The Life of the Killer Ted Bundy

Subject: Law
Pages: 6
Words: 1524
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: College

Ted Bundy – His Life

Theodore Robert Cowell was born on 24th November 1946. His mother, Eleanor L. Cowell, at the time of his birth was aged 22 years and a single mother. In his childhood, Robert never knew his parents. He believed that his mother was his sister. Theodore’s mother got married to Mr. Johnnie Culpepper Bundy in the year 1951. This is when Ted assumed the sir name, Bundy. Ted Bundy performed well academically but he ended up as a serial killer.

Ted’s teenage years

Bundy grew up to be an attractive teen, and he was also well behaved. He did well academically and was liked by many. He enrolled in the University of Pugent after completing high school and continued to perform well. However, he was never comfortable around his peers who were wealthy. This made him transfer to the University of Washington during his sophomore year. Ted continued with the acute shyness throughout his high school and college years, and he always kept to himself.

At the University of Washington, Ted Bundy studied Psychology successfully. He was also involved in active politics by volunteering for the Republican Party. This was when he started to live a secret life where he assaulted and brutally murdered women who had similar appearances. Notably, 36 women in four states were reported to have been murdered by Ted. The actual number that he killed is not known. Many people believe that Ted started his murder spree in 1974.

The murdered women were attractive, with long and dark hair and resembled his college sweetheart with whom he had fallen in love with but later broke his heart when she ended the relationship. He usually used to beat his victims to death before sexually assaulting them. At that time, he had transformed into a brave young man. He even got a recommendation letter from Washington’s Republican governor and was accepted in Utah to Law school (Rippo & Aguilar 2007).

The criminal activities

Joni Lenz was among the few survivors who braved the attacks from the culprit. She was attacked by Bundy in early 1974. However, the sexual assault and beatings left her with massive physical damage and psychological trauma.

However, Lynda Ann Healy, a 21-year-old beautiful law student was not as fortunate. She disappeared on January 31st, 1974. However, her disappearance did not alarm the police. Other seven young women with similar appearances went missing following the incident. This forced the police to review the case. Two bodies were discovered later. They had disappeared on 14th July, and eyewitnesses reported having last seen them with a stranger named Ted. The stranger had a plaster on his arm and drove a Beetle VW.

In Utah, Bundy murdered four other women between October and November. One of them was found to be a local police officer’s daughter. A lot of effort was employed to track down the murderer. The Utah police realized that there was a similarity of the murders to the ones reported in the state of Washington. The victims had gone through rape, were sodomized and received trauma from a blunt object. The Utah police together with their colleagues in Washington developed an accurate image of the man “Ted” based on the accounts of eyewitnesses. Meg Anders, who was Bundy’s Partner, noticed that the description given by the police matched Bundy’s. She alerted them, but her allegations were not taken seriously owing to Bundy’s handsomeness and affable personality (Ted Bundy: The campus serial killer, 2008).

The police had their initial major breakthrough following Bundy’s failed attempt to abduct Carol DaRonch. The criminal accosted the victim in a shopping center in late 1974. The identity of the abductor was similar to Bundy. In addition, the blood sample that came as a result of his struggle with Carol was also matching. Later the same day, Bundy managed to kill another woman named Debby Kent.

In the next couple of months, no incident was reported. Nonetheless, what followed was the brutal murder of Caryn Campbell. The murder occurred in Colorado on 12 January 1975. The victim suffered rape, sodomy and trauma from a blunt force. Around this time, the police discovered a bone graveyard in a forest in Washington. A further search was done, and three more bodies were discovered. These bodies were later identified to belong to some of the women who had disappeared from Utah and Washington having succumbed to trauma from a blunt force. The discovery did little in bringing the police in the four states to get hold of Bundy (Sullivan, 2009).

His murder spree was brought to a halt On August 16 1975 when Ted was arrested. After conviction, Bundy was jailed for 15 years. However, after 2 years, Bundy was convicted, and he received a jail sentence of 15 years. Two years afterward, he was accused of murdering a Colorado woman. He acted as his own lawyer, and this gave him the freedom to make trips to the courthouse library. While here, he managed to escape by jumping out of a window. He was rearrested after 8 days. He did not stay in prison for long. In this case, he managed to escape once more and made his way to Florida where he murdered two more women. This was in December 1977. His crimes came to a dead end on 9th February 1978 when he held captive and killed a girl of twelve years named Kimberly Leach. He was arrested that same February. Bandy was convicted in July 1979 for two murders. He was handed a death sentence for each of the crimes. The following year, he was given another death penalty for Kimberly’s murder. Bundy spent years on trials trying to prove his innocence, but he met his fate on January 24th, 1989 at 7:00 AM on an electric chair.

Why he did it

The psychological makeup of an individual is affected by abuse in the early years of his or her life through physical and mental abuse. The person becomes corrupted. In this case, an individual may easily become a “serial killer”. Ted’s mother lied to him about his maternity and this made a great impact on his psychology. Through interviews, Ted blamed his actions on his early exposure to pornography.

The Trait Theory

The Trait theory mostly known as the Social Process of Violetization can best explain Ted Bundy’s actions. Lonnie Athens, a criminologist came up with this theory. He explains the four stages in this theory. The first phase is brutalization. During this stage, the victim is subjected to domination by a close family member. This stage is further divided into sub-stages. The first sub-stage is violent subjugation where the person in authority uses violence to gain respect or long-term control over the victim.

The victim becomes horrified as a result of exposure to violent subjugation leading to the 2nd sabotage known as Personal. This causes the victim to experience guilt and helplessness. The second stage of the trait theory is a belligerency. At this stage, the victim begins to realize the need to end the violation against them. The victim is made to see that at times violence is necessary for survival in the world. The victim also begins to realize the need to deal with those individuals who may want to provoke him. This can be achieved through emotive responses. The responses may include the use of violence. This greatly harms or even kills the person. In this stage, the victim is still contemplating the course of action to be taken. The culprit then settles him or herself to carry out the attack if seriously provoked. They are sure they can overcome their targets. This is when the victim commits their first violent act. This marks the end of this stage.

Vilurency is the final stage in this theory where the victim starts their acts of violence. This transforms the victim into a criminal. The acts of violence encourage the criminal and their courage is built as a result of the nature of the violent acts which are dehumanizing and scary. The criminal is capable of losing his confidence in this stage. However, if it continues, he moves to the end of the virulence stage by gaining the reputation of a crazy and dangerous individual as a result of the publication of their violent acts. The criminal becomes greatly impressed with himself and discovers the importance of “fame” even if it is negative in nature (Siegel, 2013).


Rippo, B. M., & Aguilar, A. (2007). The professional serial killer and the career of Ted Bundy: An investigation into the macabre ID-ENTITY of the serial killer. New York: iUniverse, Inc.

Siegel, L. J. (2013). Criminology: Theories, patterns, and typologies. Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

Sullivan, K. M. (2009). The Bundy murders: A comprehensive history. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Co.

Ted Bundy: The campus serial killer. (2008). S.l.: Filiquarian Pub.