On the face of it, Ted Bundy presented as the perfect young man. Well-spoken and good looking, he was a law student who even worked on a suicide prevention phone line.
But in reality, he was a twisted monster who butchered at least 36 young women and girls in one of the bloodiest killing sprees in history.
He was only caught and caged when his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall gave Bundy’s name to police and was executed 32 years ago today.
Elizabeth told her side of the story in Amazon documentary, Ted Bundy: Falling For A Killer last year.
For years in the 1970s, Bundy targeted young women and girls. Raping, killing them and then dumping their bodies.
In one final sick insult to those he had murdered, he would often return to where he had abandoned the bodies and have sex with their corpses.
Bundy only stopped this final indignity when the body became too decomposed or had been eaten by animals.
He would also collected several of his victims’ heads as sick trophies and would perform sex acts on them after covering them in make-up.
In a further gruesome confession, Bundy even admitted to eating parts of his victims’ bodies so he could “possess” them and they would become part of him.
The killer claimed he was addicted to murder, saying: “You feel their last bit of breath leaving their body. You’re looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!”
Bundy was finally arrested, tried and sentenced to death.
He was executed by electric chair on January 24, 1989 and following his death, scientists were determined to find out what had turned this seemingly upstanding citizen into a monster.
Bundy’s brain was removed and a series of experiments carried out to determine why he had carried out his horrific crimes.
Certain brain injuries have been linked to criminality by some researchers.
And Bunday had told the detective who was instrumental in bringing him to justice that when he felt the urge to rape and kill, it was like a “chemical tidal wave washing through his brain”.
He compared it to being addicted to drugs.
But when scientists examined Bundy’s brain, it was found to be totally normal, with no legions, injuries or deformities.
His body was then cremated and Bundy’s final wish was honoured, with his ashed scattered on the same mountain where he had dumped several of his victim’s bodies.
His reign of terror had begun in 1974 when he broke into the basement of an 18-year-old student, beat her and sexually assaulted her with a metal rod.
She was left in a coma for 10 days and suffered with her brain injury for the rest of her life.
Bunday had no previous criminal record. but just a month later he committed his first murder.
He broke into another student’s flat, Lynda Ann Healy, knocked her out, dressed her and carried her out to her car.
She was never seen again but a partial fragment of her skull was found in the place where Bundy dumped many of his bodies.
He preyed on the kindness of many of his victims, donning a fake leg or arm cast, and asking them to help him carry something to his car.
Then, he would bludgeon them until they were unconscious before raping, killing and them dumping them.
Long before he was finally captured, several women came forward to say they had been approached by ‘Ted’.
Three women, including one of his ex-girlfriends, even pointed the finger directly at Bundy, but police didn’t believe his claims because he was such an upstanding member of society.
Bundy was accepted into law school and moved to Utah but his thirst for violence only increased.
He picked up a hitchhiker, who he raped, strangled and then dumped in a river, before returning to her body the following day to take snap shots and dismember her.
Bundy raped and strangled 16-year-old Nancy Wilcox in Salt Lake City and buried her body.
The 17-year-old daughter of a police chief, Melissa Anne Smith, was abducted by Bundy as she left a pizza parlour.
Her body was found nine days later, with a postmortem indicating she may have remained alive up for to a week following her disappearance.
Bundy seemed to view murder as a sport and even admitted he had an “off season” where he would pick women up to keep his skills sharp and then free them.
He seemed to take just as much pleasure in running rings around the police with what he believed was his far superior intelligence.
In 1975 he was arrested for kidnapping Carol DaRonch, one of the few who survived his attacks, and jailed for 15 years.
But just two years later, while acting as his own lawyer after being indicted over the death of a Colorado woman, he jumped out of the jailhouse library window and disappeared.
He was caught eight days later but in December the same year, 1977, he climbed out of a hole in the ceiling of his cell and fled to Florida.
What came next was truly horrifyig.
Bundy broke into the Chi Omega sorority at Florida State University and raped and killed four women in just 15 minutes in January 1978.
He battered Margaret Bowman to death with a chunk of firewood then stranled her with a stocking.
Next, he beat and strangled 20-year-old Lisa Levy before sexually assaulting her with a bottle, ripping one of her nipples and leaving a deep bite in the flesh of her buttocks.
He then bludgeoned death two other students, Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner, who were sleeping in an adjoining bedroom.
His last known killing was 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, who his kidnapped from school, raped, murdered and then dumped her body under a pig shed.
A few days later Bundy was finally arrested because his Beetle was stolen.
After confessing to 36 murders, Bundy was jailed and it has been reported that he was repeatedly raped by four men while he waited for execution on death row.
When the day of his execution came there were huge crowds outside, screaming ‘burn, Bundy, burn’.
He was put to death in the electric chair.
Eleanor Rose, the mother of one of his victims, Denise Naslund, said: “For everything he did to the girls – the bludgeoning, the strangulation, humiliating their bodies, torturing them – I feel that the electric chair is too good for him.”
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