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Serial Killer “Theodore Robert “Ted” Bundy” Essay

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Updated: Oct 18th, 2019


Buddy was an American rapist, necrophile, serial killer, and kidnapper (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012). He was famous for assaulting and killing girls and young women during the 1970s. He confessed to have killed 30 people shortly before he was executed. This paper will analyze his character from a psychological point of view. There are several circumstances in Buddy’s case that indicate the presence of mental disorders.

Buddy’s murders were all female. He mainly targeted young women. This indicates a possibility of a mental disorder that made him to target the females only. After he had killed the young women in a secluded location, he often revisited the scene for several hours (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012). During these visits he executed sexual acts on the decomposing dead bodies. He performed these repeatedly heinous sexual acts on the dead bodies until they completely decompose or eaten by wild animals.

Buddy’s killings were also identified by missing heads. He completely decapitated twelve of his victims and kept their heads in his house (Menaster, 2012). The manner in which the heads were stored in his apartment signified his close attachment to the heads. Some of his killings were also done during late night hours whereby he broke into the victims’ apartments and murdered them while asleep (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012).

He was also reported to have physically assaulted one of his homicide victims. These are signs of a mentally ill patient. Mental disorders are usually characterized by unpredictable behaviors that cannot be controlled (Menaster, 2012). The murders performed by Buddy suggested that he was completely out of control.

The criminal conduct case against Buddy was based on the laws and the evidences presented in the case. His mental health status was not used as part of the evidences during the cases. He was treated as a normal person during the cases (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012).

During the criminal cases leveled against Buddy’s proceedings, there was no psychological analyst for the witnesses. Those who took part as witnesses in the cases claimed that they saw him at the various murder scenes. Other evidences that helped in building up the cases against Buddy were the bite marks and victims’ clothing remains found in his possession (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012).

These cases did not involve the mental issue in the proceedings. Buddy was visited by psychologists while in prison so that it could be possible to understand his actions. However the information gathered from Buddy by the psychiatrists was not used in the development of the cases against him (Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney, 2012). As much as the psychiatrists related his problems to mental disturbances, this was not a major issue that determined the outcome of the cases.

By the time these cases were carried out, the modern understanding of mental health issues was not available. However, the realization of the criminal investigation department that Buddy was a mentally disturbed suspect complicated the investigation. The evidences tabled in the court of law were substantial in proving that he had a mental problem (Menaster, 2012).

The criminal investigation department completely ignored these facts and opted to prosecute Buddy as a mentally sane person. His mental instability was a bit mild. Furthermore, he was a relatively bright individual who had studied the law up to the university level. His arguments made it very difficult for him to be declared as a mentally unstable person.

Psychoanalysis of Buddy could have exposed his problem and the necessary help initiated to prevent further development of the problem (Menaster, 2012). Therefore, from the case leveled against Buddy, the criminal investigation department was greatly influenced by the need of involving psychoanalysis of such suspect during the trial in order to give the court an opportunity to make a more informed decision.

If the criminal investigation department could have involved mental state analysis in the cases against Buddy, they could have saved many lives that were lost due to the mental instability of Buddy. It is definite to note that the latter was suffering from a mental problem that was specifically targeting the women (Menaster, 2012). Interventions were never put in place before it could escalate to dangerous levels.


The criminal justice system and mental health have a common problem. The criminal justice is currently encountering several people with mental health problems (Centre for Mental Health, 2012). This has resulted into increased burden to the criminal justice system. The treatment of the mental patients is also less effective.

The current division between the criminal justice structures and the mental health treatment systems has worsened the state of this problem (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2011). The most effective way of handling such mental cases is by construction of partnership between the two departments (Centre for Mental Health, 2012).

The current criminal justice system has created an environment whereby mentally ill suspects have inadequate access to treatment. Such people are left completely vulnerable to their conditions (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2011). This has led into several instances of repeated crimes by such individuals.

The prison department is not well equipped to deal with such cases. In fact, the setting of the jails has high chances of allowing the problem to develop further. This trend has led into high levels of recidivism among people suffering from mental illness or disturbances.

Since these people are facing psychological challenges that require rehabilitation and treatment, then the commonality nature of the problem offers a solution. A balance between prevention of dangerous behavior and treatment of mental patients should be developed (Centre for Mental Health, 2012). The criminal justice only prevents the persons from harming the public while mental health facilities offer treatment of such people.

When such people are released back to society, they become less harmful. Giving back such people to the society without treatment predisposes them to repeating earlier crimes. Seeking solutions to these problems requires the two departments to work together. The justice system should alienate those persons from the society and then subject them to mental treatment as well as rehabilitation.

The collaboration of the two departments in the rehabilitation of these patients will result to reduced cases of such people ending up back in jail (Center for Mental Health, 2012). Persons with mental illness should therefore be provided with efficient treatment at the earliest stage as possible.

Availability of a diversion system targeting mentally unstable criminals will enable proper treatment of such patients. At the same time, these patients should be properly supervised by the criminal justice system. Subjecting such patients to the jail system may not be of great help at all.


Center for Mental Health (2012). Mental Health Treatment Requirement can address a root cause of offending behavior, says new report from Centre for Mental Health and the Criminal Justice Alliance. Web.

Menaster, M. (2012). Psychiatric Disorders Associated With Criminal Behavior. Web.

Office of the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney (2012).. Web.

(2011). Violent behavior: One of the consequences of failing to treat individuals with severe mental illness. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Serial Killer “Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy”." October 18, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/serial-killer-theodore-robert-ted-bundy/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Serial Killer “Theodore Robert "Ted" Bundy”'. 18 October.

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