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.”

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Ted’s 69th birthday

If Ted Bundy had taken the deal he was offered in Florida for the Chi Omega murders, he might still be alive to see his 69th birthday today. However, the offer would require him to admit guilt in the death of two sorority women in January of 1978. If you’re keeping score, one of the only things Bundy couldn’t bring himself to do was to admit his guilt (at least until the very end of his life). Bundy absolutely refused to admit he’d killed the young women in the university house, thereby nullifying the plea agreement and was given the death penalty. That said, Ted had no way of knowing he’d be convicted of Kimberly Leach’s murder and sentenced to death.

Bundy

“Happy birthday to me!”

 

Despite what could have been for Ted, today is hardly a day to “celebrate” the birth of one of America’s most violent 20th century serial killers. Instead, it should be a time of reflection and remembrance of the young women murdered in this country every day. Bundy’s victims had barely reached an age of independence to seek out their futures and experience life as an adult. Instead, their lives were snuffed out to fulfill the desires of a psychopath’s lust, then discarded as if they were trash.

Though I am growing less comfortable with capital punishment in the United States, I have to say, I’m glad Bundy’s life was ended on January 24, 1989. There are those who feel he should have been allowed to live to assist psychiatrists and sociologists better understand the psychopathic brain. While some dangerous men like Ted would be forthcoming about their true intentions and guilt, I doubt Bundy would have done so. It was only the promise of death that pressured him to give more information, and that was only done with the hope he would be given another stay of execution by the governor of Florida.

Therefore, don’t give another thought to Ted Bundy’s birth today. Rather, imagine what the lives of the women whose lives he took would have been like. They would have been mothers and wives, lawyers and teachers, radio hosts and actors. The families they left behind will always wonder, but for the birth of Theodore Robert Cowell Nelson Bundy, they will never know.

Bundy Quote Analyzed

“I don’t like being locked up for something I didn’t do, and I don’t like my liberty taken away, and I don’t like being treated like an animal, and I don’t like people walking around and ogling me like I’m some sort of weirdo, because I’m not.” 

Long before Ted Bundy admitted to committing several murders for which he was charged, he denied every single charge against him, including kidnapping and murder. He was innocent, dammit, and had clearly been arrested on trumped-up charges! He threatened police and jailers over his reputation being smeared and shouted out during his trials, denying any accusation of wrong-doing.

Bundy in prison in Florida.

Bundy in prison in Florida.

Like any sociopath, Bundy was all about appearances. Despite him having very little depth of character, he was used to showing his “good guy” image to the world. He simply couldn’t stand the idea of people seeing him in a negative light. To admit guilt was to admit being less than perfect. It’s also a lot harder to charm people if they’re already wary of you. If nothing else, Bundy was a master manipulator.

Bundy was also an addict. He was addicted to murder, rape, and the power they afforded him in his private life. To be in prison for any amount of time was to deny him his addictive substance. Very few women were around him while he was locked away and it helps explain his 2 successful escapes from prison in Colorado.

It took over a decade before Bundy gave up on trying to convince people of his innocence. By then, his execution was near and he had no more appeals. He no longer had to worry about what people thought of him or whether he was reviled by humanity for his evil deeds. He confessed to several murders as his mask of innocence fell for the last time and humanity breathed a sigh of relief.

Sex with a Psychopath

Have you ever wondered if any of your ex-lovers were psychopaths? What would you do if they were? Liz Kloepfer not only had very fulfilling sex with Ted Bundy, but she gushed about it in the book she published in 1981 called “The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy.” Ted and Liz met in a Seattle bar in 1969 and carried on a relationship for almost 5 years. She thought he was incredibly good-looking at would have done anything for him. The fact that she enjoyed sex with him was just icing on the cake.

Ted Bundy as many women probably imagined him.

Ted Bundy as many women probably imagined him.

According to Liz, sex with her psychopathic boyfriend was “tender and gratifying.” She was hopelessly in love with him after the clunky sex she had with 2 other men after her divorce. She relished all of the romance and excitement she experienced in the love-making with Ted and it clearly drew her closer to him. The fact that he asked her for what she considered “abnormal sex” (e.g. “anal,” “bondage”) was brushed off later because he never forced her to engage in those acts.

Though we don’t have any information about Bundy’s sexual prowess with any other women, he clearly impressed his ex-girlfriend Stephanie when they reunited in the early 70’s for a short time. It’s conceivable to believe that other women enjoyed being with Ted, though it’s probably safe to say he was really only interested in what it represented to him. Sex with women who weren’t his murder victims was a way to make himself appear normal. He could get away with his abnormal behavior with cadavers and unconscious women while fooling those around him.

What we know about Bundy’s abnormal erotic appetites can be determined from his Florida victims. The Chi Omega victims were found with bite marks on their buttocks and foreign objects inserted in their bodies. This occurred after Ted bludgeoned them into oblivion with a piece of wood he picked up on his way into the sorority house. When his final victim’s body was found in a hog shed on an abandoned farm in Florida, it was determined she had been brutally beaten and sexually assaulted.

Florida victim's bite mark later matched to Bundy's dental impression.

Florida victim’s bite mark later matched to Bundy’s dental impression.

It’s interesting to see how very different the two sides of Bundy could be. On one hand, he was seen as a charismatic handsome man and on the other, he was clearly a violent criminal who viewed women as objects. I think it’s fair to say the violent side of Bundy is the true side. If nothing else, it’s the one that won out in the end. Bundy was arrested in 1978 and eventually confessed to murdering several women. No word was available about how those women felt about the sexual experience.

The “Ted Murders”

It has always astounded me that Bundy used his real name when introducing himself to victims. It wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the victims were isolated, but when he was seeking out women at Lake Sammamish in the summer of 1974, he gave his name to several women. Most of those women didn’t leave the location with him and were able to report him to the police after Janice Ott & Denise Naslund were discovered missing.

Ted murders

Ted murders

This type of bravado in the face of potential witnesses aligns with standard psychopathic behavior. The individual committing the crimes believes he’s can outsmart police. It thrills him to dangle identifying information before authorities and to still get away with his crimes. Psychopaths don’t experience fear the way most of us do. They constantly need more and more risk (much like an addict, which described Bundy perfectly) to experience any kind of excitement.

One thing Ted did love was being noticed. He enjoyed being the center of attention among his peers. No doubt this was another reason he used his first name when other people could hear him. He wanted the notoriety, but didn’t want to be caught. While other killers write to the media or call the police to get famous, Bundy wanted a different type of notoriety. He clearly got aroused from seeing his name in the newspaper or on television because he was the only person who knew he was to blame.

What Ted didn’t know was his girlfriend in Washington State turned him in twice and his coworker (Ann Rule) turned him too. Ted didn’t think people noticed each other or missed a person when they weren’t around. He didn’t understand how giving his name could have been a bad idea because his grasp on reality was muddled. However, it explains how he was eventually caught. Thank goodness for small wonders and in this case, a big mistake.

Why Did Bundy Drive A VW Bug?

Aside

What can you say about a 1968 Volkswagon Bug?  You could say it was a tiny car with hardly any leg room, it wasn’t a particularly flashy car, and its engine was in the back.  VW Bugs had pretty good gas mileage, but nothing to write home about. You could also say that hardly any authority would think to find a serial killer behind the wheel of a VW Bug.  Whether Ted Bundy knew that or he just preferred the Bug with its stick shift and small backseat, it was certainly a car he preferred.

Me with Bundy's 68 Bug

Me with Bundy’s 68 Bug

One of the main reasons Bundy preferred driving a Bug was because he could easily remove the passenger seat to easily control his victims once they were unconscious. He could quickly handcuff a young woman to the passenger door, ensuring she couldn’t escape until they arrived at their destination. To avoid anyone noticing his unconscious passenger, all he had to do was cover her up with a blanket. Bundy was never pulled over with a victim in the car, leaving one to wonder if cops looked right past his “ordinary” car.

Registration for Bundy's car

Registration for Bundy’s car

Bundy didn’t just drive his own VW Bug while racking up thousands of miles on the odometer. His fiancée, Liz, also had a light blue VW Bug. In fact, it was her car he was driving when he abducted and murdered two women at Lake Sammamish in July, 1974. He later mentioned stealing a Volkswagon while on the run from police in 1977 and really digging driving it.

Overall, Ted was a Volkswagon man, zipping here and there in his tiny, indistinct death machine. Never one to stay still, he killed women in at least eight states during the 1970’s skirting the law in his beige 1968 VW Bug. For a time, he was truly a terror on the highway.

Why Do Some Women Love Serial Killers?

Teddy was certainly jumping for joy upon receipt of his fan mail.

Teddy was certainly jumping for joy upon receipt of his fan mail.

While the rest of the world cringes in horror at the crimes committed by violent men, there are a select few women who are riveted by their stories. Ted Bundy had his share of fans and even married and produced a child with one of them. Both of the Menendez boys are married and even Richard Ramirez found a wife in Doreen Lioy. In fact, this author had limited online contact with Doreen whom she found to be smart, funny, and humble.

What causes certain women to become intimate with a notorious murderer who would surely kill her if he weren’t in prison? I believe it has to do with belief that the killer isn’t a bad person innately. The woman thinks if only she could get to him, to show him the world isn’t a bad place, that he certainly couldn’t continue to commit crimes. I feel that some women, including Erik Menendez’s wife, Tammi, who came out of an abusive marriage, are looking for a relationship with someone who can’t physically abuse them. In states where no conjugal visitation is allowed, the women can have a perfectly platonic relationship full of longing and lust without physical intimacy. Others probably enjoy being associated with someone who’s famous.

It’s not too hard to understand why certain killers become the focus of adoring fans. Often times, the media portrays dangerous men as justified in their actions. By giving violent criminals the spotlight and trying to justify their deeds, they appeal to those who seek to cure them, when in fact, the only thing that cures them is death.

Post-mortem in 1989.

Post-mortem in 1989.