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Ted Bundy was arrested for the first time not for murder, rape, or kidnapping, but because he got lost. One warm night, he was driving around a Salt Lake City suburb when he got disoriented and pulled over to find his bearings. When he got back on the road, he noticed a car tailing him. He would later deny he knew it was a patrol car until he ran a red light and saw police lights behind him.

Then, he said, he did what any law-abiding citizen would do: he pulled over and did his best to cooperate. He allowed the police to search his car, where they found an ice pick, a pantyhose mask, a ski mask, several pieces of rope, a pair of handcuffs, and a crowbar. The tools looked suspicious—like a burglary kit, maybe—but at a meeting three days after the arrest, Detective Daryle Ondrak still hesitated before mentioning the search. The suspect had lured Carol her into his tan VW by posing as a police officer, then tried to handcuff her and bludgeon her with a crowbar before she escaped.

Of the people who were surprised by his subsequent arrest, Bundy seemed the most shocked of all. She had dated Ted years before, and she had trusted him too.

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At the time of his arrest, it was difficult even to describe the crimes Ted Bundy was accused of: the term serial killer , coined during this period by profiler Robert Ressler, still existed only in FBI circles. In the past, killers who fit this mold—the Texarkana Moonlight Murderer, the Austin Servant Girl Annihilator, the Axeman of New Orleans—were colorfully named phantoms who terrorized a region for a few months or years, then disappeared. Ted Bundy was different. What did it mean for a man who had succeeded in American society to be capable of committing—or even imagining—such violence?

Did it say something about the country that made him? Or did the police just have the wrong man? The general public had no words for Ted Bundy, and perhaps this was why, when he escaped police custody in June —a feat he accomplished by leaping out the second-story window of the Pitkin County Courthouse law library when the guard stepped outside for a smoke—he became more folk hero than bogeyman. When Ted Bundy was captured after six days on the run—exhausted, starving, freezing, injured, hallucinating, and reportedly twenty pounds lighter than he had been when he escaped—he still managed to grin roguishly for the cameras and make sure the headline writers knew he was in on the joke.

She was positive that Ted was innocent—a position she would maintain, publicly, for the rest of her life. When Carole described her jailhouse visit with Ted, she spoke of a man who seemed not just physically apart from the wider world, but no longer of it. Exiled in the midst.

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It was the place where Ted turned when he paced around his cell. Not long before, Ted had asked his former attorney John Henry Browne which states he thought were most likely to carry out the death penalty following the end of its national moratorium in He had pulled his sheets over a pile of clothes, crumpled papers, and law books, so the guards would think he was still in bed.

It was the kind of ruse that should have worked only in a cartoon, but it worked for Ted Bundy. By the time the police alerted the public and set up roadblocks, he was already more than a thousand miles away. The story said an intruder had raped and murdered two young women and beaten two others as they slept in their beds at Florida State University… Now I had the ominous feeling that [Ted] was in Tallahassee. A month later, on February 16, , she got a call from Ted. She could tell that he was crying. About the way I am. After he was captured in Florida, Ted Bundy changed, in the public eye, from an outlaw to a monster.

What had happened at Florida State University had happened in our world. It had happened here. At the Chi Omega sorority house, a man had stolen upstairs in the earliest hours of January 15, , and gone from bedroom to bedroom, bludgeoning his sleeping victims with an oak log. Twenty-year-old Kathy Kleiner and twenty-two-year-old Karen Chandler survived that night, though they were beaten so severely that drops of their blood were later found on the ceiling.

Both Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman were strangled and bludgeoned to death, and Bowman was beaten with such violence that her temple was crushed and fragments of her skull were driven into her brain. Levy was raped vaginally and anally with a bottle of Clairol hair mist, and her autopsy would reveal that she had been sexually assaulted with enough force to damage her internal organs.

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Her killer had bitten deeply into one of her buttocks and nearly tore her nipple from her breast. Contrary to what Liz read in the newspaper, Levy was the only victim to be sexually assaulted, but the manner in which Bowman, Kleiner, and Chandler were attacked suggested a form of domination akin to rape. Someone had wanted not just to hurt or even kill these women, but to obliterate them.

It had all happened in a matter of minutes. The attacker had moved from room to room, beating each woman in a violent frenzy, then pulling the covers up to her chin and moving on. After he left the sorority house, he went to a duplex eight blocks away and assaulted Cheryl Thomas, a twenty-one-year-old dance student who lived there, in the same way that he had attacked Kathy Kleiner and Karen Chandler—and then he was gone again.

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Thomas, Kleiner, and Chandler had no memory of their assaults, let alone of their assailant. The only description the police had came from Nita Neary, a Chi Omega sister who caught a momentary glimpse of the killer as she returned from a date. When The Florida Flambeau printed a front-page story on the attack, it had no more information to report, nothing that could make the community feel safer.

On sorority row, university officials visited each house to warn the girls about the danger that might still lurk on campus. Students withdrew from the university. Some never returned. Three weeks after the murders at Florida State, twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach disappeared from her school in Lake City, a small town east of Tallahassee.

She had forgotten her purse after homeroom that morning, and she and her friend Priscilla left their PE class so she could retrieve it. Six days after Leach disappeared from her junior high school, Ted Bundy was captured in Pensacola. For the second time, he was arrested because he got lost.

At in the morning on February 15, , patrolman David Lee noticed an orange Volkswagen Beetle driving down an alley behind a restaurant he knew to be closed. Deeming this behavior suspicious, Officer Lee, like the Salt Lake City Police had before him, acted on a gut instinct and followed the driver. When he radioed the license plate and found that the car was stolen, he gave chase. The driver tried to speed away. Lee followed. Finally, the driver pulled over and cooperated as Lee began cuffing him.

Lee fired a warning shot, then fired at the man. He missed, but the man fell to the ground as if he had been injured. After Lee handcuffed him and pushed him into the back of his patrol car, the man remained silent, save for one phrase. At first, he refused to give his name.

Then he told police he was willing to confess—but he had conditions. From this point forward, there would be few surprises: not when Ted Bundy was indicted for murder, not when he insisted on representing himself at trial, not when he decided to accept counsel after all, not when his trial attracted a crush of media attention that put him in living rooms across the country, and least of all when he was sentenced to death not once but three times: first for the murders of Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman, and then for the murder of Kimberly Leach.

Right now, Tallahassee is a town of open wounds. We are like sharks, excited by the smell of our own blood… Quite correctly, many have said these murders are one of the strongest arguments ever for capital punishment. Ted Bundy looks at Sheriff Ken Katsaris, who stands behind him, reading aloud the list of atrocities for which he will soon stand trial. For a moment, he seems near tears. Then he looks back at the cameras.

This is the picture you have seen: the man looking out from under a lowered brow, his mouth quirked in a half smile, his eyes deep-set, shadowy, but still focused directly on the camera lens, looking through the flash, through the decades, and into you. This is the Ted Bundy we know today: the man who was pure evil, and proud of his evil, and wanted the world to witness just how evil he was. Katsaris made the unusual decision of inviting the press to watch as he read the indictment to the defendant.

Katsaris was dressed for the occasion in a sharp black suit. Bundy wore a jail-issued jumpsuit and sandals. All right. Suddenly he seems a little calmer: he has an audience to play to. As Katsaris reads the charges, the defendant walks out in front of him, as if to replace the entity described in the indictment with the real Ted Bundy, who could never have done these things. It looks painful to sustain. The shutters click. One summer, while researching a story about Florida, I found myself at the prison where Ted Bundy died. I had already done everything else I could think to do in the state.

I had lined up with all the other tourists at Key West and taken a picture of the end of America. I had sustained mosquito bites above my hairline and on the soles of my feet. I had gone to the Florida Citrus Center and contemplated alligator claw key rings and back scratchers, alligator tooth necklaces, and dried alligator heads, and I had finally seen the LIVE BABY GATORS promised on all the billboards, where they appeared in cartoon version, wearing diapers and pink bows and looking as rosy-cheeked as reptiles can be imagined.

I had done everything on my list, but I still felt that something was missing—and so, instead of going to Disney World, I went to the unremarkable patch of grass that had once been, for a few hundred citizens, the happiest place on earth. Florida State Prison is often called Starke, taking its name from the closest nearby town, and maybe it was because of this name that I always thought it would look stark in its own way: dry and heat-tortured, glimmering with mirage but incapable of sustaining real life.

I had been reading about Ted Bundy since I was a high-school student in Oregon, when I became fascinated by the endless true-crime books and TV specials and tabloid spreads about all the terrible things it seemed were always happening to girls not so different from myself. But the more I learned, the more I found myself trying to move beyond dread and into something harder to find in the pages of a paperback: comprehension. Ted Bundy had been a person, too, I realized. We were members of the same species. Was it truly impossible to understand his actions beyond simply attributing them to evil?

Was it dangerous even to try? Gaze long enough into the abyss, everyone knows, and the abyss gazes into you—and its gaze is apparently enough to destroy you. I had pictured Ted Bundy spending the last years of his life in a place that was the opposite of the Washington forests where he had grown up, but Starke is in central Florida, and, for sheer verdancy, central Florida puts the Pacific Northwest to shame. It is a land that dares things not to grow. Kudzu snakes across power lines and dangles from the trees, kissing the flat surfaces of carefully mown lawns.

As you travel north toward the prison, the vines do not just choke the trees but swallow them whole. After she and Coleman looked over the petition the inmate had prepared, they decided to represent him. Ted Bundy—who had been painted in the press as a legal mastermind even after his spectacular defeat in both of the capital murder trials at which he had served as a member of his own counsel—was representing himself just as ineffectively as he had since his indictment in Tallahassee.

While living in Utah, he had saved receipts for the small quantities of gas he purchased close to the Wildwood Inn in Colorado, where Caryn Campbell disappeared, around the time she disappeared. The receipts were discovered neatly collected in his desk—not far from a ski resort brochure with an X beside the Wildwood Inn—after Bundy consented to a search. The police asked him if he had ever been to Colorado. Acting as his own counsel, Ted questioned her about his good character. Then, while she was still on the stand, he married her. Until then I think he had believed that no such emotion truly existed, that the rest of us had been faking it too.

She believed he was guilty just as fervently as she believed in her duty to save him from the death penalty, and the difference between her view of him and the impressions that others described to the public was based not on what Ted Bundy had done, but what he might be. He wanted me to see him as he liked to think of himself: sophisticated, urbane, polite, respectful.

His natural instincts, I think, gave him no clue how a normal person would act. They are frightened, it seems, that if they listen too closely to Hannibal Lecter, they will be swayed by his logic and become evil themselves. As Ted Bundy sat on death row, and as the legend of the genius serial killer grew up around him, the public came to view him with the same fear. Yet when Nelson met Ted Bundy, she felt not terror or revulsion, but pity. Perhaps the most glaring evidence supporting this theory came in the form of a plea deal Bundy rejected before he went to trial for the murders of Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman.

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Had he accepted it, he would have pled guilty to both murders and to the murder of Kimberly Leach in exchange for three life sentences. Instead, he decided at the last minute to reject the plea, then complained bitterly about the inadequacy of his counsel. The case went to trial, and Bundy served on his own defense team, alongside a group of lawyers who were forced to work without a coherent defense strategy, since their client—and co-counsel—refused to address any of the evidence against him.

It makes sense if you are willing to believe that Ted Bundy really was mentally ill, and that his mental illness affected his ability not just to defend himself at trial but to make rational decisions about any aspect of his life. It makes sense if you are willing to consider applying a new diagnosis to Ted Bundy, and moving away from one that has been applied to him to the exclusion of all others: psychopath.

Robert D. Their acts result not from a deranged mind but from a cold, calculating rationality combined with a chilling inability to treat others as thinking, feeling human beings. If you encounter a psychopath, Hare says, you can do only one thing: flee. The checklist comprises twenty questions whose answers trained examiners rate on a scale of zero to two, typically after talking with the patient for about two hours. Today, since black Americans are incarcerated at five times the rate of white Americans, a black American is also five times likelier to have a ten-point head start on the psychopathy checklist.

When it comes to assigning blame, no designation could be more comforting. The psychopath is born bad. Nothing can fix him. Society cannot be at fault, and there is no point in wondering whether timely treatment could have averted the inevitable. He does what he wants to do. He knows it is wrong.

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Evil in our midst : a chilling glimpse of our most feared and frightening demons

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Evil in Our Midst provides a chilling glimpse of fifty dark angels, each of which represents a culture's greatest fears. Every chapter opens with a story that shares the legend of a demon, and then offers fascinating information on the culture that, in many cases, perpetuates this belief.

For those who believe in these creatures, this book gives reason to fear the unknow Evil in Our Midst provides a chilling glimpse of fifty dark angels, each of which represents a culture's greatest fears. For those who believe in these creatures, this book gives reason to fear the unknown. For those who do not believe in demons, it provides terrifying reading for a stormy night.

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