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Serial Killer Syndrome

Author: Abikenova Ayazhan

Editor: Kigbaeva Kamila

Translated by: Uspanova Ainura




      "Beautiful, Bad, Ugly" is not the only film that reflects all the horror of the 70s and 80s of the XX century. The Cautious Stranger (1986), The Ripper (2002), Infernal Legacy (2010) and a dozen other films have been made about the most famous serial killer Ted Bundy. But this time we are not about the film, but about Ted's personality.


       Ted Bundy, known as the charismatic killer, the most handsome criminal, was a serial killer of the 70s and 80s. Ted grew up without a father, since his mother, Eleanor Cowell, was not married, the identity of his father was not established, but Lloyd Marshall was indicated on the birth certificate. Ted grew up with his grandparents and was considered their son. He spoke well of his grandfather, set himself an example and respected him. Ted's grandfather was a real tyrant, angry, beat his wife, their pet dog, could strangle the neighbors' cat for making loud noises. Perhaps this picture was imprinted in his head, that, having matured, he became no less cruel.


        He killed young girls and teenage girls, luring them with his charm and attractiveness. The bloodthirsty killer got to know his victims in crowded places: in a cafe, a cinema, or just on the street. The girls, suspecting nothing of a handsome young guy, responded to his initiatives to take a walk or to have dinner in return. And sometimes he himself made his way into the dorm rooms of unknown girls, pursued and attacked them. He acted according to the classic scenario of maniacs: beating, violence, murder. Ted used the most cruel measures, beat his victims with any object, strangled, bit off body parts, after the murder he buried them in the forest outside the city. He dismembered some victims, sawed off their heads and kept them at home as souvenirs.


       He committed at least one murder in a month. The police got down to business when the students began to disappear one after another. Among the victims there were also survivors, according to them, the guards made a composite sketch. But getting on his trail was no easy feat. Ted periodically changed his place of residence, moving from one state to another.


        So, in 1974, having arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah, he entered the law university, and here he committed about a dozen murders. One evening, planning another murder, he lured 18-year-old Carol into his car. Ted introduced himself as a police officer, showing a recently found token, and asked Carol to go with her to the station to write a statement, allegedly she became an unwitting witness as someone tried to get into his car. They got into the car together, but when they turned not towards the site, but into another street, the girl, suspecting something was wrong, escaped from the car. Bundy, of course, chased after her, grabbed her arm and attacked her with a crowbar. The girl, not giving up, fought with him for a long time and she managed to escape. The next day, a high school student, Debra, went missing during a school play. Finally, he stumbled: he was seen by his acting teacher, Rellin and other students. Ted approached Rallyn and asked her to help him find his car in the parking lot, but she apologized and refused. Later, he turned to her again, saying that he liked her, but Rellin saw fit to just leave. His car did not go unnoticed that evening either. The picture began to take shape. However, Bundy was still above suspicion.


       The Bundy's case was brought up by the police after several calls to the station of Elizabeth Klöpfer, an ex-girlfriend he met in Seattle. From leaflets circulated everywhere with a composite of the killer, Elizabeth immediately recognized Ted. But the police did not pay enough attention to her first call. When Elizabeth found out on the news that the disappearance of young girls near Salt Lake City was becoming more frequent, and was shown a composite of Ted, she called the station again. This time she was questioned in more detail. However, the police did not have enough evidence against Ted.


        Driving through the city at night, Ted stumbled again. The officer stopped him for speeding and asked to see documents. Seeing a familiar face from the composite, the officer searched the car and found suspicious objects: crowbar, handcuffs, a ski mask and others. Then they searched his apartment, but found nothing suspicious. He was not detained, but he was under surveillance as a suspect. Meanwhile, at the police station, complaints about the missing girls were frequent. Since Ted was already listed in the database as a suspect, they began to call him for identification. Carol, who had escaped from him recognized him. The testimony against him became even more convincing, the evidence found playing against him. There were several courts, Bundy did not confess until the last. The Ted Bundy's trial was the only trial shown on television. After his confession, he was sentenced to death.


       According to Ted, he killed 35 women, but it is assumed that he hid the true number. More than one psychologist spoke to him, and none of them made a final diagnosis for Ted, because his actions were a clear consequence of some deviation. The opinions of psychologists differed: someone said that he had bipolar disorder (a disease in which there is a change in two opposite states: rational and manic-depressive), and someone said that he had schizophrenia (a mental illness, which is an imbalance of mental functions).


      Many psychologists argue that psychological deviations or simple problems of a person's personality are the result of childhood psychological trauma, they can turn into dire consequences already in adulthood.