A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy
A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy

A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy

Patrick Lynch - May 3, 2017

A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy
Picture of Stephanie Brooks. YouTube

4 – His Victims Were Based On a Template of his Ex-Girlfriend

This fact doesn’t come as a surprise to those who study serial killers. It is common for these deranged individuals to choose victims based on a lost love or even a parental figure (usually the mother). When it comes to Bundy, the ‘template’ was his one-time girlfriend, Diane Edwards, more commonly known by the pseudonym Stephanie Brooks.

She was a fellow classmate at the University of Washington, and they started dating in 1967. At that time, Bundy had no real direction in life and soon dropped out of college and worked in a number of minimum wage jobs. Soon after, Brooks dumped Bundy and returned home to California. She did not want a relationship with someone who had no ambition and was immature.

Bundy had another tempestuous relationship (with Elizabeth Kloepfer) after that but he was heartbroken when Brooks left him. Ultimately, he appeared to turn his life around and returned to the University of Washington where he graduated with a degree in psychology. Bundy rekindled his relationship with Brooks in 1973, and she was amazed at his transformation from layabout into a serious and dedicated professional.

At that stage in his life, it appeared as if Bundy was destined for a fine legal and political career. After his graduation in 1972, he joined the reelection campaign of Washington Governor Daniel Evans. Although he only achieved average scores on Law School Admission Tests, Bundy was accepted into the law schools of the University of Utah and UPS. He gained admission mainly due to letters of recommendation from important people including Evans.

Bundy even discussed marriage with Brooks as their relationship blossomed, but one day in January 1974, he broke off all contact. Eventually, he coldly answered one call and hung up, never to speak to her again. According to Bundy, he never forgave Brooks for the initial break up and just wanted to prove that he could have married her. By now, Bundy had stopped attending law school, and women started to disappear.

All of his victims have a similar appearance to Brooks. They were all white females aged 15-25, college students from middle-class backgrounds and they all had long, straight dark brown hair with a parting down the center. Former police officer and crime writer Ann Rule worked alongside Bundy on numerous occasions, and there were plenty of opportunities for him to kill her. Fortunately for Rule, she did not resemble Brooks, so she was never a likely victim.

A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy
Bundy and Ann Marie Burr. Pinterest

5 – He Killed Earlier Than Originally Thought

Perhaps it is incorrect to include this as a ‘fact, ‘ but it seems extremely likely that Bundy began killing before 1974. Although he is believed to have killed over 30 women, Bundy once told a police officer to “Add one digit to that, and you’ll have it.” Maybe it is an idle boast, but Bundy had never revealed when he first started killing and offered various versions of his murderous spree throughout the course of his life.

There is a belief that he murdered Ann Marie Burr in 1961 when Bundy was just 14 years of age. As a child, he already displayed disturbing behavior which included sexual deviancy and animal mutilation. According to one family story, Bundy took knives from the kitchen and laid them around his aunt as she was sleeping; he was 3 years old at the time. While he was never a suspect in the kidnapping of Burr (who has never been found), Bundy did live close to the Burr home at the time.

Alas, DNA tests in 2011 did not reveal any evidence of Bundy as the perpetrator. He denied his involvement, and when the Burr family wrote to him before his execution, he replied and said he was a normal 14-year-old kid with no desire to hurt anyone. According to Burr’s family, however, Bundy actually knew Ann Marie, and the duo was on friendly terms. As a result, she would have no reason to fear him; this would make a kidnapping easy. In an interview with Keppel, Bundy said there were some crimes that even a serial killer would not admit to; one committed at a young age, one with a child victim and one committed close to home. Burr’s abduction and subsequent murder would fit all three criteria.

Matters aren’t helped by the fact that Bundy was a pathological liar. For example, he told a psychologist that he murdered women in 1969 but told someone else that his first killings didn’t happen until 1974. Bundy once said that the estimate of 35 victims was accurate yet on another occasion, he said it was over 100. Keppel believes the total was far higher than originally believed and says that while Bundy knows that, the killer doesn’t know how many victims died at his hand nor does he even know why he killed them. What we can say with a reasonable degree of certainty is that Bundy started killing long before 1974.

A Killer in Plain Sight: 6 Facts about Serial Killer Ted Bundy
Revellers outside Florida State Prison on the morning of Bundy’s execution. Gizmodo

6 – There Was a Party When He Died

It seems that no matter how crazy, evil or depraved someone is, there is always another person willing to overlook their flaws. In Bundy’s case, Carol Ann Boone choose to overlook the fact that he was on trial for a series of brutal murders. Ever the opportunist, Bundy took advantage of an unusual Florida law whereby a marriage declaration in court in the presence of a judge is a legal marriage. During the trial, he called Carol Ann Boone as a witness and married her on the witness stand.

Boone maintained that Bundy was innocent for a very long time and even gave birth to his daughter in 1982. When he was sentenced to death for the third time in 1980, Boone stood up in court and shouted: “Tell the jury they were wrong.” She stood by her man until he confessed to a number of murders. One theory says it was only at that point when she realized her mistake, so she decided to divorce him. Another possibility is that she was hurt by his relationship with a woman called Diana Weber. Boone even refused to accept his final pre-execution call.

In some cases, when a Death Row inmate is about to be executed, there is a group of people protesting outside the prison as they believe the death penalty is barbaric and wrong. In Bundy’s case, even the most vehement anti-death penalty protester would surely think twice about complaining? Certainly, there was something of a party atmosphere on the morning of January 24, 1989; the day that Bundy faced Florida’s electric chair, nicknamed ‘Old Sparky.’

By 6 am that morning, the roads that led to Florida State Prison were extremely busy as around 500 people gathered outside and held a celebration right around the time that Bundy was getting his head shaved. The brash and confident Bundy was now a complete wreck and refused his last meal of steak and eggs. Some people sold ‘smoked’ Bundy burgers outside while vendors sold t-shirts commemorating the event. Meanwhile, the psychopath wept and was apparently hysterical when led to the chair.

The electric current surged through him for about a minute, and smoke came up from his right thigh. Apparently, he died with a smile on his face. Once the people outside heard about his death, they started chanting and banging frying pans. Then there were fireworks. Finally, the monster had been removed from the Earth.

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