Facts about serial killers, and in this case facts about Ted Bundy, are always intriguing. They not only allow us to look into the darkest souls to ever live but also because they shock us to the core.
How is somebody capable of murdering another human being just for thrills? And even worse, do it over and over because they appear to be addicted to it?
Theodore Robert Bundy, best known as “Ted Bundy,” was an American serial killer that went on one of the most prolific killing sprees ever seen between 1974 and 1978.
His Modus Operandi was horrific and sent shockwaves all across the United States. Was anybody safe from one of the most ruthless serial killers in history?
As time went on and no suspect was arrested, the levels of fear in that period reached serious peaks. In this post, You’ll learn some facts about Ted Bundy You might have never heard before.
This is the ultimate list of facts about Ted Bundy that will clearly show you what a sick human being he really was.
1. Ted Bundy was a nice guy
No, he wasn’t.
But ask somebody who met him before the facts about his murderous mind came out, and they would have never believed he would have been capable of such crimes.
To make things even worse, they would have probably convinced you that Ted Bundy was one of the nicest people they had ever met!
The true face of evil remained hidden from public sight and only showed itself when it was too late for the poor victim.
2. Who was Ted Bundy’s father?
There are a few different opinions on the matter and up until today, it is not certain who ted Bundy’s father really was.
His mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, claimed that Ted’s father was a sailor by the name of Jack Worthington.
On his birth certificate, however, the name of his father is mentioned as Lloyd Marshall, an Air Force Veteran.
A common theory, however, is way more sinister.
It’s a fact that his mother never talked to him about who his father really was. He only discovered for himself that his father must have been the man on his birth certificate, which he found in 1969.
Why was his mother so secretive about this?
The theory blames his grandfather, Samuel Cowell, claiming he raped his mother and he was not only his grandfather but also his father.
3. The true face of Samuel Cowell
In most interviews, Ted Bundy showed his two-faced character. One time he claimed that his parents were warm and friendly people, while in fact there was tons of proof this wasn’t the case.
Especially his grandfather (and most probably his father, which he claimed to have had huge respect for, seem to be tyrannical in nature, often to the point of becoming violent.
It’s widely believed that the violent nature and behavior of Samuel Cowell have had a huge impact on young Ted.
Some of his characteristics have been explained (and confirmed by family members):
- Deeply racist
- A true bully and bigot
- Violence towards animals
- Violence towards family members
- Obsessed with pornography
On top of all this, it’s been confirmed that he flew into an uncontrollable rage one time he was confronted with the paternity question about Ted Bundy, further drawing suspicion about the rumors he might have been his father.
4. Was Ted Bundy’s mother actually his sister?
For years, he believed so.
It wasn’t until he got to see the birth certificate in 1969 that he learned that his mother was actually the person he believed to be his older sister.
After his birth, he went on to live with his maternal grandparents, and his actual mother was portrayed as one of their children just like Ted.
Because he was a ‘bastard child,’ the family didn’t want to deal with social consequences, so this little lie was simply a cover-up.
Obviously, this must have had a serious impact on Ted the moment he found out, which is shortly before he started his deranged psychopathic episode which left over 30 girls and women dead.
5. The Cowell’s were devout methodists
Ted Bundy was a bastard son, and his grandparents decided to pretend he had been adopted to avoid the embarrassment of having a bastard son.
Here’s how it went exactly:
- The Cowell’s found out Louise was pregnant (who impregnated her is unclear and evidence points towards Samuel himself).
- They drive her to a home for unwed mothers in Vermont.
- A few months afterward she returns to the family home in Philadelphia.
- Samuel goes back to the collect his (grand)son and claims they have adopted him from an orphanage.
- Ted grows up thinking his mother Louise is actually his sister.
In some interviews, we hear Ted claiming he grew up in a perfect Christian home. The Cowells were indeed deeply religious Methodists, but this situation is far from perfect.
6. Ted Bundy’s haunted childhood home
We’re usually pretty skeptical when it comes to spooky ghost stories regarding haunted houses.
The house portrayed above, which is located in Tacoma, Washington, has been the scene of such events starting in September 2016.
It’s the house that Ted Bundy grew up in during his childhood, and a contractor and his workers who were assigned to renovate the house have a couple of stories to share with us.
- The first time the contractor visited the house to check it out in preparation for the upcoming renovations, he brought his 11-year old daughter. The girl suddenly started crying uncontrollably and claimed the house was freaking her out for some reason.
- When the renovations started, workers found the words “Help Me” written on the basement window, and the word “Leave” written on a bedroom floor.
- One day, the workers left the house locked after a day of work, only to find out all the doors were slightly opened upon arrival the next morning.
- Another time, a heavy cabinet fell over for no apparent reason.
- Workers would stand beside a door, clearly hearing somebody knocking, but nobody was on the other side at that time.
A total of 30 strange occurrences have happened during the 7 months of renovations.
That’s until the contractor invited two priests to bless the house, which seemed to magically stop the occurrences from happening.
7. Ted Bundy saved a lot of lives
Nothing can make up for his horrible crimes, that’s a fact.
Ted Bundy has proven to be one of the most complicated personalities to ever live through because opposed to the enormous amounts of grief he caused, he actually had another side to him which can’t be explained by being labeled as an emotionless psychopath.
- During his period in college, he worked for a suicide prevention hotline and this way helped dozens of people from killing themselves.
- In 1970, he rescued a 3-year old child that fell in Seattle’s Green lake. it appears that Bundy didn’t hesitate a moment to jump into the lake in order to save the boy.
Amazingly enough, this event happened right before he started murdering women in cold blood.
8. Ted Bundy killed a 12-year old girl
Contrary to his heroic act of saving a young boy’s life was the despicable act of murdering a 12-year old girl.
On his final killing spree, he kidnapped 12-year old Kimberly Leach from her high school on February 9, 1978, and murdered her in cold blood.
Evidence against him such as witnesses seeing him leading Kimberly to his van along with fibers, blood, and clothing of the girl found in his van as well, was enough to send him to the electric chair, finally ending his murderous killing spree around the US.
9. Ted Bundy the law student with a girlfriend
Ted Bundy was handsome, intelligent, a law student enrolled at the University of Puget Sound (UPS) and later at the University of Washington, plus had a beautiful girlfriend by his side.
This description would make you think that Ted Bundy had a great future ahead of him.
After 2 years, however, he dropped out of the university and started working low-paying jobs while remaining unsuccessful with his attempts to get back into law school.
This caused his girlfriend to dump him, which clearly affected him for the rest of his life.
10. Girlfriend revelations
In many of Bundy’s biographies, his first love, often referred to as “Stephany Brooks” while her real name was Diane Edwards, was the main clue for his murders, had a lifelong impact on the serial killer.
This especially translated in the fact that he sought out victims that resembled her. Just about all of them were white, college-aged young women that had a similar appearance as the first girlfriend that dumped him.
It’s fair to assume that a revenge motive was in place here for this event.
In 1976 she contributed to Dr. Al Carlisle’s study of the serial killer and had some interesting remarks about him.
- Bundy was sort of a people-pleaser without a backbone
- he didn’t have a strong personality
- He wasn’t a real man and couldn’t stand up for himself
One anecdote worth mentioning (in her own words) is her recollection of how he behaved during their one and a half year relationship when she got mad at him for whatever reason:
“He wasn’t strong. He wasn’t real masculine. If I got mad at him because he did something he sort of felt apologetic about it. He wouldn’t stand up for himself.”
Because of what happened, understandably, nothing is known about her current whereabouts.
11. The number of victims remains unconfirmed
For many years, ted Bundy denied having anything to do with the crimes he was accused of committing.
Just before he was about to be executed in the “Old Sparky” inside the Florida penitentiary, he actually confessed to 30 murders.
Up until the last moment, in the hopes of getting another extension of execution, he claimed to have information on multiple other cases.
The governor of Florida at that time found his claims to be despicable and there wouldn’t be any bargain for his own life through the grief and suffering of victim’s families.
12. Ann Rule worked together with Bundy
Ann Rule was a crime reporter and author, writing numerous books and articles about real crimes.
Strangely enough, she actually worked together with one of the most prolific serial killers of all time, Ted Bundy, right before he started his killing spree.
This was at the time Bundy worked for the suicide hotline in Seattle and was dating his first girlfriend Diane Edwards.
Later, she went on to write one of “The Stranger Beside Me,” which was published in 1980 and is widely considered to be one of the most complete biographies ever written about ted Bundy.
13. First signs of a serial killer
Multiple bodies started turning in the Seattle area in 1974. At the time, however, there still wasn’t a connection being made between all those murders and strange disappearances.
This all changed when witnesses came forward describing what they had seen when spending time at Lake Sammamish Park.
- There was a man with a cast
- Some people heard him say “Hi, I’m Ted” while others heard him say “Hi, I’m Fred.”
- He lured young women to his car
- He asked them to help him out with something because he was injured
- The young women were never seen again
A pattern seemed to emerge when witnesses started describing the same details of what happened.
The two cases that led to this breakthrough were the disappearances of Janice Ott and Denise Naslund.
14. The first drawing of the serial killer
In this day and age, a crime like this near a crowded lake would be captured by dozens of pictures and video footage of people with cell phones.
Back in 1974, detectives still had to resort to eyewitness statements to form a conclusion.
In that sense, the first drawing of the criminal wasn’t that accurate as you can see in a warning bulletin of a 1974 newspaper.
15. Ted Bundy was a necrophiliac
Most sexual murders happen like this:
Assault -> rape -> murder
In Ted Bundy’s case, how weird it is to conceive with a rational mind, the order of events went like this:
Assault -> murder -> rape
What does this mean?
Ted Bundy actually raped and sexually abused his victims after they were dead or unconscious. This deviant behavior is called necrophilia, which means having sexual intercourse with or having an attraction towards corpses.
16. Ted Bundy returned to the crime scenes
It’s common knowledge that criminals usually return to the crime scene after the event.
Instead of simply being curious if somebody has discovered what they have done, Ted Bundy actually went back to take photographs of the corpses or perform additional sexual acts on the dead bodies.
On multiple occasions he actually returned to the scene numerous times, until the moment the bodies started to decompose and sexual acts simply became impossible.
17. Ted Bundy used his charm to lure his victims
While his modus operandi wasn’t always consistent with this, for most of his crimes he used his charm to lure his victims to his car.
Ted Bundy was the definition of a two-faced person. One moment he could be the nicest guy in the world who didn’t have any trouble luring young women to his car to give a helping hand, only to beat them over the head a moment later to commit his despicable crimes.
On some occasions, he also dressed up as a police officer.
Imagine the shock people must have felt who only knew about the nice part of his personality when finding out about his crimes.
18. Did Ted Bundy kill men too?
John Henry Browne, a Seattle-based attorney became his attorney in the ’70s. He claims that ted Bundy confessed two interesting things to him:
- Ted Bundy didn’t’ just kill women and his first murder victim was actually a man.
- Ted Bundy confessed to him that he killed over 100 people.
Whether or not these statements are true is unknown, and what remains true is that Bundy told a lot of stories that didn’t match.
An interesting fact about this, however, is that ted Bundy never mentioned this to somebody else, and John Henry Browne did manage to gain Bundy’s trust as his defender.
19. Surviving victims
Ted Bundy’s luck ran out for the first time when he was arrested in 1975, and one of his victims was able to pick him out in a police lineup.
Luckily, several other victims have been able to escape his grasp as well after initially falling for his charm.
Carol DaRonch was 18 at the time she was lured in by Bundy and managed to escape. She is the one who is responsible for putting Bundy behind bars for the first time in 1975 after identifying him and testifying against him.
20. Bundy’s 1968 Volkswagen Beetle
One of the most infamous cars in history is Ted Bundy’s 1968 Volkswagen Beetle. This is the car many of his victims were lured to and used to kidnap them.
The scary part is that victims must have sensed something was off instantly. The front seat was removed and there was no handle to get out on the passenger side.
A surviving victim recalls that Bundy tried to put on handcuffs and calmly told her he was going to murder her, probably because he got off from the fear his victims must have felt.
Either way, Ted Bundy’s car has been the scene of unimaginable terror and is currently on display at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum.
21. Ted Bundy Used Multiple Weapons
Ted Bundy was arrested for the first time in 1975 after a killing spree that cost the lives of over a dozen women already (probably more).
During his arrest, the police found burglary tools in his car. This not only gives us a glimpse of how prepared he was and how he was actively on the lookout for new victims, but also the tools he used during and after his attacks.
One of the items he used the most to knock out his victims is a tire iron, but it’s assumed that this is just one in multiple weapons he used to attack and subdue his victims.
22. Bundy kept “Souvenirs” of his victims
In french, souvenir means “to remember.”
When it was found out that Ted Bundy sometimes kept souvenirs of his victims, it simply means that he wanted to remember and relive the moment he committed his crimes.
When we refer to souvenirs in Ted Bundy’s case, we talk about photographs or the decapitated head of the victim.
At least 12 of his victims were decapitated. How many heads he kept is unknown.
23. Bundy acted as his own lawyer
Ted Bundy was once a law student, and even though he dropped out a year after being accepted into law school in 1973, he actually represented himself during his trials.
It’s not that he didn’t have attorneys at the time. The main problem was that he firmly thought that his lawyers believed he was guilty, making them unfit for the job.
During the trial, he really seemed to enjoy the role and the publicity it brought.
So give a sense of perspective, he’s fighting for his life in a death sentence trial and is fully enjoying every moment of the show.
This clearly proves how out of touch with reality he really was.
24. Ted Bundy refused a plea bargain
Ted Bundy nearly escaped a death sentence. Had he accepted the plea bargain that was offered to him, he would have received a fixed sentence of 75 years in prison.
One detail: He needed to please guilty to killing 3 girls, including his final victim the 12-year old Kimberly Leach.
In a surprising turn of events, Bundy refused the deal.
According to Mike Minerva, one of the members of his defense team, this is why:
“It made him realize he was going to have to stand up in front of the whole world and say he was guilty, he just couldn’t do it. ”
25. Ted Bundy escaped twice
Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers the world has ever seen, not managed to escape jail once, but twice.
It’s an incredible fact about Ted Bundy with a very macabre twist.
The first time he escaped was in 1977, after being sentenced to 15 years in prison for kidnapping and aggravated assault.
On June 7, 1977, while on trial acting as his own lawyer, Ted Bundy jumped from the second-story window of the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen, Colorado.
Strangely enough, he was allowed to walk freely in the courthouse and the law library (from which he escaped). he was back in custody after 6 days.
Only a few months later, “safely” locked up in a Colorado jail, Bundy started losing weight. His attorney thought this was odd, and rightly so.
he managed to escape for a second time through an opening in the ceiling, just wide enough for him to fit through. Losing the weight helped him with this.
Unfortunately, he ended up killing a lot more girls and young women as he made his way to finally be caught in Florida in 1978.
26. Ted Bundy got married in prison
While Ted Bundy was on death row, waiting to be executed for his heinous crimes, one of the witnesses at his trial fell in love with him.
How crazy as it may sound, he actually married the woman named Carole Ann Boone, and she gave birth to a daughter a year after he was sentenced to death.
They actually met way earlier when they were working together in Wahington, but only fell in love the moment he was on trial.
Even though she divorced him a few years before he was executed, she stood by him until the day he received his punishment.
Weird fact: He asked Carole Ann Boone to marry him when she was on the witness stand and Bundy was defending himself as his own lawyer.
27. Ted Bundy personality
Ted Bundy underwent numerous psychological tests and one thing remains clear, it’s impossible to define his behavior.
Some claimed he was bipolar, some claim he suffered from an antisocial personality disorder, yet others claim he was a true psychopath.
the lack of remorse he showed about his crimes clearly points to the latter. Psychopaths usually have a natural charm, but don’t feel any guilt when hurting others.
In his own words:
“Guilt doesn’t solve anything. It hurts you … I guess I am in the enviable position of not having to deal with guilt.” (source)
And this is the last of our list of facts about ted Bundy:
One of the worst serial killers that ever lived was the epitome of a true psychopath.