Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy (November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped, and murdered numerous women and young girls during the 1970s and possibly before. After more than a decade of denial, he confessed to 30 murders committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978. The true number of victims is unknown and could be much higher.

Bundy was considered handsome and charismatic, traits he used to gain the trust of his victims and society. He would typically approach his victims in public places, pretending to be injured or disfigured, or posing as an authority figure, before stunning them and driving them to their next location to rape and strangle them. He sometimes revisits his victims, grooming and engaging in sexual acts with their decomposing corpses until decomposition and destruction by wild animals makes further interaction impossible. He decapitated at least 12 victims and kept some of the severed heads as mementos in his apartment. On several occasions, he broke into residences at night and beat his victims while they were sleeping.

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy
Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy

In 1975, Bundy was arrested and jailed in Utah for kidnapping and attempted criminal assault. Then he becomes a suspect in a growing list of unsolved murders in several states. Facing murder charges in Colorado, he engineered two dramatic escapes and carried out further attacks in Florida, including three murders, before finally being re-arrested in 1978. For the Florida murders, he received three death sentences in two trials. He was executed at the Florida State Penitentiary in Raiford on January 24, 1989.

Biographer Ann Rule describes him as “a sadistic sociopath who revels in the suffering of other humans and the control he has over their victims, until death, and even afterward”. He once described himself as “the most cold-hearted bastard you will ever meet”. Attorney Polly Nelson, the last member of her defense team, agreed. “Ted,” he wrote, “is the very definition of heartless evil”.

His childhood

Ted Bundy was born Theodore Robert Cowell on November 24, 1946, to Eleanor Louise Cowell (1924–2012; known as Louise) at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vermont. The identity of his father was never confirmed. Louise admits she was once seduced by a war veteran named Jack Worthington, who left her as soon as she became pregnant with Ted. Some family members expressed suspicions that it was Louise’s own father, Samuel Cowell, who impregnated Louise but no actual evidence has ever been cited to support this.

For the first three years of his life, Bundy lived in Philadelphia, the home of his maternal grandparents, Samuel (1898–1983) and Eleanor Cowell (1895–1971), who raised him as their son to avoid the social stigma that accompanied birth out of wedlock. Family, friends, and even young Ted were told that his grandparents were his parents and that his mother was his older sister. He eventually finds out the truth, though his memories of the circumstances vary.

Theodore Robert Bundy
Little Theodore Robert Bundy

He told his girlfriend that his cousin showed him a copy of his birth certificate after calling him a “bastard” but he told biographers Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth that he found the certificate himself. True-crime biographer and writer Ann Rule, who knew Bundy personally, believed she didn’t know about it until 1969, when she came across her original birth records in Vermont. Bundy expresses a lifelong hatred of his mother for never talking to him about his real father and for leaving him to find his true parents for himself.

In several interviews, Bundy spoke warmly of his grandparents and told Ann Rule that he “clung to” his grandfather. However, in 1987, he and other family members told attorneys that Samuel Cowell was a violent and bigoted man who hated blacks, Italians, Catholics, and Jews, beat his wife and family dog, and wagged the tails of a neighbor’s cat. He once threw Louise’s younger sister Julia for oversleeping. Bundy described his grandmother as a timid and submissive woman who periodically underwent electrolytic seizures due to depression and fear of leaving the house towards the end of her life.

Bundy with his mother
Bundy with his mother

Bundy sometimes displayed disturbed behavior at an early age. Julia remembers waking up from a nap to find herself surrounded by knives from the kitchen and three-year-old Ted standing by the bed smiling. This description of Bundy’s grandparents has been called into question in more recent investigations.

In 1950, Louise changed her surname from Cowell to Nelson and at the urging of several family members left Philadelphia with Ted to live with cousins Alan and Jane Scott in Tacoma, Washington. In 1951, Louise met Johnny Culpepper Bundy (1921–2007), a hospital cook, at an adult bachelorette night at First Methodist Church Tacoma. They married later that year and Johnny Bundy legally adopted Ted. Johnny and Louise are pregnant with four children of their own and although Johnny tries to include his adopted son in camping trips and other family activities, Ted stays away. She later complains to her boyfriend that Johnny is not her real father, “not very smart”, and “doesn’t make much money”.

Bundy recounted his memories of Tacoma in later years. To journalists Michaud and Aynesworth, he likes to roam the neighborhood, scavenging trash cans for pictures of naked women. He told Michaud that he consumed large amounts of alcohol and “scoured the community” late at night looking for an uncovered window where he could observe women undressing, or “anything” that could be seen”.

Johnny Culpepper Bundy

Records of his social life also vary. Bundy told Michaud and Aynesworth that he “chose to be alone” as a teenager because he could not understand interpersonal relationships. He claims that he doesn’t have a natural sense of how to develop a friendship. “I don’t know what makes people want to be friends,” he said. “I don’t know what underlies social interaction.” Classmates from Woodrow Wilson High School told Ann Rule, however, that Bundy was “famous and well-liked” there, “a medium-sized fish in a large pond”.

The only sport Bundy enjoyed was downhill skiing, which he enthusiastically pursued, using stolen equipment and fake lift tickets. During high school, he was arrested at least twice on suspicion of burglary and auto theft. When he turned 18, details of the incident were erased from his records, as was customary in Washington and many other states.

The first two murder series

Washington, Oregon

There is no consensus about when or where Bundy started killing women. He told different stories to different people and refused to divulge the specifics of his earliest crimes, even as he confessed in detail to dozens of murders later in the days before his execution. He told investigators that he attempted his first kidnapping in 1969 in Ocean City, New Jersey, but did not kill anyone until sometime in 1971 in Seattle. He told psychologist Art Norman that he killed two women in Atlantic City in 1969 while visiting family in Philadelphia.

He hinted but refused to explain to homicide detective Robert D. Keppel that he committed a murder in Seattle in 1972 and another in 1973 involving a passerby near Tumwater. Ann Rule and Keppel both believe he may have started killing as a teenager. The earliest documented murder was in 1974 when he was 27 years old. By then, by his own admission, he had mastered the necessary skills—in the pre-DNA profiling era—to minimize leaving incriminating forensic evidence at crime scenes.

Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, Bundy entered the basement apartment of 18-year-old Karen Sparks (identified as Joni Lenz, Mary Adams, and Terri Caldwell by various sources), a dancer and student at UW. After hitting Sparks with a metal rod from her bed frame, he sexually assaulted her with the same rod or a metal speculum causing extensive internal injuries. He remained unconscious for 10 days but survived with permanent physical and mental disabilities. In the early hours of February 1, Bundy walked into the basement of Lynda Ann Healy, a UW scholar broadcasting the morning radio weather report for skiers. He beat her unconscious, dressed her in blue jeans, a white blouse, and boots, and led her away.

Karen Sparks
Karen Sparks

During the first half of 1974, female students disappeared at a rate of about one per month. On March 12, Donna Gail Manson, a 19-year-old student at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, 60 miles (95 km) southwest of Seattle, left her dorm to attend a jazz concert on campus but never arrived. On April 17, Susan Elaine Rancourt disappeared while on her way to her dorm room after an evening counselor meeting at Central Washington State College in Ellensburg, 110 miles (175 km) southeast of Seattle.

Two Central Washington sophomores then came forward to report encounters—one on the night of Rancourt’s disappearance, three nights earlier—with a man wearing an arm brace, asking for help carrying loads of books into his brown Volkswagen Beetle. On May 6, Roberta Kathleen Parks left her dorm at Oregon State University in Corvallis,[84] 260 miles (420 km) south of Seattle, to have coffee with friends at Memorial Union, but never arrived.

Detectives from the King County and Seattle police departments are growing concerned. There was no significant physical evidence and the missing women had little in common, other than a young, attractive, white college student with long hair parted down the middle. On June 1, Brenda Carol Ball, 22, disappeared after leaving the Flame Tavern in Burien, near the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport. He was last seen in the parking lot, talking to a brown haired man with an arm in a brace.

In the early hours of June 11, UW student Georgann Hawkins disappeared while walking down a brightly lit alley between his girlfriend’s dorm and sorority dorms. The next morning, three Seattle homicide detectives and a criminal searched the entire alley, finding nothing. Bundy then told Keppel that he lured Hawkins into his car and knocked him unconscious with a crowbar. After handcuffing her, he drove her to Issaquah, a suburb 20 miles (30 km) east of Seattle, where he strangled her and spent the entire night in her body. He told Keppel he returned to the UW alley the next morning and in the midst of investigating the crime scene, found and collected Hawkins’ earrings and one of his shoes, where he left them in the adjoining parking lot and drove away, unnoticed.” He said that he revisited Hawkins’ corpse three times.

Georgann Hawkins
Georgann Hawkins

After Hawkins’ disappearance became public, witnesses came forward to report seeing a man that night in an alley behind a nearby hostel. He was on crutches with leg casts and struggling to carry a briefcase. One woman recalled that the man had asked her to help him carry a suitcase to his car, a light brown Volkswagen Beetle. During this period, Bundy worked at Olympia as Assistant Director of Seattle Crime Prevention.

Reports of the six missing women and Sparks’ brutal beatings appeared prominently in newspapers and television throughout Washington and Oregon. Fear spread among the residents. Pressure is mounting on law enforcement agencies but a dearth of physical evidence is holding them back greatly. Police have been unable to provide journalists with what little information is available for fear of disrupting the investigation. Further similarities among the victims were noted: the disappearances all occurred at night, usually near ongoing construction work, within a week of midterms or final exams; Additionally, all of the victims wore blue trousers or jeans, and at most of the crime scenes a man was seen wearing a plaster cast or sash and driving a brown Volkswagen Beetle.

The Pacific Northwest killings culminated on July 14, with the broad daylight kidnapping of two women from the crowded beach of Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah. Five female witnesses described an attractive young man dressed in a white tennis suit with his left arm in a sling, speaking in a light accent, presumably Canadian or English. Introducing himself as “Ted”, he enlists their help in unloading a sailboat from a tan or bronze Volkswagen Beetle. Four refused; one accompanied him all the way to his car, saw that there were no sailboats, and fled.

Three additional witnesses saw him approach Janice Anne Ott, 23, a probation case worker at King County Juvenile Court, with a sailboat story and watched her leave the beach with him. About four hours later, Denise Marie Naslund, a 19-year-old woman studying to be a computer programmer, left the picnic to use the restroom and never returned. Bundy told Stephen Michaud and William Hagmaier that Ott was still alive when he got back with Naslund—and that he forced one to watch as he killed the other but he later denied this in an interview with Lewis ahead of his execution.

Ted Bundy's Volkswagen Beetle
The tools of murder on the left were found in Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Beetle

King County Police, finally armed with detailed descriptions of the suspect and his car, posted flyers all over the Seattle area. A composite sketch was printed in regional newspapers and broadcast on local television stations. Elizabeth Kloepfer, Ann Rule, a DES employee, and a UW psychology professor all recognized profiles, sketches, and cars, and reported Bundy as a possible suspect but detectives—who received up to 200 leads per day thought it impossible to be a neat law student without a criminal record. Adults can be culprits.

On September 6, two grouse hunters discovered the skeletal remains of Ott and Naslund near a service road in Issaquah, 2 miles (3 km) east of Lake Sammamish State Park. A femur and some vertebrae found at the site were later identified by Bundy as belonging to Georgann Hawkins. Six months later, forestry students from Green River Community College discovered the skulls and mandibles of Healy, Rancourt, Parks, and Ball on Mount Taylor, a frequent hiking spot to the east of Issaquah.

Idaho, Utah, Colorado

In August 1974, Bundy received his second acceptance from the University of Utah Law School and moved to Salt Lake City, leaving Kloepfer in Seattle. Although he frequently calls Kloepfer, he has dated “at least a dozen” other women. When he studied the first-year law curriculum for the second time, “he was devastated to discover that the other students had something, some intellectual capacity, that he didn’t. He found the class completely incomprehensible. ‘It was very upsetting for me,’ he said” .

A new series of murders began the following month, including two that remained unsolved until Bundy confessed shortly before his execution. On September 2, he raped and strangled an unidentified passerby in Idaho, then dumped her body immediately in a nearby river or returned the next day to photograph and dismember her. On October 2, he arrested 16-year-old Nancy Wilcox in Holladay, a suburb of Salt Lake City. His remains were buried near Capitol Reef National Park, about 200 miles (320 km) south of Holladay, but were never found.

On October 18, Melissa Anne Smith—the 17-year-old daughter of the police chief of Midvale, another Salt Lake City suburb—went missing after leaving a pizza joint. Her naked body was found in a nearby mountainous area nine days later. A postmortem examination indicated that he may have lived up to seven days after his disappearance. On October 31, Laura Ann Aime, also 17 years old, disappeared 25 miles (40 km) south in Lehi after leaving a cafe just after midnight. Her naked body was found by hikers 9 miles (14 km) to the northeast in American Fork Canyon on Thanksgiving Day. Both women were beaten, raped, sodomized and strangled with nylon stockings. Years later, Bundy described his postmortem rituals with Smith and Aime’s corpses, including hair washing and makeup application.

Melissa Anne Smith
Melissa Anne Smith

On the afternoon of November 8, Bundy approached 18-year-old telephone operator Carol DaRonch at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, less than a mile from the Midvale restaurant where Melissa Smith was last seen. He introduced himself as “Officer Roseland” of the Murray Police Department and told DaRonch that someone had tried to get into his car. He asked her to accompany him to the station to file a complaint. When DaRonch told Bundy he was driving on a road that didn’t lead to the police station, Ted immediately grabbed him by the shoulders and attempted to handcuff him.

During the struggle, Ted accidentally straps both handcuffs to the same wrist and DaRonch is able to open the car door and escape. Later that night, Debra Jean Kent, a 17-year-old student at Viewmont High School in Bountiful, 20 miles (30 km) north of Murray, disappeared after leaving a theater production at the school to pick up her brother. The school drama teacher and a student told police that “a stranger” had asked each of them to come out into the parking lot to identify a car. Other students then saw the same people pacing back and forth in the back of the auditorium, and the drama teacher saw him again just before the play ended. Outside the auditorium, investigators found a key that unlocked the handcuffs removed from Carol DaRonch’s wrists.

In November, Elizabeth Kloepfer called the King County police a second time after reading that young women were disappearing in towns around Salt Lake City. Detective Randy Hergesheimer of the Major Crimes division interviewed him in detail. At the time, Bundy was already highly suspect in the King County hierarchy of suspicion, but the Lake Sammamish witness considered by detectives to be the most reliable failed to identify him from a row of photographs.

In December, Kloepfer called the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and reiterated his suspicions. Bundy’s name was added to their list of suspects but at the time there was no credible forensic evidence linking him to the crimes in Utah. In January 1975, Bundy returned to Seattle after his final exams and spent a week with Kloepfer, who did not tell him that he had reported him to the police three times. He made plans to visit her in Salt Lake City in August.

In 1975, Bundy shifted much of his criminal activity eastward, from his base in Utah to Colorado. On January 12, a 23-year-old registered nurse named Caryn Eileen Campbell disappeared while walking down the brightly lit hallway between the elevator and her room at the Wildwood Inn (now Wildwood Lodge) in Snowmass Village, 400 miles (640 km) away. ) southeast of Salt Lake City. Her naked body was found a month later beside a dirt road outside the resort. He had been killed by a blow to the head from a blunt instrument which left a characteristic linear indentation in his skull; His body also suffered internal injuries from a sharp weapon.

On March 15, 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Snowmass, Vail ski instructor Julie Cunningham, 26, disappeared while walking from her apartment on a dinner date with a friend. Bundy later told Colorado investigators that he approached Cunningham on crutches and asked him to help carry his ski boots to his car, where he beat and handcuffed him, then attacked and choked him at the next spot near Rifle, 90 miles (140 km) west of Vail. A few weeks later, he traveled six hours from Salt Lake City to revisit the body.

Denise Lynn Oliverson, 25, disappeared near the Utah–Colorado border in Grand Junction on April 6 while riding her bicycle to her parents’ house; his bicycle and sandals were found under a bridge near a railway bridge. On May 6, Bundy lured 12-year-old Lynette Dawn Culver from Alameda Junior High School in Pocatello, Idaho, 160 miles (255 km) north of Salt Lake City. He drowned and then sexually assaulted her in his hotel room, before dumping her body in a river north of Pocatello.

Denise Lynn Oliverson
Denise Lynn Oliverson

In mid-May, three of Bundy’s Washington State DES co-workers, including Carole Ann Boone, visited him in Salt Lake City and stayed for a week in his apartment. Bundy then spent a week in Seattle with Kloepfer in early June and they discussed getting married the following Christmas. Again, Kloepfer did not mention some of his discussions with King County Police and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. Bundy did not disclose his ongoing relationship with Boone nor his concurrent romance with a Utah law student known on various accounts as Kim Andrews or Sharon Auer.

On June 28, Susan Curtis disappeared from the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, 45 miles (70 km) south of Salt Lake City. Curtis’ murder was Bundy’s final confession, moments before he entered the execution chamber. The bodies of Wilcox, Kent, Cunningham, Oliverson, Culver and Curtis were never found.

In August or September 1975, Bundy was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, although he was not an active participant in the services and ignored most of the church’s restrictions. He was later excommunicated by the LDS Church after his 1976 kidnapping conviction. When asked about his religious preference after his arrest, Bundy replied “Methodist”, his childhood religion.

In Washington state, investigators are still struggling to analyze a mass killing in the Pacific Northwest that ended as suddenly as it began. In an effort to make sense of the extraordinary data set, they used an innovative strategy of the time to structure the database. They used the King County payroll computer, a “great primitive machine” by contemporary standards, but the only one available for their use.

After inputting the multiple lists they had compiled—classmates and acquaintances of each victim, Volkswagen owner mentions “Ted,” known sex offenders, and so on—they checked the computer for coincidences. Of the thousands of names, 26 appear in four lists; one of them is Ted Bundy. Detectives also manually compiled their list of the 100 “best” suspects, and Bundy was also on that list. He was “literally at the top of the pile” of suspects when word came from Utah of his arrest.

Death penalty, confession and execution

Shortly after the end of Leach’s trial and the start of the lengthy appeals process that followed, Bundy began a series of interviews with Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth. Speaking mostly in the third person to avoid the “confession stigma”, he began for the first time to divulge details of his crimes and thought processes.

He recounts his career as a thief, confirming Kloepfer’s longtime suspicion that he had stolen almost everything he owned. “The big payoff for me,” he says, “is actually owning whatever I’ve been stealing. I really enjoy owning something … that I want and going out and getting it.” Possession proved to be an important motive for rape and murder as well. Sexual assault, he says, satisfies his need to “completely own” his victim. At first, he kills his victims “out of consideration … to eliminate the possibility”; but then, killing becomes part of the “adventure”. “The ultimate possession, in fact, is the taking of life,” he said. “And then… the physical possession of the remains”.

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy
FBI Agentt Bill Hagmaier and Ted Bundy during the final Death Row interview, January 23, 1989 Courtesy FBI

Bundy also told Special Agent William Hagmaier of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit. Hagmaier was struck by the “deep, almost mystical satisfaction” Bundy found in killing. “He said that after a while, murder wasn’t just a crime of passion or violence,” Hagmaier related. “It belongs. They are part of you… [the victim] becomes part of you, and you are forever one… and the reason in which you kill them or leave them becomes sacred to you, and you will always be drawn back to they.” Bundy told Hagmaier that he thought of himself as an “amateur,” an “impulsive” killer in his early years, before moving into what he called the “prime” or “predator” phase at the time of the murder of Lynda Healy in 1974. This implies that he started killing long before 1974—although he never explicitly acknowledged having done so.

In July 1984, Raiford guards found two hacksaw blades hidden in Bundy’s cell. A steel bar in one of the cell windows had been sawed through at the top and bottom and glued back into place with homemade soap-based adhesive. Several months later, guards discovered the mirror was unauthorized, and Bundy was again transferred to another cell.

Shortly thereafter, he was charged with misconduct of disciplinary action for unauthorized correspondence with another high-profile criminal, John Hinckley Jr. In October 1984, Bundy contacted Robert Keppel and offered to share his expertise in serial killer psychology in Washington’s ongoing manhunt for the “Green River Killer”, later identified as Gary Ridgway. Keppel and Green River Task Force detective Dave Reichert interviews Bundy, but Ridgway remains at large for another 17 years. Keppel published detailed documentation of the Green River interview and then collaborated with Michaud on another examination of the interview material.

In early 1986, an execution date (March 4) was set for the Chi Omega verdict; The Supreme Court issued a brief adjournment, but the execution was quickly rescheduled. In April, shortly after the new date (July 2) was announced, Bundy finally confessed to Hagmaier and Nelson what they believed to be the complete sequence of his exterminations, including details of what he did to some of his victims after their deaths.

He told them he revisited Taylor Mountain, Issaquah, and other secondary crime scenes, often multiple times, to lie down with his victims and perform sexual acts with their decaying bodies until decomposition forced him to stop. In some cases, he drove for several hours each way and stayed up all night. In Utah, she did Melissa Smith’s lifeless makeup, and she repeatedly washed Laura Aime’s hair. “If you have time,” he told Hagmaier, “they can be anything you want them to be.” He decapitated about 12 of his victims with a hacksaw and kept at least one group of severed heads—possibly all four of which were later found on Mount Taylor (Rancourt, Parks, Ball, and Healy)—in his apartment for some time before disposing of them.

Less than 15 hours before his scheduled July 2 execution, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals detained him indefinitely and returned the Chi Omega case for review on several technicalities—including Bundy’s mental competence to stand trial, and wrongful instructions by the trial judge during the trial. the sentencing phase that required a jury to decide 6–6 between life imprisonment and the death penalty was, in the end, never completed. A new date (18 November 1986) was then set for carrying out Leach’s sentence; The Eleventh Circuit Court issued the adjournment on November 17. In mid-1988, the Eleventh Circuit ruled against Bundy, and in December the Supreme Court rejected a motion to review the decision.

Psychopath Theodore Robert Bundy

Within hours of that final refusal, a firm execution date of January 24, 1989, was announced. Bundy’s journey through the court of appeals was swift for a high-profile homicide case: “Contrary to popular belief, the court removed Bundy as fast as it could… Even the prosecution acknowledged that Bundy’s lawyers never used the tactic of delay. Even though people everywhere were outraged at the apparent delay in executing the archdemon, Ted Bundy was actually on the fast track.”

With all appeals exhausted and no further motivation to deny his crimes, Bundy agreed to speak candidly with investigators. He confessed to Keppel that he had committed all eight of the murders in Washington and Oregon in which he was the prime suspect. He described three previously unknown additional victims in Washington and two in Oregon whom he declined to identify (if he ever knew their identities).

He says he left a fifth body—Donna Manson—on Mount Taylor but burned her head in Kloepfer’s fireplace. (“Of all the things I did to [Kloepfer],” he told Keppel, “this is probably the least likely for him to forgive. Poor Liz.”) “He described the Issaquah Crime Scene [where the bones of Ott, Naslund, and Hawkins were found ], and it was almost like he was there,” Keppel said. “He seemed to see everything. He was crazy about the idea because he spent so much time there. He was literally preoccupied with killing all the time.” Nelson’s impressions were similar: “It was the misogyny of his crimes. it shocked me,” he wrote, “his apparent rage against women. He had no compassion at all…he was completely engrossed in the details. His murders were his life’s accomplishments.” .

Bundy confessed to detectives from Idaho, Utah, and Colorado that he had committed many additional murders, including several that police had no knowledge of. He explained that when he was in Utah he could take his victims back to his apartment, “where he could relive the scenarios depicted on the cover of the detective magazine”. A new hidden strategy quickly became apparent: he was hiding many details, hoping to parlay the incomplete information into another execution delay. “There are other buried remains in Colorado,” he acknowledged but declined to elaborate.

The new strategy—quickly dubbed the “Ted for a long time scheme”—only served to deepen the authorities’ resolve to see Bundy executed on schedule, and yielded scant new details. In cases where he provided details, nothing was found. Colorado detective Matt Lindvall interpreted this as a conflict between his desire to delay execution by leaking information and his need to remain in “total possession—the only person who knows the true resting place of his victims.”

When it became clear that there would be no further delay from the trial, Bundy supporters began lobbying for the only remaining option, an executive pardon. Diana Weiner, a young Florida attorney and Bundy’s last lover asked the families of some of the Colorado and Utah victims to petition Florida Governor Bob Martinez for a delay to allow Bundy time to reveal more information. All refused. “The family already believed the victims were dead and Ted had killed them,” wrote Nelson. “They don’t need his confession”. Martinez made it clear that he would not agree to a further delay in any case. “We are not going to manipulate the system,” he told reporters. “For him, negotiating for his life over the bodies of the victims is despicable.”

Boone had championed Bundy’s innocence throughout all of his trials and felt “deeply betrayed” by his admission that he was, in fact, guilty. She moved back to Washington with her daughter and refused to take his phone calls the morning of her execution. “He was hurt by his relationship with Diana [Weiner],” wrote Nelson, “and devastated by her sudden confession in his last days”.

Hagmaier was present during Bundy’s final interview with investigators. On the eve of his execution, he spoke of suicide. “He didn’t want to give the entire state the satisfaction of watching him die,” Hagmaier said.

ted bundy execution

Bundy was executed in the Raiford electric chair at 7:16 a.m. EST on January 24, 1989. His last words were “Jim and Fred, I want you to give my love to my family and friends,” referring to his attorney Jim Coleman and Methodist minister Fred Lawrence. Hundreds of revelers sang, danced and set off fireworks in the meadow across from the prison as the execution took place, then cheered as the white hearse filled with Bundy’s body departed for prison. He was cremated in Gainesville and his ashes scattered at an undisclosed location in Washington State’s Cascade Range, according to his will.

Jeremy Jhordy

Leave a Reply