A very small percentage of the global population has ever fit into the category of “Serial Killer.” Ted Bundy is known for his charismatic personality, his good looks, and his personal charm. Born Theodore Robert Cowell “Ted”, Bundy was born on November 24, 1946 to his mother Eleanor Louise Cowell. Ted was an American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, burglar, and necrophile. “Ted Bundy’s last words before being executed by the electric chair in Florida State Penitentiary on January 24, 1989, were ‘I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends’ (Williams). Ted’s life gets more complex from here. Ted is reported saying “What’s one less person on the face of the Earth, anyway?”(BuzzFeed Editors). Throughout Ted Bundy’s life, he was bullied even though he was a very smart student in school. Ted grew violent towards women when he found out that his “sister” was actually his mother. This causes the reader to believe Ted Bundy committed his killings due to the nurturing aspect of his life opposed to the nature.
Throughout Bundy’s early years, he was faced with many obstacles early on. To begin with, Bundy never knew his own father. While his grandparents took the place of his parents, Ted became very attached to them. Ted’s mother ,Eleanor, hid her identity by posing as his sister until Ted was four years old. She then took Ted with her and moved 3,000 miles to Tacoma, Washington to live with other family members. “Ted was separated from his special bonds be had formed with his grandparents ” (Ted Bundy Biography: Profile of a Serial Killer) Ted’s mother remarried a man by the name of Johnny Culpepper Bundy, once she moved to Washington. Johnny Bundy was a loving step father yet deep down the younger Bundy felt that something was off with his family dynamic. Then, finally Ted uncovered the fact that the woman he had known as his sister for his entire life was in fact his mother. Although, Johnnie Bundy tried to be a part of his step-son’s life, even becoming a boy scout troop leader, Ted avoided socializing with his peers, and would always find an excuse not to participate in the camping trips or other activities. Outside of his family, in junior high, Bundy endured some unnecessary teasing from other boys to the point where he insisted on showering in a privacy stall. While he was showering the other students would pour cold water on him and bully him to the point of severe insecurity. It is likely that his aversion to socializing was a result of the relentless bullying that he faced at school.
Due to the dishonesty regarding his relationship with his biological mother, he became controlling and manipulative when it came to women. His first and only love, Stephanie Brooks, was in control of their relationship and she frequently ended and restarted their relationship based on her own whims, disregarding his emotional needs. After their relationship eventually ended, Bundy manipulated not only his future sexual partners but also anyone else who he interacted with. Manipulation occurred in the form of using women for financial gain, sexual gratification, free housing, and travel expenses. He would also lie to anyone about his current financial situations and most importantly, plans that he had for the future and his personal achievements in order to influence them to assist him in any way that he needed. Over time the outcome of his manipulation changed from financial and pure sexual gain to allowing him access to women that he would sexually assault and later murder. Teds first eight victims closely resembled his first true love, Stephanie Brooks. On January 4, 1974, after Brooks ended their relationship for the final time. Teds first victim was an 18-year-old who he sexually assaulted and attempted to kill but she survived. In the fall of 1974 Bundy moved to Utah and enrolled at the University of Utah to study Law. He then began his murders, and by October 1974 he had kidnapped and killed three girls. In the following couple of months Bundy tricked another young woman making her believe he was a police officer. The girl escaped unharmed. The same day he committed another murder, and the body of the girl was never found. “By the beginning of 1975, Bundy had killed five women. Four of them from Colorado and one was from Utah. In August of 1975, Bundy was arrested by police for disobeying traffic rules and not stopping his car. The police found evidence in his car that included masks, handcuffs, and a crowbar. Police also found that the car matched the description given by the attack survivor the previous year.”(Who Is Ted Bundy? Everything You Need to Know) The number of women Bundy killed and sexually assaulted will likely never be known. Although, Ted admitted to killing 36 women, experts believe the number is closer to 100 or more.
On the other hand, there is one main reason to believe Ted Bundy could have commited his killings due to nature instead of nurture. As a child, he was raised by his grandparents, he showed no signs of previous abuse or neglect until his mother moved across the United States. Although, “After further analysis, Bundy was alleged to have lower than normal activity to his orbital frontal cortex. This part of the brain is in charge of the conscience, and the “right or wrong” factors of thinking,” (Bartleby Editors). This does not to say that Ted Bundy had a deficiency that prevented him from knowing what he was doing wrong , he just happened to have a less than common abnormality that should be stated. Bundy’s case supports the idea that an individual’s genetic makeup can have a light effect on their actions, but they do have the ability to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong.
Ted Bundy’s life most likely will never be understood. How could even the most experienced psychologist on Earth unravel the mysteries of this man’s life. Circumstances of his troubled childhood support the fact that Ted Bundy became a serial killer due to nurture as oppose to nature. Bundy never knew his father, and was raised to believe that his biological mother was his sister. This had caused Bundy to be violent towards all the women in his lifetime. His grandparents raised him to the age of four, until his mother moved clear across the United States, and took Ted with her. Ted was very close to his grandparents, and was heartbroken to leave them. His first and only true love, Stephanie Brooks, was mentally and emotionally abusive to him. He was also a victim of relentless bullying by his peers. Any one of these factors could have driven him to the crimes he committed, not to mention all of them. These experiences help claim that Theodore Robert Bundy became a serial killer based on the nurture aspects of his life.