Thursday, Mar. 01, 2007

Ted Bundy, 1978

The devil knows when to look attractive. And Ted Bundy was handsome and cultured and charming. Until he was strangling and mutilating his victims, displaying their lopped-off heads in his apartment and sleeping with their corpses until putrefaction made it unbearable. Then he was simply the devil. By 1989, when he was executed in the electric chair in Florida at the age of 43, he had confessed to just about 30 murders but there could have been at least four more. He was an insatiable killer. One theory has him killing as early as the age of 14, but Bundy — who chose to divulge many of his secrets as he tried to bargain for more time before execution — never confessed to that incident. As a law student, Bundy had been arrested on a kidnapping charge in 1975 and was awaiting trial for murder in December 1977 when he escaped. From January to February of 1978, he went on a spree of killing and rape. Among his victims was a 12-year-old girl. Finally brought to trial, he acted as his own defense lawyer in a mesmerizing televised legal proceeding. And despite the horror of his acts, he proposed marriage to and wed a former coworker from behind bars. He also received thousands of letters from female fans. At the end, though, his appeals were exhausted and his attempts to manipulate the system became tiresome. His wife divorced him and took custody of their child. Somewhere out there is a young woman who may not know that her father was the devil.

From the Archive:
The Case of the Chi Omega Killer