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Ted Bundy, the Man Who Was NOT Ken Misner, or Chris Hagen


Death Sentence

"It is ordered that you be put to death by a current of electricity, that that current be passed through your body until you are dead."

It was clear that judge Cowart wished that things were different for Theodore Robert Bundy. He looked at Ted and said softly,

"Take care of yourself, young man."

"Thank you."

"I say to you sincerely, take care of yourself. It is a trajedy for this court to see such a total waste of humanity that I've experienced in this courtroom. You are a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer, and I'd have loved to have seen you practice in front of me-but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don't have any animosity to you. I want you to know that."

"Thank you."

"Take care of yourself."

"Thank you."

-taken directly from Ann Rule's fine book, The Stranger Beside Me. Ann knew Ted Bundy as well as anyone who ever knew him. I recommend this book to any and to all-cause you should all know just how thoroughly you can be duped by someone as intelligent as Ted was. The man brings to mind the bit from the book of Jude, where it says something about the "sons of God" coming to Earth and having children with women; but then again I tend to reach a bit in seeing what may, or may not even be there. . . . .

Ted Bundy In Court

Ted Bundy


Was Ted Bundy a Product of Incest?

The fact that Theodore Robert Bundy was damadged early on comes out in a most telling incident that Dr. Lewis related in Ted's December 1987 competency hearing. It occurred when Ted was three years old. His aunt Julia, then about fifteen, awakened from a nap to find that her body was surrounded by knives. Someone had placed them around her as she slept. She wasn't cut, but the glitter of the blades made Julia's heart convulse.

Julia recognized that the knives had come from the cutlery drawer in their kitchen, and she looked up to see her three year old nephew. The adorable, elfin Ted Bundy stood by her bed, grinning at her. Three years old.

Now for some question and answer with Ann Rule, then I'm going to be done with Bundy.

Who was Ted's Biological Father?

This has never been absolutely established. His mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell, said simply that Ted's father was a "sailor." His birth certificate listed his father as Lloyd Marshall. Jack Worthington was another name listed as his father. Many, however, believe that Ted was born a child of incest, fathered by his mother's father, a man known for his violent temper. Blood samples were never taken to establish or refute anything, and DNA testing was still fifty years in the future.

Where you ever afraid when you were alone with Ted Bundy?

No, I had always prided myself on my ability to detect aberrance in other human beings-I had that skill through experience and training. I have berrated myself silently for a long time because I saw nothing threatening or disturbing in Ted's fascade. He was very kind to me, solicitous of my safety, and seemingly empathetic.

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The only clue that I had was that my dog-who liked everyone-didn't like Ted at all. Whenever he bent over my desk at the Crises Clinic, she growled and the hackles on the back of her neck stood up. The lesson is clear: Pay attention to your dog!

Don't you think that Ted Bundy should have been kept alive and studied by psychiatrist while he served life in prison?

No, I don't. Ted would have found a way to escape again, and he would have been more dangerous than ever. He fooled any number of intelligent, experienced people-including myself-and he was fully capable of doing it again and again. That was too big a risk to take.
Ann Rule.

Okay folks, now you know that as a matter of principle I'm against the state killing people, but I have to admit that a man that had already escaped twice, and had been busted two other times with the plans to escape-and with the types of crimes that he was addicted to committing. . . . I just don't know?!

Now you might say that today's prisons are above all of that, and I'd beg to differ. Today's criminals are much smarter, if possible, than Ted Bundy simply because they have to be in this tech oriented world. Someday I'll regale you with my tales of officer Aubury Hawkins, shot down by the "Texas Seven," who escaped.

Ted Bundy - Final Interview

Serial Killer Philosophy 101

Salt Lake Tribunal associated press article wrote:

When people deny that we can reason about moral matters, they give up much more than they ever imagined. Consider the following example. In the following paraphrased of a tape-recorded conversation with one of his victims, serial murderer Ted Bunday attempts to justify the murder of his victim:

"Then I learned that all moral judgments are 'value judgments,' that all vallue judgments are subjective, and that none can be proved to be either 'right' or 'wrong'. I even read somewhere that the Chief Justice of the United States had written that the American Constitution expressed nothing more than collective value judgements. Believe it or not, I figured out for myself - what apparently the Chief Justice couldn't figure out himself - that if the rationality of one value judgment was zero, multiplying it by millions would not make it one whit more rational . Nor is there any 'reason' to obey the law for anyone, like myself, who has the boldness and daring - the strength of character - to throw off its shackles. ... I discovered that to become truly free, truly unfettered, I had to become truly uninhibited. And I quickly discovered that the greatest obstacle to my freedom, the greatest block and limitation to it, consisted in the insupportable 'value judgment' that I was bound to respect the rights of others. I asked myself, who were these 'others'? Other human beings, with human rights? ...Surely, you would not, in this age of scientific enlightenment, declare that God or nature has marked some pleasures as 'moral' or 'good' and others as 'immoral' or 'bad'? In any case, let me assure you, my dear young lady, that there is absolutely no comparison between the pleasure I might take in eating ham, and the pleasure I anticipate in raping and murdering you. That is the honest conclusion to which my education has led me - after the most conscientious examination of my spontaneous and uninhibited self."

After a sharp scream, the tape clicks off. Although no rational person will condone Ted Bundy's behavior, the unthoughtful slogans we hear in the public square (e.g. "Who are you to judge?") may unwittingly abet it.

© 2010 Wesman Todd Shaw


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 07, 2019:

Angel, I've never read anything which could lead me to believe Ted was a closet homosexual. That all said, I could not really deny such a thing either. I'm just a guy writing webpages, reading books, etc.

PetersenSam - Ted was tremendous intellectual capability, and I believe that was what the judge was saying.

Thanks James! I think of Ted Bundy and I think of why we definitely need to always have the death penalty available.

James A Watkins from Chicago on April 28, 2019:

Very interesting article. Thank you.

PetersenSam on January 29, 2019:

Disturbing I think how the judge who commented at sentencing called him ‘partner’& said how he’d have made a good lawyer. Apart from the fact he had committed such hideous crimes, from what I have read, he had been at a number of universities studying & wasn’t committed to his studies. Rather, he was at University, to continue his deadly assault on women.

Angel1313 on June 06, 2017:


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on January 10, 2016:

I think Ted's problems started when...well, before he was ever born. Probably, his biological father was also his grandfather. There are good reasons most persons find incest repugnant, and Ted is probably another example of why.

Suzie from Carson City on January 10, 2016:

I did read "The Stranger Beside Me," many years ago. In fact as an Anne Rule fan, I think I've read all of her books.

After so many years, I don't recall much of her book, but his case,in general has been exposed everywhere by many, through various outlets. His story is certainly unique in several ways, but also falls into line with the thousands of studies on serial killers/rapists.

Despite herculean & continual efforts by those in the highest levels of the Mental Health field, even with in-depth study (actual lab work of the brain itself) it appears the answers remain elusive.

Should there be a phenomenal break-through, the big question then becomes, what next? How do mere mortal men find ways to perform miracles? This topic is so deep and complex, a million Ted Bundy's have come and gone and will continue to present......faster and in greater numbers than can be studied.

Another of your excellent reads, Wes.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on January 05, 2016:

Hi Sparklea! Yes, ALWAYS trust the dog! Sadly, the great Anne Rule passed late last year.

I too love watching the old videos of the guy, he was a charismatic sociopath.

Sparklea from Upstate New York on June 04, 2015:

Todd, I am very familiar with the Ted Bundy nightmare...I watch a lot of movies and forget a lot of them after but the movie Deliberate Stranger has stayed with me for decades. My mantra has been, and still is, "trust no one!" This is an excellent hub. I am amazed at his co-worker, and YES, always trust your dog! They must have ESP. I watched the interview...SO creepy and astonishing at the same time, for if I ran into Ted Bundy in line at a grocery store, I would not even imagine he was so evil. Thank you for sharing this vital information. Blessings Sparklea

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 27, 2010:

LOL! not laughing at the Ramirez atrocity, but it does boggle my little mind.

Raven on November 27, 2010:

Crap, sorry, didn't occur to me that not everyone knows Gilmore's name, duh! He was put to death by firing squad in UT back in '77. Originally from TX; Waco area, I think. Tommy Lee Jones played him in the movie The Executioner's Song. The book of the same name is really good if you ever get the chance to pick up either one. Or, there's an excellent article about him in a 79 or 80 edition of Playboy. I know I was like 9 or 10 when I read it so somewhere around those years; some hot blond chick on the cover, that narrows it down, eh? :-)

He was a violent man, I hope I didn't give the impression otherwise. But whereas Bundy was a cold stone methodical killers, Gilmore was an out of control alcoholic on a downward spiral.

Ramirez had sex with the corpse of an 80 yr old victim he stabbed to death. And he got married to a 'fan' in the mid 90's...


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 27, 2010:

Thanks Tom! Yeah, the Bundy death sentence brings that debate to a different place, he'd escaped twice, and left more bodies after each escape.

justom from 41042 on November 27, 2010:

This is a great hub Todd. It's all interesting isn't it? I've always opposed the death penalty but some folks just make you wonder if it has it's merits. I'm not sitting on the fence on many issues but this one...I just don't know. Excellent work man, Peace!! Tom

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 26, 2010:

I knew I'd heard of Gilmore, and I resisted the powers of Google in hoping that you'd come back!

Ramirez. . . .wasn't he just creepy? and yet the female fans.

Raven on November 26, 2010:

Gilmore was not a serial killer, nor would he have been one. He did not murder for the sake of murdering or to get a thrill; he gunned someone down during a robbery. Big difference between that and methodically offing as many women as possible.

I brought him up though because one thing he and Bundy had in common was the overwhelming numbers of female fans. If I'm not mistaken, they, along with Ramirez the NightStalker, all received thousands and thousands of letters from swooning women wanting to marry them; far more than most other 'famous' killers.

Of the 3, Gilmore was the only one who was 'real' enough and not a psychopath so he could have possibly swayed me that his life could maybe be redeemed. He also lacked the ego of Bundy which would just make him easier to listen/relate to. Every time I watch or read an interview with Bundy, I get the urge to smack the shit out of his smug face and stomp on his overblown, arrogant ass.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 25, 2010:

Hey sexy Lisarae!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, they got him with the bite marks. His last victim was a 12 year old girl. . .he was going after children at that point, so in my opinion, he was getting "worse."

Yeah, the serial killer thing is interesting. . . .but it's probably too negative a subject for me to get into, but I liked reading the Bundy book by Rule so much; or rather, it was so fascinating that I had to do something with those thoughts. Thank you!

Lisarae on November 24, 2010:

That filmed interview was very revealing-how he was so light hearted about the whole thing and trying to seem empathetic to the families. I remember when i read that book by Rule, I was on a spree of researching serial killers-trying to figure out what would cause someone to do something so extreme. Some were horribly abused as children, some had traumatic brain injuries, and some just seemed to have been born psychopaths. I think maybe Bundy fits into the latter category.

It's also crazy that the only thing that really led to his conviction was those bite marks on one of the victims. (From what I recall anyway)

As far as prison vs death, I think in those underground super max prisons they have today his chance of escape would be slim to none.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 24, 2010:

Why is it that Gary Gilmore could have talked you out of it?

Raven on November 24, 2010:

He was a complex and fascinating man, wasn't he? Insufferably egotistical and arrogant in many of his interviews, not sure what it was women found so charming. Gary Gilmore on the other hand? He could likely have talked me out of pulling the trigger.

Excellent job with the article; it rocks - as much as a serial killer topic could rock, I mean...

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on November 24, 2010:

Dude, I think Ted Bundy could probably talk me out of pulling the lever. . . .I do hear though, that the people who were present at his trial. . .NONE of them could have believed him after that brief moment of meltdown he had in the courtroom.

Folks say they saw demons when he did that, and that there was an awful smell in the courtroom.

Jason R. Manning from Sacramento, California on November 24, 2010:


This is a well written hub, you had me glued to the end, and I still want more. Truth is stranger than fiction, in Ted’s case; it is far more frightening than fiction. I am surprised you would admit in this case of your reluctance to pull the lever on Ted. If I had to uncover all of his doings, sit in a room and examine this mans contributions to our world, I could kill him with a piano string. Sure, I understand that is easier said than done, and I have a long way to go before I am a forgiving Christian, but like you my friend, I believe in brutal honesty. Voted up and awesome.

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