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The Life of Ted Bundy

Paper Outline

Ted Bundy- His life

Teds Teenage Years
The criminal activities
Why he did it

The Trait Theory


This paper looks at the life of one of the most notorious killers in the history of America from his birth to his execution. Ted Bundy was a bright, charming and good looking young man. He is responsible for over 35 deaths of young, beautiful women from at least four states. This stunned many people because he looked and intelligent did not match that of a serial killer. The review also explores the crimes that Ted Bundy committed. It further explains the Trait theory with the view to understand his actions. The theory also known as The Process of Violetization gives the different stages in which a criminal is formed.

Ted Bundy – His Life

Theodore Robert Cowell was born on 24th November 1946. His mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell was at the time 22 years old and single. Robert spent his first years of life believing that his mother was his sister and his grandparents were his parents. In 1951, Louise Cowell was married to Johnnie Culpepper Bundy and Theodore took up the surname of his new stepfather. Since then, he was known as Ted Bundy. In academics, Ted was very successful, but he ended up a serial killer.
Ted’s teenage years
Bundy grew up to be an attractive teen, and he was also well behaved. He did well academically and was liked by many. He enrolled in the University of Pugent after completing high school and continued to perform well. However, he was never comfortable around his peers who were wealthy. This made him transfer to the University of Washington during his sophomore year. Ted continued with the acute shyness throughout high school and college years, and he always kept to himself.
At the University of Washington, Ted Bundy studied Psychology successfully. He was also involved in active politics by volunteering for the Republican Party. This was when he started to live a secret life where he assaulted and brutally murdered women who had similar appearances. Notably, 36 women in four states were reported to have been murdered by Ted. The actual number that he killed is not known. However, it is believed that he started his murders at around 1974.
The murdered women who were attractive, with long and dark hair and resembled his college sweetheart with whom he had fallen in love with but later broke his heart when she ended the relationship. He usually used to beat his victims to death before sexually assaulting them. At this time, he had transformed to a brave young man. He even got a recommendation letter from the Washington’s Republican governor and was accepted in Utah to Law school (Rippo & Aguilar 2007).
III. The criminal activities
Joni Lenz was among the few survivors who braved the attacks from the culprit. She was attacked by Bundy in early 1974. However, the sexual assault and beatings left her with massive physical damage and psychological trauma.
However, Lynda Ann Healy, a 21 year old beautiful law student was not as fortunate. She disappeared on January 31st 1974. However, her disappearance did not alarm the police. Other seven young women with similar appearances went missing following the incident. This forced the police to review the case. The bodies of two of these female students, Ott Janice and Naslund Denise, were later discovered. They had disappeared on 14th July, and eye witnesses reported having last seen them with a stranger named Ted. The stranger had a plaster on his arm and drove a Beetle VW.
In Utah, Bundy murdered four other women between October and November. One of the victims turned out to be a local police officer’s daughter, and lots of effort was employed to track down the murderer. The Utah police discovered similarity of the murders with the ones reported in the state of Washington. The victims had gone through rape, were sodomized and received trauma from a blunt object. The Utah police together with their colleagues in Washington developed an accurate image of the man “Ted” based on the accounts of eyewitnesses. Meg Anders, who was Bundy’s Partner, noticed that the description given by the police matched Bundy’s. She alerted them, but her allegations were not taken seriously owing to Bundy’s handsomeness and affable personality (Ted Bundy: The campus serial killer, 2008).
The police had their initial major breakthrough following Bundy’s failed attempt to abduct Carol DaRonch. The criminal accosted the victim in a shopping center in the late 1974. The identity of the abductor was similar to Bundy. In addition, the blood sample that came as a result of his struggle with Carol was also matching. Later the same day, Bundy managed to kill another woman named Debby Kent.
In the next couple of months, no incident was reported. Nonetheless, what followed was the brutal murder of Caryn Campbell. The murder occurred in Colorado on 12 January 1975. The victim suffered rape, sodomy and trauma from a blunt force. Around this time, the police discovered a bone graveyard in a forest in Washington. Further search was done, and three more bodies were discovered. These bodies were later identified to belong to some of the women who had disappeared from Utah and Washington having succumbed to trauma from a blunt force. This discovery did little in bringing the police in the four states to getting hold of Bundy (Sullivan, 2009).
On August 16 1975, Ted was arrested in Salt Lake County. Bundy was convicted, and he received a jail sentence of 15 years. Two years afterwards, he was indicted on charges of murder of a woman from Colorado. He acted as his own lawyer, and this gave him the freedom to make trips to the courthouse library. While here, he managed to escape by jumping out of a widow. However, 8 days later, he was captured.
He did not stay in prison for long. In this case, he managed to escape once more and made his way to Florida where he murdered two more women. This was in December 1977. His crimes came to and end on 9th February 1978 when he kidnapped and killed a girl of twelve years named Kimberly Leach. He was arrested that same February. Bandy was convicted in July 1979 for two murders. He was handed a death sentence for each of the crimes. The following year, he was given another death penalty for Kimberly’s murder. Bundy spent years on trials trying to prove his innocence, but he met his fate on January 24th 1989 at 7:00 AM on an electric chair.
Why he did it
The psychological makeup of an individual is affected by abuse in the early years of his or her life through physical and mental abuse. The person becomes corrupted. In this case, an individual may easily become a “serial killer”. Ted’s mother lied to him about his maternity and this made a great impact on his psychology. Through interviews, Ted blamed his actions on his early exposure to pornography.

The Trait Theory

The Trait theory mostly known as the Social Process of Violetization can best explain Ted Bundy’s actions. Lonnie Athens, a criminologist came up with this theory. He explains the four stages in this theory. The first phase is brutalization. During this stage, the victim is subjected to domination by a close family member. This stage is further divided into sub-stages. The first sub-stage is violent subjugation where the person in authority uses violence to gain respect or long term control over the victim.
Personal horrification is the second sub-stage where the victim is exposed to violent subjugation of a closely related person. This causes the victim to experience guilt and helplessness.
The second stage of the trait theory is belligerency. At this stage, the victim begins to realize the need to end the violation against them. He or she also sees that sometimes violence is a necessary tool of survival in this world. The victim also begins to realize the need to deal with those individuals who may want to provoke him. This can be achieved through emotive responses. These responses may include the use of violence. This greatly harms or even kills the person. In this stage, the victim is still contemplating on the course of action to be taken. The culprit then settles him or herself to carry out the attack if seriously provoked. They are sure they can overcome their targets. This is when the victim commits their first violent act. This marks the end of this stage.
Vilurency is the final stage in this theory where the victim starts their acts of violence. This transforms the victim to a criminal. The acts of violence build the criminals confidence due to the dehumanizing and scaring nature of the violent performances. The criminal is capable of losing his confidence in this stage. However, if it continues, he moves to the end of the virulence stage by gaining the reputation of a crazy and dangerous individual as a result of publication of their violent acts. The criminal becomes greatly impressed with himself and discovers the importance of “fame” even if it is negative in nature (Siegel, 2013).

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