30 or more? Terror of Ted | Sunday Observer

30 or more? Terror of Ted

The 1970s were a period of change in the US. People expressed themselves in ways that were not orthodox. One guy gave a whole definition to these extreme expressions and created a series of sensational serial murder that rocked media headlines. Movie buffs would have heard of Ted Bundy one of America’s most diabolic killers and his legacy of bloody murder. To this date his case remains a must read for students of criminal psychology. Theodore Robert Bundy was born on 24 November 1946, in Vermont at a home for unwedded mothers. His mother was Louise Cowell. Even as an infant Ted was subject to hatred and rejection as his mother is believed to have become pregnant by her own abusive father Samuel Cowell. So in reality Ted’s biological father was his own grandfather. His grandparents told innocent Ted that his mother was his” elder sister”, to hide their shame.

Living in the home of his grandparents young Ted had a somewhat quiet childhood. His world was ruined one day when he found out that his “elder sister” was actually his mother! Such a dark revelation would turn any child into an angry adult, with hatred towards a self-righteous society. Shortly Ted Bundy entered college, where he had no friends and was a loner. In 1972 he graduated from the University of Utah, during which time he had a relationship with Stephanie Brooks. Sometime later she rejected Ted, and this stirred his inner mind setting ablaze a hatred for women: he had been rejected and lied to by his own mother. Many believe that this was the “turning point into a life of murder and rape”. Handsome and charismatic Ted Bundy was a person with multiple personalities and women were attracted to him. Between 1974- 1978 he committed a series of 30 murders: for which evidence was recorded against him.

Ted Bundy made headlines as the FBI launched a nationwide manhunt for his arrest. He “hunted” his victims in the areas of Washington, Utah, Florida, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado and California. His young and beautiful victims were aged 15-25 years and were all white females. He often lured them into his car, a 1968 model Volkswagen Beetle. Sometimes he entered the rooms of his victims and beat them to death. Thereafter he committed sexual acts on their corpses. He was a calculated killer, and eluded police for a long time. Later it was found that he revisited the dead women and painted their fingernails and dressed them up in new clothes. Of his victims he decapitated the heads of 12 women and kept them at his home. He was initially arrested by Police for a traffic violation. Later he was arrested again but escaped on 2 occasions.

During his interrogation he told police various accounts of his evil deeds. It was then that police found out his unique gift: the ability to change his physical appearance, that people could never identify him. He exploited this trait to fool young women and rape them. He used other names such as Chris Hagen, Rolf Miller and Kenneth Misner. Even while in Florida Prison he got letters from many female fans. Psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis of New York University diagnosed him with APSD- Anti Social Personality Disorder with an intense sexual overdrive. He was not able to relate to people. He confessed that he killed the women ‘because I wanted to own them”. After a long and costly trial he was sentenced to death by electric chair on 24 January, he was aged 42 years. Attorney Polly Nelson said “Ted was the very definition of evil”. The police still believe that Ted killed more than 30 women: other bodies were never found so there was no hard evidence. How many women he killed will remain a mystery?