Honoring Bundy Minimizes His Crimes

Yesterday would have been Ted Bundy’s 73rd birthday if he had managed to live this long. Numerous Facebook pages were posting well wishes to the long-dead deviant, but I was surprised that several were honoring the lives of his victims instead. It’s easy to get caught up in the mystery of someone who seemed so normal but who was actually a cruel individual. We see his headline and we’re drawn into the program, book, or movie featuring his personality. We want to understand his psychology, we want to know how he became so warped. This type of curiosity is merely part of the human condition. We want to understand ourselves so we look to those who represent the best and the worst of us for answers.

Artwork by Anima Eterna

I have often been guilty of getting caught up in the story of Bundy, the mythology of his persona. I have on occasion felt protective towards him, daring anyone to speak ill of him when I’m around. I have downplayed the seriousness of his crimes, insisting he didn’t want his victims to experience pain, so he knocked them out or killed them quickly. Of course, we know this isn’t true. He knocked these trusting women unconscious so he could transport their bodies and hide evidence of his crimes. He removed their ability to object or speak up while he was raping and murdering them and he returned to their bodies time and time again to commit further horrors upon them. In some cases, he decapitated them.

What happens in Bundy’s case is that we focus most of our attention on him, instead of on his victims, despite his unworthiness of our attention. Yes, he’s an interesting subject, but we can learn a great deal from the women whose lives were cut far too short. Most were college students, most were on a trajectory to have careers and families, and most would have done what they could to help a stranger. Bundy turned one of their strengths into a weakness he exploited, and in doing so, destroyed them.

That said, let’s forget about heralding Bundy as the interesting psychology subject he would have been or the “All-American Boy” with just a little flaw in his personality. Instead, talk about the women he targeted and those who survived him. Their names are below:

Karen Sparks – survived

Lynda Ann Healy – died

Donna Gail Manson – died

Susan Rancourt – died

Robert Parks – died

Brenda Ball – died

Georgann Hawkins – died

Denise Naslund – died

Janice Ott – died

Nancy Wilcox – died

Melissa Smith – died

Laura Aime – died

Carol DaRonch – survived

Debra Kent – died

Lynette Culver – died

Caryn Campbell – died

Julie Cunningham – died

Denise Oliverson – died

Susan Curtis – died

Margaret Bowman – died

Lisa Levy – died

Kathy Kleiner – survived

Karen Chandler – survived

Cheryl Thomas – survived

Kimberly Leach – died

Kathy Kleiner, survivor of the 1978 Chi Omega attacks

One thought on “Honoring Bundy Minimizes His Crimes

Add yours

  1. HI E. J,
    Thank you for this article, I’m shocked to see 13, 14 year old girls put pictures of serial-killers in their rooms (we were Madonna or Withney Houston), they are Ramirez or Bundy. It’s crazy! It is a phenomenon of fashion in young people.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: