Ted Bundy Research Paper

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“Ask a psychopath what love is and he’ll go on and on, but he has never felt it himself…If you catch him lying, he’ll just shift gears and go on as though nothing had happened” (Goleman). Ted Bundy was one of the most famous psychopaths in the history of the country (Nordheimer). People say he was the perfect killer- handsome, intelligent, witty, and charming (Boynton 25). Bundy was the complete opposite of what people thought a serial killer looked like, so his victims did not fear him (“Ted Bundy”). Robert Keppel, an expert on serial killers, stated, “He taught us that a serial killer can appear to be absolutely normal, the guy next door (“Serial Killers and Mass Murderers”). At one point he was working for a suicide hotline; a friend once said, “Ted Bundy took lives, he also saved lives” (Thompson). Bundy not only thrived on the attention he received from the police and the media (Editors), but loved the thrill of stalking his victims (U*X*L). Not one person Ted Bundy knew would have guessed he was able to do such horrid things.

Theodore Robert Cowell was born in the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vermont on November 24, 1946. His mother, Louise Cowell, was pregnant with Theodore when she was only twenty-one years old. Louise grew up in a very strict Methodist backround. Because she was not married, having Theodore was an embarrassment to her parents, Sam and Eleanor Cowell. Sam Cowell was known for being ill-tempered and racist. He verbally and physically abused his wife. Because of this, Eleanor suffered from frequent bouts of depression and was always living in fear. Louise had greatly struggled to even tell her parents about her pregnancy on account of what they might do. After birth, Louise traveled back home to Philadelphia so her parents could decide whether they wanted to keep Theodore or put him up for adoption. When the Cowell family was debating, they left Theodore with strangers in Vermont. Two months later, Louise returned to Vermont and brought the baby back to Philadelphia. As soon as the two arrived back home, the Cowell’s told the town that they had adopted Theodore and that Louise was his older sister to save themselves from the gossip of their neighbors. Even when Ted was young, there were incidents that showed how he was different than other children. “When his Aunt Julie was fifteen years old, she awoke on more than on morning to find her nephew stealthily lifting her blanket and slipping butcher knives into the bed beside her. He just stood there and grinned.” These occurrences were happening when Ted was just three years old (Serial Killers 10). In 1950, Louise and Theodore moved to Tacoma, Washington where they lived with welcoming relatives. To save herself from a bad reputation, Louise changed her last name to Nelson and told the town that she was a widow. She soon found a job as a secretary and started to attend a local Methodist church (Serial Killers 10). Louise met John Culpepper Bundy, a hospital cook. The two married on May 19, 1951 and Ted changed his name for the third time at only five years old (11). Once four more children were added to the Bundy household, Theodore became even more isolated, keeping mostly to himself (“Ted Bundy Biography”). As Theodore grew older and started to attend school, his mother received concerned notes from his teachers telling her that she needed to control his violent temper. When provoked, Ted would get very angry and his teachers were worried. All throughout high school, Ted knew he was different than all the others. He could not feel or understand natural human emotions like normal teenagers so in order for him to appear normal, he was forced to mimic them. Bundy was not able to be caring or compassionate and failed to develop a conscience. He felt that he was living in a world of objects- things to be used or discarded (Serial Killers 15). Ted’s high school years were when he began his life of crime. He started...
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