Ted Bundy (Theodore Robert Cowell)
BiographyBurlington, Vermont, USA
Theodore Robert Bundy, more commonly known as "Ted", was one of the most prolific serial killers in America. He confessed to 36 murders, but nobody really knows how many had been committed or when he began his legacy of horror; the true total could be higher. Ted was born to Eleanor Louise Cowell and a father that had taken off when Eleanor discovered she was pregnant. Read more... she was his sister. It wasn't until 1974 when he realized that his mother had lied to him for so many years. He grew to be a handsome, educated and intelligent man who appeared to be well-adjusted and affable. Bundy even volunteered for a crisis telephone hot-line (where he met famed author Ann Rule who was also a volunteer) and had a steady relationship with a girlfriend, one that would fuel his maniacal rage after she left him. Ted was studying psychology at the University of Washington on January 31, 1974 when an attractive female student suddenly disappeared. Over the coming months and years, more disappearances followed. Ted's victims were generally young attractive women with dark hair parted in the middle. His modus operandi was to approach his potential victim feigning injury (for example, by wearing an arm-sling or a cast) ask them to help him carry his books or packages. He led them to a secluded area and when they were alone he would knock them on the head with a crowbar, stuff their bodies into his car, strangle them while they were unconscious and then rape the dead bodies (necrophilia). He would then leave the naked body in a wooded area, mostly Taylor Mountain in Washington State, where many of his victims were found. Along with countless other suspects he was questioned by the police but he initially came out clean because he just didn't seem to 'fit the mold' of a maniacal serial killer. Bundy then went to law school at Salt Lake City, Utah where he murdered a police chief's daughter on October 21, 1974. Another murder followed, and another young woman went missing in Bountiful, Utah. In January 12, 1975, killings eerily similar to the Utah murders began popping up in Colorado. On August 16, 1975 he was arrested for being in possession of burglary tools by Salt Lake City police. When his bronze Volkwagen beetle was searched they found handcuffs, stockings and a home-made mask. Bundy was identified from a police lineup by a woman who had narrowly escaped his clutches in November 1974. In January 1977 he was extradited to Colorado to be tried for murder. In June 1977 he fled the Pitkin County Jail by jumping out of an open window. He was captured 8 days later. He managed to escape again from the Garfield County Jail by sawing a hole in the ceiling of his cell on December 30, 1977. This time he traveled all the way to Tallahassee, Florida where he lived under pseudonyms including Christopher Hagen and Kenneth Misner. On January 15, 1978 he invaded the Chi Omega sorority on the Florida State University campus where he bludgeoned four girls and killed two. After he fled the Chi Omega sorority, he broke into the house of another woman and beat her severely before her worried roommates next door phoned the police. The young woman survived the attack. She would be his last living victim. On February 9, 1978 he kidnapped 12 year old Kimberly Leach, raped her and sliced her throat. Her body was found eight weeks later in a state park. On February 15, 1978 he was arrested by Pensacola police when they did a check on his license plates and realized his car was stolen. Teeth impressions were made to compare to bite wounds found on one of the Chi Omega victims and the impressions matched the teeth marks on the victim. Bundy conducted his own defense with the help of several attorneys but, of course, it was all for naught; he was found guilty and sentenced to death by electrocution in 1979. A decade later, when death was finally looking down on him, he began confessing to a staggering amount of murders, 36 in total, but some investigators believe that the real total could be higher. He was executed on January 24, 1989 at the Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida. Many spectators cheered and celebrated his death with champagne.