Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 in Burlington, Vermont. He was born fatherless and lived with his mother and grandmother in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania until he was nine years old. The first evidence of his mental instability appeared at the age of four, when he appeared at his aunt's bedside with several knives and a twisted smile.
Bundy and his mother next moved to Tacoma, Washington where she married a man named John Culpepper Bundy. For most of his life, his mother had told him that she was actually his sister, but she finally revealed the truth to Bundy and caused him a great deal of psychological trauma. He continued living a fairly normal life as a student and Boy Scout, but he had trouble getting along with other people.
His first criminal activities began with voyeurism when he would sneak around the neighborhood and peep into people's windows. After graduating from high school, he worked for the Republican Party as a campaign aide. He also volunteered at a suicide crisis center in Seattle, where he ironically worked with a reporter who wrote stories about his murders.
Bundy attempted to lead a normal life and dated a woman named Stephanie Brooks. She dumped him at one point, citing his immaturity and lack of ambition, and the pair were separated for two years. At that point, he began dating her again and proposed marriage, to which she agreed. Two days later, he abruptly stopped returning her phone calls and never talked to her again.
After the breakup, he committed his first known violent crime in 1974. On January 4, 1974, he broke into the home of Joni Lenz, an eighteen-year-old student at the University of Washington, and beat her with a crowbar. A forensic analysis showed that he had also tortured her while she was still alive by sexually assaulting her with a bed rod. She was discovered in a coma and lying in a pool of blood the next morning. Joni managed to survive her severe injuries, but only with dehabilitating and permanent brain damage.
On January 31, 1974, Bundy broke into the room of Lynda Ann Healy, another student at the same university. After knocking her unconscious, he dressed her up in jeans and a shirt, wrapped her in a bed sheet, and carried her outside to his car. Her body was found a year later, decapitated and dismembered.
Over the next six months, Bundy killed ten more young women after stalking them. In July, he daringly abducted two women in the same day at a state park and murdered them. All of his crimes occurred in the states of Oregon, Utah, and Washington and left little or no evidence for the police.
In the fall of 1974, Bundy moved to Utah, where he continued his spree with the murders of Melissa Smith, the daughter of a police chief, and Laura Aime. On November 8, 1974, Bundy finally slipped up when attempting to kidnap a woman named Carol DaRonch. He was posing as a police officer and managed to lure her into his car, where he tried to handcuff her. He only managed to get the cuffs on one wrist before the woman dove out of the car and ran away.
DaRonch was able to identify Bundy to police and he was captured shortly after. He was convicted of attempted kidnapping on June 30, 1976 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison. On June 7, 1977, he was transferred to a state prison in Pitkin County, Colorado, where authorities were preparing to charge him with murder. However, he managed to escape the local courthouse during a recess by jumping out of a second story window. Unfortunately for Bundy, he had injured his ankle and was not able to escape the city before being captured the next week.
Once back in jail, Bundy managed to pull off another miraculous escape. He stole a hacksaw from the facility and used it to saw a hole in the ceiling of his room. On December 30, 1977, he climbed into the ceiling and entered the main hallway of the prison. Since the front door guard was gone for the evening, he was able to stroll out the front door and take off in a stolen car.
Bundy immediately took a flight from Denver to Chicago, where he took the train to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Once there, he stole a car to drive to Atlanta, where he took a bus to Tallahassee, Florida. While there, he broke into a sorority house, where he murdered two women and seriously injured two others.
On February 9, 1978, Bundy moved to Lake City, Florida. While there, he took his final victim, a twelve-year-old-girl named Kimberly Leach. On the morning of February 15, 1978, Bundy was pulled over by a traffic cop. When the plates registered stolen, he was identified and transported to Miami to stand trial for the sorority house murders.
He was easily convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death by the Honorable Edward Cowart. He was then tried in Orlando for the murder of Kimberly Leach and once again sentenced to death by Wallace Jopling. During this second trial, he married a female admirer named Carole Ann Boone in the courtroom, much to the horror of spectators.
In October 1982, Boone gave birth to a baby girl, but she moved away and changed her name after divorcing Bundy. Bundy spent his time on death row conducting interviews with behavioral psychologists and helping to find other serial killers. He also appealed his case numerous times in order to get a stay of execution, but failed. His last desperate move consisted of confessing to eight unsolved murders and promising to reveal more information at a later date, but the execution went ahead anyways.
In an interview conducted the night before his execution, Bundy blamed pornography and violence in the media for his actions. On January 24, 1989, he was executed by the State of Florida and his last words were "I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends."