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Monday, November 11, 2013

From Vermont to Cell # R-2-S-8 - Ted Bundy

"Ted Bundy" was born as Theodore Robert Cowell at the Elizabeth Lund Home For Unwed Mothers, in Burlington, Vermont, on November 24, 1946.  The home was originally built as a "Home for Friendless Women" in 1890.  

Actual photograph of babies a the Lund Center
Today it is known as the Lund Center. His mother's name was Eleanor Louise Cowell, always referred to as "Louise".  It is interesting to note that his he was not raised by Eleanor, and was brought up believing that she was his older sister.  

Bundy with his mother

Bundy's maternal grandparents posed as his parental guardians.  He did not learn his mother's true identity until he was in college, and presumably, this deception was ultimately to protect the child from the social stigma attached to unwed mothers.

The Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers
"The identity of his father has never been determined with certainty. His birth certificate assigns paternity to a salesman and Air Force veteran named Lloyd Marshall, but Louise later claimed that she was seduced by "a sailor" whose name may have been Jack Worthington. 

"Louise" Bundy
(Years later, investigators would find no record of anyone by that name in Navy or Merchant Marine archives.) Some family members expressed suspicions that the father might actually have been Louise's own violent, abusive father, Samuel Cowell, though there was no direct evidence to support such speculation." -Wiki

Later, Louise moved to Pennsylvania  and became involved with a man and changed Ted's surname from Cowell to Nelson.  During his high school years, Louise then relocated to Tacoma, Washington and met Johnny Culpepper Bundy during a church function.  After they were married, Johnny adopted Ted, which changed his name yet again to Theodore Bundy.  

Little Ted
"Ted remained distant from his stepfather. During high school, Ted was often isolated from other kids his age. He couldn't seem to understand teenage social behavior but was skilled in "faking it", indicating a propensity towards psychopathy." 

Young Bundy
Ann Rule, Bundy's biographer and true crime writer that personally knew him and worked with him, believes that he discovered his own original birth record in Vermont in 1969.  Apparently, it is recorded that Bundy expressed "a lifelong resentment toward his mother for lying about his true parentage and leaving him to discover it for himself".

Norman Bates

Ted Bundy

Some strange facts about Ted Bundy:

He showed violent tendencies as young as three years old:   His mother's sister, Julia, awoke from a nap while babysitting the child, only to discover that little Teddy had surrounded her with an array of kitchen knives, raising her eyes to see the smiling toddler looking back at her.

It is reported that his grandfather Samuel (known to Bundy as his father, at the time) abused the family dog, swung local cats around by their tales, and tortured animals.

Bundy' grandmother was described as a shy woman who underwent electro-convulsive therapy for depression and was most likely agoraphobic, fearing to leave her own home. 

As a child, Ted tormented animals with knives.  He mutilated them with the knives which seemed to fascinate him so much.

Young Ted served as Vice President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

He was a  Boy Scout. 

His criminal activities began before he finished high school.

He was a constant and habitual liar.  

He compulsively shoplifted.   He was arrested (at least twice) as a juvenile for automobile theft and burglary, but upon reaching the age of 18, Washington State laws expunged the records.  

He was involved voyeurism from a young age and peeped into unsuspecting windows.   In college, he was known to "canvas the community" in search of open windows into which he could observe women undressing. 

He majored in Psychology in University and graduated with a degree in 1972 and graduated with honors.

Eerily, part of his psychology studies involved volunteering at a Suicide Crisis Center; where he became friends with his future biographer, Ann Rule, who wrote the book "Stranger Beside Me", detailing Bundy's crimes.  Ironically, at this time, she was unknowingly researching crimes that had been committed by Bundy.

He started taking classes upon his graduation from high school in 1965 in Psychology and Oriental Studies.  
He volunteered at a suicide crisis center alongside his now biographer, author, Ann Rule.

Ted was a staunch Republican, and in 1968 managed Seattle's Presidential campaign for Nelson Rockefeller, during which time he attended a Republican Convention in Miami, Florida.  Later, he was caught spying on and taping speeches by the Democrats, then later reporting back to his Republican peers.

He was a necrophiliac, often revisiting the murdered bodies of victims to engage in sexual activities with their corpses.


While researching information for this blog, I learned that Ted Bundy was married while on death row, which resulted in the birth of his only biological child. 

During the summer of 1974, Bundy secured employment in Olympia, Washington at the state Department of Emergency Services where he met Carol Ann Boone, whose personal life was in shambles, having recently lost a close uncle; she was a single Mother trying to raise a son, (named Jamey) and was involved in a sloppy love affair.

Carol Ann Boone

Bundy was suffering from relationship woes, as well, with his long-time, long- distance girlfriend, Liz, (Elizabeth Kloepfer) who lived in Utah, and whom he met in 1969.  They had been together for some time, and she wanted a deeper commitment from him, and their geographical barriers made Liz feel insecure and questioned his truthfulness concerning the possibilities of external, sexual affairs.  

Bundy with Elizabeth Kloepfer
Liz had reason to be uneasy, as over the course of time, Bundy had left strange things in her apartment that included, among other things, a container of Plaster of Paris, surgical gloves, and crutches.  While with her, his sexual drive waned, and his bizarre behavior began to really frighten her.   Bundy confirmed that he had dated at least a dozen women outside of his relationship with Liz.

Wiki states, "During the penalty phase of the trial, Bundy took advantage of an obscure Florida law providing that a marriage declaration in court, in the presence of a judge, constituted a legal marriage. As he was questioning former Washington State DES coworker Carole Ann Boone—who had moved to Florida to be near Bundy, had testified on his behalf during both trials, and was again testifying on his behalf as a character witness—he asked her to marry him. She accepted, and Bundy declared to the court that they were legally married."

Another site tells that "Carole Boone, whom Bundy cruelly encouraged to believe him innocent until just before his 1989 execution. Boone married Bundy after he was condemned to death we helped engineer [a] courtroom coup." 

Incredibly, in October 1982, Boone gave birth to a daughter (whose name and current location, thankfully, are not known) and Bundy's name was given as the father.  


Conjugal visits were not allowed, inmates were known to "pool their money" in order to bribe guards to allow them time alone with female visitors.  Names were drawn from a hat, usually pooling around $60.   It is reported that a guard would let the "winner" go into a closet with his lady.  The guard on duty would take the money, and apparently this is how the child was conceived.    

Ted Bundy was executed at Raiford Prison in Starke, Florida, on January 24, 1989. His wife, Carole Ann Boone, had divorced him three years earlier. The child they had together, allegedly conceived in the Visiting Area of Death Row, is about 29 now. 


Rita Curran
Several Internet sites give the same report about most criminal experts belief that Bundy was responsible for the brutal murder of Rita Curran.  Strangely, like Bundy, Rita was also born in Burlington, Vermont on Jun. 21, 1947.  Rita was known as a shy and reserved person, who was quite lovely.  She had long brown hair, that she chose to part either on the side or the middle.  

She had graduated from Vermont's Trinity College and worked during the school year with handicapped and special needs children.  Though she was 24 years old,  she had lived with her parents in Milton, Vermont, up until the summer of 1971.  At that time, she shared an apartment with a female room-mate on Brooks Avenue, in Burlington, Vermont.  She had frequently joked to her friends that all the bachelors in town had been taken; but, in more serious conversations, she yearned to be married, with children of her own. 

Ann Rule spent considerable time in researching the "whereabouts" of Ted Bundy from 1969 to 1971.  He was a consummate traveler and loved the fact that no one knew when or where he would show up next.  This also opens the door to many more unsolved murders, where Bundy will only account for 30 murders.  It is quite disturbing to think that the actual number could be much, much higher.  As Mrs. Rule states:  "some [questions] may never be answered and some provoke more and more questions in an endless continuum," regarding the possibility of Bundy murdering 36 women in 6 states.  There are significant missing periods of time where his whereabouts cannot be pin pointed.  

One of those times for which Bundy cannot be accounted, was when Rita Curran was found murdered.  This was shortly before that he had told his co-worker, Ann Rule, that he was personally "going home"  to "find out who he really was."  There are gaping holes of time for which no one can account, and he could have easily have traveled to Vermont.  There are simply  too many common threads between this murder and many others, which are attached to Bundy.  

Bundy's car is on display at a crime museum
Bundy, feeding on his stardom for the police, reporters and psychologists, only left proverbial white bread crumbs in the snow.  We will probably never know what happened to poor Rita, but the most compelling story (frequently repeated) follows: 

"Rita Curran, a 24-year-old elementary school teacher and part-time motel maid, was murdered in her basement apartment on July 19, 1971 in Burlington, Vermont; she had been strangled, bludgeoned and raped. The location of the motel where she worked (adjacent to Bundy's birthplace, the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers) and similarities to known Bundy crime scenes led retired FBI agent John Bassett to propose him as a suspect. No evidence firmly places Bundy in Burlington on that date, but municipal records note that a person named "Bundy" was bitten by a dog that week, and long stretches of Bundy's time—including the summer of 1971—remain unaccounted for. Curran's murder officially remains unsolved."

Rita Curran was murderd at 17 Brooks Avenue, in Burlington, Vermont at the age of 24.  She was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Curran, and was raised in Milton, VT.  At the time of her death, she was survived by her parents and a sister Mary and a brother Thomas.

CHANGLING ~ The Chameleon

Posted on an Internet forum by a "man who used to work with him" (the natural assumption would be a prison guard):  "He also was like a chameleon in that he seemed to be able to frequently change his appearance. One day his hair seemed curly or parted on this side, then the next day it seemed straight or parted on the other side, or his eye color seemed different etc. I have also seen him make the scary eyes and face that some of his living victims told of. He seemed to like to manipulate people a lot, and very much enjoyed the celebrity status he had. He worked out a lot in his cell (push ups, sit ups and rapid pacing). He smoked, and solicited money for canteen and smokes from people who wrote him."

"Significant obstacles for law enforcement were Bundy's "generic", essentially anonymous physical features, and a curious "chameleon-like" ability to change his appearance almost at will. Early on, police complained of the futility of showing his photograph to witnesses; he looked different in virtually every photo ever taken of him. In person, "... his expression would so change his whole appearance that there were moments that you weren't even sure you were looking at the same person," said Stewart Hanson, Jr., the judge in the DaRonch trial. "He  really a changeling." Bundy was well aware of this unusual quality and he exploited it, using subtle modifications of facial hair or hairstyle to significantly alter his appearance as necessary. He concealed his one distinctive identifying mark, a dark mole on his neck, with turtleneck shirts and sweaters." -epubbud.com

"A great-aunt witnessed an episode during which Bundy "... seemed to turn into another, unrecognizable person ...  suddenly, inexplicably found herself afraid of her favorite nephew as they waited together at a dusk-darkened train station. He had turned into a stranger." A prison official in Tallahassee described a similar transformation to Lewis: "He said, 'He became weird on me.' He did a metamorphosis, a body and facial change, and he felt there was an odor emitting from him. He said, 'Almost a complete change of personality ... that was the day I was afraid of him.' " - epubbud.com


Theodore Bundy, after execution
"Ted Bundy died in the Raiford electric chair at 7:16 a.m. Eastern time on January 24, 1989. Several hundred people sang, danced, and set off fireworks across the street from the prison as the execution was carried out. Cheering loudly [as] Bundy's body departed the prison. His remains were cremated in Gainesville.  His remains were scattered at an [unknown] area of Washington State."

Mental Floss adds:  "Bundy’s trial was the first to be televised nationally, and it didn’t end well for him; a guilty verdict brought him two death sentences, with a third following six months later after a separate trial in Orlando."

PHOTO CREDITS: all photos obtained on Google Images.