A Response to the “Hot Ted Bundy” Phenomenon

Adrien Gojko
ggojko@lc.edu

 

Since the release of the trailer “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”, Ted Bundy has yet again become something of a romanticized/sexualized figure of great fame, rather than going down in history as an infamously sadistic coward, as he should.

I understand why the film is going for the romanticized version of Ted Bundy, after all, it’s told from the perspective of his girlfriend of many years. What I’m arguing against here is that people should be more willing to separate entertainment from reality.

I’m personally going to watch and likely enjoy the movie, as I do find these things fascinating. However, it’s more so in a “this is like a car crash  from which I cannot look away” sort of fascinating. I will watch without feeling guilt because I can suspend reality when I watch films. The problem here is that some people aren’t doing that.

Now, to be clear, I’m referring to the “Bundy fangirls” in this article; the ones that tried to have sexual relations with Bundy while he was alive, and the ones that would feel honored to do so if he was still alive today.

The reality is that Ted Bundy was a conniving snake that, according to Netflix’s “Conversations with a Killer: the Ted Bundy Tapes,” committed heinous crimes of tortuous murder. The fact that he often snuck into young women’s homes while they were sleeping to commit these diabolical acts, speaks volumes. That’s not even considered the worst of what he did, either.

Wanting someone like Ted Bundy to romance you shouldn’t be considered healthy, because it isn’t. That’s a ridiculously low standard of potential partners to have, not to mention incredibly shallow. Even if it were only sexual, it’d still be extremely dangerous, likely lethal, to risk such contact with someone that has a history of murdering young women.

Therefore, I will never understand the judge that heard Bundy’s case and ultimately sentenced him to death. According to “the Ted Bundy Tapes,” he addressed Ted Bundy saying:

“Take care of yourself, young man. I say that to you sincerely; take care of yourself, please. It’s a tragedy for this court to see such a total waste, I think, of humanity that I have experienced in this court.

“You’re a bright young man. You would have made a good lawyer and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. Take care of yourself. I don’t feel any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Once again, take care of yourself.”

This quote cited above is a perfect example of how charismatic Bundy really was, and that should be terrifying, not enticing.

I will concede that, despite critics’ claims, Bundy actually was highly intelligent. He may have had mediocre LSAT scores, but testing cannot solely and properly measure intelligence levels. The claims that Bundy wasn’t smart were actually ableist in that sense.

However, he definitely was cocky. Forensics weren’t nearly as advanced in the 1970s as they are now in 2019. When he escaped from jail, it was due to his charm and intellect. And, again, that should scare everyone, not attract anyone.  

Ted Bundy used the power of his charisma purely for evil, sadistic, and selfish purposes. People need to recognize that he was dangerous. I find it scariest of all that the young women of today aren’t stopping to consider the consequences of that hypothetical dating situation. It’s flawed reasoning at best.

At worst, romanticizing people like Ted Bundy can pave the way towards complacency for other acts of sadism to seem more valid and legitimate.

There  are undoubtedly more “Ted Bundies” out there. Not all of them are necessarily serial killers. However, there are countless sociopathic people that will take gross advantage of others with their charisma.

Don’t romanticize the types of people that would hurt you,in a  heartbeat if it gave them leverage. I don’t necessarily mean murder or rape -such as Bundy did- when I say “hurt,” either. I mean any other kind of unnecessary pain, too. In conclusion, to reference Netflix’s “Bojack Horseman” series, “When you look at someone through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”

 

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