In The Stranger Beside Me, it is stated that psychologists found Bundy to be neither “psychotic, neurotic, the victim of organic brain disease, alcoholic, addicted to drugs, suffering from a character disorder or amnesia, and was not a sexual deviate.” The psychologists concluded that he had a “strong dependency on women, and deduced that that dependency was suspect.” Upon further evaluation, they concluded that Ted had a “fear of being humiliated in his relationships with women.”

“I think I’ve made myself clear on that. Ted Bundy is not crazy, or anywhere near it. I have done some things I’m not proud of. Some of these things I may talk about; others I never can. But, just like I’ve told every lawyer I’ve ever talked to, forget any insanity defense for me. I’m not insane, by anybody’s stretch of the imagination. Think about it a minute. I’m not crazy. Everybody knows that.

I said I wouldn’t have anything to do with an insanity defense. I mean, I did everything I could to stay away. I was strongly opposed to even, you know, even considering the idea because I knew I wasn’t crazy. I know I’m not crazy! Insane, incompetent, or anything else. And I was insulted by even the suggestion by my attorneys that we should consider the defense.They knew damn well I wasn’t crazy.

We’re not dealing with a psychopath or an antisocial personality. We’re not dealing with a hollow shell or somebody who is a manipulator.”

Others have diagnosed Ted as being manic depressive. In any case, the first thing anyone with a mental illness does is claim they are not mentally ill because in doing so they have to admit that there is something wrong with them which causes stigma. Regardless of Ted Bundy’s mental health, it doesn’t make a difference – it wasn’t a factor in his career as a serial killer.

Medical records and family testimony suggest that his grandmother suffered from bouts of “psychotic depression” and “agoraphobia”. Also, his grandfather was said to have been violently abusive towards animals and other human beings. Apparently he also was fond of “violent pornography” but that is irrelevant just as it is irrelevant that Ted Bundy enjoyed his own brand of pornography. Mental illness is inherited, just like anything else. Couple that with Ted’s suggested childhood, his formative years spent in the company of two psychotic abusive grandparents, he didn’t exactly have a fair start in life. It was also suggested that little Ted was beat with a stick by a woman, although Ted Bundy never admitted to any type of abuse in his childhood. In fact, he vehemently denied it, a classic defense move from someone who was abused and is in denial.

In the end, it doesn’t matter. These are not excuses or reasons as to why he became a serial killer (which is what people love to believe). They are, however, reasons as to why Ted Bundy had a very low opinion of himself, and was never able to lead a normal life, by society’s standards. It is very sad, just as it is very sad whenever any child is subject to violence and abusive surroundings and the heir to mental illness and less than favorable genetics. It damages the mind and paves a very unfair road for that child to travel alone, especially when they have other disturbances in their life. It also nurtures that horrendous feeling of being different and feeling marked, knowing there is something not quite right with you and not ever fully understanding it. It makes for a very unpleasant experience in the real world and inside of one’s self.

Ted Bundy was very much human despite being labeled evil and a monster by those who came into contact with him. Most people suffer from mental illness and have traumas in their early childhood, the effects lasting well into adulthood. Most men share the same qualities as Ted Bundy; manipulative, selfish, self serving, apathetic to others. I never understood the emphasis being placed on Ted, the sociopath. If he hadn’t been a serial killer, nobody would have felt the need to point out his character flaws. If it’s a given that all serial killers are sociopaths, then what’s the big deal about Ted Bundy and wanting to know what’s “wrong” with him and “why” he killed?

His sanity was always questioned, his mental state put under a microscope.

“He lived his life in a compulsive manner that was well ordered and exact. Events and actions as well as conversations were planned and rehearsed many times before they took place. It was very important for him to never be caught off his guard. Life was like a chess game to him. He was always mentally two moves ahead of his opponent, so no matter what move was made he always had several suitable countering actions that could assure him success.. I feel Mr. Bundy has not allowed me to get to know him and I believe there are many significant things about him that remain hidden.” – Dr Al Carlisle, 1976

Sounds like self preservation, not psychosis.

“It is my feeling that there is much more to his personality structure than either the psychologist or I have been able to determine. However, as long as he compartmentalizes, rationalizes, and debates every facet of his life, I do not feel that I adequately know him, and until I do, I can not predict his future behavior.” – Dr Van O Austin, prison psyhiatrist

Maybe if the people around him stopped questioning his sanity and didn’t encourage him when he debated whether or not something was wrong with him, he would have stopped doubting himself. Maybe if people just accepted him for how he presented himself instead of trying to dissect him like a dead frog, he wouldn’t have felt the need to be evading and deceptive in his death row interviews. It’s actually really disturbing to see him treated like a newly discovered species. And I can’t imagine how it must have made him feel.


Back and forth, I sway with the wind
Resolution slips away again
Right through my fingers, back into my heart
Where it’s out of reach and it’s in the dark
Sometimes I think I’m blind
Or I may be just paralyzed
Because the plot thickens every day
And the pieces of my puzzle keep crumblin’ away
But I know, there’s a picture beneath
Indecision clouds my vision
No one listens…
Because I’m somewhere in between
My love and my agony
You see, I’m somewhere in between
My life is falling to pieces
Somebody put me together
Layin’ face down on the ground
My fingers in my ears to block the sound
My eyes shut tight to avoid the sight
Anticipating the end, losing the will to fight
Droplets of “yes” and “no”
In an ocean of “maybe”
From the bottom, it looks like a steep incline
From the top, another downhill slope of mine
But I know, the equilibrium’s there
Indecision clouds my vision
No one listens
Because I’m somewhere in between
My love and my agony
You see, I’m somewhere in between
My life is falling to pieces
Somebody put me together

– Faith No More