Mention the name Ted Bundy, google his name, and you will find a plethora of information on this man, one of the most famous of serial killers ever to roam this earth. He was a man who was ever so handsome, a man who could twist and and manipulate, a man who killed wantonly without a thought or a regret as to what his crime was doing not only to his victims but also to the families who were left behind.
“Yet, in reality, Ted loved things more than he loved people. He could find life in an abandoned bicycle or an old car, and feel a kind of compassion for these inanimate objects, more compassion than he could ever feel for another human being.” In the book, The Stranger Beside Me, the author Ann Rule, gives the reader an extremely through and detailed account of her interaction with Ted Bundy. Ann had been on assignment pulling together stories about a killer trying to follow his trail across the many states where death had followed when the unbelievable happened. Unbeknownst to Ann, the killer was someone she knew, someone she liked, someone who meant something to her. Ann had become friends with Ted Bundy while they had worked together at a suicide prevention center. She was drawn to him, there was something so charismatic about Ted that she never lost contact with him and as the clues seemed to point more and more in Ted’s direction for the bludgeoning, rape and sodomy of so many women, she came to the realization that her friend, a friend she so treasured, could possibly be a serial killer. She finds it hard to believe and as she becomes more involved with the proceedings, she has times of thinking that Ted could not possibly be the man who committed these heinous crimes. Literally, Ann had fallen under the Bundy spell. As Ted is brought to justice, recaptured after making two successful jail escapes, Ann still grapples with his guilt. One had to wonder if she was just so sure of her assessment of her friend or was there something else that lurked below the surface for Ann? Even as all points to Ted’s guilt, there is that urge to fight for him, so that he might escape the fate that was decided for him after his trial. This story was chilling, as one sees so many fall like dominoes to Ted’s charm. He was so able to weave a spell around so many even to the point of marrying a woman while in jail and producing a daughter. It is a story of horror, a story of fear, a story of a weird and dangerous friendship that at least to this reader seemed unnatural. I listened to the audio version of this book, a long eighteen hour trip into depravity. We can always make excuses for abhorrent behavior and yet there are thirty women, (although Ted said once to add a zero onto the end of that number) who are no longer alive today who were lost at the hands of an evil monster. I often wanted to hear of empathy for the victims and their families and yet, of course this was Ted’s story and the story of what I consider a very bizarre and abhorrent friendship. Recommended to those who find the subject of sociopaths interesting as they lay bare all the ways in which some can be malevolent and evil, and yet engender the love and care of quite a few people. and here’s the author:
Ann Rule was a popular American true crime writer. Raised in a law enforcement and criminal justice system environment, she grew up wanting to work in law enforcement herself. She was a former Seattle Policewoman and was well educated in psychology and criminology.
She came to prominence with her first book, The Stranger Beside Me, about the Ted Bundy murders. At the time she started researching the book, the murders were still unsolved. In the course of time, it became clear that the killer was Bundy, her friend and her colleague as a trained volunteer on the suicide hotline at the Seattle, Washington Crisis Clinic, giving her a unique distinction among true crime writers.
Ann Rule passed away in 2016 at the age of eighty-three.
Bundy’s body was cremated in Gainesville, and no public ceremony was held. Before he was executed he requested his ashes be scattered in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State, where he murdered at least four of his victims.
Theodore Robert Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history who confessed to kidnapping, raping and murdering 30 women throughout seven states during the 1970s. From the time of his capture , up until his death in the electric chair became imminent, he proclaimed his innocence and then began confessing to some of his crimes to delay his execution. The actual count of how many people he murdered remains a mystery.
Ted Bundy was executed in 1989. He was executed by the use of the electric chair in Florida. He had been tried three times and was 42 at the time of his death.