A reign of terror shocked the United States during the 1970s. More and more women students suddenly and inexplicably vanished. During a frantic search for the serial murderer, investigators could not seem to find a link to the perpetrator. The striking similarities of the victims indicated to only one mastermind was behind this scheme. However, when he was caught, America learned that not every serial killer fits the profile. Ted Bundy, a man known to many as intelligent and intriguing, spread his reign of terror throughout the United States by systematically targeting and murdering young women; using the process perspective, it is determinable that his confusing and often tumultuous upbringing as a youth influenced his future behavior one of America’s most notorious serial killers.Ted Bundy was born with the name Theodore Robert Cowell in Burlington, Vermont, on November 24th, 1946. Bundy, who came from a middle class family, was a Caucasian male that was born to his mother, Eleanor Louise Cowell.
Eleanor made a living by working as a department store clerk. His father, who was an Air Force veteran, was not present in Bundys childhood or thereafter. For the initial few years of his life, Bundy and his mother lived with his mentally challenged grandfather in Philadelphia. Bundy would later refer to his grandparents as ?mother and father, and to his biological mother as his older sister. Bundy grew older believing that this was true. Using this simulation, Bundys mother would not receive any criticism for being an unwed mother. (Wikipedia, 2005)Soon after they moved to Philadelphia, Bundy and his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington. They both lived with Eleanors uncle, Jack, who taught music courses at the College of Puget Sound. Not long thereafter, Eleanor met John Culpepper Bundy, a hospital cook from North Carolina, at church, and married him a few years later. Consequently, Theodore Robert Cowell would be known as Ted Bundy. (Wikipedia, 2005) Bundy had four younger siblings who he spent most of his time babysitting. Bundy did not like his new father much at all. John unsuccessfully raised Bundy as his own, only including Bundy when going on camping trips and other father-son activities with his other sons. Bundy thought of himself as unique, and he had his own ideas. Bundys grandfather was the only man that he respected.
Bundy became forlorn when it was time to leave his grandfather and move to another place far away on the other side of the county. (Wikipedia, 2005)As a young child, Bundy was very shy and was often the target of bullies in his junior high school. In spite of the humiliating experiences he suffered, he maintained a high grade point average. Bundy, who attended Woodrow Wilson High School, was known to be a smart, if not brilliant, young man; friends from high school would later remember him as being a cheerful, normal teenager. He was a more popular figure in high school than he was in junior high. While he was very shy, Bundy was thought of as well dressed and extremely well mannered. However, nobody recalled Bundy ever dating anyone during this time period. He was more interested in other pastimes such as skiing and politics. He was an active leader for his Boy Scouts and was a member in the Methodist Church.
Bundys interest in politics began to bloom in high school. When he grew older, he was an overenthusiastic worker and campaigned for the Republican Party. Bundy also did volunteer work for the Seattle Rape Crisis Center. (Wikipedia, 2005)Bundy felt that he had a problem interacting socially, but never thought to seek medical or psychological aid for it. As for his relationship with his parents, he believed his mother did most of the raising in regard to him and his siblings. Bundy did not, however, talk to his mother on personal terms because he believed his mother had a problem with talking on an intimate, personal level. He once quoted, ?I didn’t know what made people want to be friends. I didn’t know what made people attractive to one another. I didn’t know what underlay social interactions. Bundy once told the authors that he had another side to himself, the side that he called ?The Entity, which he kept well hidden from others. Regardless, friends would still remember him as being a striking, eloquent gentleman. One morning, when Bundy was four years old, he appeared in his aunts bedroom smiling while he wielded several knives and laid them beside her bed. (Crimelibrary, 2005; Wikipedia, 2005)Even though Bundy was friendly, popular and good-looking, he had very few dates during his high school years. He felt awkward in social situations, and this awkwardness and fear haunted him into his college years when he attended the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. Bundy had one serious relationship with a college freshman, who is known by the fictitious name of ?Stephanie Brooks. Bundy felt that she was everything he had ever wished and dreamed for in a woman. She was a gorgeous and exceedingly sophisticated woman.
Born into a wealthy Californian family, Bundy could not believe someone from her ?class would have an interest in someone like him. Although they had many differences, they both loved to ski. It was during their many ski trips together that he believed he fell in love with her. However, she was not as infatuated with Bundy as he was with her. She liked Bundy a lot also, but she believed that he had no direction in life or any admirable future goals. Bundy tried his hardest to impress her, even if it meant lying, something that she despised. At one point, she had ended the relationship because she felt that Bundy was not motivated enough. Bundy never recovered from the breakup. After their breakup, nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him and he eventually dropped out. Depressed over the breakup, he managed to stay in touch with her by writing to her after she returned to California. Their separation lasted approximately two years. They did meet again, which is when Bundy decided to propose to her. Two days after the proposal, Bundy hastily dumped her by not returning her phone calls. Soon after this ultimate breakup, Bundy began his homicidal rampage that lasted three years. Criminologists theorized that ?Stephanie became the model for Bundys victims: Youthful Caucasian females with long dark hair parted in the middle. (Crimelibrary, 2005; Wikipedia, 2005)Life got more confusing for Bundy. In 1969 he learned that his ?sister was actually his mother and his ?parents were actually his grandparents. Not surprisingly, this late discovery had a rather serious impact towards Bundy. He changed from a shy and reserved person to a more focused and prevailing character.
Bundy became motivated, as if he needed to prove himself to the world. He re-enrolled at the University of Washington and began to study psychology. He became an honors student and excelled in the subject. He became the favorite amongst his professors at his university. (Crimelibrary, 2005; Wikipedia, 2005)Ted Bundy is classified as a serial killer. Over a span of three years, Bundy took the lives of a countless number of people; a number that Bundy has taken to his grave. Various Bundy experts believe he may have started his killings in his early to mid-teens”a twelve-year-old neighbor disappeared from her house when Bundy was fourteen”the earliest verified murders when Bundy was 27 in 1974. (Wikipedia, 2005)Bundys first victim was 18-year-old Joni Lenz. Joni was a student at the University of Washington. While Joni was asleep, Bundy entered her home and battered her with a crowbar. Bundy then removed a bed rod from Jonis bed and severely rammed it into her vagina. Joni was found lying in a pool of blood suffering from a coma. She was rushed to the hospital in a Comatose State. Joni survived the attack, but suffered brain damage for the rest of her life. (Crimelibrary, 2005; Wikipedia, 2005)Lynda Ann Healy was Bundys next victim. She was a senior at the University of Washington. In January 1974, Bundy broke into her room and knocked her unconscious. He carefully changed her clothes, wrapped her in a bed sheet, and carried her outside. One hair was found that did not belong to Lynda at the crime scene. One year passed before her decapitated, dismembered remains were found. (Crimelibrary, 2005)Bundy stalked and killed more than one young woman a month between the months of January to June. His killing spree doubled in July.
Bundy would start abducting two in the daytime that led to the murder of two females at Lake Sammamish State Part near Seattle, Washington. Bundy killed 10 people in Oregon, Utah and Washington. Bundy would be later described as a chameleon. He was able to look totally different just by making minor adjustments to his appearance.According to the FBIs Uniform Crime Report, homicide rates compared within the past two years have shown a 5.1% decrease in homicides. Cities with a population of 10,000 residents or less, however, show 12.0% decrease in homicides. The number of homicide cases reported from the year 2000 to 2004, however, shows a decrease. (FBI, 2004)The process perspective deals with socialization forces. Under the process prospective, crime is a function of upbringing, learning, and control. Peers, parents, and teachers influence behavior. (Siegel, 2006)Bundys life as a youth contributed vastly to his serial killing personification. One problem Bundy had to face was no real father figure in his life. He grew up believing a false identity”that his parents were actually his grandparents. It almost certainly caused trust issues within the mind of Bundy. His anti-social lifestyle while he was growing up took a toll on his mind state when he became an adult. His everyday fear of social interactions drove him insane. Signs of mental problems came to light when he felt the ?Entity inside of himself. Bundys inability to cope with the break up he incurred is another reason why he became the way he was. All of these contributing factors built up anger and anxiety inside of Bundy. With a prevention plan, Ted Bundy would have been helped at a younger age.
The most attributes to a childs life is love. A child needs love and attention from parents. Ted Bundy did not have much of this aspect in his life. He did, however have his grandfather who was the only person Bundy respected; he was forced to move away from his grandfather. His new step-father did play much role in Bundys young life. They were just there. There was not much interaction amongst them. The second most important aspect to a childs life is socialization. Socializing a child will allow the child to have more self-esteem and feel less afraid around people in social situations. Bundys parents could have saved him. If they had seen the signs when he was a younger age”took incident with the knives, taken the overly shyness into account”could have saved him at a young age.
Every since childhood, no one would have expected Ted Bundy to be anything but a perfect gentleman. Being smart and intelligent, he would fit perfectly in a white-collar cubical doing paperwork. Instead, he chose the path that eventually led to his downfall. Ted Bundy shocked the country, and changed the face of a serial killer.