. There was a survivor of the devil in the 1970s. Carol DeRonch was eighteen at the time and despite hearing all the rumors about a serial killer, wasn’t afraid to go in public alone. On November 8th, she drove herself to the mall and entered a bookstore. Shortly after arriving at the mall, she was approached by a police officer or so she thought. He seemed like any other officer. The police officer warned her that someone had tried to break into her car. Carol DeRonch noticed all of the signs were there; he had smelled like alcohol, he was driving a bug instead of a patrol car, and there was nothing missing from her car. However, the 1970s were a different time and since he had a realistic badge, she decided to trust him. DeRonch followed him and got into his car. Carol felt eerie the whole time and noticed things were going south until he was pulled over by an elementary school. She noticed that the handles on the passenger side were easily accessible. Carol began to panic and he cuffed one of her wrists to the handle inside the car, holding her at gunpoint, and threatened to kill her. Carol DeRonch stated that she “ had never been so frightened in her entire life …whole life went before my eyes”( Mederios, 5). Carol fought with every dying breath and finally ran away from the monster.
Bundy’s final act on the run was a high-speed chase in Pensacola, Florida. He was in a stolen vehicle, with 21 stolen credit cards, that marked the end of his murderous crimes. The most crucial evidence that helped connect Bundy to the two Chi Omega murders at FSU, was bite marks on one of the victim’s bodies. They were a definitive match to Bundy’s. In July 1976, he was convicted for the two society murders at FSU and was given the death penalty twice. He received another death sentence in 1980 for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Ted Bundy’s death and execution was a famous, national event for onlookers outside the prison gates and millions of viewers watching from home. “Burn, Bundy, Burn!” adorned protest signs and comprised the chants of hundreds. After nine years in the Florida State Prison, on January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was put to death by the state of Florida. Within minutes, two thousand volts surged through the wires. Bundy’s body tensed and his hands tightened into a clinch. The most notorious killer was dead.
Theodore Bundy was one of the most notorious killers in American History. On the outside, he may have been a charming, attractive, and intelligent man, but on the inside, was a terrifying world. He defined darkness. Theodore Bundy was the epiphany of true evil, killing many young women in the 1970s, causing a public uproar that led to his execution in 1989 and the justice for the victims of the devil himself.