The following are the first 2 chapters of “Robert Berdella: The True Story of a Man Who Turned His Darkest Fantasies into a Reality” from the book “Serial Killers: The Horrific True Crime Stories Behind 4 Infamous Serial Killers That Shocked The World”
A God-Fearing Boy
Our story begins in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, on the 31st of January, 1949. Robert Andrew Berdella, Jr. was born to Robert Sr. and Alice Berdella, a practicing Catholic couple who immediately integrated their new son into their faith. Robert’s younger brother, Daniel, was born when Robert was seven, and the two were raised as good, well-behaved boys who avoided bad behavior, lest they anger their strict father.
The young Robert suffered a large amount of bullying during his childhood years due to his nearsightedness that required he wear thick glasses. He slowly turned in to a loner who rarely got involved in group activities or social interaction with friends. He was a good student with decent grades, but the constant bullying marred his school years and created a distant boy who behaved in a detached manner
Berdella’s teenage years were heavily influenced by his disaffection with Catholicism and a life-changing discovery: he was a homosexual.
When Robert was just sixteen, his father died of a heart attack at thirty-nine years of age. This caused great sadness in the boy, but nothing hurt him more than when his mother remarried and moved in with the man just a few months later. In Robert’s immature mind, this was enough reason to feel insanely angry—he felt as though his mother had flippantly discarded his father’s memory and grabbed a new lover instantly, while he himself was still grieving.
Initially, Robert attempted to find solace in religion, but this became harder every day, as the pain of losing his father ate away at him. This, along with an incident at work when a male co-worker took advantage and sexually abused Robert, made him reconsider his faith, and he abandoned the Catholic Church for good. He developed a cynical attitude toward religion and began to read and investigate about different faiths, without truly believing in any of them.
Around the time of his father’s death in 1965, Robert watched the film adaptation of the book, The Collector. He saw the protagonist capture a beautiful woman, hold her captive in an underground, windowless room, and study her as a sort of specimen. The movie left an impression on the young Berdella, one that was strong enough for him to eventually decide to recreate these events in real life.
Berdella graduated from high school in the summer of 1967. Before long, he moved to Kansas City for a change of scenery. He wanted to study art and become a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute. In college, Berdella was considered to be a talented student who worked extra hard at finding inspiration. However, he worked equally hard at abusing alcohol and he even began to sell minor drugs to addicted classmates. This eventually came back to bite him when he was picked up by the police for possession of drugs. Luckily for Berdella, they lacked sufficient evidence to impose anything harsher than a fine.
Although Berdella had friends in college, he still lacked the mercy that many normal human beings possess. On three particular occasions, Berdella experimented on live animals during art classes; the final time he murdered a dog in front of a crowd ‘for art.’ The College Board decided that enough was enough. Berdella was stripped of his place at the Kansas City Art Institute; an occurrence that caused him a significant amount of shame.
Where a normal person may have taken this as a signal to turn their life around, Berdella felt aggrieved by his expulsion from the Institute. Surely the Board at the Center of Studies simply didn’t understand his brand of art and were clearly just repressing his desires. It was at this moment the young Berdella, already troubled, took a turn for the worse.
For the much, much worse, in fact.
Berdella’s Bizarre Bazaar
During his time studying art, Robert had adopted some unusual pastimes, such as collecting oddities, and writing to distant pen pals in countries such as Vietnam and Burma. His interest in primitive art and antiques would eventually drive his desire to open a business in this field, but first, he needed to earn the necessary funds.
Thus, in 1969, following his expulsion from the Kansas City Art Institute, Berdella changed his direction in life. After brief consideration, he decided to move to the Hyde Park district of Kansas City. There, he was a helpful neighbor within the community, taking part in Crime Prevention and Neighborhood Watch patrols, and gaining the love and respect of his fellow Hyde Park residents. He was also known for participating in fundraising events for a local television station.
Another more secret, yet equally respectable side of Robert’s life, was what he did for several vulnerable young men of the city in the early 70s. After having a brief relationship with a Vietnam War veteran, Berdella began spending time with young males who had gotten in to prostitution, drugs, or had run away. He tried his hardest to steer these young men back on to the right track and assisting them in leaving their harmful lifestyles behind. Those that were unaware of the sexual nature of some of these relationships thought of Berdella as a sort of ‘foster parent’ to these young men.
At the same time, Berdella attempted to improve himself on an interpersonal level, while he also strived to enhance his professionalism. Soon he started working as a cook throughout the city. When he wasn’t working at a bar or restaurant, Robert found time to sell antique items and art to contacts, all from the comfort of his home. Both of these activities allowed him to succeed and cover his expenses—expenses of which he would soon have many including: lawyer fees and fines that accumulated due to arrests. Berdella eventually became a prestigious, well-known cook in town, working for renowned businesses and even joining a chefs’ association where he helped train young students at a local culinary college.
Despite Berdella’s success as a cook, however, he found his interest in antiques and oddities couldn’t be denied, so he decided to invest the money he’d accumulated in starting an antique-selling business. In 1982, he rented a booth at the Westport Flea Market, naming it Berdella’s Bizarre Bazaar. He sold jewelry and antiques to both curious amateurs and expert customers.
While managing the booth, Berdella befriended a man named Paul Howell, as well as his son, Jerry. Robert and Jerry soon formed a friendship. They were often seen sharing drinks in the company of friends. At other times, Berdella gave the young troublemaker a bit of legal advice.
To everyone around him, it looked like Robert had finally found someone to care about and spend time with—something he’d never truly had since childhood. What was happening in truth, however, was far more sinister.
Berdella was beginning to measure his first possible victim, a process that would end with bloodcurdling results.
The following are the first 2 chapters of “Edmund Kemper: The True Story of The Brutal Co-ed Butcher” from the book “Serial Killers: The Horrific True Crime Stories Behind 4 Infamous Serial Killers That Shocked The World”
The Home Where Demons Were Sown
“What do you think his sentence should be?” A reporter asked the judge. The judge replied that, if he had it his way, Kemper would be tortured to death.
Instead of fulfilling his wish, during the penalty phase of the trial, the judge sentenced Edmund Kemper to eight concurrent life sentences. Kemper’s sentencing took place in November of 1973. The judge was not able to sentence Kemper to the death penalty, because California had already eliminated capital punishment.
At the time of his sentencing, Edmund Kemper was twenty-five years old. He was found guilty on eight counts of first-degree murder and would become known as the “Co-ed Killer,” though his victims were not restricted to college co-eds.
For Edmund Kemper, the descent in to madness occurred early on.
Born December 18, 1948, in Burbank, California, Edmund Kemper was large from the start, weighing in at thirteen pounds. By the time he was four, Edmund was a head taller than his peers. Edmund was the middle child of Edmund Emil Kemper II and Clarnell Kemper; he had two sisters. His father, E.E. Kemper II, was a veteran of World War II. After the war, the Kempers settled in Burbank, which at the time was a small town located in Los Angeles County. E.E. worked at the Pacific Proving Grounds, where he tested nuclear weapons. He later became an electrician. The town of Burbank had grown during the war; Lockheed Aircraft had chosen it as a site for the production of planes. By 1943, Burbank had a population of 53,899.
Both of Edmund’s parents were strict disciplinarians, and their marriage was strained. Clarnell Kemper was known to be a difficult woman. It has been suggested that Clarnell may have suffered from borderline personality disorder. Edmund’s father would later state that testing bombs was nothing compared to being married to Clarnell. He even said that being married to Clarnell had more of an impact on him, “than three hundred and ninety-six days and nights of fighting on the front did.”
Edmund felt close to his father; as his mother was distant towards him, rarely showing him any affection. Consequently, Kemper’s feelings for his mother fueled a rage that would escalate with the passing of time—a rage foretelling the destiny of both him and his mother.
If Edmund’s rage was a ticking time bomb, then the lighting of the fuse was the divorce of his parents in 1957. Edmund was only nine when his father moved out; his mother was left with full custody. Clarnell moved Edmund and his two sisters to Montana. It was during this time that Edmund started to express his anger and violent tendencies.
At age ten, Edmund buried the family’s pet cat alive; he later dug up the dead cat and played with it. When he was thirteen, he killed another family cat because it favored the company of his sister, Allyn. Edmund butchered the cat with a machete knife and placed its remains in a closet.
When his mother made the grisly discovery, Edmund denied any responsibility for the cat’s death. Years later, as an adult, Edmund would reveal in an interview that he took pride in the fact that he could successfully lie about the cat’s death, and that he could appear to be an average person despite the rage and fear he felt inside.
As a child, Edmund considered himself a chronic daydreamer, often fantasizing about committing acts of violence against others, in particular, his mother. He would set fires and engage in play that was violent, like dismembering his sisters’ dolls, or pretending he was in a gas chamber and mimicking the convulsive movements of a dying prisoner.
At ten, Edmund’s mother made him sleep in the basement of their home out of fear he might harm his sisters. To prepare the basement for him, Edmund’s mother placed a mattress in the dark, barren room. Edmund would later recall the single, bare bulb that provided light in the rat-infested quarters was his bedroom.
A few years later, when Edmund was fourteen, he could no longer tolerate living with his mother. He decided to run away so he could be with his father, thinking this would make his life easier. His hopes for a better life were short-lived—dashed when he arrived at his father’s home in California to discover Edmund II had remarried, and had a stepson through his new wife.
Edmund’s father was less than enthusiastic to see his son, but allowed Edmund to stay with him for a while before eventually sending him back to his mother in Montana.
Upon returning to his mother’s home, Edmund discovered that his mother was also planning to remarry. Like her ex-husband, Edmund II, Clarnell was not interested in having Edmund back. To remedy the situation, Clarnell decided to wash her hands of Edmund and sent him to live with his paternal grandparents in North Fork, California.
Barely a teenager, Edmund was unwelcome by his parents. His father, the only person whom he felt close to, was starting a new life without him. His mother, who he held such deep anger for, was about to marry her third husband. Edmund was unwanted, friendless, and doing poorly in school. He wanted a connection with other people; especially girls or women, but felt completely inadequate. His mother’s cruel and domineering ways had burned a hole in Kemper’s soul.
He went deeper into his fantasies of violence and killing. What he could not anticipate was that his fantasies would materialize into reality upon arriving at his grandparents’ ranch.
The Carnage Begins
The town of North Fork is located in central California, at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. The town had three restaurants, two gas stations, and one grocery store. The home that Edmund’s grandparents, Edmund Kemper Sr. and his wife Maude, offered the fourteen-year-old Edmund was not dramatically different from that of his mother’s. Maude was also an authoritarian in her discipline and emasculated him just like his mother had.
Edmund spent as much time as possible outside to avoid dealing with his grandparents, particularly Maude. His grandfather had bought him a .22-gauge rifle so he could go hunting; however, his grandfather had taken the gun away from Edmund when he discovered he had been shooting birds and animals that were not game animals. Edmund’s shooting had been just for the sake of killing, especially birds. Later, Edmund’s grandfather allowed him to have his rifle back, thinking that Edmund had learned his lesson.
On the morning of August 27, 1964, Maude was in the kitchen, working on a children’s book she was writing while her husband had gone grocery shopping. Edmund entered the kitchen and opened the refrigerator, looking for something to eat. Maude made a comment about his sleeping in late and being useless when it came to helping out around the house. Edmund felt his mind drifting to the dark space, filled with the hate for his mother. He felt a surge of rage and stormed back to his room, leaving his grandmother thinking she could get under his skin.
Minutes later, Edmund returned to the kitchen with his .22-caliber rifle. Maude thought nothing of it; figuring he was going hunting. “Don’t shoot any birds!” she said to him firmly. Edmund pointed his rifle at Maude and pulled the trigger. The first bullet went through her head. Still pumped with emotion, he fired two more shots in to her back. Edmund felt like he was in a daze when he realized what he had just done. He dragged her body to her bedroom and placed her in the closet. Something about killing his grandmother left him with a sense of satisfaction.
Then his thoughts turned to his grandfather; who would be returning at any time. Out of a distorted sense of compassion, Edmund felt he must also kill his grandfather. He did not want him to go through the experience of finding his wife murdered. Edmund looked out the living room window, and saw his grandfather’s car pulling in. Edmund stepped out the front door, pointed the rifle at his grandfather as he got out of the car. After the shot rang out, his grandfather collapsed to the pavement.
At the age of fifteen, Edmund Kemper had taken the lives of two people.
With both grandparents dead now, the reality of what he had done hit Edmund; he did not know what to do. He called his mother and told her what he had just done. His mother told him to call the police, which he did. Edmund sat in the kitchen as he waited for them to arrive.
He was arrested and taken to the police station, where he was interrogated. When asked why he had killed his grandmother, Edmund replied, “I just wanted to see what it felt like to kill her.”
The following are the first 2 chapters of “Jeffrey Dahmer: The Gruesome True Story of a Hungry Cannibalistic Rapist and Necrophiliac Serial Killer” from the book “Serial Killers: The Horrific True Crime Stories Behind 4 Infamous Serial Killers That Shocked The World”
The Loss of Innocence
Before we begin, the following must be said, if only to separate our killer from other monsters — to take away the possibility of doubt or pity. Jeffrey Dahmer, unlike many others who have become serial killers, was not born into an abusive household, nor forced into what he became by terrible poverty and bad influences.
Jeffrey could have become whatever he wished, but he chose to become a killer. And not just any killer: One of the worst killers the world has ever seen.
Our story begins on the 21st of May in 1960. Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer was born in West Allis, Wisconsin, to Joyce Annette and Lionel Herbert Dahmer. Joyce was a teletype machine instructor, while Lionel studied analytical chemistry at Marquette University.
As a baby, Jeffrey received all the attention a child could wish for; his parents took good care of him. However, as the years passed and their marriage became tense, Lionel and Joyce began to somewhat neglect him. The disruption in the marriage was due in part to Joyce’s personality. Being the type of person who continuously demanded attention; Joyce would go as far as faking sickness to get responsiveness.
It did not help that Lionel was very busy with his studies, spending extended periods of time away from home, only to return to his wife, feigning a nervous breakdown.
Despite initially being a happy and playful child, a change occurred after Jeffery underwent double hernia surgery at the age of six. He became quieter and more subdued.
In school, Jeffrey was considered to be a quiet and shy boy; he showed signs of neglect, but had fortunately managed to make some friends. While there are claims that a neighbor molested Jeffrey at some point in his younger years, no one has confirmed these allegations. Dahmer himself later recalled having been present on several occasions when his parents argued. These scenes were upsetting for a child. Fortunately, Dahmer’s parents’ love for him did not change at any point.
As a young boy, Jeffrey fell completely in love with animals. The family had a pet dog, and, at one point, they helped nurse a bird back to health from an injury. Lionel would later recall Jeffrey watched the bird fly away into the wild with “wide, gleaming eyes,” and it had probably been the happiest moment in his life.
Shortly after, Jeffrey came upon his father sweeping some animal bones out from under their home. He felt intensely curious when he saw the body parts and asked his father what they were. Lionel noticed when Jeffrey heard the crunching noises the bones made, he seemed oddly thrilled, requesting to touch them himself. Later, Lionel would come to understand this was the very first sign of what his son would eventually become.
In 1966, Lionel graduated then found a job as a research chemist. Unfortunately for the family, this would require them to uproot and move to Akron, Ohio. Joyce was pregnant with their second son, David. Her pregnancy was a troublesome one, making her weak and prone to sickness. Jeffrey, now seven, gradually received less and less attention, and he began to lose self-confidence and his previously bubbly nature diminished.
Soon, even the very idea of starting a new school made Jeffrey fearful. Lionel tried not to worry, hoping Jeffrey had just not adapted to his new home yet. In reality, it was far more than that.
After buying and moving into a new home in April 1967, young Jeffrey seemed to begin to get used to his new life, even finding a new friend named Lee. Jeffrey also grew close to a female teacher, who he eventually gifted a bowl of tadpoles he had caught on his own. Later, however, he would find out his teacher had given the bowl to Lee. This event angered Jeffrey and led him to sneak into the boy’s garage to poison the animals’ water with motor oil, killing all of them.
This occasion was not the last time Jeffrey came into contact with dead animals.
The young Dahmer was fascinated with hunting his neighborhood for the corpses of critters. He often took them home and dissected them, sometimes getting rid of the bones in the woods near his home to avoid raising suspicion. When he went fishing with his father, Jeffrey’s favorite part of the activity was cutting open the fish and gutting them. Nobody paid attention to this proclivity.
One night, during a family dinner of chicken, Jeffrey asked his father what would happen if he put the chicken bones in a bleach solution. His father, pleasantly surprised by his child’s curiosity, decided to teach him how to bleach animal bones, safely and correctly. There was no harm in it, his father thought. After all, it was merely a childish curiosity. His father was most likely relieved by Jeffrey’s request, since he had shown such little interest in other hobbies up to this point.
Had someone known what was really happening, Dahmer’s story may have ended very differently.
Jeffrey wasn’t just inspecting the insides of animal corpses and preserving their bones for science.
He was getting ready for something much worse.
An Odd Young Man
Jeffrey’s high school years arrived, and he began to grow in stature. As a tall, awkward youth, he shifted from random quiet, shy states to extroverted ones. He developed a penchant for playing crude practical jokes when he was drunk; this habit would continue throughout the years up to Jeffrey’s death.
Classmates stated that Dahmer would arrive to class looking disheveled, with a can or two of beer in his bag, to consume during class. A curious classmate once asked him why he was continuously drinking during class, to which Dahmer responded: “It’s my medicine.”
His jokes were cruel. He often mimicked his mother’s interior designer, who had cerebral palsy, to the enjoyment of many of his peers. Other times he would paint chalk outlines in the halls of his school; reminiscent of those found at crime scenes once law enforcement removed the body.
Jeffrey was considered to be intelligent and polite, but regularly received average grades due to his extreme apathy and lack of interest in studying or reading. His parents hired a private tutor, but nothing changed. Dahmer was not willing to make an effort, so there was little the tutor could do.
It was around this age that Dahmer discovered two important things that would define him as a human being and mold him into what he would become later.
The first was that he was gay. Jeffrey first noticed it as a small attraction towards other men, but even in these early stages of realization, Dahmer kept it from his parents. He had a brief relationship with another boy, but it did not get very far.
Then he had a second, separate realization. Dahmer began to fantasize about dominating another male; taking complete control, doing whatever he wanted to a partner, without their consent.
Jeffrey wanted to hurt somebody, to make sexual use of them, and perhaps kill and dissect them in the process. The limits of sex and dissection began to blur, as Dahmer included one within the other in his fantasies. His desire for violence became so overwhelming, he began to make plans for his first victim.
The idea that would finally spark Jeffrey’s killer instinct came to fruition. On several occasions, Dahmer had spotted a male jogger he found attractive. He knew the man’s route passed by a section of thick bushes. Dahmer had the perfect place to hide, as well as the perfect opportunity to take advantage of his victim, if he could successfully render him unconscious.
After fantasizing about this idea, Dahmer decided to make his fantasy come true. Armed with a baseball bat, he went to the bushes and lay in wait, patiently expecting the jogger. To the man’s extreme good fortune, he did not jog that route on that particular day, and Dahmer decided to give up on his fantasy. If the would-be victim had passed through the bushy area, Dahmer almost certainly would have followed through with his plan.
In the Dahmer household, Lionel and Joyce’s marriage was deteriorating. The couple had less and less patience for each other. Arguments were becoming a regular event, and Jeffrey was having a hard time seeing them fight. His drinking increased; he became more despondent as time passed.
Jeffrey’s terrible and secret habit of dissecting and skinning animals became the only thing that motivated him. His parents and other grown-ups watched as his peers spoke of dreams, careers, and plans, while Dahmer sunk further into apathy and purposelessness. Jeffrey was more comfortable lying on his bed alone in his room, than making an effort in his studies or looking for a job. At this point, even interacting with other people had become a challenge for him.
Even worse, nobody could detect what Jeffrey was truly harboring on the inside because of his guarded and closed nature. He did not argue with anyone, never got involved in his parents’ increasingly common fights, and kept his strange habits secret enough for everyone to find him merely different — not actually troubled or sick
When Jeffrey was almost eighteen, his parents finally gave up on their marriage and got divorced. Where Joyce had been a self-centered woman with barely any attention for Jeffrey, Lionel’s new fiancée, Shari, was more attentive toward the boy. She recommended that Jeffrey start college after high school, and Lionel agreed.
It looked like Jeffrey was going to turn over a new leaf. He seemed as though he might get an education that could help him progress as a human being. Jeffrey had a chance to start over and become a regular person, despite his awkward teenage years and childhood.
Unfortunately, Jeffrey’s fate was about to darken. He was about to let the demon who inhabited his mind loose. Jeffrey Dahmer was about to become the killer the world would remember; the construction of a horrific legacy was about to begin.
The following are the first 2 chapters of “Ted Bundy: The Horrific True Story behind America’s Most Wicked Serial Killer” from the book “Serial Killers: The Horrific True Crime Stories Behind 4 Infamous Serial Killers That Shocked The World”
The Birth of a Psychopath
Every monster born into the world is an innocent, screaming baby—Ted Bundy was no exception. On November 24th, 1946, our killer was born Theodore Robert to Louise Cowell in the city of Burlington, Vermont. In regards to his father, nothing certain can be said—it has never been determined, despite Louise claiming on the boy’s birth certificate the father had been a salesman and Air Force veteran. There were rumors among the family that Louise’s own dad may have fathered the child, but no evidence was ever produced supporting this claim.
Whichever the case, Louise moved in to her parent’s house with the newborn Ted, and lived in Samuel and Eleanor Powell’s home for three years. During this time they began feeding Ted a lie—one he wouldn’t know the truth of for many years—primarily due to social stigma and old-fashioned beliefs. The trio of adults agreed to make everyone believe Ted had been born to Samuel and Eleanor, and that his mother Louise was his older sister. These lies would go on until Ted reached his college years; the rage of being lied to for so long may have contributed to developing his psychopathic disorders.
Within the Powell household, Samuel was an abusive tyrant. In spite of initial claims that Ted had been close and looked up to the man, his family would later admit the grandparent had been extremely violent, bigoted, and regularly spoke to himself. Bullying at home was so powerful that Eleanor aged into a depressive, withdrawn, old woman who required periodical electroconvulsive therapy to treat her mental state.
Young Theodore watched this all through confused, infant eyes and it definitely affected him. At one point, he surrounded his aunt Julia, with kitchen knives, while she was sleeping. Then he stood by her with a grin until she awoke. While this is disturbing behavior for any child, the fact that Ted was only three-years-old when it occurred, made it that more disturbing.
When Ted was four, Louise decided to move to Tacoma, Washington, where her cousins, Alan and Jane Scott lived. This would be where Ted’s young life would develop and his first run-ins with the law would occur; although they were minor offenses and showed no sign of a soon-to-be serial rapist and killer.
A year after the move to Washington, Louise met a hospital cook at church and they instantly fell for each other. The man, Johnny Culpepper Bundy, formally adopted Ted as his son, soon going on to have four children with Louise. Ted was always distant, feeling uncomfortable around Johnny and the children, and would state later that he had never liked him.
Ted’s own recollections of his teenage life were memories of reading crime novels and magazines for stories and scenes that included sexual violence and maimed bodies, as well as peeping in women’s bedroom windows. Ted’s mother would claim he was an excellent son who never forgot a special occasion to gift her with something; he often spoke of his dream to be a policeman or a lawyer. Classmates also remembered Ted as a friendly, well-known student, yet Bundy claimed to biographers he had never grasped the concept of friendship.
Ted Bundy’s behavior soon showed sociopathic signs and a general disregard for the law. Breaking in to cars, Ted would steal objects he found inside with the intent of selling them. He was also quite skilled at shoplifting, taking advantage of it to support his skiing hobby. Ted was arrested, at least twice as a minor, however, the details of the incidents were expunged from his record as soon as he reached the age of eighteen.
Ted was done with high school by 1965, and began studying at the University of Puget Sound. He did not like it there because his classmates were all from wealthy backgrounds and it made him feel inferior. After a year, he transferred to the University of Washington, where he studied Chinese. At the same time, he looked for simple, minimum wage jobs; he never lasted longer than a few months at a time. Whether it was working as a grocery bagger, shelf-stocker, or volunteer at a Seattle suicide hotline, his superiors remembered him as an unreliable and untrustworthy young man. Ted also volunteered in political activities for the Republican Party, such as Nelson Rockefeller’s presidential campaign of 1968.
It was around this time that Ted met the woman that would perhaps become the most pivotal of his life; even more so than any of his unfortunate victims. Although he had never been a model boy, things were about to turn a lot uglier in Ted’s young life.
Ted had a problem that had been tormenting him all his life.
He always wanted to be just like those wealthy, happy young men he had studied with at both universities. Part of that was finding a beautiful girlfriend he could parade around, who would give him the support he craved. Ted finally found her in the spring of 1967; a beautiful young woman named Stephanie Brooks. She was pretty, rich, smart, and had a lot of class, just like the women he had observed longingly at university. Just like Ted, Stephanie studied at the University of Washington. She also loved him a lot.
Ted was truly happy around Stephanie; he envisioned a future where the two could be married and grow old together. However, while he was picturing these things, Stephanie was growing increasingly uncomfortable with her boyfriend’s lack of ambition in life. He did not seem to be on a path to success. Her parents also appeared to dislike her partner, and this may have been an influence for the decision she took next.
When Stephanie told Ted of her decision to break up with him, he was in shock. It was a slap in the face for someone he had been trying so hard to impress, and find a way to be like the rich boys he envied. Despite many letters and attempts at recovering the relationship, Ted was unable to accomplish anything and it got to him. He entered a depressive stage, filled with rage and confusion, which led to dark thoughts.
Ted’s heart was broken, and he began to harbor a deep hatred toward women—most of the victims whose lives he took were women that looked very similar to Stephanie: Caucasian, dark-haired, and beautiful.
It was around this time, in early 1969, that Bundy traveled east and visited several relatives in Arkansas and Philadelphia. He went in search of his origins and discovered birth records in Burlington, Vermont, revealing the true details of his birth and parentage. This did not help his state of mind, furthering his anger toward the world.
He returned to Washington later that same year and met Elizabeth Kloepfer—known as Meg Anders in some documentation. She was a divorcée and single mother from Ogden, Utah, working as a secretary at the university. Elizabeth became Ted’s next girlfriend, though he was not faithful to her. Ted’s life was about to take a change for the better…at least for now.
Back in Washington, Ted felt he had a chance to try again and he re-enrolled at the university, this time studying Psychology. His grades were excellent; he also had a good relationship with his professors and became friends with many people in various positions. One of those people was a writer named Ann Rule. She would go on to write one of Bundy’s most well-known biographies, The Stranger Beside Me. Even though Ann believed Ted to be a sadistic sociopath, she took somewhat of a human, defensive stance on him. During this time, Ted also became interested in fulfilling his childhood wish of studying law and began to think of a school where he could study to become a lawyer.
Describing Ted’s sexual habits, Meg Anders stated Ted was insistent on practicing sadomasochistic sexual intercourse with her, almost strangling her to unconsciousness, on one occasion, despite her pleas for him to stop. He also requested she remain completely still when they had sex; not making a sound as if she was a corpse. Only in this manner could Ted reach orgasm.
Bundy graduated in 1972, and immediately joined Governor Daniel J. Evans’ re-election campaign. He had started sending admission requests to begin his studies at several law schools, and some were considering giving him a chance. Ted stated that in his eyes, the law was the answer to his search for order. During his time working for Governor Evans, he followed Evans’ opponent Albert Rosellini around, recording his speeches for analysis. Evans was successfully re-elected and Bundy caught the attention of Ross Davis, Chairman of the Washington State Republican Party. The chairman liked Ted and the way he worked, and helped him with recommendations. These ended up helping Ted get accepted by both University of Puget Sound, and University of Utah’s law schools in early 1973, despite that he had not done well in the admission tests. He would decide on University of Puget Sound law school the following year.
Ted Bundy was on the rise. His success was spreading and he was showing signs of being a truly heroic citizen—on one occasion he saved a three-year-old child from drowning and was rewarded with a medal by the city’s police department. On another occasion he was involved in performing a citizen’s arrest on a thief who attempted to steal a person’s bag. Bundy recovered the bag and gave it back to its rightful owner—an act that did not go unnoticed.
On a revisit to the University of Washington’s campus, Ted came across his friends and professors; everyone had something positive to say about him. His newfound security and position in society was highly respected by his peers and teachers, and they now had a far different—and better—image of him, than before.
Despite all the success and good news, Ted would get another chance to feel triumphant.
One of Ted’s business trips in the summer of 1973 took him to California, where he met up with Stephanie Brooks; at this point he was still in a relationship with Meg Anders. Stephanie was shocked by Ted’s transformation—he had gone from a man with no ambition and little vision, to a successful politician, graduate, and now a law student. He was everything she had wished for in a man, and this made her re-start their relationship once more, primarily due to the fact that she did not know he was already with somebody else. Stephanie flew to Seattle to stay with him a few times, and Bundy even introduced her to his boss, Ross Davis, as his fiancée. They discussed marriage during this period, and Brooks was over the moon.
But it was all for nothing.
In January 1974, only a few months later, Ted stopped answering her calls and ignored her letters. He did not visit her anymore, nor did he seem interested in continuing a relationship with her. When she finally got a hold of him a month later and asked him why he had distanced himself without any explanation, he told her he had no idea what she meant and hung up. She never heard from him again.
Ted had achieved vengeance for her earlier breakup, and proved that he could have been her husband; the husband she had always wanted.
Ted Bundy would not be satisfied with what he had done to get his revenge on Stephanie. For some reason, it just was not enough. Perhaps he should have just let it all go—acknowledge things do not always go the way one wants them to go, and had taught Stephanie a lesson for rejecting him. Perhaps his inferiority complex had come back with added poison and started to eat at him and fill him with doubts. Maybe Ted simply wanted to hurt someone for the bad things that had happened to him.
Ted was about to pursue a new career; one much darker than any previous.
The rapes and murders were about to begin, and once they began nobody could stop them…
…Well, not until it was too late.
Want more spine-chilling stories? Get our most shocking and horrific stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for True Crime Seven’s newsletter and you can also receive a FREE copy of “The Briley Brothers” today.