Tuesday, October 2, 2012

True Crime Tuesday

In honor of Frankie Post (who is crime fiction, not true crime--or at least I hope not--I would have some serious explaining to do), Tuesdays during the month of October will be devoted to true crime. Each week I'll highlight a different case or individual. To start us off, I picked one most people should be familiar with and who was "kind" enough to make a stop in my hometown--Ted Bundy.

The Early Years

Theodore Robert Cowell was born on November 24, 1946 to Louise Cowell following her stay of three months at the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Vermont. Ted's biological father, who was an Air Force veteran, was unknown to his son throughout his life. Shortly after his birth, Ted and his mother moved back to the home of his grandparents in Philadelphia. While growing up, Ted was led to believe that his grandparents were his parents and his natural mother was his older sister. The charade was created in order to protect his biological mother from harsh criticism and prejudice of being an unwed mother.

At the age of four, Ted and his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington  to live with relatives. A year after the move, Louise fell in love with a military cook named Johnnie Culpepper Bundy. In May 1951, the couple was married and Ted assumed his stepfather's last name, which he would keep for the rest of his life.

Following high school, Ted attended college at the University of Puget Sound and the University of Washington. He worked his way through school by taking on several low-level jobs, such as a bus boy and shoe clerk. However, he seldom stayed with one position for very long. His employers considered him to be unreliable.

Although Ted was inconsistent with his work outside of school, he was very focused on his studies and grades. Yet, his focus changed during the spring of 1967 when he began a relationship that would forever change his life.


In 1968, after his girlfriend graduated from the University of Washington, she broke off relations with Ted. She was a practical young woman and seemed to realize that Ted had some serious character flaws that took him out of the running as "husband material."

Ted never recovered from the break-up. Nothing, including school, seemed to hold any interest for him and he eventually dropped out, dumb-founded and depressed over the break-up. He managed to stay in touch with her by writing after she returned to California, yet she seemed uninterested in getting back together. But Ted became obsessed with this young woman and he couldn't get her out of his mind. It was an obsession that would span his lifetime and lead to a series of events that would shock the world.

Murder on the Run


On Saturday night, January 14th, few of the sorority sisters could be found at the Chi Omega House. Most were out dancing or at keg parties on campus. It wasn't unusual for the sisters to stay out late, since there was no curfew. In fact, it was pretty normal for the girls to return in the early morning hours. However, none of the sisters was prepared to confront the horror that awaited them back at their sorority house later that night.
At 3 a.m., Nita Neary was dropped off at the sorority house by her boyfriend after attending a keg party on campus. Upon reaching the door to the house, she noticed it standing wide open. Soon after she had entered the building, she heard some movement, as if someone was running in the rooms above her. Suddenly, she heard the footsteps approaching the staircase near her and she hid in a doorway, out of view. She watched as a man with a knit blue cap pulled over his eyes, holding a log with cloth around it, ran down the stairs and out the door.


To read the rest of the story (as well as more on Bundy's background, arrests, and eventual execution), go to <crimelibrary>, a part of the TruTV website.

This material was excerpted from the above mentioned website. All copyrights belong to its author, Rachael Bell.

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