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.