Out of all of the serial lust killers in this world, why is Ted Bundy the one who intrigues me the most? This question is one of the most common I’ve answered during my years of true crime content creation. My interviewers have sought to parse out the love I appear to extol for a man who extinguished over thirty lives and ruined so many others, and I’ve attempted to explain my attraction to Ted. Nevermind his popularity in the world of crime, I came to my interest in Ted organically over twenty years ago and I’m hard-pressed to let go of him any time soon.
Ted Bundy was the first lust killer I read about and his story got me hooked on serial killers in general. (Of course, you never forget your first!) He was also one of the first serial killers to show the public that violent criminals often look like the guy next door. The fact that he could sustain more than one romantic relationship, often overlapping them, while appearing to be a responsible member of society was something of interest to profilers as well as researchers like myself. The more I learned about Bundy, the more I learned about all of the forensic firsts that took place while investigating and prosecuting him, including: the first search warrant for a mouth, the first time a trial was televised (his trial in Miami), the creation of the “Bundy brace” used to hide his leg shackles so they wouldn’t bias the jury, and the introduction of bitemark evidence in a courtroom (though its use has since been debunked).
In the past, I’ve been told that Bundy is a “boring” serial killer who had no imagination or interesting qualities. The idea of researching and writing about someone so banal is repugnant to various individuals in the true crime and murderabilia world. However, to make such a comment is to entirely miss the point of a fascination with serial killers and their dastardly deeds. I never understood the need to tear down someone else’s interest when both of you share the same common pasttime. It does little to dissuade your colleague from their chosen subject and it makes you look like a bully. In the meantime, I’ll keep reading and writing about Bundy, the importance of recognizing and honoring his victims, and sharing that love of investigation with my peers and my fans!
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