Serial Killer Gets the Chair
Ted Bundy Gets Fired Up
On the morning of January 24, 1989, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy got out of bed for the last time. After several stays of execution as the Federal Courts system decided the legality of the death penalty and interviews to identify more victims, Bundy was taken to the Raiford Prison electric chair. The forty-two-year-old killer’s life was at its end.
Bundy had traversed the United States throughout the 1970’s. He left behind a trail of disturbing homicides. He confessed to 30 murders, but the true number is believed to be much greater.
Bundy started his life of crime in a relatively innocuous way. An avid skier in his Washington State high school, he began stealing ski equipment and forging lift tickets to enjoy his expensive hobby. He moved on to a few arrests for burglary and auto theft. These cases were sealed once he turned 18.
He seemed to straighten out a bit after high school. Attending college for a while and eventually graduating with a psychology degree, working a few jobs, and volunteering for Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign. He was even a delegate at the 1968 Republican National Convention. He was involved in several long-term romantic relationships through the 1960’s and seemed to be living a somewhat normal life.
This was all a façade. Bundy had a strong interest in sexual violence. He admitted to not understanding interpersonal relationships. He was abusive to many of the people in his life, including children. In 1974 he seemingly dropped out of life. He quit law school, ended a relationship he was involved in that seemed to be headed for marriage, and changed jobs.
By his own admission, Bundy had already killed several women by this point in his life. He felt that he had mastered the art of murder. Now he had freed himself of all responsibilities and became a killing machine. He attacked several college students in Washington. In 1974, female college students in Washington were disappearing at a rate of one a month. The police knew something was up and Bundy knew it was time to move on.
He took his homicidal urges to Oregon, Idaho, Utah, and Colorado. All his victims were young women, and he would do horrifying things to them both before and after they died. Postmortem sex, decapitations, and torture were a part of many of his murders.
Bundy was arrested several times in different jurisdictions starting in 1975. Cases couldn’t be proven or fell apart. Detectives began to collaborate to piece together his crimes. In 1976 he was found guilty of a kidnapping and assault in Utah. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail. Cops were lining up homicide cases to bring against him when the impossible happened. He escaped. Not once but twice.
While on the lam, Bundy killed several more times. Running to Florida, he broke into a Florida State University dorm and went on a wild and disturbing rampage against several women. The savagery of the attacks was beyond shocking. In one night, he killed two students and seriously injured three more.
On February 12, 1978, a simple car stop by a cop in Pensacola led to his final arrest and eventual date with the electric chair. Perhaps the most prolific serial killer in American history had killed his last victim.