Monday, April 30, 2012

Handsome, Smart and Deadly

The real Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy is the one serial killer who still to this day, terrifies the shit out of me. Maybe because when he started his killing spree in the early 1970's, I was about the same age as many of his victims. I can see how easy it would have been for those young woman (and me) to get sucked into his charm, good looks and intelligence.  Let's face it, if someone who looked like Charles Manson approached me, with those wild eyes and crazy talk, I would get the hell out of Dodge as quickly as possible.  But Ted Bundy looked like the guy next door. He was clean cut, educated and articulate. He was the kind of guy my mother wished I would bring home. The kind of guy I might have stopped to help or given directions. The sort of young man one might meet at a campus Greenpeace rally.

I'm not sure what I would ask him, given the opportunity to reach beyond the grave. Maybe the one question we all want to ask serial killers:  WHY?  Or maybe how did he choose his victims. Not all of his victims were college age. Several were younger. But how did he choose them? I want to know. Why were Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman chosen to be bludgeoned in their beds and not the girls who lived on another dorm floor. And what was it about 12-year-old Kimberly Leach that said "pick me!"

I don't believe these women and girls were picked at random. Something caught ole Ted's fancy. I want to know. I want every woman to know.

Mark Harmon as Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger

In 1986, Mark Harmon played Ted Bundy in a TV movie titled The Deliberate Stranger. I remember seeing that movie and being terrified right down to my socks. Harmon was eerily spectacular in the role, and it certainly made you think twice about the packaging of serial killers. It's a movie still relevant today and I encourage everyone to check it out if you haven't already seen it. It's an education.


8 comments:

gregkshipman said...

Serial Killers, Sociopaths... the wolf pack condensed to one. They follow the herd and selectively choose victims. Unfortunately they're not easily externally identified. You mentioned two who are polar opposites on the 'outside'. Manson and Bundy. I read somewhere that buffalo hunters in the lare eighteen-hundreds could 'head-shot' individual buffaloes without stampeding the herd. So, so similar to these human predators. They work in the darkness until dragged in the light. So remember Gena Davis' (The Fly) words... 'No. Be afraid... be very afraid'

Alan Orloff said...

I always thought it would be utterly fascinating, and supremely disturbing, to actually talk to a serial killer. I suppose that's one reason why serial killer fiction is so popular.

lil Gluckstern said...

I think that most of us have a fascination with the emptiness and coldness that characterizes the sociopath, and serial killer. fortunately, the great majority of human beings have some fellow feelings. Whenever, I run into someone with those traits even in moderation, it IS and somehow repellant. Thank God. But you are right, these people are very good at seducing us. Manson is obvious. Someone with charm and smoothness is not.

Meredith Cole said...

I managed to miss that movie, Sue Ann. But I think you ask a very good question (although clearly Ted can't answer it anymore). Why them? And what could we do to protect ourselves?

Reece said...

To Alan's comment, after my father-in-law retired as a U.S. postal inspector, he worked for several years as a Leon County Deputy Sheriff in Tallahassee. He actually spoke often to Ted Bundy when he was behind bars there. Bundy was reportedly quite pleasant -- which just makes it more unnerving knowing what he was capable of.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Thanks for stopping by, everyone. It is more unnerving when a killer appears normal or better than average. It's like a monster hiding in plain sight. I think I'll sleep with the light on tonight.

Anonymous said...

Ted Bundy is the most exaggerated in text book crime about his looks (George W Bush clone), used car salesman charm and intelligence (IQ of 124 is not earth shattering), he failed law and psychology, he flunked for heaven's sake

Anonymous said...

That’s odd; Ted Bundy was an honour student while attending the University of Washington. Failing his law courses in later years was more than likely caused by his distraction to plan killings. Perhaps you forgot, education does not make a genius.