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Personality Spotlight: Ted Bundy -- a trail of blood

By DENNY HAMILTON, United Press International

Ted Bundy, the illegitimate son of a sailor, was different.

He was born Theodore Robert Cowell on Nov. 24, 1946, the illegitimate son of Eleanor Louise Cowell, in the Elizabeth Lund Home for Unwed Mothers in Burlington, Vt. His father was an unknown sailor.

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As an adult, renamed Theodore Robert Bundy through adoption, he would be admired as a rising political star -- and he would be hunted as a maniacal killer of women.

He was a suspect in as many as three dozen murders in four Western states and was convicted and condemned for three 1978 slayings in Florida -- the bludgeon murders of two sorority sisters at Florida State University and the killing of 12-year-old Lake City schoolgirl Kimberly Diane Leach.

Ted and his mother moved to Tacoma, Wash., where she met and married Johnnie Culpepper Bundy, a North Carolinian who accepted her illegitimate son and gave him his name.

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Boyhood friends remember Bundy generally avoided confrontations, but when sufficiently provoked, he would explode with frightening ferocity.

'It was easy to see when Ted got mad,' Terry Storwick, who was in Bundy's Boy Scout troop, told the authors of 'The Only Living Witness,' a book about Bundy. 'His eyes turned almost black with anger.'

According to numerous psychiatric reports on Bundy, he never matured emotionally. He was a shy high school student who claimed he was 'just not interested' in girls. But he excelled in class, earned a scholarship to the University of Puget Sound and earned a reputation as a hard-working college student.

Bundy transferred to the University of Washington, enrolled in an intensive study of Chinese, and began fashioning his public facade as bright, witty, handsome and self-assured. At age 20, he met his first love -- Diane.

She was everything Bundy hoped to become -- poised, wealthy and destined for success. Authorities have steadfastly refused to reveal her last name.

Bundy, seeking to please Diane, transferred to Stanford University. But Diane wearied of Bundy's boyish ways, dumped him and he recalled the rest of 1967 was 'absolutely the pits for me -- the lowest time ever.'

He dropped out of school, wandered aimlessly and stepped easi,y into a life of crime -- shoplifting things he had always wanted.

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Along the way, Bundy ran into an old high school chum who suggested he latch on with Art Fletcher, a black politician making a run at Washington's Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Bundy, who had already worked in two GOP campaigns, jumped at the chance. Bundy said he liked politics because it allowed him to use his talents and assertiveness.

But Fletcher lost and Bundy was cast adrift again.

However, Bundy's tenure with Fletcher was educational. On the campaign trial, Bundy learned social graces and honed his skill at attracting women.

In September 1969, Bundy met Liz, a divorcee and the mother of a young daughter. She was the last woman he would date.

They went on picnics and talked on the phone. But as close as she was to Bundy, even Liz could not get through his well-fashioned facade. Despite a seemingly genuine love for Liz, Bundy kept in contact with Diane and saw her whenever she would grant him time.

Psychologists who interviewed Bundy said he complained his relationship with Diane always was strained because they were from different worlds.

Around the time Diane finally terminated their relationship in January 1974 women began to disappear in Washington state. By June 11, 1974, six women had vanished.

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All had long, dark hair parted down the middle -- much like Diane.

'Bundy wasn't killing his victims, he was raping and killing Diane, who jilted him,' said Utah State Prison psychiatrist Dr. Van Austin.

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