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So what's one less? What's one less person on the face of the planet?

Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy (born Theodore Robert Cowell) was a prolific hebephilic, ephebophilic, and necrophilic American serial killer, serial rapist, and abductor who was active in several states in the 1970s. He's considered one of the most infamous serial killers in U.S. history.


Young Bundy

Bundy at the age of seven.

Bundy was born in Burlington, Vermont, to Eleanor Louise Cowell. His father's identity remains unknown. For most of his life, Bundy was raised to believe that his grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor, were his actual parents and that Louise was his older sister. He didn't find out that "Louise" was his mother until his college years. This was done to avoid any social stigma placed on Louise for being an unwed mother. He lived with Louise in a house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, Louise had Bundy's surname changed from Cowell (at that time) to Nelson. Later, when the two moved to Tacoma, Washington, Louise met a man named Johnny Culpepper Bundy at a local church function. They were soon married, and Johnny adopted him, thus changing his surname to "Bundy". Johnny treated Bundy well, including him on the camping trips and other outdoor activities he often took with his and Louise's own children. Despite this, Bundy remained distant from his stepfather. During high school, Bundy was often isolated from other kids his age. He couldn't seem to understand teenage social behavior but was skilled in "faking it", indicating a propensity towards psychopathy. He stated once that, "I didn't know what made things tick. I didn't know what made people want to be friends. I didn't know what made people attractive to one another. I didn't know what underlay social interactions."

It was during this time that Bundy developed a compulsion for thievery and shoplifting. He typically stole skiing equipment and forged ski lift tickets to support his interest in the sport. In college, Bundy studied Psychology and Asian studies. He worked at various jobs (never longer than a few months at a time), such as bagging groceries, stocking shelves, and working at a suicide hotline. During this time, he met writer Ann Rule, with whom he became friends. Ann would later write a defensive biography of Bundy entitled, "The Stranger Beside Me" and also wrote more true crime books, one of which was about the Green River Killer case. After a breakup with a fellow student, who cited immaturity and lack of ambition as her reasons, Bundy became depressed and dropped out of school. He returned to Burlington and, by doing a search of public records, discovered his true parentage. After this, he became more focused and dominant. Returning to Washington, Bundy became Campaign Manager for Nelson Rockefeller's campaign for Presidency. He enrolled in the University of Washington as a psychology major and became an honor student who was well-liked by professors and students alike. Bundy's personality underwent a major paradigm shift; from shy and introverted, to confident and social.

Killings, Conviction, and Execution[]

Shortly after midnight on January 4, 1974, Bundy made his first confirmed murder attempt. He broke into the basement bedroom of a female student at the University of Washington, bludgeoned her in her sleep and sexually assaulted her. She survived but suffered permanent brain damage. Over the following four months, he killed three students; another from the University of Washington on January 31, one from Evergreen State College on March 12 and one from Central Washington State College on April 17. On July 4, Bundy was descending the Yakima River with his girlfriend, Liz Kloepfer, when he pushed her into the water without a word or apparent motive. Kloepfer returned to the boat without Bundy's assistance, who stood still as if he was seeing through her. Ten days later, on July 14, Bundy inquired Kloepfer until he learned that she was going to suntan at Carkeek, near Seattle. Kloepfer assumed that Bundy wanted to join her there, but he went instead to Lake Sammamish. There he wore a fake arm cast and imitated a British accent to request assistance from young female holidaymakers until two, Janice Ott and Denise Naslund, went with him roughly four hours after one another. It is believed that Bundy forced one of the women to watch him as he raped and killed the other before also killing her. Their skeletons were found on September 6 in an abandoned road four miles from the lake, along with that of Georgann Hawkins, a University of Washington student who had disappeared on June 12. Both Ott and Hawkins were missing their heads.

Based on a large number of witnesses, the authorities released a sketch of the suspect on the disappearances of Ott and Naslund, who was also said to have called himself "Ted" and driven a metallic brown Volkswagen Beetle. Among the people who reported Bundy were Kloepfer, one of his psychology professors, and Ann Rule. Because of his reputation as a clean-shaven and well-mannered student, the police paid no attention to their tips. Bundy cut his hair short and moved on to Salt Lake City, Utah on September 2, where he continued his studies in the University of Utah College of Law and became a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, though he never really attended any gatherings. During the first semester, he killed four more women, one of which was the daughter of a police chief. The next semester, 1975, he killed four more women, three of which were taken in Colorado. The fourth was 13-year old Lynette Culver, who was abducted from a school playground in Pocatello, Idaho, taken to a hotel room, and raped and drowned in a bathtub. As with a number of Bundy's victims, her body was never found. He killed another girl, 15-year old Susan Curtis, during his summer break.

Bundy Custody

Bundy in custody.

On August 16, he was pulled over when he wouldn't stop for a police officer. Inside his car, the officer found balaclavas, gloves, a crowbar, handcuffs, and other items he suspected to be burglary tools. On March 1, 1976, he was sentenced to 1-to-15 years in prison for the kidnapping of Carol DaRonch, who he had tried to abduct in Utah in 1974 by pretending to be a police officer. In 1977, investigators had found enough evidence to charge Bundy with the January 1975 murder of Caryn Campbell, who had disappeared while on a ski trip and managed to extradite him to Aspen. At the Pitkin County courthouse, Bundy was allowed to visit the courthouse library. From there, he escaped through a window but was pulled over in a stolen car for having dimmed headlights and arrested again.

Bundy Wanted Poster

Bundy's FBI Wanted Poster

He was placed in a jail in Glenwood Springs, from which he escaped on December 30, 1977, by somehow getting his hands on a hacksaw and $500 and getting out through a crawlspace. By the time the jail staff realized that he was missing, he had already made his way to Chicago. After then spending some time at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and in Atlanta, he settled at Tallahassee, Florida on January 8, where he supported himself through shoplifting and purse snatching. On January 15, 1978, Bundy committed his first murders in almost two-and-a-half years. He broke into the Chi Omega sorority at the Florida State University, raped, strangled, and bludgeoned students, Lisa Levy, and Margaret Bowman. Two other students were also attacked but survived. The same night, he attacked another woman eight blocks away, she also survived.


Bundy during his trial.

On February 9, 1978, Bundy committed his last known murder. He abducted 12-year-old Kimberly Leach outside her school, raped and killed her and tried to hide the body in an abandoned hog shed. On the morning of February 15, he was arrested for driving a stolen vehicle and was quickly linked to the sorority murders. In the end, Bundy received two death sentences; one for the sorority murders and one for the murder of Kimberly Leach. Two pieces of evidence proved crucial: a set of bite marks on Lisa Levy's buttocks and the testimony of a Chi Omega resident who hadn't been present at the killings and saw Bundy leave the building. Bundy spent the better part of the 1980s fighting his sentence. During this time, he was interviewed by FBI profiler Robert Ressler, who found him uncooperative, and married Carole Ann Boone, a former co-worker, and had a daughter, Tina, with her in October 1982. When Bundy talked about the murders, he always did so in third-person and speaking hypothetically. As the execution date came closer, Bundy confessed to more murders for which he hadn't previously been conclusively linked to. In October 1984, Bundy contacted the Green River Task Force and offered personal insights on the case, which hadn't been solved at the time. At 7:06 a.m. on January 24, 1989, Bundy was executed by electric chair. His last words were "I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends." In May of 2012, John Henry Browne, who defended Bundy during his final trial, claimed in a memoir describing his conversations with Bundy that he claimed to have killed over 100 people and that his first victim had been a man.

Modus Operandi[]

Bundy targeted brunette, petite Caucasian women aged 12 to 26 years old. All of the victims were either in college or had a middle-class background. While looking for his victims, he would consume large quantities of alcohol. His method of obtaining the victims varied; sometimes he would burglarize their homes and bludgeon them in their sleep, sometimes he would use an elaborate ruse, and sometimes he merely relied on his looks alone. The latter method was successful for Bundy because of the fact that women considered him to be good-looking and charming. In fact, this characteristic even allowed him to successfully abduct women in broad daylight, even if they were aware that a serial killer was present in the area. His facial features were also "unremarkable"; that is, though attractive, not especially memorable. This allowed him to completely change his appearance with only minor adjustments; a mustache, different hairstyle, a hat, etc. He would even disguise himself as a police officer or a firefighter to gain his victim's trust. Sometimes, Bundy would use a fake cast, have his arm in a sling, or use crutches to play on a potential victim's sympathy. He would ask them for the assistance of some kind, such as helping him put something in his car or asking for directions. They were then struck in the head with a crowbar, shoved into his car, and forced to wear handcuffs.

His initial attacks involved him raping them (either with incidental objects found in the victim's bedroom or ones he brought with him) and then fatally bludgeoning them with a crowbar. Before raping his victims, he would have them remove their clothing (and later burn it after killing them, or in the case of Julie Cunningham, deposit it in a Goodwill Industries collection bin) or take off his own clothing to prevent the authorities from finding any trace evidence. He would later kill his victims by strangulation and would sometimes decapitate them post-mortem, keeping a few of their skulls as trophies. In one case, he cremated the severed head of one victim in a fireplace. When he killed Lynette Culver, he drowned her in a bathtub. When he attacked his victims at the Chi Omega sorority house, he bludgeoned all of them with a log.

Bundy would often visit his victims, whom he dumped at a site in Taylor Mountain. He admitted to applying makeup to the corpses, having sex with them, and would lie with them for hours afterward. He also dressed them in clothes that they never wore and apply nail polish that their families had never seen them use. Bundy also kept a collection of photos of his victims that he took with a Polaroid camera as a way of remembering the crimes.


"You feel the last bit of breath leaving their body. You're looking into their eyes. A person in that situation is God!"

Dorothy Otnow Lewis, a psychologist who interviewed Bundy for seven hours, diagnosed him as a manic-depressive. She concluded that he committed his murders during depressive episodes. His pathology may have been due to his relationship with his grandfather, Samuel Cowell, a church deacon, who was described as a "tyrannical bully". Samuel was a known bigot, who hated African-Americans, Hispanics, Italians, Catholics, and Jews. Bundy stated that Samuel also tortured small animals, including neighborhood dogs and cats, and kept an extensive collection of "odd" pornography in his greenhouse. It would later be revealed that the pornography was of a violent nature; rape, torture, and mock-snuff.

Known Victims[]

Bundy victims

Some of Bundy's confirmed victims.

Ann Marie Burr

Ann Marie Burr.

Rita Curran

Rita Curran.

Rita Lorraine Jolly

Rita Lorraine Jolly.

Katherine Devine

Katherine Merry Devine.

Brenda Joy Baker

Brenda Joy Baker.

Melanie Cooley

Melanie Suzanne Cooley.

The locations denote where the victims were abducted or attacked.


  • 1974:
    • January 4, Seattle, Washington: Karen Sparks, 18[1] (bludgeoned in her bed with a crowbar and sexually assaulted with a speculum; survived)
    • February 1, Seattle, Washington: Lynda Ann Healy, 21 (bludgeoned while asleep, abducted from her house, and decapitated and dismembered post-mortem; her skull and mandible were found on March 3, 1975)
    • March 12, Olympia, Washington: Donna Gail Manson, 19 (abducted and killed; body was never found)
    • April 17, Ellensburg, Washington: Susan Elaine Rancourt, 18 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 3, 1975)
    • May 6, Corvallis, Oregon: Roberta Kathleen "Kathy" Parks, 22 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 3, 1975)
    • June 1, Burien, Washington: Brenda Carol Ball, 22 (abducted and killed; her skull and mandible were found on March 1, 1975)
    • June 11, Seattle, Washington: Georgeann Hawkins, 18 (abducted, killed, and decapitated; her headless skeleton was found in September 6)
    • July 4, Yakima River, Washington:
      • Elizabeth "Liz" Kloepfer, 28 (his girlfriend; pushed off a rubber raft, survived)
    • July 14, Lake Sammamish State Park, Washington, the "Double Event":
      • 12:20 AM: Janice Graham, 22 (attempted to abduct from the shore; escaped)
      • 12:30 AM: Janice Ann Ott, 23 (abducted from the shore, killed, and decapitated; her headless skeleton was found on September 6)
      • 4 PM: Sindi Siebenbam, 16 (attempted to abduct from the restrooms; escaped)
      • 4:15 PM: Patricia Ann Turner (attempted to abduct from the restrooms; escaped)
      • 4:20 PM Jacqueline Plischke (attempted to abduct from the shore; escaped)
      • 4:40 PM Denise Marie Naslund, 19 (abducted from the restrooms and killed; her skeleton was found on September 6):
    • September 2, unspecified location in Idaho: An unidentified teenage hitchhiker (confessed to killing; her body was never found)
    • October 2, Holladay, Utah: Nancy Wilcox, 16 (assaulted and strangled; her body was never found)
    • October 18, Midvale, Utah: Melissa Anne Smith, 17 (abducted, raped, sodomized, and strangled; her body was found nine days later)
    • October 31, Lehi, Utah: Laura Ann Aime, 17 (abducted, raped, strangled, and bludgeoned with a crowbar; her body was found by hikers four weeks later)
    • November 8:
      • Murray, Utah: Carol DaRonch, 18 (abducted and intended to kill; she escaped by jumping out of his car)
      • Bountiful, Utah: Debra Jean "Debby" Kent, 17 (abducted and killed; minimal skeletal remains not positively identified to hers were found)
  • 1975:
    • January 12, Snowmass, Colorado: Caryn Campbell, 23 (abducted, raped and bludgeoned; her body was found on February 15, 1975)
    • March 15, Vail, Colorado: Julie Cunningham, 26 (abducted and killed; her body was never found)
    • April 6, Grand Junction, Colorado: Denise Oliverson, 25 (body was never found)
    • May 6, Pocatello, Idaho: Lynette Culver, 13 (abducted, raped and drowned in a bathtub; her body was never found)
    • June 28, Provo, Utah: Susan Curtis, 15 (abducted and killed; her body was never found)
  • 1978:
    • January 15, Tallahassee, Florida:
      • Two killed and two injured in the Chi Omega killings (all of the following were bludgeoned with a log as they slept):
        • Margaret Bowman, 21 (also raped and strangled with a pair of pantyhose)
        • Lisa Levy, 20 (also raped, bitten and strangled)
        • Karen Chandler, 21 (survived)
        • Kathy Kleiner, 21 (survived)
      • Cheryl Thomas, 21 (bludgeoned in her bed just a few blocks away from the above killings; survived)
    • February 9, Lake City, Florida: Kimberly Diane Leach, 12 (abducted, raped and killed; her skeletal remains were found)


  • August 31, 1961, Tacoma, Washington: Ann Marie Burr, 8 (disappeared; was never found)
  • June 23, 1966, Seattle, Washington (both were bludgeoned with a log as they slept):
    • Lisa E. Wick, 20 (survived)
    • Lonnie Trumbull, 20 (killed)
  • May 30, 1969, near Somers Point, New Jersey (both were stabbed to death; their bodies were found in the nearby woods three days later):
    • Susan Davis, 19
    • Elizabeth Perry, 19
  • July 19, 1971, Burlington, Vermont: Rita Curran, 24 (raped, beaten, strangled and bludgeoned)
  • 1973:
    • June 29, West Linn, Oregon: Rita Lorraine Jolly, 17 (disappeared; was never found)
    • August 20, Eugene, Oregon: Vicki Lynn Hollar, 24 (disappeared; was never found)
    • November 24, near Olympia, Washington: Katherine Merry Devine, 14 (disappeared; her body was found; the murder was later attributed to one William E. Cosden in 2002)
  • 1974:
    • May 27, near Puyallup, Washington: Brenda Joy Baker, 14 (disappeared; her body was found a month later)
    • July 1, Salt Lake City, Utah: Sandra Jean Weaver, 19 (disappeared; her body was found near Grand Junction, Colorado)
    • August 2, near Vancouver, Washington: Carol L. Valenzuela, 20 (disappeared; her body was found two months later along with Martha Morrison)
    • September 1974, near Vancouver, Washington: Martha Morrison, 17 (her body was found alongside that of Carol L. Valenzuela; remained unidentified for 41 years)
  • 1975:
    • April 15, Nederland, Colorado: Melanie Suzanne "Suzy" Cooley, 18 (abducted, bludgeoned and strangled; her body was found eight days later)
    • July 1, Golden, Colorado: Shelly/Shelley[2] Kay Robertson, 24 (disappeared; her body was found a month later)
    • July 4, Farmington, Utah: Nancy Perry Baird, 23 (disappeared; was never found)
  • February 1976, Salt Lake City, Utah: Debbie Smith, 17 (disappeared; her body was found two months later)
  • Notes:
    • Minutes before his execution, Bundy was questioned about unsolved murders in New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, and Miami, Florida. Though he denied involvement in any of the cases, Bundy previously stated that he didn't want to talk about certain murders he committed, leaving the cases still open.
    • After his capture, Bundy was suspected of committing the so-called Santa Rosa Hitchhiker Murders, in which at least seven female hitchhikers were all murdered in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa in 1972 and 1973. Bundy had spent some time in neighboring Marin County, but was ruled out by a Sonoma County detective. In addition, it was proven that he was Washington on the dates of some of the victims' disappearances.
    • Before his execution Bundy claimed to his lawyer that he killed 100+ victims and that his first was actually a man.)

On Criminal Minds[]


Bundy, as depicted in a flashback sequence in "Unfinished Business".

  • Intro: Bundy's mugshot is among the mugshots shown during the show's intro.
  • Season One
    • "Extreme Aggressor" - While giving a lecture on the Footpath Killer, Gideon claims that he is obviously a disorganized killer since there was no indication at any of the crime scenes that he made any attempt to charm or trick his victims as Bundy did. He also appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's main unsub, Tim Vogel - Both were serial killers, rapists, and abductors who had three-syllable nicknames that began with "T" ("Tim" and "Ted") and five letter surnames, worked in jobs of security (Vogel worked as a prison guard, Bundy worked in neighborhood watch programs), primarily targeted women (though Bundy also killed teenagers), lured them with ruses before abducting them in cars, operated in Seattle and killed monthly (Bundy briefly), raped them with various foreign objects before strangling them to death (though this was only one of Bundy's methods), and were given nicknames for their crimes. Also, the fact that Vogel was a prison guard could be a reference to how Bundy sometimes lured his victims by pretending to be a police officer.
    • "Plain Sight" - While trying to talk down Franklin Graney, who has a woman at gunpoint, Gideon tells him that if he surrenders peacefully he will be immortalized by the media, and join the ranks of other infamous killers, like Bundy and Dahmer.
    • "Unfinished Business" - Reid brings up Bundy as an example of a devolving killer, mentioning his sloppy attack on the Chi Omega Sorority House at the Florida University, and his excessively brutal murder of twelve-year-old Kimberly Leach. The reference is accompanied by a flashback of Bundy (portrayed by an uncredited actor) in a van, manic and splattered in blood after having just murdered Leach.
    • "Charm and Harm" - Bundy is depicted again in a flashback (this time portrayed by Robert Lee) and appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Mark Gregory - Both were serial killers, rapists (Bundy serial and Gregory statutory) and abductors with problematic relationships with their mothers, had failed relationships with other women, were highly charming and masters of disguise, committed rape as their first felony (statutory in Gregory's case), targeted women as surrogates for their mothers, drowned them (once in Bundy's case), operated in multiple states (including Florida), and devolved during their last murders.
  • Season Two
    • "The Boogeyman" - While discussing how some serial killers enact revenge fantasies on their victims with Morgan, Reid brings up the theory that Bundy targeted women who reminded him of Stephanie Brooks, the girlfriend who rejected him.
    • "The Last Word" - When the Mill Creek Killer's necrophilia is discovered, Bundy's penchant for it is brought up. Bundy may have also been an inspiration for him - Both were necrophilic serial killers who targeted young brunette women, lured them with ruses, then killed them through manual means (the Mill Creek Killer punched his victims to death, while Bundy strangled and bludgeoned his, and even drowned one), and later returned to the crime scenes in the woods to groom and have sex with the corpses of their victims until the decomposition became too severe.
    • "No Way Out" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode (or its other half), Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for its unsub, Frank Breitkopf - Both were prolific, psychopathic, organized, and sadistic serial killers who presented themselves as good-looking, charming, and non-threatening due to their physical appearance and way of dressing (which allowed them evade suspicion), mainly targeted women (though Breitkopf also killed men), took pleasure in seeing their victims' fear moments before death, mutilated them and took body parts (skulls in Bundy's case, rib bones in Breitkopf's), both managed to escape from police custody, and committed murders over a span of decades in multiple states with the possibility of many more victims and cases that were unsolved. Also, Jane Hanratty's captivation towards Breitkopf could be a nod to Bundy having attracted a following of female fans after his capture.
    • "The Big Game" - Reid mentions how, when recounting his murders in interviews, Bundy never spoke about himself in the first-person, usually just saying "the killer".
  • Season Three
    • "Doubt" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Nathan Tubbs - Both were killers who were rejected by their lovers, targeted women who resembled the women who rejected them (brunette, Caucasian, female college students), used authority positions to get close to their victims and lure them into a false sense of security (Tubbs was a security guard, while Bundy often pretended to be a police officer or firefighter), kept trophies (Tubbs kept newspaper articles that mentioned his murders, while Bundy kept his victims' skulls), and were both given the nickname "The Campus Killer".
    • "Penelope" - While going over the details of Garcia's near-fatal shooting, Rossi brings Bundy, Edmund Kemper, and Robert Anderson up as examples of killers who appeared to gain sadistic satisfaction out of gaining the trust of their victims and out of lulling them into a false sense of security before killing them.
    • "Limelight" - Rossi mentions that he interviewed Bundy and that he fed him the story about pornography contributing to his violent impulses, stating, "If you want to stop people from becoming like me, don't burn Catcher in the Rye, burn Hustler."
    • "Tabula Rasa" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Brian Matloff - Both were serial killers whose mothers 'deceived' them in some way (Bundy's mother told him she was his sister, while Matloff was put up for adoption) and learned the truth years later. Both went to college, were rejected by women which triggered their murders, targeted Caucasian brunette women, used some sort of authority to lure them (Bundy pretended to be a police officer, while Matloff was a Forest Service employee), and then buried them in wooded areas to 'relive' the murders (though for different reasons). Both took possessions from their victims, were given nicknames for their crimes, and lastly both managed to escape from court during their trials and went on the run briefly before being recaptured.
  • Season Four
    • "Cold Comfort" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Roderick Gless - Both were necrophilic serial killers and abductors who targeted women who acted as surrogates for women they lost (Gless' babysitter and Bundy's ex-girlfriend, respectively), killed their victims in Washington (although this was only one of the states Bundy killed in), and engaged in sexual acts with their victims post-mortem.
    • "Omnivore" - While holding George Foyet at gunpoint, Hotch tells him that he wouldn't want to die because he wanted to know of all of the media coverage that would result in his arrest, adding that it was "going to be like Bundy". Foyet then proclaims that he is going to be "bigger than Bundy". Bundy may have also been an inspiration for Foyet - Both were prolific, psychopathic, and hebephilic serial killers who primarily targeted women out of hatred, used ruses to get their victims to lower their guards (one of which was pretending to be a police officer), killed them through various means (including bludgeoning them), and both also managed to escape from prison and kill additional victims before being re-apprehended and ultimately killed.
  • Season Five
    • "Outfoxed" - Neuroscientist James Fallon mentions Bundy was one of five violent psychopaths (the others being John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Dennis Rader, and Charles Manson) whose brain patterns he has studied.
    • "The Slave of Duty" - While theorizing the unsub they are currently investigating may be targeting women who remind him of someone from his past, Reid mentions the theory that Bundy killed women who reminded him of Stephanie Brooks. The unsub in question, Joe Belser, appears to have been based on Bundy - Both were serial killers who attended prestigious schools, were generally regarded as charming and intelligent, their crimes were triggered by the rejection of women, and subsequently targeted brunette Caucasian women who resembled the women who rejected them, both broke into their homes at night (though Bundy's MO was widely varied), bludgeoned them (though Belser did this only to subdue and dominate his victims), they became more brutal and devolved overtime, and were apprehended after a fight with law enforcement shortly after both killing a victim who didn't fit their victimology and attacking a last surviving victim. Their names also mirror each other slightly.
    • "The Uncanny Valley" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Samantha Malcolm - Both were serial killers and abductors who targeted young women, lured them with ruses (one of which included pretending to need help in lifting an object into her car and then incapacitating the victim immediately afterward) before abducting them and taking them to another location to be killed.
    • "Parasite" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Bill Hodges - Both were murderous abductors who were married and had a child, had stressors involving women (Bundy's girlfriend left him and he was lied to about his family, while Hodges was emasculated by a woman who also threatened to expose him), were regarded as very charming towards women, primarily targeted women but also killed one different type of victim (a 12 year-old girl in Bundy's case, a man in Hodges'), abducted victims by placing them in the trunks of their cars (though Hodges did this once), they bludgeoned or strangled their victims, used numerous fake aliases, were active in several states (including the city of Seattle in Washington, Colorado, and Florida; the latter being where both they and their last three victims died, though Hodges killed exclusively there), and devolved overtime. Also, one of Hodge's fake identities was "Daniel Brady", which sounds very similar to Ted Bundy.
  • Season Six
    • "Remembrance of Things Past" - While trying to convince Hotch that the slew of recent murders being committed in Bristol are connected to the Butcher, Rossi mentions that just because the murders lack the Butcher's signature, that does not mean he is not involved; to prove his point, Rossi states some of Bundy and Dahmer's murders lacked the signature(s) the others had.
    • "What Happens at Home" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Drew Jacobs - Both were serial killers who committed at least one assault prior to their killings, had an unhappy relationship that ended (Bundy's girlfriend broke up with him, while Jacobs killed his wife after a distant marriage), had a daughter, both targeted Caucasian women, broke into their homes while wearing dark clothing (though Bundy's approach varied), strangled them to death (though Bundy mainly bludgeoned his), and were apprehended after a violent struggle (though Bundy survived while Jacobs was killed).
    • "The Stranger" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Greg Phinney - Both were psychopathic and organized serial killers who targeted women who were surrogates for women they had fallen in love with, broke into their homes at night to kill them, wore dark clothing as a countermeasure, had some sexual element in their crimes (Bundy engaged in necrophilia, while Phinney sexually violated one of his victims with a knife), and devolved towards the end of their murders.
  • Season Seven
    • "Proof" - While investigating a crime scene, Reid suggests that the unsub might be feigning an injury to lure his victims, just like Bundy did.
  • Season Nine
    • "The Inspiration" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode (or its other half), Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Wallace Hines - Both were serial killers, serial rapists, and abductors who were rejected by an ex-girlfriend, targeted women who resembled them (though Hines also killed men), would abduct them from various locations and rape them, decapitated them post-mortem (though Hines only did this with his first victim, while Bundy eventually stopped), performed ritualistic acts with their bodies (Hines posed his victims, while Bundy would groom and dress his before engaging in necrophilia until the body was too badly decomposed), and devolved towards the end of their killings.
    • "Angels" - A mugshot of Bundy was seen alongside one of Richard Ramirez on a board kept by Sheriff Peter Coleman for the current investigation.
  • Season Eleven
    • "Target Rich" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for Sam Burnett - Both were serial killers and abductors who were in college when they started killing, targeted female college students (though Bundy killed others too), both had a victim named Kathy, were active for several years and in several states, were initially able to persuade investigators they were innocent (police initially refused to investigate Bundy despite several people reporting him, while Burnett was interrogated and released), evidence was found in their properties (Bundy's car and Burnett's house, respectively), and they attacked the daughter of a law enforcement agent (Bundy killed a police chief's daughter, while Burnett tried to kill an FBI agent's ddaughter). Their names also somewhat mirror each other.
    • "A Badge and a Gun" - Bundy was compared to Andrew Meeks by the BAU.
    • "Tribute" - Bundy's mugshot was seen on the cover of the book America's Deadliest Killers, which was read by the episode's unsub, Michael Lee Peterson, who may have also been based on him - Both were serial killers and serial rapists (budding at least) who were very charming, primarily targeted women (though Peterson also killed men, and Bundy claimed to have), had a varying M.O. (including strangulation), operated in multiple states, and were originally organized but later devolved as their killings came to a close, with their last attacks being in a sorority dormitory. Also, the fact that Peterson's first victim was a little girl may be an allusion to Bundy's unconfirmed first victim being a little girl.
    • "Inner Beauty" - Bundy was mentioned by Rossi and JJ alongside Gary Ridgway as an example of serial killers who dispose the bodies of their victims in the same spot. His tendencies to commit necrophilia on some of his victims was also brought up in the same scene.
  • Season Twelve
    • "Taboo" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's unsub, Stuart Barker - Both were serial killers who have unidentified fathers, were raised believing their mothers were their sisters, targeted women, killed them by drowning them (though in different solutions: water in Bundy's case, concrete in Barker's), and also bludgeoned women with incidental objects (though Barker did this once, and only as a way to incapacitate).
    • "Assistance Is Futile" - Bundy's social skills and ability to lure victims in by charming them was mentioned by Rossi while he and Alvez were discussing the case at hand.
  • Season Thirteen
    • "To A Better Place" - Bundy was mentioned several times throughout the episode. The BAU compared Bundy’s feigning of injury to the unsub’s.
    • "Lucky Strikes" - While not directly mentioned or referenced in this episode, Bundy appears to have been an inspiration for the episode's main unsub, Marcus Manning - Both were serial killers (budding at least) and abductors who committed crimes before their murders, targeted women, abducted them by striking them over the head and taking them to a secluded location to be killed (sometimes in Bundy's case), and bit them.
    • "The Dance of Love" - Bundy was referenced again.
  • Season Fifteen
    • "Rusty" - Bundy was mentioned by Lewis when discussing delusional behavior pertaining to the case at hand.
    • "Family Tree" - Bundy was quoted by Everett Lynch, saying: "We serial killers are your sons, we are your husbands, we are everywhere. And there will be more of your children dead tomorrow."
  • Criminal Minds: Evolution
    • "Gold Star" - While discussing how to get Elias Voit to confess to his crimes, Rossi brings up about when Bundy was interviewed about the Green River Killer, that he inadvertently revealed details about his own crimes that were not previously known.
  • Novels
    • Killer Profile - Former profiler Max Ryan is revealed to have written about Bundy in a book titled Serial Killers and Mass Murderers: Profiling Why They Kill. Daniel Dryden (who used the book as a point of reference) also copied Bundy, luring a pair of young women who matched his victim type from a beach, strangling them and leaving several of their bones in a wooded area afterward.
  • Note: In addition to these mentions and references, Bundy is said to have been a source of inspiration for a majority of the unsubs in the show, according to the CBS website.[3]

On Suspect Behavior[]

While Bundy was never directly mentioned or referenced on the show, he appears to have been an inspiration for the following unsubs:

  • Season One
    • Marcus Graham ("Lonely Heart") - Both were psychopathic serial killers who targeted Caucasian women, used their charisma as ruses, buried their victims' remains, were arrested after a failed attempt to kill another victim, and had numerous obsessive followers in prison who they seduced and manipulated.
    • Trevor Norris ("Smother") - Both were serial killers who had problematic and (presumably in Bundy's case) abusive relationships with their mothers, targeted Caucasian women, lured them into their cars with ruses to abduct them, had some sexual element in their crimes (Bundy raped his victims with foreign objects and engaged in necrophilic acts with their remains, while Norris beat and cut his victims' breasts), and groomed and dressed their victims post-mortem (though Norris's mother performed the rituals).


  • According to his FBI wanted poster, Bundy worked as a bellboy, busboy, cook's helper, dishwasher, janitor, law school student, office worker, political campaign worker, psychiatric social worker, salesman, and a security guard.
  • Interestingly enough, Michael Reilly Burke (who portrayed Bundy in the 2002 film of the same name) would go on to appear in the Season Six episode of the show, "Safe Haven".



  1. She is usually not identified by this name, instead being referred to by the pseudonym of Joni Lenz
  2. Sources are conflicted on the spelling
  3. How realistic are those bad guys? (Archived from the original on March 31, 2017)