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Life of a Lady Killer

March 21, 2019

Courtesy+of+The+Daily+World
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Life of a Lady Killer

Courtesy of The Daily World

Courtesy of The Daily World

Courtesy of The Daily World

Courtesy of The Daily World

One night, you decide to step out of your apartment on campus and go to the ice cream shop just down the street. As you are walking you see an injured man, trying to take his groceries into his apartment. You kindly help him deliver the groceries into his apartment. As you put the groceries down, he smacks you in the back of the head, and you are unconscious. You wake up confused, unaware that you were attacked by a serial killer.

Ted Bundy was born November 24, 1946. His mother was a single, young woman who had an illegitimate son. To hide his presence from her religious parents, she gave him to her grandparents, and pretended to be her sons’ sister.

As Bundy grew up, he began to have a fascination for knives, and anything he could kill things with. He began to learn how sharp items were around the house, trying them on bugs, and anything he could get his hands on. As he became a teenager, his darker personality began to blossom. Whenever he saw something he wanted, he made sure to get it. He would steal from his “friends” and other classmates in order to get what he desired. He would steal little things, like money from wallets, or bracelets from young girls.

After he graduated from high school, Ted Bundy went to the University of Washington in Seattle. There he met a girl from California. He fell in love with her almost instantly. She had everything he wanted. She had money, class and influence. Things that he could manage, and control. He loved to have detailed layouts, and was very strategic in what he did.  Later in the year at the university, his girlfriend broke-up with him. This breakup would lead up to his murder spree, in which all his victims were college students, and resembled his ex-girlfriend. He chose girls with brown hair and medium height, the two attributes closest to his ex-girlfriend’s looks.

Ted Bundy was an attractive young man. His appearance alone looked innocent enough, that many believed he wasn’t the cold, “Lady Killer.” Bundy’s kill count is not precise, and we don’t know the exact time he started murdering, but the rough estimate is when he was 27. Ted’s system was simple, and effective. He would mainly play an injured man who needed help loading items into his car. Empathetic young women would offer to help him. With their backs turned, he would knock them out with a metal rod, and stuff them into his car. Ted loved to administer pain to his victims, through choking, beating with metal rods, and even stabbing his victims in various locations. He often would rape them, and then beat them to death afterwards.

As the first girls began to disappear, many people were weary, but not concerned. Young women who simply left their dormitories would disappear the next day  never showing up again. The reports of girls missing happened almost every month, happening in different states. Police had a hard time finding the mystery killer due to Bundy’s understanding of forensic evidence, leaving almost no trace. Bundy didn’t just stop by kidnapping girls off campuses, he would also break into housing, often killing them in their dormitories. Several of his victims were college girls in sororities, falling victim throughout the night.  

Bundy was elusive. His first time being arrested, he escaped from the courtroom, by jumping out the third level window, surviving the fall. His second time imprisoned, he starved himself for thirty days, losing enough weight to worm his way through the ceiling above his cell, escaping unnoticed for a several days. His third arrest would prove his last, as he was sentenced to the electric chair in 1989, in the Florida State Prison.

There is only one survivor of Ted Bundy, and her name is Rhonda Stapley. Stapley was a student at the University of Utah at the time. The bus was running late at night, and had to wait. A young handsome gentleman pulled up in his car and offered her a ride to the University. He introduced himself as Ted, a first-year law student. Rhonda climbed into the car, unknowingly with a serial killer. She didn’t began to get scared until he pulled up to Big Cottonwood Canyon, and turned to her. She recounts “…his eyes went from blue to black when he told me that he was going to kill me.” He would choke her out, rape her, then wait for her to reawaken, and repeat. She was on the brink of death, until he turned his back on the conscious Rhonda. She ran off, tripping and falling into a river. The river carried her far away from Bundy.

She kept her experience secret until thirty-seven years later. She suffered from PTSD, and would wake up during the night, unable to sleep, and eat. She would then go running to relax. Her roommates would tell her it was dangerous, but she knew what and who Ted was. She would run sometimes until the sun came back up. After thirty-seven years, Stapley opened up about her experience, writing a book about what happened, and what happened afterwards. On February 16th, at a book signing Stapley explained how her book is therapeutic. Being able to write down what happened, and to be able to tell her story without the fear of being ridiculed, rejected and possibly killed.  Her story I Survived Ted Bundy: The Attack and Escape & PTSD that  Changed My Life ,  is both fascinating and horrifying. The reality of her story, and the detailed accounts are surreal, and will definitely make you think twice about leaving your apartment to go get ice cream down the street.

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