About bundyphile

I live in the USA and I'm fascinated by all things "serial killer." Ted Bundy is the first serial killer I ever studied and I have always felt more "loyal" to him and his deeds.

Ted Bundy and Guilt

“Guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes or realizes that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a universal moral standard and bears significant responsibility for that violation.” –Wikipedia definition

Guilt is a feeling that most individuals experience in their lifetime. It can be argued it’s what makes America a civilized society. Guilt reminds us to act in a pro-social manner lest we feel emotional distress due to our actions. Guilt can be a very powerful motivator that provides the tenants of a productive community. Most members of society learn to experience vicarious pain while young and they develop into adults who sympathize with others in pain. By learning this behavior, the idea of harming others through violence starts to feel uncomfortable. That said, it would be unsurprising to learn that Ted Bundy did not experience remorse. He saw guilt as a sign of weakness and judged those who exhibited guilt on any level. Ted famously said he felt sorry for people who felt remorse.

However, psychopaths like Bundy lack guilt and empathy. They compartmentalize their feelings and view the world from a purely narcissistic viewpoint. Anything and everything around them is theirs to use and control.  Many psychopaths live in their own fantasy world. For a psychopath to commit any range of crimes, it is essential that they feel entitled. In this way, the individual feels he or she deserves what they want, regardless of laws. Most psychopaths understand the difference between right and wrong, but do not feel the rules apply to them. They are easily able to minimize their effect on humanity when embarking on a crime spree. Guilt never plays a part in their crimes.

Ted Bundy once said, “Guilt. It’s a mechanism we use to control people. It’s an illusion. It’s a kind of social control mechanism and it’s very unhealthy.” The language he uses gives the impression he at least understood how guilt worked and how it affected people. Unfortunately, he used his knowledge of guilt to manipulate his victims and others around him. The women who fell for his “wounded law student” routine felt they should help him carry his books to his car.  Bundy knew exactly how to control the situation to benefit his interests and was never hindered by feelings of regret. A lack of empathy combined with superficial charm guaranteed a pool of victims for a sophisticated serial criminal whom no one ever saw coming.

Much can be said about Bundy’s lack of guilt and its causes. His childhood remains locked in mystery, though stories of abuse and dysfunctional behavior have leaked to the media over time. Joe Nunziata noted in his book “Spiritual Selling” that “Guilt [and shame] is the weapon of choice used by parents to control their children…In most cases, parents are not using guilt on a conscious level.” More than likely, Bundy’s behavior as a child was curbed by the guilt elicited by his mother and grandparents. Due to various circumstances, guilt was less of a motivator over time, and his aberrant behavior increased. Once arrested, Ted told to an investigator, “I don’t feel guilty for anything. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt.” When all is said and done, the lack of remorse extolled by Ted’s callous behavior speaks volumes. His behavior wouldn’t have changed regardless of consequences, only turning more violent over time. Despite its strength, guilt clearly had no power over him.

Nunziata, J. “Spiritual Selling,” Hoboken, NJ, Wiley, 2007.

Winch, Guy Ph.D. (11/9/14). “10 Things You Didn’t Know About Guilt.”https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201411/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-guilt

 

 

 

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Ted’s Love Bites

In the normal practice of love-making, it is sometimes arousing to gently bite your partner. There is something forbidden about it, something animalistic. Certainly many people in consenting couplings have enjoyed a tender nip on the earlobe, maybe on the shoulder, without fear of horrific pain. Though not much is known about Ted’s sex life, his former fiancée Liz Kloepfer, wrote that Ted was a passionate lover who was into “normal sex,” except when he wasn’t. She recounts times when he encouraged her to engage in sex acts that weren’t satisfying to her and when she balked, he finally stopped mentioning them. One can only imagine the violence his victims endured before the final act of strangulation came upon them. Though many of his early victims’ bodies had decomposed before police located them, the women he brutally murdered in Florida bore evidence of aberrant and bestial violence. On sorority sister, Lisa Levy, police identified a savage bite mark left behind on her left buttock. This evidence would later be used to convict Bundy in the first of his two trials in the Sunshine State.

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Bundy had a very unusual bite and was convicted on this evidence.

Odaxelagnia is described by Wikipedia as “a sexual paraphilia concerning individuals who derive sexual pleasure and arousal through biting or being bitten.” According to the Forensic and Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes and Unusual Practices, odaxelagnia is “mild sadism used in necrophilia.” One thing we know about Ted, through his own admission, is that he was a true necrophiliac. He returned to his victims’ bodies over and over until there was nothing left with which to engage. The biting of his victims would be considered normal behavior for someone who enjoys intimacy with the dead. Many biters fantasize about chewing, biting, or otherwise using the mouth or teeth aggressively or destructively. German serial killer, Fritz Haarmann, killed his juvenile victims by tearing out their throats with his teeth. Fictional murderer, Francis Dolarhyde from Thomas Harris’ book, “Red Dragon,” had dentures made so he could bite his victims while in his imagined dragon form. However, most juvenile biters will tend to outgrow this behavior once they’ve learned new ways of dealing with their anger.

 It has been observed that bite marks can provide both physical and biological evidence against the perpetrator of the wound. However, bite mark evidence has recently come under scrutiny. This type of evidence is no longer seen by many as a valid tool to convict criminals. Jo Handelsman, the former assistant director of the White House Office of Science and Technology policy noted that “bite mark evidence lacks scientific foundation.” She also stated that results and accuracy were “widely varied.” There has been an unusually high error rate falsely identifying suspects as the guilty party. The trial of convicted offender Paul Aaron Ross was overturned due to questions about bite mark evidence and the Innocence Project claims more and more guilty verdicts have been vacated as the use of bite mark evidence has been questioned and reanalyzed.  images (3).jpg

Chris Fabricant from the Innocence Project states that “bite mark analysis is subjective speculation, masquerading as science.” In 1989, Steven Chaney was convicted of a double murder and sentenced to life in prison based mostly on bite mark evidence found on one of the victims. Dentist Jim Hales told the jury the evidence was conclusion to the point of “one in a million” chance anyone else could have bitten the victim. He later stated that his conclusion was scientifically unsound. Further testing has provided myriad false positive results when attempting to match bite marks to a suspect’s teeth because human skin cannot accurately record a bite mark since wounds stretch, swell, and heal.

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Though Bundy was executed in 1989 for the murder of 12 year old Kimberley Leach, not Lisa Levy, it’s interesting to consider how he was convicted at his 1979 trial. We know he was a horrific murderer, necrophile, and rapist, but how much to we really know about Bundy’s love bites? 

Resources:

Webb, David. Journal of Forensic Sciences. “Forensic Implications of Biting Behavior.” 

“Aggrawal, Anil. 2009. “Forensic & Medico-Legal Aspects of Sexual Crimes & Unusual Sexual Practices.”

Augenstein, Seth. July 24, 2015, Forensic Magazine. “Is This the End of Bite-Mark Evidence?”

Kaplan, Sarah.  October 13, 2015, Washington Post.“Texas inmate’s 1989 conviction overturned after bite mark evidence discredited.”

My Relationship with Ted Bundy

I’m involved in an abusive relationship with a dead man. Let me clarify that statement. I am constantly thinking about, imagining, and reading about a violent serial killer. His ice blue eyes and wavy brown hair call forth feelings of both compassion and revulsion. I am both drawn to and repelled from this handsome charmer, moonlighting as a bloodthirsty necrophile. Ambivalence lingers as I contemplate the dirty deeds of Theodore Robert Bundy, even twenty-eight years since his execution in Florida’s electric chair at age 42.

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What a smile!

 

As if we were lovers, my thoughts often turn to him as I imagine the things we share in common. We both grew up in the Methodist church, were involved in scouting activities, and we were withdrawn and shy in high school. Despite being raised on the opposite sides of the country (he in Washington state and me in North Carolina), I’ve always felt a connection to Ted’s family upbringing and working class family. His mother clearly loved him, as did mine, and his siblings looked up to him.

As the eldest children in our families, we both understood the pressure placed on us. The first child always feels they’re treated as a guinea pig as their parents learn what boundaries to put on them. Parents always give only so much rope to test the waters in those early years. However, when Ted was sneaking out and peeping in his neighbor’s windows as a teenager, I was happily tucked in my bed at night. The thought of violence towards another individual couldn’t have been further away from my mind.

Conversely, the time I spend imagining how Bundy would have related to certain events and where he buried the still-missing bodies of so many women, it takes its toll on other relationships in my life. My husband notices when I seem far away and friends can tell when I’m less than involved in our conversations. Some people distance themselves when they hear about my interest in serial killers, and Bundy specifically. Explaining his acts of depravity and unsavory proclivities discourage some acquaintances from getting to know me better. Even when I am determined to envelope myself completely in social interactions, my mind drifts back to the memory of a certain cold stare in Ted’s interview with Dr. James Dobson.

Bundy Dobson

January 23, 1989: The day before his execution

 

Despite being averse to everything he did, including the political party he joined as a teenager, I am still drawn to the image of Bundy as a smart, driven law student with a quick wit and one-hundred watt smile. The relationship I have with this long deceased man is dysfunctional at best and morbid at worst, though I don’t see it ending any time soon. He will continue to haunt me through the years to come, and his words and deeds will hold me in his thrall.

Anniversary: Old Sparky Strikes Ted Down 

Twenty-eight years ago, Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair for the murder of 12 year old Kimberly Leach, whose body was found under a collapsed hog shed. On Tuesday, January 24th, he was declared dead at 7:16 A.M. After making his final statement “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends,” a black hood covered his head and he was filled with 2000 volts of electricity. A crowd of approximately 500 people formed outside of Raiford Prison in Florida and cheered when his death was announced. Prosecutor George Dekle, who prosecuted Bundy in the Leach case had this to say about the event: “The thing that kept going through my mind was the awful crime scene I saw 11 years ago. I kept saying to myself that is where it started and this is where it ends.” Police officers keeping the peace outside of the prison stated they wish they “could be the one flipping the switch” and commented that they felt no compassion for the killer whatsoever. Bundy was 42 at the time of his death and lived longer than any of his victims. 

Ted Bundy: The Politician

As the United States comes to the end of yet another sensational presidential election, it’s important to remember that often many members of our political system hide parts of themselves from the public. How many scandals have disgraced someone we thought trust-worthy? We read articles about various well-respected women and men who weren’t at all what they seemed. Ted had a similar affliction. 

One well-known fact about Ted Bundy is that he was a dedicated Republican. He was active in local politics and aspired to political office.  Bundy was a perfect example of a modern Republican. He aspired to wealth, professionalism, happiness, and sought to reap the rewards of being a part of the elite. He was clean cut during an era where many young people were growing long hair and eschewing the status quo. That never appealed to Bundy. He wanted to reap the rewards he felt he deserved and refused to share them with anyone. Ted also dreamed of marrying a beautiful co-ed who would reflect well on his position in whatever career he chose. Conservative women were well-groomed and Ted Bundy found that incredibly attractive.   

Though generally unable to succeed in group activities, Bundy excelled in politics due to his charming, yet aggressive nature. His behavior represented the attitude valued by his peers in the republican party. One reason he chose to study law was that many of his peers in local politics were law students. 

In 1968, he worked at the Seattle office of Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign and attended the Republican National Convention in Miami. In 1972, Bundy worked for Governor Dan Evans’ re-election campaign. He later worked for the chairman of the Washington State Republican party who found Bundy to be “a believer in the system.” By the time his trip to California for the Republican party, Bundy had been molded into a standard Republican party member. He was on the brink of a political career and could have been the next Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz had his penchant for murder not led him astray.

Ted’s 70th

Today is the day on which Ted Bundy would have turned seventy years old, had he not been executed or died prematurely. If he had managed to outwit police and continued killing, imagine how many more women would be dead. If we consider he killed approximately 30 women (by his admission) over the course of four years, it’s quite fathomable he might have murdered hundreds of women over four decades! Though his chances of not getting caught would have been small, the sheer magnitude of that estimate is simply incomprehensible. 

Ready for presents

Despite his ambition & dedication to killing defenseless young women, it would have been harder & harder for him to fit in on college campuses as he aged. Also, his looks would have invariably faded. Fewer women would have fallen for his “whoops, I dropped my books routine.” Could Bundy have adapted to the changes in the environment around him enough to stay under the radar?

Another thing to consider is the advances in technology and how forensics have evolved since his capture in 1978. Until 1986, DNA analysis wasn’t understood and bite mark evidence would have been even more conclusive in his trials in Florida. Also, police departments are far more likely now to share their evidence with other agencies in an effort to capture criminals quicker and more efficiently.


Though his various victims weren’t so lucky, the rest of the world is better off that Bundy was caught back in 1978. Frankly, very few serial killers stop killing and Bundy had no intention of ending his true passion in life. Here’s to moving beyond his 70th birthday without the loss of another young woman’s life to his brutality.

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