Serial Killer Profile: Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 and through his life as a serial killer became one of the best known criminals in American history. In fact, his crime profile is so well known that Ted Bundy is nearly a modern day byword for serial killer.
To most people Ted Bundy came across as handsome, well educated and respectable. However, the outward appearance was masking the grisly truth about Ted Bundy. Ted Bundy's life of crime started before he left high school when he became a shoplifter and a thief. It was also at a young age that Ted Bundy started to take a strong interest in images that mixed sex and violence.
Although Ted Bundy may have been killing people earlier, the first serious attack Ted Bundy can be definitively attributed to took place in 1974 when he was 27 years-old. On January 4 of that years at shortly after midnight, Ted Bundy let himself into the bedroom of the 18 year-old student, Joni Lenz. Once in the bedroom Ted Bundy bludgeoned her with a crowbar while she was sleeping before taking a steel rod for her bed frame and using it to sexually assault her. Amazingly Joni Lenz survived the attack but she was left with permanent brain damage.
On January 31, 1974, Ted Bundy once again broke into the bedroom of a female student. This time it was the bedroom of Lynda Ann Healy. Her decapitated remains were found a year later.
Between the period of January and June of 1974, Ted Bundy went on a killing spree in the state of Washington that saw him murder at least eight women. That spree ended when he daylight abductions of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund.
Ted Bundy then moved from Washington to Salt Lake City, Utah where he started attending law school and also started to kill again. Nancy Wilcox disappeared on Oct. 2. On Oct. 18, Bundy murdered Melissa Smith, the 17-year-old daughter of Midvale police chief Louis Smith. Bundy raped, sodomized, and strangled Smith. Her body was found nine days later. Laura Aime, also 17, disappeared on Halloween. Her remains were found nearly a month later, on Thanksgiving Day, on the banks of a river.
On November 8, 1974, Ted Bundy tried to attack and kill Carol DaRonch but she escape and instead he abducted Debbie Kent, who was attending a school play in Bountiful, Utah, a few hours later. Debbie Kent was never seen again.
Ted Bundy then started carrying out his attacks in Colorado. Caryn Campbell disappeared from Snowmass, Colorado, on January 12 and her body was found on February 17. Julie Cunningham disappeared on March 15, and Denise Oliverson on April 6. Lynette Culver went missing in Pocatello, Idaho on May 6. Ted Bundy then went back to Utah, where he was still in law school and Susan Curtis vanished on June 27.
On August 16, 1975, in Salt Lake City, Ted Bundy was arrested when he failed to stop his car for a police officer. When the police search Ted Bundy's car they found items that appeared to them to be burglary tools. Ted Bundy was arrested for that and Utah police then connected Bundy and his Volkswagen with the DaRonch kidnapping and with the murdered and disappeared women in Utah and Colorado. Ted Bundy was convicted of DaRonch's kidnapping on March 1, 1976. He was sentenced to 15 years in Utah State Prison.
At the same time Colorado was working on the charges relating to the crimes that took place in their state. On June 7, 1977, Ted Bundy was transported to the Colorado courthouse. While the court was on break, Ted Bundy was given permission to visit the library within the courthouse. Ted Bundy then jumped out of a second-story window and escaped from the courthouse. He injured his ankle in the fall and wasn't able to move too far out of the area and was recaptured the next week. However, Ted Bundy managed to escape again while he was waiting for his trial to start. He had somehow obtained a hacksaw and used it to slowly saw a hole in the ceiling of his cell. On December 30, 1977, Ted Bundy climbed out of the hole and right out the front door of the lockup. Apparently, the jailer had the night off. Ted Bundy stole a car from the parking lot and made his escape.
Ted Bundy made his way to Florida. When he reached Florida he started killing again in January of 1978 when he entered the Florida State University Chi Omega sorority house and beat Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman to death and seriously injuring two others. On February 9, 1978, Ted Bundy abducted and murdered 11-year-old Kimberly Leach.
In the early hours of on February 15, 1978, Ted Bundy was stopped by Pensacola, Florida, police officer. The officer ran his plate on the stolen car he was driving and Ted Bundy was eventually identified and and sent to Miami to stand trail for the murder he committed in Florida.
Ted Bundy decided to represent himself at the trial and turned the court into his own theater which included conducing his own sort of marriage ceremony to Carole Ann Boone during the trial. Ted Bundy was convicted and sentenced to death. While on death row, Ted Bundy also confessed to a further eight murders that had been previously unsolved.
Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair at 7:06 a.m. on January 24, 1989 and was pronounced dead a 7:16 a.m.
Ted Bundy's known murder victims are:
* 1973: Unknown hitchhiker (May)
* 1974: Lynda Healy (Jan. 31), Donna Manson (March 12), Susan Rancourt (April 17), Roberta Parks (May 6), Brenda Ball (June 1), Georgeann Hawkins (June 11), Janice Ott, Denise Naslund (both on July 14, at Lake Sammamish State Park), Unknown hitchhiker (Sept.), Nancy Wilcox (Oct. 2), Melissa Smith (Oct. 18), Laura Aime (Oct. 31), Carol DaRonch (Nov. 8, escaped and survived), Debbie Kent (Nov. 8, a few hours after DaRonch escaped)
* 1975: Caryn Campbell (Jan. 12), Julie Cunningham (March 15), Denise Oliverson (April 6), Melanie Cooley (April 15), Lynette Culver (May 6), Susan Curtis (June 28)
* 1978: Margaret Bowman,
Lisa Levy, Karen Chandler (survived), Kathy Kleiner (survived) (all
on Jan. 15, the Chi Omega sorority killings), Cheryl Thomas (Jan. 15,
immediately after the Chi Omega killings, survived), Kimberly Leach