Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ted Bundy Part 1

The Ted Bundy Story — Attack!

The Stranger Beside Me
The Stranger Beside Me by
Ann Rule
Joni Lenz's roommates had not been particularly worried when they didn't see her in the morning of January 4, 1974. But when she still wasn't up and around that afternoon, they went into her basement bedroom to see if she was sick.A horrifying sight confronted them.
Ann Rule in her now famous classic book on the subject, The Stranger Beside Me, wrote that Joni, 18, had been badly beaten. A bed rod had been torn away from the bed and savagely rammed into her vagina. Shortly after the discovery, Joni was transported to the hospital in a comatose state, suffering from damages that would affect her for the rest of her life.
The Only Living Witness
The Only Living Witness by
Michaud & Aynesworth
However, she was lucky to be alive. Joni was one of the few victims to survive an attack by Ted Bundy, who reigned terror across the United States between 1974 and 1978. There were an estimated 35 more victims after Joni who were not so fortunate. Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in The Only Living Witness suggest that perhaps 40 young women may have fallen prey to Bundy, but only Bundy knew for sure. It is a number that Bundy has carried with him to his grave.
The many faces of Ted Bundy
The many faces of Ted Bundy

The Early Years

Theodore Robert Cowell was born on November 24, 1946  to Louise Cowell following her stay of three months at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Vermont. Ted’s biological father, who was an Air Force veteran, was unknown to his son throughout his life. Shortly after his birth, Ted and his mother moved back to the home of his grandparents in Philadelphia. While growing up, Ted was led to believe that his grandparents were his parents and his natural mother was his older sister. The charade was created in order to protect his biological mother from harsh criticism and prejudice of being an unwed mother.
At the age of four, Ted and his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington  to live with relatives. A year after the move, Louise fell in love with a military cook named Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. In May 1951, the couple was married and Ted assumed his stepfather’s last name, which he would keep for the rest of his life.
Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer
Ted Bundy: Conversations with
a Killer by Michaud & Aynesworth
Over the years, the Bundy family added four other siblings, whom Ted spent much of his time babysitting after school. Ted’s stepfather tried to form a bond between himself and Ted by including him in camping trips and other father-son activities. However, Johnnie’s attempts were unsuccessful and Ted remained emotionally detached from his stepfather. According to Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth’s book Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer, Ted became increasingly uncomfortable around his stepfather and preferred to be alone. This desire to be by himself increased and possibly led to his later inability to socially interact comfortably with others.
As a youth, Ted was terribly shy, self-doubting and uncomfortable in social situations. He was often teased and made the butt of pranks by bullies in his junior high school. Michaud analyzed Ted's behavior and decided that he was “not like other children, he looked and acted like them, but he was haunted by something else: a fear, a doubt -- sometimes only a vague uneasiness-— that inhabited his mind with the subtlety of a cat. He felt it for years, but he didn’t recognize it for what it was until much later.” Regardless of the humiliating experiences he sometimes suffered from being different, he was able to maintain a high grade-point average that would continue throughout high school and later into college.
During his high school years, Ted appeared to blossom into a more gregarious young man. His popularity increased significantly and he was considered to be “well dressed and exceptionally well mannered.” Despite his emerging popularity, Ted seldom dated. His interests lay more in extra-curricular activities such as skiing and politics. In fact, Ted had a particular fascination with politics, an interest that would years later temporarily land him in the political arena.
Following high school, Ted attended college at the University  of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. He worked his way through school by taking on several low-level jobs, such as a bus boy and shoe clerk. However, he seldom stayed with one position for very long. His employers considered him to be unreliable.
Although Ted was inconsistent with his work outside of school, he was very focused on his studies and grades. Yet, his focus changed during the spring of 1967 when he began a relationship that would forever change his life.
Ted met a girl that was everything he had ever dreamed of in a woman. She was a beautiful and highly sophisticated woman from a wealthy Californian family. Ted couldn't believe someone from her "class" would have an interest in someone like him. Although they had many differences, they both loved to ski and it was during their many ski trips together that he fell in love. She was really Ted's first love, and, according to Ann Rule, possibly the first woman with whom he became involved with sexually. However, she was not as infatuated with Ted as he was with her. In fact, she liked Ted a lot but believed he had no real direction or future goals. Ted tried too hard to impress her, even if that meant lying, something that she didn't like at all.
Stephen Michaud
Stephen Michaud
Michaud writes that Ted won a summer scholarship to the prestigious Stanford University in California just to impress her, but at Stanford, his immaturity was exposed. He writes, "Ted did not understand why the mask he had been using had failed him. This first tentative foray into the sophisticated world had ended in disaster."
In 1968, after his girlfriend graduated from the University of Washington, she broke off relations with Ted. She was a practical young woman and seemed to realize that Ted had some serious character flaws that took him out of the running as "husband material."
Ted never recovered from the break-up. Nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him and he eventually dropped out, dumb-founded and depressed over the break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing after she returned to California, yet she seemed uninterested in getting back together. But Ted became obsessed with this young woman and he couldn't get her out of his mind. It was an obsession that would span his lifetime and lead to a series of events that would shock the world.

A Time of Change

To make matters worse, in 1969 Bundy learned his true parentage. His "sister" was actually his mother and his "parents," were actually his grandparents. Not unexpectedly, this late discovery had a rather serious impact on him. Michaud says that his attitude towards his mother did not change much, but he became nasty and surly to Johnnie Bundy.
It's hard to say whether the knowledge that his mother had deceived him all his life had any impact on his other character flaws which were beginning to blossom. Throughout Ted Bundy's high school and college years, there was always a cloud over his reputation for honesty. Many people close to him suspected him of petty thievery.
Marilyn Bardsley
Marilyn Bardsley
According to Marilyn Bardsley, Crime Library's serial killer expert, Ted's psychopathic nature was being revealed, but most of the people that witnessed it did not realize what they were experiencing. Stealing without any sense of guilt and, in fact, a sense of entitlement, is a common trait in a psychopath. Also, psychopaths get a thrill from the the excitement and danger that stealing and shoplifting presents to them. Ted's dishonesty evolved from stealing small things in work and school situations to shoplifting to burglarizing homes for televisions and other items of value.
He changed from a shy and introverted person to a more focused and dominant character. He was driven, as if to prove himself to the world. He re-enrolled at the University of Washington and studied psychology, a subject in which he excelled. Bundy became an honors student and was well liked by his professors at the university.
Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy
Phantom Prince: My Life with
Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall
It is also at this time when Ted met Elizabeth Kendall (a pseudonym under which she wrote The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy ), a woman with whom he would be involved with for almost five years. Elizabeth worked as a secretary and was a somewhat shy and quiet woman. She was a divorcee who seemed to have found in Ted Bundy the perfect father figure for her daughter. Elizabeth was deeply in love with Ted from the start and wanted to one day marry him. However, Ted said he was not yet ready for marriage because he felt there was still too much for him to accomplish. She knew that Ted didn't feel as strongly for her as she did him. She felt that on many occasions Ted was meeting with other women. Yet, Elizabeth hoped that time would bring him around to her and he would eventually change his ways. She was unaware of his past relationship with his girlfriend from California and that they still continued to keep in contact and visit each other.
Outwardly, Ted's life in 1969-1972 seemed to be changing for the better. He was more confident, with high hopes for his future. Ted began sending out applications to various law schools, while at the same time he became active in politics. He worked on a campaign to re-elect a Washington governor, a position that allowed Ted to form bonds with politically powerful people in the Republican Party. Ted also performed volunteer work at a crisis clinic on a work-study program. He was pleased with the path his life was taking at this time, everything seemed to be going in the right direction. He was even commended by the Seattle police for saving the life of a three-year-old boy who was drowning in a lake.
In 1973, during a business trip to California for the Washington Republican Party, Ted met up with his old girlfriend. She was amazed at the transformation in Ted. He was much more confident and mature, not as aimless as he was when they last dated. They met several other times afterwards, unknown to his steady girlfriend, Elizabeth. During Ted's business trips he romantically courted the lovely young woman from California and she once again fell in love with him.

A Time of Terror

Linda Ann Healey
Lynda Ann Healy
Lynda Ann Healy was a very accomplished young woman. At age 21, morning radio listeners heard her friendly voice announce the ski conditions for the major ski areas in western Washington. She was a beautiful girl, tall and slim with shiny clean, long brown hair and a ready smile.The product of a good family and an uppper-middle-class environment, she was an excellent singer and a senior at the University of Washington, majoring in psychology. She loved working with children who were mentally handicapped.
Lynda shared a house near the university with four other young women. On January 31, 1974, she and a few friends went for a few beers after dinner at Dante's, a tavern that was popular with the university students. They didn't stay long and Lynda went home to watch television and talk on the phone to her boyfriend. Then Lynda went to bed. The roommate in the room next to Lynda heard no noises coming from Lynda's room that night.
Lynda had to get up every morning at 5:30 to get to her job at the radio station. The roommmate heard Lynda's alarm go off at 5:30 as it did customarily. What was unusual was that the alarm kept buzzing. When the roommate finally went in to shut off the alarm, she heard the phone ring. It was the radio station calling to see where Lynda was. The bed in Lynda's room was made and nothing looked disturbed, so the roommate assumed that Lynda was on her way to work.
When her parents called that afternoon to find out why Lynda had not shown up for dinner as expected, everyone became worried. Nobody had seen her. She seemed to have vanished from the house.
Lynda's parents called the police. In Lynda's room, they found that her bed had been made up in a way that Lynda had never made it up before. In fact, Lynda was not normally one to make up her bed. Oddly, a pillowcase and the top sheet were missing on this carefully made-up bed.
A small bloodstain of the same blood type as Lydna's was found on the pillow and the bottom sheet. Blood was also on her nightgown that was carefully hung in the closet. An outfit of hers was missing.
Another alarming clue was that one of the doors to the house was unlocked when the girls were always vigilant about locking it.
The police were not initially convinced that Lynda had been a victim of foul play, so no fingerprint, hair or fiber evidence was gathered.
Ultimately, police realized that an intruder had somehow gotten into the house, removed her nightgown and hung it in the closet, dressed her in a change of clothes, made up the bed, wrapped Lynda in the top bed sheet and carried her out of the house -- very quietly.

Marriage was a topic brought up more than once by Ted over their many intimate rendezvous during that fall and winter. Yet, just as suddenly as their romance began, it changed radically. Where once Ted lavished affection upon her, he was suddenly cold and despondent. It seemed as if Ted had lost all interest in her in just a few weeks. She was clearly confused about this "new" Ted. In February 1974, with no warning or explanation, Ted ended all contact with her. His plan of revenge worked. He rejected her as she had once rejected him. She was never to see or hear from Ted again.

Killing Spree

Janice Ott, victim
Janice Ott, victim
During that spring and summer, more women students suddenly and inexplicably vanished. There were striking similarities among many of the cases. For instance, all the girls were white, slender, single, wearing slacks at the time of disappearance, had hair that was long and parted in the middle and they all disappeared in the evening.Also around the time of the disappearances, police interviewed college students who told them of a strange man who was seen wearing a cast on either his arm or leg. Supposedly, the stranger seemed to be struggling with books and asking young women nearby for assistance. Other eyewitnesses reported a strange man in the campus parking lot who had a cast and asked for assistance with his car, a VW bug that he apparently had difficulty starting. Interestingly, around the same area where two of the girls mysteriously disappeared, there was seen such a man wearing a cast on his arm or leg.
Denise Naslund, victim
Denise Naslund, victim
Finally, in August of 1974 in Washington's Lake Sammamish State Park, the remains of some of the missing girls were found and two were later identified. It was remarkable that police were able to identify two of the bodies considering what was left -- strands of various colors of hair, five thigh bones, a couple of skulls and a jaw bone. The girls identified were Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, who disappeared on the same day, July 14th.The last people to have seen Ott, a couple picnicking near by, remembered a handsome young man approaching the young woman. From what the couple could hear of the conversation between Ott and the young man,  his name was Ted and he had difficulty loading his boat onto his car because his arm was in a cast. He asked Ott for assistance and she agreed to help. That was the last time twenty-three-year-old Janice Ott was seen alive.
Mellissa Smith, victim
Melissa Smith, victim
Denise Naslund was spending the afternoon with her boyfriend and friends when she walked towards the restroom in the park, never to return again. That afternoon, around where she disappeared, a man who wore a cast and asked for help with his boat approached a couple of women. They were unable to assist the attractive young man. However, Denise Naslund was the kind of girl to help someone in need, especially someone with a broken arm--an act of kindness that cost her life. Denise Naslund was not the last woman to disappear and be found dead.This time the killer would travel to different states.
Laura Aime, victim
Laura Aime, victim
Midvale, Utah's, Police Chief Louis Smith had a seventeen-year-old daughter whom he frequently warned about the dangers of the world. He had seen all too much during his career and worried for his daughter's safety. Yet, his worst fears were to come true on October 18, 1974 when his daughter Melissa disappeared. She had been found 9 days after her disappearance -- strangled, sodomized and raped.Thirteen days later on Halloween, seventeen-year-old Laura Aime disappeared. She was found on Thanksgiving Day in the Wasatch Mountains lying dead by a river. Aime had been beaten about the head and face with a crowbar, raped and sodomized. It was suspected that she was killed someplace other than where she was found due to the lack of blood at the crime scene. Other than her body, there was no physical evidence for the police to use.


The similarities with the Washington State murders caught the attention of local police in Utah, who were frantically searching for the man responsible for the grisly crimes. With each murder, the evidence was slowly mounting. Utah police consulted with Washington State investigators. Almost all agreed that it was highly likely that the same man who committed the crimes in Washington State had also been responsible for the murders in Utah.  Thanks to eyewitness accounts of the man in the cast seen near the areas where many of the women had disappeared, they were able to come up with a composite of the could-be-killer who called himself "Ted."
Police Composite Drawing of Suspect
Police Composite Drawing of

When a close friend of Elizabeth Kendall saw the account of Melissa Smith’s murder in the paper and the composite of the could-be-killer, she knew that Ted Bundy must be the man. It wasn’t just her intense dislike and mistrust for Elizabeth’s boyfriend that led her to believe that Ted was the “man,” but also the fact that he looked so much like the composite picture in the paper.
Deep down, Elizabeth must have known her friend was right. After all, Ted did resemble the sketch, he drove a VW similar to those seen by witnesses and she had seen crutches in his room even though he never injured his leg. According to the book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, which was later written by Kendall, she anonymously called the Seattle Police Department in August 1974 and stated that her boyfriend “might be involved” in the recent murder cases. She called again later that fall and gave more pertinent information that might assist the investigators in the case. She also agreed to give recent pictures of Ted, to later be shown to witnesses. However, the witnesses did not make a positive I.D. after viewing the pictures and Elizabeth’s report was eventually filed away. The investigators working the case decided to turn their attention towards more likely suspects and Ted Bundy was forgotten until a few years later.
The killer continued to elude investigators, assuming that by operating in different states the police would be unable to compare the cases. His behavior became increasingly bold and risky as he approached women. Those who escaped his advances would later recognize him and provide the police with valuable information.


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