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American serial killer and rapist Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century.
While the nation was shocked by the details of his trial, Ted Bundy's mother defended him right until the very end, but his confession devastated her.
While the world knows the name Ted Bundy, it is important not to forget those young women that lost their lives at the hands of a monster.
From preppie, clean-cut law student to cold-blooded killer, Ted Bundy proved to be one of the scariest murders of all time.
With his hatred of women cemented in place, Ted Bundy users the break-up from his first love as a pattern to kill. Modeling his victims on his first girlfriend, Bundy chose his targets carefully.
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Ted Bundy was born November 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vermont. In the 1970s, he raped and murdered young women in several states. He was connected to at least 36 murders, but some thought he had committed one hundred or more. He was executed in Florida's electric chair in 1989. His charm and intelligence made him something of a celebrity during his trial, and his case inspired many novels and films about serial killers.
Theodore "Ted" Bundy started life as his mother's secret shame. Eleanor Cowell was twenty-two years old and unmarried when she had her son Theodore, which scandalized her deeply religious parents. She delivered the child at a home for unwed mothers in Vermont and later brought her son to her parents in Philadelphia. To hide the fact he was an illegitimate child, Bundy was raised as the adopted son of his grandparents and was told that his mother was his sister. Eleanor moved with Ted to Tacoma, Washington, a few years later. In 1951, she married Johnnie Bundy and the couple had several children together. From all appearances, Bundy grew up in a content, working-class family.
Bundy showed an unusual interest in the macabre at an early age. Around the age of 3, he became fascinated by knives. Bundy was a shy, but bright child who did well in school, but not with his peers. As a teenager, a darker side of his character started to emerge. Bundy liked to peer in other people's windows and thought nothing of stealing things he wanted from other people.
While a student at the University of Washington, Bundy fell in love with a wealthy, pretty young woman from California. She had everything that he wanted: money, class, and influence. He was devastated by their breakup. Many of his later victims resembled his college girlfriend—attractive students with long, dark hair. His killings also usually followed a gruesome pattern. He often raped his victims before beating them to death.
The exact number of women Bundy killed will never been known. There is also some debate when he started killing, but most sources say that he began his murderous rampage around 1974. By this time, he had transformed himself, becoming more outwardly confident and active in social and political matters. He had graduated from University of Washington with a degree in psychology in 1972 and had been accepted to law school in Utah. Bundy even got a letter of recommendation from the Republican governor of Washington after working on his campaign.
Around this time, many women in the Seattle area and in nearby Oregon went missing. And stories circulated about some of the victims last being seen in the company of a young, dark-haired man known as "Ted." He often lured his victims into his car by pretending to be injured and asking for their help. Their kindness proved to be a fatal mistake.
Bundy moved to Utah in the fall of 1974 to attend law school, and women began disappearing there as well. The following year, he was pulled over by the police. A search of his vehicle uncovered a cache of burglary tools—a crowbar, a face mask, rope and handcuffs.
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