Though it could be argued that Ted Bundy’s characteristics could fall into that of other psychopath classification systems, this well-known serial killer exhibited many of the traits that Robert Hare outlined in his Psychopathy checklist. This paper will provide an overview of Bundy’s characteristics applicable to Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist Revised (PCL-R). Taking the two factors of the PCL-R interpersonal traits and antisocial behavior respectively this paper will unpack certain events in Ted Bundy’s life that were contributing factors to his career as a sexual serial killer.
Prior to his career as a serial killer, a factor 2 trait from the PCL-R, juvenile delinquency was present in Bundy. The young Ted would sneak around at night to pleasure himself while peeping at women. He also became a shoplifter. (Rippo, 2007, p22). One of the two factors of Hare’s PCL-R demonstrates how certain interpersonal traits contribute to the explanation of the behaviour of psychopathic individuals. Two characteristics that fall under Hare’s interpersonal assets are being cunning and lack of empathy. These two traits are evident in his modus operandi, numerous escapes from police custody and trial(s). As an adolescent Bundy initially made good impressions due to of his good looks and superficial charm, however interpersonal relationships made him feel uneasy and he never felt that he fit in. Moreover, Bundy enjoyed being alone. When his stepfather tried to incorporate him in family events for example, Bundy chose to be alone. Bundy enjoyed spending many hours alone as a child listening to the radio, and enjoyed things like travel alone (Michaud, 2000, p21) For someone who was such an introvert, he had a remarkable ability to gain the trust of others. His popularity at school was not a reflection of his nature, his ability to mimic normal behavior. This so called normal behavior that had to be...
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