It’s true; Ted Bundy is different from all other serial killers. It’s not that he’s more evil or callus than the rest of that diabolical lot. It’s just that when you look at him, at his appearance and demeanor, and what he’d accomplished and where he was going, he just doesn’t fit the mold of a cold-blooded killer.
But it isn’t just how he appeared on the outside that both fascinate, and yes, startles, but what he did while committing abduction and murder. For within the normal minds of those who “encounter” Ted Bundy, there is a strong desire to understand why he did what he did. And yet, like a hamster galloping on its wheel, we never seem to completely get there (after writing two books about the man, I certainly haven’t). What follows is from my book, The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History:
“And it is here, at the intersection of normal Theodore Bundy and diabolical Theodore Bundy, that the mind of the average person begins to short-circuit, for at this bizarre crossroads lies a troubling dichotomy that shouldn’t exist, but does. At first glance he seems so similar to us in so many ways, and was seemingly everything a brother, a husband, and father, or an uncle should be. But on the inside, where the real Theodore Bundy lived, he was (or, more appropriately, he became) a vessel filled with evil, and one from which poured the most vile and wicked plans ever devised by a human being. It was a nature he carefully cultivated, was sorry to say goodbye to after his final arrest, and which followed him to his grave.”
On the outside, Ted Bundy was a handsome and articulate man. He was often pleasant to be around, and he never gave any indication of anything bad smoldering within him. A college graduate and law student; a political animal who was rubbing shoulders with the influential in Seattle, he was a man that most believed was going somewhere special in life. They were right of course, but not in the way they had imagined. But all of this was the outer Theodore Bundy. The inner world of the man, however, was so dark and abysmal that it defies imagination.
The other factor sparking fascination beyond the great chasm of the outer and inner Ted Bundy, are the types of abductions and murders with which Bundy was involved, and here are several examples…
University of Washington student, Lynda Ann Healy, was attacked in her basement apartment in a Seattle rooming house she shared with other coeds. Bundy entered the dwelling in the early morning hours of February 1, 1974, walked down the basement steps where he was faced with two “rooms” that were separated only by a partition of thin plywood. We don’t know if it was on purpose or by chance, but he entered Healy’s abode and attacked her. Only feet away, another young woman was sleeping, and she later told investigators she never heard a peep during the night. Bundy, who carried Lynda up the steps and left the house by the side door, was taking a huge risk as it was a university district where college kids may be anywhere at any hour of the day or night.
Ted Bundy, feeling omnipotent, would abduct two women in one day from a crowded Lake Sammamish State Park on Sunday, July 14, 1974. His first victim, Janice Ott was led away by ruse to her death in the morning (he wouldn’t actually kill her until late that afternoon after he’s obtained his second victim), and he returned to the lake later that afternoon feeling tired and sick from a cold, to snatch Denise Naslund a little after 4:00 p.m. It was an unprecedented, jaw-dropping act and Bundy had gotten away with it.
On November 8, 1974, Bundy, having flubbed the abduction of Carol DaRonch at the Fashion Place Mall in Murray, Utah, drove to Viewmont High School in Bountiful, Utah (about a 20 minute drive) where a school play was getting ready to start, and exposed himself to fifteen hundred people as he sought a victim. And again, he would be successful and young Debra Kent would soon die.
From all outward appearance, Theodore Robert Bundy was a normal, intelligent man with a good future ahead of him. But for that dark inner world that Bundy had immersed himself in, he might have been a successful lawyer, and it’s quite possible a career in politics might have resulted in a governorship, as he once alluded to. And so, as society continues to study this very unique killer, they will be faced with the two Ted Bundy’s who committed shocking abductions and diabolical murders. And the answers they seek as to why Bundy did what he did will, despite their valiant efforts to uncover the truth, continue to elude them.
This is why we are fascinated by Ted Bundy.