Ted Bundy

20th-century American serial killer

Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy (born Theodore Robert Cowell; November 24, 1946 – January 24, 1989) was an American serial killer, rapist, kidnapper and necrophile who assaulted and killed numerous young women and girls (from ages 12 - 25) during the 1970s and possibly earlier. He was sentenced to death and was executed by the electric chair in 1989.

I'm the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet...

QuotesEdit

  • I have known people who ... radiate vulnerability .... Their facial expressions say 'I am afraid of you.' These people invite abuse ... By expecting to be hurt, do they subtly encourage it?
    • In a 1977 letter to girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, quoted in Kendall, Elizabeth (September 1981). The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy (Hardcover, 1st ed.). Seattle: Madrona. page 167
  • I'm the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet.
    • During this interrogation after his arrest in Pensacola, Florida. (1978). Quoted in Hare, Robert D. (1999). Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopath Among Us. New York: The Guildford Press. p. 23
  • Okay, you've got the indictment, that's all you're gonna get... I'll plead not guilty right now.
    • As Leon County Sherriff Ken Katsaris reads him his indictment for the murder of the Chi Omega Sorority girls (July 27, 1978) video.
  • I'm not gonna be in this room when that jury walks in. I'm not going through this and you knew that, your honor. You know how far you can push me..... You wanna make a circus? You got a circus. [points to prosecutor] I'll rain on your parade Jack. You'll see a thunderstorm. This will not be the pat little drama you've arranged.
    • During an angry outburst after he learns of the judge's choices for the jury for the Kimberly Leach trial. (1980) video
 
A factor that is almost indispensable to this kind of behavior is the mobility of contemporary American life. Living in large centers of population, and living with lots of people, you can get used to dealing with strangers. It's the anonymity factor, and it has a twofold effect. First of all if you're among strangers you're less likely to remember them, or care what they're doing or what they should, or should not, be doing. If they should or shouldn't be there. Secondly, you're conditioned almost not to be afraid of strangers. Mobility is very important here. As we've seen...the individual's modus operandi was moving large distances in an attempt to camouflage what he was doing. Moving these distances, he was able to take advantage of the anonymity factor.
  • Tell the jury they're wrong!
    • After being sentenced to death for the murder of Kimberly Leach. (February 10, 1980). Quoted in Foreman, Laura (1992). Serial Killers – True Crime (Hardcover ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books. p. 42.
  • The ultimate possession was, in fact, the taking of the life. And then … the physical possession of the remains.
    • Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1989) Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer New York: Signet. pg. 124–26
  • I didn't know what made things tick. I didn't know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social interactions.
    • Discussing his high school years. Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999) The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (Paperback; revised ed.). Irving, Texas: Authorlink Press. pg. 66
  • Guilt. It's this mechanism we use to control people. It's an illusion. It's a kind of social control mechanism and it's very unhealthy. It does terrible things to our body.
    • Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999) The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (Paperback; revised ed.). Irving, Texas: Authorlink Press. pg. 320
  • A factor that is almost indispensable to this kind of behavior [serial killing] is the mobility of contemporary American life. Living in large centers of population, and living with lots of people, you can get used to dealing with strangers. It's the anonymity factor, and it has a twofold effect. First of all if you're among strangers you're less likely to remember them, or care what they're doing or what they should, or should not, be doing. If they should or shouldn't be there. Secondly, you're conditioned almost not to be afraid of strangers. Mobility is very important here. As we've seen...the individual's [himself in third person] modus operandi was moving large distances in an attempt to camouflage what he was doing. Moving these distances, he was able to take advantage of the anonymity factor.
    • Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999) The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (Paperback; revised ed.). Irving, Texas: Authorlink Press. pg. 326
  • Well, had he been cautious, he would’ve probably killed the first individual before leaving to get the second girl, but in this instance since we’ve agreed he wasn’t acting cautiously, he hadn’t killed the first girl when he abducted the second.
    • Describing the Lake Sammamish double murders. Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (2000) Ted Bundy, Conversations with a Killer pg 135.
  • Which one do they pick? Do they pick the law student with no criminal background, who was probably even known by some of the prosecutors working the case? Or are they going to go after the types, you know, the guys in the files... the real weirdos?
    • Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (2000) Ted Bundy, Conversations with a Killer pg 134–135.
  • But he found himself with this girl who was struggling and screaming. Uh, not screaming, but let’s say just basically arguing with him. There were houses in the vicinity and he was concerned that somebody might hear. And so, in an attempt to stop her from talking or arguing, he placed his hand over her mouth. She stopped and he attempted to remove her clothes and she began to object again. At this point, he was in a state of not just agitation, but something on the order of panic. He was fearing that she would arouse somebody in the vicinity. So, not thinking clearly but still intending not to harm her, let’s say, he placed his hands around her throat…Just to throttle her into unconsciousness so that she wouldn’t scream anymore. She stopped struggling, and it appeared that she was unconscious. But not, in his opinion, to a point where he had killed her. Just to throttle her into unconsciousness so that she wouldn’t scream anymore. She stopped struggling, and it appeared that she was unconscious. But not, in his opinion, to a point where he had killed her….. Then let’s say he removed her clothes and raped her and put his own clothes back on. At about that point, he began to notice that the girl wasn’t moving. It appeared, although he wasn’t certain, that he’d done what he had promised himself he wouldn’t do. And he had done it, really, almost inadvertently. Uh, so he took the girl by one of her arms and pulled her to a darkened corner of this little orchard and then, in a fit of panic, fled the scene. He got back in his car and drove back to his house, still not knowing if the girl was alive or dead. But once he returned to the house, upon reflection he began to wonder. He didn’t know if he’d left anything at the crime scene. He hadn’t thought about publicity and physical evidence. So he decided to return to the scene and if the body was there to recover it and take it somewhere else where it wouldn’t be found.
    • Describing the murder of victim Nancy Wilcox. Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (2000) Ted Bundy, Conversations with a Killer pgs 141–142.
 
When you feel the last bit of breath leaving their body, you're looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!
  • You're like a fisherman who fishes for years and catches a small fish. Sometimes a medium fish. [You] get lucky and get a big fish. But you know that there's a real big fish under there that always gets away. You and your group are going to get a lot of serial killers and they're going to help you. But with the real good ones, the only way you're going to know what goes on under the water is to go under the water. The fisherman drowns going underwater. But I can take you there without drowning. If I trust you. And if I decide.
    • To FBI agent Bill Hagmaier. Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999) The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (Paperback; revised ed.). Irving, Texas: Authorlink Press. pg. 334
  • .....murder is not just a crime of lust or violence. It becomes possession. They are part of you … [the victim] becomes a part of you, and you [two] are forever one … and the grounds where you kill them or leave them become sacred to you, and you will always be drawn back to them.
    • Quoted by Bill Hagmaier. Rule, Ann (2009). The Stranger Beside Me (Paperback; updated 2009 ed.). New York: Pocket Books pages 380–96.
  • When you feel the last bit of breath leaving their body, you're looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!
    • Quoted by Bill Hagmaier. Rule, Ann (2009). The Stranger Beside Me (Paperback; updated 2009 ed.). New York: Pocket Books pages 380–96.
  • I just said that the Hawkins girl's head was severed and taken up the road about twenty-five to fifty yards and buried in a location about ten yards west of the road, on a rocky hillside. Did you hear that?
    • Discussing the murder of Georgann Hawkins to Detective Robert Keppel, days before his execution. Quoted in Keppel, Robert (2005) The Riverman, Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer. Simon and Schuster, pp. 29
  • I'm not looking for anything. I understand now a lot of stuff about myself that I didn't understand then. It makes me realize what was going on. The senselessness of it appalls me although I'm sure not so much as those who were so close to it.
    • Interview with Detective Dennis Couch, days before his execution. [1]
  • I don't think anybody doubts whether I've done some bad things. The question is: what, of course, and how and, maybe even most importantly, why?
    • Interview with Bob Keppel days before his execution. audio
  • That's why it's so much easier for me to try to locate the bodies than it is to talk about the actual thing. It's so much more positive such as it could be.
    • Interview with Detective Dennis Couch, days before his execution. [2]
  • Jim [Coleman, his defense attorney] and Fred [Lawrence, his minister], I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends.
    • Last spoken words as he is strapped to the electric chair. Quoted in Michaud, Stephen; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999) The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (Paperback; revised ed.). Irving, Texas: Authorlink Press. pg. 344

1977 interview in Pitkin County Prison, ColoradoEdit

 
Sure, I get angry. I get very, very angry and indignant. 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.
  • Sure, I get angry. I get very, very angry and indignant. 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.
  • I'm not guilty? [Laughs] Does that include the time I stole a comic book when I was five years old? I'm not guilty of the charges which have been filed against me.
  • I don't know all of what you're speaking about Lucky [Severson, reporter interviewing him] it's too broad and I can't get into it in any detail. But I'm satisfied with my blanket statement that I'm innocent. No man is truly innocent. I mean we all have transgressed some way in our lives and as I say, I've been impolite and there are things I regret having done in my life but nothing like the things, I think, that you're referring to.
  • I wanted to become a part of my defense because I am such a part of it. Obviously I'm going to bear the consequences, so why not bear the responsibilities?
  • People say "Ted Bundy didn't show any emotion, there must be something in there". I showed emotion. You know what people said? "See, he really can get violent and angry".
  • I think I stand as much chance of dying in front of a firing squad or in a gas chamber as you do being killed on a plane flight home. Let's hope you don't.

1984 interview with Detective Robert Keppel (regarding the Green River Killer)Edit

[specific citation needed]
  • ...this guy is responsible for twenty or thirty more deaths at least, and there's a certain aspect of possessiveness in that. I think that's one way of describing it in rather bland terms, a possessiveness where the corpse could easily be as important as the live victim, in some respects. I mean, it's that physical possession and ownership, a taking, if you will, that is just part of the syndrome. I think that sense of power and ownership is one of the reasons why I think in some cases—not all, certainly—is why I think he might be individually intending to return to the scene to either view his victim, or in fact, interact with the body in some way.
  • In my opinion, the best chance you have of catching this guy is to get a site with a fresh body and stake it out.
  • ...just like anybody else with an obsession, whether it be fishing, bowling or skiing, he has ways he can vicariously satisfy it. Maybe he is going to peep shows and reading detective magazines. I think there's an excellent chance that one way he gets off is by going to look at what they call the slasher films.
  • This guy doesn't want to be caught. He doesn't want to play around. He's not Son of Sam and he's not even the LA Hillside Stranger. He doesn't want notoriety. That's why he's going to all these length to dispose of these people in the way that he has.

Quotes about BundyEdit

 
If he killed all those lovely young women–we have several beautiful daughters of our own, we know how we would feel and its a terrible thing. And he wasn't raised that way! He was raised in a good, loving, caring family.... We still love and care for him, but we want to know: what caused this? ~ Louise Bundy
  • He's definitely a premier serial killer. He is probably the model. But I don't think there's many of them like him, fortunately.
  • Ted did not have any guilt. He did not have any remorse. He did not have a conscience. And so when he talks about being 99% normal and 1% abnormal, its an ugly joke. He was 100% abnormal.
  • Ted was never as handsome, brilliant or charismatic as crime folklore deemed him. But as I said before, infamy became him.
  • I would describe him being as close to being like the devil as anyone I ever met.
  • Ted was the very definition of heartless evil.
    • Polly Nelson. (1994) Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer. New York: William Morrow p. 319
  • If he killed all those lovely young women–we have several beautiful daughters of our own, we know how we would feel and its a terrible thing. And he wasn't raised that way! He was raised in a good, loving, caring family.... We still love and care for him, but we want to know: what caused this?
    • Louise Bundy, Ted's mother, interviewed before his execution. video
  • [Ted] would walk me out to my car at two in the morning when my shift was over, and he'd say "Ann please lock your doors, I don't want anything bad to happen to you on the way home". Well, I'd just been locked up with probably the most dangerous man in the western states.
  • For everything he did to the girls–the bludgeoning, the strangulation, humiliating their bodies, torturing them–I feel that the electric chair is too good for him.
    • Eleanor Rose, mother of victim Denise Naslund. video
  • Bundy's a rumpkin. Bundy's a poopbutt. Bundy's his momma's boy. Bundy's out there trying to prove something to his own manhood. That's got nothing to do with me. I don't roll around with poop people like that. I stand with people that can stand with themselves.
  • I did not oppose his execution. I believed he deserved it. I never said to Ted that he did not deserve to die. I think I was pretty open with him about that. If there was a case where an individual deserve to face the maximum penalty, I think he did.....I'm not an apologist for Ted Bundy.
    • Dr. James Dobson on Eyewitness New 4 Special. Just after Bundy's execution. video
  • Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself, please. It is an utter tragedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity as I’ve experienced in this courtroom. You’re a bright young man. You would have made a good lawyer and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don’t feel any animosity toward you. I just want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.
    • Judge Edward Cowart to Bundy after sentencing him to the electric chair for the Chi Omega murders.
  • He ruined our lives and he's still part of your life, unfortunately.
    • Belva Kent, mother of victim Debra Kent. [3]
  • I don't think about him. I don't let myself think about him. I don't want to think about him. We know he is in hell.
    • Connie Wilcox, mother of victim Nancy Wilcox. [4]
  • In some ways, Ted Bundy is an icon of the '70s. He mixed show biz and violence in a way that had never been done before.
    • Stephen Michaud in The Seventies, Episode 4: Crimes and Cults (2015)

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