JCD: It fueled your fantasies.
Ted: In the beginning, it fuels this kind of thought process. Then, at a certain time, it is instrumental in crystallizing it, making it into
something that is almost a separate entity inside.
JCD: You had gone about as far as you could go in your own fantasy life, with printed material, photos, videos, etc., and then there was the urge to
take that step over to a physical event.
Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder and gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach the point where the
pornography only goes so far.
Ted: Once you become addicted to it, and I look at this as a kind of addiction, you look for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of
material. Like an addiction, you keep craving something which is harder and gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach the point where
the pornography only goes so far - that jumping off point where you begin to think maybe actually doing it will give you that which is just beyond
reading about it and looking at it.
JCD: How long did you stay at that point before you actually assaulted someone?
Ted: A couple of years. I was dealing with very strong inhibitions against criminal and violent behavior. That had been conditioned and bred into me
from my neighborhood, environment, church, and schools.
I knew it was wrong to think about it, and certainly, to do it was wrong. I was on the edge, and the last vestiges of restraint were being tested
constantly, and assailed through the kind of fantasy life that was fueled, largely, by pornography.
JCD: Do you remember what pushed you over that edge? Do you remember the decision to "go for it"? Do you remember where you decided to throw caution
to the wind?
Ted: It's a very difficult thing to describe - the sensation of reaching that point where I knew I couldn't control it anymore. The barriers I had
learned as a child were not enough to hold me back from seeking out and harming somebody.
JCD: Would it be accurate to call that a sexual frenzy?
Ted: That's one way to describe it - a compulsion, a building up of this destructive energy. Another fact I haven't mentioned is the use of alcohol.
In conjunction with my exposure to pornography, alcohol reduced my inhibitions and pornography eroded them further.
JCD: After you committed your first murder, what was the emotional effect? What happened in the days after that?
Ted: Even all these years later, it is difficult to talk about. Reliving it through talking about it is difficult to say the least, but I want you to
understand what happened. It was like coming out of some horrible trance or dream. I can only liken it to (and I don't want to overdramatize it)
being possessed by something so awful and alien, and the next morning waking up and remembering what happened and realizing that in the eyes of the
law, and certainly in the eyes of God, you're responsible. To wake up in the morning and realize what I had done with a clear mind, with all my
essential moral and ethical feelings intact, absolutely horrified me.
JCD: You hadn't known you were capable of that before?
Ted: There is no way to describe the brutal urge to do that, and once it has been satisfied, or spent, and that energy level recedes, I became myself
again. Basically, I was a normal person.
I was a normal person. I had good friends. I led a normal life, except for this one, small but very potent and destructive segment that I kept very
secret and close to myself.
Ted: I wasn't some guy hanging out in bars, or a bum. I wasn't a pervert in the sense that people look at somebody and say, "I know there's
something wrong with him." I was a normal person. I had good friends. I led a normal life, except for this one, small but very potent and destructive
segment that I kept very secret and close to myself. Those of us who have been so influenced by violence in the media, particularly pornographic
violence, are not some kind of inherent monsters. We are your sons and husbands. We grew up in regular families. Pornography can reach in and snatch a
kid out of any house today. It snatched me out of my home 20 or 30 years ago. As diligent as my parents were, and they were diligent in protecting
their children, and as good a Christian home as we had, there is no protection against the kinds of influences that are loose in a society that
JCD: Outside these walls, there are several hundred reporters that wanted to talk to you, and you asked me to come because you had something you
wanted to say. You feel that hardcore pornography, and the door to it, softcore pornography, is doing untold damage to other people and causing other
women to be abused and killed the way you did.
Ted: I'm no social scientist, and I don't pretend to believe what John Q. Citizen thinks about this, but I've lived in prison for a long time now,
and I've met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography - deeply
consumed by the addiction. The F.B.I.'s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornographers. It's
I've lived in prison for a long time now, and I've met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was
deeply involved in pornography - deeply consumed by the addiction.
JCD: What would your life have been like without that influence?
Ted: I know it would have been far better, not just for me, but for a lot of other people - victims and families. There's no question that it would
have been a better life. I'm absolutely certain it would not have involved this kind of violence.
JCD: If I were able to ask the kind of questions that are being asked, one would be, "Are you thinking about all those victims and their families
that are so wounded? Years later, their lives aren't normal. They will never be normal. Is there remorse?"
Ted: I know people will accuse me of being self-serving, but through God's help, I have been able to come to the point, much too late, where I can
feel the hurt and the pain I am responsible for. Yes. Absolutely! During the past few days, myself and a number of investigators have been talking
about unsolved cases - murders I was involved in. It's hard to talk about all these years later, because it revives all the terrible feelings and
thoughts that I have steadfastly and diligently dealt with - I think successfully. It has been reopened and I have felt the pain and the horror of
There are those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media
in its various forms - particularly sexualized violence.
I hope that those who I have caused so much grief, even if they don't believe my expression of sorrow, will believe what I'm saying now; there are
those loose in their towns and communities, like me, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in and day out, by violence in the media in its
various forms - particularly sexualized violence. What scares me is when I see what's on cable T.V. Some of the violence in the movies that come into
homes today is stuff they wouldn't show in X-rated adult theatres 30 years ago.
JCD: The slasher movies?
Ted: That is the most graphic violence on screen, especially when children are unattended or unaware that they could be a Ted Bundy; that they could
have a predisposition to that kind of behavior.
JCD: One of the final murders you committed was 12-year-old Kimberly Leach. I think the public outcry is greater there because an innocent child was
taken from a playground. What did you feel after that? Were they the normal emotions after that?
Ted: I can't really talk about that right now. It's too painful. I would like to be able to convey to you what that experience is like, but I won't
be able to talk about that. I can't begin to understand the pain that the parents of these children and young women that I have harmed feel. And I
can't restore much to them, if anything. I won't pretend to, and I don't even expect them to forgive me. I'm not asking for it. That kind of
forgiveness is of God; if they have it, they have it, and if they don't, maybe they'll find it someday.
JCD: Do you deserve the punishment the state has inflicted upon you?
Ted: That's a very good question. I don't want to die; I won't kid you. I deserve, certainly, the most extreme punishment society has. And I think
society deserves to be protected from me and from others like me. That's for sure. What I hope will come of our discussion is that I think society
deserves to be protected from itself. As we have been talking, there are forces at loose in this country, especially this kind of violent pornography,
where, on one hand, well-meaning people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy while they're walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of
things that send young kids down the road to being Ted Bundys. That's the irony.
I'm talking about going beyond retribution, which is what people want with me. There is no way in the world that killing me is going to restore those
beautiful children to their parents and correct and soothe the pain. But there are lots of other kids playing in streets around the country today who
are going to be dead tomorrow, and the next day, because other young people are reading and seeing the kinds of things that are available in the media
JCD: There is tremendous cynicism about you on the outside, I suppose, for good reason. I'm not sure there's anything you could say that people
would believe, yet you told me (and I have heard this through our mutual friend, John Tanner) that you have accepted the forgiveness of Jesus Christ
and are a follower and believer in Him. Do you draw strength from that as you approach these final hours?
Ted: I do. I can't say that being in the Valley of the Shadow of Death is something I've become all that accustomed to, and that I'm strong and
nothing's bothering me. It's no fun. It gets kind of lonely, yet I have to remind myself that every one of us will go through this someday in one
way or another.
JCD: It's appointed unto man.
Ted: Countless millions who have walked this earth before us have gone through this, so this is just an experience we all share