On the off-chance you haven't heard of Ted Bundy, you will find plenty of footage of and about him on YouTube, a fairly extensive biography on that font of all knowledge Wikipedia
, and more of the same elsewhere. For film buffs, there is the 2002 Bundy
, a semi-documentary that includes some real life footage. Last but by no means least there is the website of Anne Rule
, author of The Stranger Beside Me
. As might be deduced from its title, she knew Bundy personally, and like everyone else was taken in by the handsome, perpetual law student, until finally, in the courtroom, the mask slipped.
Although there have been more prolific serial killers - like Dr Shipman
- Bundy holds a special place in the annals of murder. For one thing, though not the first serial killer, it was his crimes that inspired the term. Before Bundy, serial killings were known as stranger murders.
Bundy raped, mutilated and murdered his way across America for a decade, but he could have been stopped sooner. His first big mistake was kidnapping Carol DaRonch in November 1974. Posing as a police officer, he tricked her into his car and handcuffed her, but realising if she didn't escape then she would die, she fought like a tigress, and, incredibly, escaped from his clutches.
After Bundy was arrested in August the following year during a traffic stop, he was linked to the DaRonch kidnap attempt. Positively identified, he was taken off the street. While he was behind bars, detectives began building a case against him for a number of murders in the Pacific Northwest, but their strongest case was for the murder of a young woman in Colorado, where he was extradited. Then incredibly he would escape not once but twice.
Bundy's swansong was three murders in Florida. In January 1978, he effected entry to a sorority house where he bludgeoned four young women, killing two of them. His last murder was of his youngest known victim. Kimberly Leach was only 12; her body was found weeks later. Bundy was arrested while driving his trademark stolen Volkswagen Beetle.
Tried for and convicted of the sorority house murders, he was sentenced to death. He was then tried for his last murder, and was again convicted and sentenced to death.
Then began the long, slow wait while the unnecessarily tardigrade process of appeals took its course. When his appeals ran out, Bundy went to meet not his Maker but the other bloke. In his last ever interview, Bundy, untrustworthy as ever, attempted at least partially to blame his descent into depravity on hard core pornography. You will find that interview on YouTube, for what it is worth.
Although he was scheduled for execution at 7am, there was a huge turn out at Florida State Prison where he was strapped into Old Sparky and fried until he died. People let off fireworks and partied. Even so, there was a small handful of anti-death penalty protesters present.
Whatever one thinks of the death penalty, if there is a place in the world for men like Bundy, there is a place for legal execution.
Happy anniversary Ted, and may you soon be joined in everlasting Hell by Alfredo Prieto