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Top 9 Newly Found Photos Of Ted Bundy And Their Chilling Backstories

by Cheish Merryweather
fact checked by Jamie Frater

There is a saying that true evil hides in plain sight, and nothing could be truer in the notorious case of Ted Bundy. At face value, he was charming, handsome, intelligent, and charismatic.

Yet lurking under this superficial demeanor was a cold-blooded killer who stalked, raped, murdered, and dismembered his victims. Later, he returned to violate the corpses further. He confessed to killing 30 young women and girls in seven states between 1974 and 1978, but the true total number of his victims is unknown.

See Also: 10 Shocking Facts About The Last Days And Execution Of Ted Bundy

Following a renewed interest in these murders and the stories of those who knew him best, his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer rereleased her memoir, The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, under the pseudonym Elizabeth “Liz” Kendall. This new edition included a contribution from her daughter, Molly, and never-before-seen photos.

These photos from their personal collection give us a chilling insight into the mind of a sadistic killer.

9 Ted On Vacation In Utah

Photo credit:

Four years before Ted Bundy began his known brutal killing spree, this vacation photo was taken in Ogden, Utah, in 1970. On either side of Ted are Liz and Molly. They brought Ted along to see their family home before they had moved to Seattle. A year earlier, Liz had been down on her luck as a newly divorced mother of one when she landed a receptionist job at the University of Washington.

Not long after her arrival in Seattle, she bumped into the “handsome” Ted in a bar and the pair began a relationship that was on and off for about seven years. Desperate for a father figure in Molly’s life and someone to help her feel less lonely, Liz tolerated a lot of behavior that she regrets now.

On reflection, Liz said:

This is kind of hard to even think about, but if you could put aside the fact that Ted Bundy was a terrible, murderous man, he was [also] a bad boyfriend. [ . . . ] Some of the things were just plain, flat-out codependence on my part. [ . . . ] I hope that women don’t do what I did, which was just settle for being treated not 100 percent truthfully.[1]

8 Camping Trip In The Pacific Northwest

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Ted and Liz went on their first camping trip together in the Pacific Northwest where they both enjoyed the great outdoors. The Pacific Northwest, particularly Olympia and Seattle, would later become one of Ted’s preferred areas for claiming the lives of his victims.

In 1974, Ted abducted 21-year-old Lynda Ann Healy and strangled her to death. One month later, he kidnapped and murdered 19-year-old Donna Gail Manson and never revealed where the body was buried. By September 1974, he had claimed the lives of six more young women.

Following the abduction of two victims at Lake Sammamish in King County in July 1974, police knew from witness accounts that they were on the lookout for a “handsome young man who called himself ‘Ted.’ ” They also learned that he had used an arm sling to lure women into helping him back to his now-notorious VW Beetle.[2]

The photo of Ted happily jumping in the mountains could not have foretold what darkness lay ahead. This was his final year of freedom before he was locked behind bars for his horrendous crimes.

7 Ted Awakens From A Nap

Photo credit: Abrams Press/Amazon Prime Video

Liz captioned this photo, “An unhappy Ted who just woke up from a nap.” The photo was taken in Green Lake, Seattle, years before Ted’s killing spree had peaked. Obviously, he could no longer keep his mood swings hidden.

Psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Lewis interviewed Ted after his arrest and testified during his mental competency hearing. She revealed, “I believe he was suffering a bipolar mood disorder stemming from a manic-depressive illness.”[3]

Later, these mood swings were on display for the public during subsequent trials. Ted jumped around the courtroom, flashed his smile at the television cameras, and waved to the public gallery. Moments later, he appeared agitated and uninterested in the case.

Ted’s trial for the Lake City murder of Kimberly Leach was moved to Orlando. Due to pretrial publicity, the court was unable to obtain an impartial jury. However, it was these outbursts and moments of frenzy that caused more damage to his character than any media coverage. Jurors were able to see for themselves just how volatile a man Ted really was.

6 Ted And Molly Driving A Boat

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At age three, Molly began to look up to Ted as a father figure and enjoyed days spent in his company. Now realizing who the monster behind the mask really was, Molly has recalled disturbing memories of her own, which she has detailed in the new edition of her mother’s memoir.

Molly recalls playing hide-and-seek with Ted when he was babysitting one evening. But she was left frightened after finding him naked. Frowning, Molly exclaimed, “You’re naked!” Ted replied, “I know, but that’s because I can turn invisible. But my clothes can’t, and I didn’t want you to see me!”

Molly added, “I tried to shove him out of the way, and comedically, Ted fell down to the shower mat where he sat cross-legged, covering his penis with his two hands.” When she recalled the memory in adulthood, she finally realized that Ted had had an erection at the time.

She also writes, “My next memory is of him leaving my room. I lay awake in fear for a very long time, watching the door. Hoping he would not come back. He did not.”[4]

5 Ted Playing With Neighborhood Children

Photo credit: Abrams Press/Amazon Prime Video

Enjoying the sunshine in the University District of Seattle, Ted can be seen playing with a young Molly and her friends in the neighborhood. Ted’s own childhood was a troubled one. He was brought up to believe that his mother was his sister and his grandparents were his parents.

Ted was born on November 24, 1946, at a home for unwed mothers in Burlington, Vermont. His mother, Eleanor “Louise” Cowell, considered putting the baby up for adoption, but her father, Ted’s grandfather, insisted that the baby return to their family home in Philadelphia. For the next decade or so, Ted was raised with the belief that his mother was his sister.

In The Stranger Beside Me, Ann Rule writes that Ted told her, “Maybe I just figured out that there couldn’t be 20 years’ difference in age between a brother and a sister, and Louise always took care of me. I just grew up knowing that she was really my mother.”[5]

Later interviews revealed that Ted had discovered his own parentage when a cousin teased Ted about his birth certificate, which said that he had no known father. This was something that haunted Ted for the rest of his adult life.

4 Ted Taking A Nap

Photo credit: Abrams Press/Amazon Prime Video

This photo was taken as Ted woke from a nap on Liz’s childhood bed during a Christmas break at her childhood home in Ogden, Utah. In 1974, the brutal murders that would later shock the world had begun. Liz said that she had noticed subtle changes in his personality that made her feel like she was “losing him.”

Kevin Sullivan, author of The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History, explained, “There were two Bundys. The only people who ever saw the diabolical Bundy were his victims.” Sullivan added, “This is what makes 1974 so extremely different. He is going to launch himself into full-time murder, and he was just going to keep doing it until he was captured or killed.”

In later interviews with investigators, Ted said that he was ruled by the “entity,” a demon that emerged whenever he was tense and told him to commit violence toward women. The serial killer confessed, “The tension would be too great, and the demands and expectations of this entity would reach a point where they just could not be controlled.”[6]

3 Molly Playing With Ted’s Hair

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During a Nightline interview with Molly and her mother, Molly said, “I adored this man. We were like a family.”

They almost did become a real family when Liz became pregnant with Ted’s baby in 1972. However, Liz made the difficult decision to have an abortion. In the book The Phantom Prince, Liz wrote, “Both of us knew it would be impossible to have a baby now. He was going to start law school in the fall, and I needed to be able to work to put him through.”

She added, “It was awful. Ted took me home and put me to bed. He lay down beside me and talked about the day when I wouldn’t have to work and we would have lots of kids. He fixed me food, which I couldn’t eat, and did all he could to comfort me.”[7]

Later, Ted did have a child of his own—a daughter named Rose (aka Rosa). He fathered Rose with his wife, Carole Ann Boone, while he was in prison. The whereabouts of Rose and her mother, Carole, are unknown as of this writing.

2 Ted And Liz In Utah

Photo credit: Abrams Press/Amazon Prime Video

Liz was eventually encouraged by a close friend to speak to detectives about her suspicions surrounding Ted. She had discovered various suspicious items, including women’s clothes that did not belong to her and a pair of crutches. Later, after Ted’s arrest, Liz was interviewed again by Detective Robert D. Keppel. This time, her statements were taken more seriously.

She revealed:

About the crimes . . . he told me that he was sick and that he was consumed by something that he didn’t understand. And that he just couldn’t contain it. He said that he tried, he said that it took so much of his time, that’s why he wasn’t doing well in law school and couldn’t seem to get his act together because he spent so much time trying to maintain a normal life. And he just couldn’t do it, he said that he was preoccupied with this force.

Liz added, “He . . . started by saying that he was sick, that ‘I don’t have a split personality.’ And he said, ‘I don’t have blackouts, I remember everything I’ve done.’ “[8]

1 Ted Drinking On The Courthouse Steps

Photo credit: Pinterest

On January 15, 1978, Ted broke into the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University. He brutally murdered students Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy. Three other young women were attacked that night but miraculously survived. Then came his final act of evil—the murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. This was the undoing of the serial killer, and these murders landed him in the electric chair.

During the four-day hearing, US District Judge G. Kendall Sharp refused to allow the defense team to claim that Ted was incompetent during his initial trial. They tried to argue that Ted was provided alcohol smuggled in by his partner, Carole Ann Boone, and that he was heavily under the influence of Valium and other pills. Disagreeing, Sharp stated, “[Ted] is the most competent serial killer in the country at this time.”[9]

On January 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison.

About The Author: Cheish Merryweather is a true crime fan and an oddities fanatic. Can either be found at house parties telling everyone Charles Manson was only 5’2″ or at home reading true crime magazines. Founder of Crime Viral community since 2015.

fact checked by Jamie Frater
Cheish Merryweather

Cheish Merryweather is a true crime fan and an oddities fanatic. Can either be found at house parties telling everyone Charles Manson was only 5ft 2" or at home reading true crime magazines. Founder of Crime Viral community since 2015.

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