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Simran Srivastava


Myth vs. Facts: Who was Ted Bundy?

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2 months ago
2 months ago
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Ted Bundy (Theodore Robert Bundy) is one of the most infamous serial killers to have ever lived. He took pride in his corrupted status and loved the apparent glamour that came along with the media. He was well-known for his good looks and charming persona and was often defined as a chivalrous young man who didn't seem like a criminal at all.

1) His victim-count was estimated as a 3 figure number.


While Ted Bundy has only confessed to 30 counts of homicide, people have remained convinced that his actual victims could be recorded in hundreds. This was because of an off-hand comment Ted made while being interviewed by the FBI when they asked him if 36 was an accurate count and he’d responded by saying “add one digit to that and you’ll have it.”. There have been no proofs offered for the following and given his timeline, it is highly unlikely that he could’ve killed hundreds of people. But when he was suspected for various unsolved homicides, he told Keppel in 1987 that there were some crimes he wouldn’t talk of because they were too close to home or family which has further fueled this theory.

He confessed to 24 homicides on death row in hopes of delaying his scheduled death. He was also charged with various counts of Resisting Arrest, Assaulting a Police Officer, more than 60 counts of Auto-Theft, Burglary, Stolen ID Cards, 21 Stolen Credit Cards, Forgery and Identity Theft.


He also told his attorney Polly Nelson that the estimate of 35 was pretty accurate.



 (Sources: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05)

2) Ted carved his name onto the courtroom table during his trial in Orlando for Kimberly Leach.

In 1980, when Ted was being tried for the murder of Kimberly Leach, it has been speculated that he carved his name into a courtroom table. But he was tried in the courthouse annex, built next to the original courthouse (built in 1927) which is where the table resided. Lynn Thompson, the attorney who defended Ted said that he doesn’t remember visiting the old courthouse nor saw Ted carve something anywhere and he was with him the entire time.

It is unlikely that Ted had even seen the table, much less had a chance to carve into it. But still, the carving remains in the table with a protective cover on top of it, just in case it is legitimate.

(Sources: 01)

3) Ted Bundy's victims fall under a pattern of appearance.


The police determined a pattern behind his killings by concluding that he targeted women who were young, slender, beautiful, with dark brown hair parted at the middle and that they all shared these traits with his ex-fiancé, Diane Edwards (also known by the pseudonym Stephanie Brooks).


Ted himself stated that most of his victims were just victims of circumstance and he chose them because he found them physically appealing. Due to the black and white nature of most victim profiles, it may have been harder to understand. But not all his victims were brunettes and also varied by height. Most of victims didn't resemble Diane in the least. His break-up with Diane was extremely painful for him but is also wrongfully citied as a catalyst for his homicidal urges.


Ted may have had a preference for long hair since he used to get incredibly upset when his girlfriend, Elizabeth, would ever mention that she was thinking of cutting her long hair.

(Sources: 01)

4) He spent his time during Death Row in isolation.

His time in isolation during the Florida Trails (1979-1980) is often confused with the time he spent in Death Row.

In 1984, Ted Bundy was helping the FBI create a computer database which would help them analyse patterns of serial killers. He also offered insight on the way evidence in crime scenes could be arranged to throw off law enforcement teams. Through this database, the FBI caught various serial killers including Gary Ridgway.

He also conceived his only child, Rose Bundy with Carole Ann Boone. It was big news since the man incarcerated for killing several women, including a young girl somehow managed to get married and have a child of his own.

(Sources: 01, 02)

5) Ted Bundy's homicidal urges were impulsive.

As a child, Ted was exposed to graphic pornography which he later grew addicted to. He had a speech impediment which didn't help his social life. He also had a strange fascination with knives. People have suspected his crimes began when he was young, he had various temper outbursts and would prank his friends in ways that would harm them. He would get drunk at night and roam the streets, peering through the windows of various homes, in hopes of catching glances at women who were changing clothes.

It was said that he treated murder "like a sport" and he used to train for his killing sprees. He used to have "off-seasons" where he would pick up various women but let them go, just to freshen up his skills. To him, killing required practice just like baseball or cooking.

(Sources: 01, 02)

6) Ted Bundy was devoid of human emotion.

After the brutality the victims suffered, that is a statement that is definitely true but only partially so. One of the most strong personality traits that Ted harboured that threw everyone off was his helpful nature. He'd saved a dozen lives working at a suicide prevention hotline, he used to volunteer at political rallies and aimed to become a politician himself, he also rescued a 3 year old boy from drowning in Seattle's Green Lake in 1970.

When we look into the various interactions he had with his psychiatrists and psychologists, we can understand that Ted was severely mentally ill. In 1968, Marilyn Fieldman said that he lacks any core experience of care and nurture or early emotional sustenance and was suggestive of a depressive disorder. In 1989, Dr. Dorothy Lewis identified symptoms of Bipolar (Manic-Depressive) Disorder in him. He was also suspected to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (psychopathy).

Al Carlisle, a psychologist at Utah State Prison, often said that Ted was a very bright young man who could've done a lot of good things but due to his lack of support system and troubled life, his mental condition gradually worsened and sent him down the wrong path.

But his mental illnesses don't excuse any of his actions.

(Sources: 01, 02)

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