The Life of Ted Bundy
A slim percentage of the global population will ever fit into the category of a “Serial Killer.” Ted Bundy is known for his charismatic personality, his good looks, and his personal charm. Born Theodore Robert Cowell “Ted”, Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 to his mother Eleanor Louise Cowell. Theodore Bundy was an American serial killer, burglar, kidnapper, rapist, and necrophile. “Ted Bundy’s last words before being executed by the electric chair in Florida State Penitentiary on January 24, 1989, were ‘I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends’ (Williams, p1). Ted’s life gets more complex from here. Ted is reported saying “What’s one less person on the face of the Earth, anyway?”(The 14 Creepiest Ted Bundy Quotes, p9). Throughout Ted Bundy’s life, he was bullied even though he was a very smart student in school. Ted grew violent towards women after he found out that his “sister” was actually his biological mother. This causes the reader to believe Ted Bundy committed his killings due to the nurturing aspect of his life opposed to the nature.
Throughout Bundy’s early years, he was faced with many obstacles from early on. To begin, Bundy never knew his real father. When his grandparents took the place of his biological parents, Ted became very attached to them. Ted’s mother ,Eleanor, hid her identity by posing as his sister until Ted was four years old. She then took Ted with her when she moved 3,000 miles to Tacoma, Washington. “Ted was separated from his special bonds be had formed with his grandparents ” (Ted Bundy Biography: Profile of a Serial Killer) Ted’s mother remarried a man by the name of Johnny Culpepper Bundy, once she moved to Washington. Johnny Bundy was a loving step father yet deep down the younger Bundy felt that something was off with his family dynamic. Then, finally Ted uncovered the fact that the woman he had known as his sister for his entire life was in fact his mother. Although, Johnnie Bundy tried to be a part of his step-son’s life, even becoming a boy scout troop leader, Ted avoided socializing with his peers, and would always find an excuse not to participate in the camping trips or other activities. Outside of his family, in junior high, Bundy endured some unnecessary teasing from other boys to the point where he was showering in a privacy stall. While he was showering the other students would pour cold water on him and bully him to the point of severe insecurity. It is likely that his aversion to socializing was a result of the relentless bullying that he faced at school.
Due to the dishonesty in his relationship with his mother, he became manipulative when it came to women. His first and only true love, Stephanie Brooks, was in control of their relationship. Brooks would frequently end and restart their relationship based on her own needs and wants disregarding his needs. After their relationship finally ended, Bundy manipulated not only his sexual partners but also anyone else who he had an altercation with. Manipulation occurred in the forms. Financial situations being the most important, he would use women for money, transportation, and his personal needs, and most importantly, plans that he had for the future achievements in order to influence them to assist him. Over time the outcome of his manipulation changed from financial and sexual gain to sexual assault and later murder. Teds first eight victims closely resembled his first true love, Stephanie Brooks. On January 4, 1974, after Brooks ended their relationship for the final time. Teds first victim was an 18-year-old who he sexually assaulted and attempted to kill but she survived. In the fall of 1974 Bundy moved to Utah and enrolled at the University of Utah to study Law. He then began his murders, and by October 1974 he had kidnapped and killed three girls. In the following couple of months Bundy tricked another young woman making her believe he was a police officer. The girl escaped unharmed. The same day he committed another murder, and the body of the girl was never found. “By the beginning of 1975, Bundy had killed five women. Four of them from Colorado and one was from Utah. In August of 1975, Bundy was arrested by police for disobeying traffic laws and not stopping his vehicle. This is when police found evidence in his car that included masks, handcuffs, and a crowbar. Police also found that the car matched the description given by the attack survivor the previous year.”(Who Is Ted Bundy? Everything You Need to Know) The number of women Bundy killed and sexually assaulted will likely never be known. Although, Ted admitted to killing 36 women, experts believe the number is closer to 100 or more.
On the other hand, there is one main reason to believe Ted Bundy could have commited his killings due to nature instead of nurture. As a child, he was raised by his grandparents, he showed no signs of previous abuse or neglect until his mother moved across the United States. Although, “After further analysis, Bundy was alleged to have lower than normal activity to his orbital frontal cortex. This part of the brain is in charge of the conscience, and the “right or wrong” factors of thinking,” (Bartleby Editors). This does not to say that Ted Bundy had a deficiency that prevented him from knowing what he was doing wrong , he just happened to have a less than common abnormality that should be stated. Bundy’s case supports the idea that an individual’s genetic makeup can have a light effect on their actions, but they do have the ability to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong.
Ted Bundy’s life most likely will never be understood. How could even the most experienced psychologist on Earth unravel the mysteries of this man’s life. Problems of his troubled childhood help support the fact that Ted Bundy became an American serial killer due to the nurturing of his life as oppose to the nature. Along with the fact that Bundy never knew his father, and was raised to believe that his biological mother was his sister. This caused Bundy to be violent towards all the women he encountered in his lifetime. His grandparents raised him to the age of four, until his mother moved across the United States, and took Ted with her. Ted was very close to his grandparents, and was devastated to leave them. His first and only true love, Stephanie Brooks, was mentally and emotionally abusive to him in many ways. He was also a victim of relentless bullying by his peers while in school. Any one of these factors could have driven Bundy to the crimes he committed, not to mention all of them combined together. These experiences help claim that Theodore Robert Bundy became an American serial killer based on the nurture aspects of his early life and former relationships oppose to nature.
The Life of Ted Bundy