Handsome, poised and completely insane, Ted Bundy haunts our dreams in large part because of the contradictions that lie at the heart of his story. Calling upon reams of extensive research, the chilling documentary Murderous Minds: Ted Bundy attempts to unravel the enigma of one of America's most infamous serial killers.
Bundy was actually born Theodore Robert Cowell in 1946. He never knew his birth father. His mother Louise, forced to deal with the stigma of having a child born out of wedlock, took her young son to live with her parents for the first few years of his life. Bundy's grandfather Samuel was reported to have been abusive to both animals and the women in the house.
For most of his young life, Bundy was misled by those closest to him; he was raised believing that his grandparents were actually his parents and his mother was his sister. He discovered the truth at a particularly pivotal time in his development.
All the alarming hallmarks of a budding psychopath are present in Bundy's history. Beyond the severe familial discord of his early years, he lacked empathetic impulses, showed a great penchant for manipulation through false identities and disguises, and was frequently overcome by increasingly twisted and aggressive sexual appetites. Unique to Bundy was his charismatic and seemingly respectable facade. He was highly educated, dabbled in political activism, and maintained a long-term relationship that appeared stable from all outside appearances.
Through solemn and straight-forward narration, the film outlines the series of murders that defined Buddy's horrific legacy. It's a four-year reign of terror that claimed the lives of at least three dozen women. These murders were committed across several states, and employed a range of grotesque methods from bludgeoning to beheading.
Apart from the murders themselves, the filmmakers also focus on the arrogance of Bundy to act as his own counsel during court proceedings, his two successful escapes from jail, and his eventual execution by electric chair.
Murderous Minds: Ted Bundy details the events of Bundy's life in precise detail, and does much to dismantle the ghoulish mystique that has made him one of the most fearsome boogeymen of the twentieth century.