Thursday, November 15, 2012

Serial Killer of the Week Part One - Ted Bundy

 Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy

Ted Bundy, born Theodore Robert Cowell to Louise Cowell in November 1946, grew up believing that his grandparents were his parents, and that his mother was his sister. In 1951, he and his mother moved from his grandparents home in Burlington, Vermont to Tacoma, Washington where Louise married Johnnie Bundy, a military cook. 

It wasn't until his college years and a bad breakup that he discovered the truth about his grandparents and mother. Whether it was the this revelation or the breakup that caused his sudden change, only Bundy knows, but he changed after that, exhibiting a false bravado. He went back to Stamford, excelled in his major and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology.

Soon after college, Bundy became involved with Elizabeth Kendall*, a divorcee with a young daughter. She fell in love with Bundy, and despite the fact that she suspected he was seeing other women, she stayed with him. Bundy was not open to marriage, though he allowed the relationship to continue even after reuniting with his first love.

Bundy began his killing spree in 1974. Young women began disappearing from college campuses around Washington and Oregon. His first victim, 21 year old Lynda Ann Healy was a college radio announcer. In July 1974, Bundy approached two coeds and asked if they would help with his sailboat, however they refused. Later that day, two young women were seen leaving with him and were never seen alive again.

In the fall of the same year, Bundy moved to Utah and enrolled in the law school at the University of Utah. In November, Bundy, dressed as a police officer attacked Carol DaRonch at a Salt Lake City mall. She managed to escape and provided police with a description of her attacker, as well as the car he was driving. She was also able to provide them with a blood sample that had gotten on her jacket during the struggle. Within a few hours of the attack on DeRonch, 17 year old Debbie Kent disappeared.

While Bundy was on his killing spree in Utah, in the mountains of Washington State, hikers stumbled across a grisly burial ground of bones. These would later be identified as the bones from women missing from both Washington and Oregon. Working in conjunction, detectives from both States put together a profile, as well as a composite sketch of the man named "Ted", a man who would at times approach women appearing helpless by using crutches or wearing a fake cast. In addition to this, they also had a blood sample and the description of his vehicle.

After authorities in Washington and Oregon were informed about the murders in Utah, they put together a profile of Bundy's victims. They were all white, thin, single and wore their hair long, parted in the middle. They were also all abducted during the evening hours. The bodies found in Utah all exhibited blunt force trauma to the back of the head, and all had been raped and sodomized. It was at this point that authorities knew that they were dealing with a serial killer.


*The pseudonym she used when she wrote "The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy"

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