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I last saw Ted Bundy on a miserable day in early June. The Florida sun came up hot in the morning; there was a feel of bloat in the air, a rank sponginess that shortens the breath and makes the skin feel dirty, prickly.
Hugh and I drove southeast from the Quality Inn in Lake City along State Highway 100 toward the maximum security prison near the remote hamlet of Raiford. It is a thirty-five mile trip through the middle of north-central Florida, a flat, unrewarding stretch of scraggly pine trees and truck farms. This is not the Florida of Art Deco South Beach, Disney World and orange groves. This landscape is rural and mostly poor and has much more in common with the backwaters of southern Georgia than it does with the tourist country that begins farther down the Florida peninsula toward Orlando.
We passed a convenience store that serves free coffee to highway patrolmen. A bit further along the straight, two-lane highway is the town of Lulu with its tiny post office and well-attended Baptist church. A good deal of praying and singing (and stomping and hollering) in the name of the Lord goes on in this part of Florida. On the car radio that morning there was a choice of farm reports, country music and gospel hours.
A massive semi zoomed by. Around Lulu, the country people are accustomed to the roar of the big rigs as they barrel up and down Highway 100. They are also accustomed to the splotches of fur, feathers, and spines squashed flat into the pavement under the truckers' wheels. Buzzards and nimble crows work Highway 100 like so many Eighth Avenue hookers, with one eye on their business and the other on the lookout for The Man. As a car or truck approaches, the scavengers fly straight up and just high enough to clear the vehicle's roof. Then they alight again on the roadway. Once in a while, the slower birds will misjudge a truck's height, or fail to notice another tall truck just behind it.
It was only eight-thirty in the morning, but already waves of heat shimmered up from the highway. We turned, and the road opened up onto a broad plain. To the right is the Union Correctional Institution, which is in Union County, and then the Florida State Prison itself, just a rifle shot away across the New River in Bradford County. Prison cattle stood motionless along the roadside, stupefied by the heat and the humidity. Their milk, which the prisoners consume, is often redolent of soil. Interspersed with the cows were inmate work gangs out with their uniformed guards, who cradled shotguns and wore sunglasses that coruscated in the bright morning light.
It was a banal vision of purgatory; the sullen, shuffling cons toiling under a heavy sun that glinted hard at them from their keepers' shielded eyes.
Copyright © 1999 by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth
Posted February 20, 2003
Stephen Michaud & Hugh Aynesworth interviewed not only Ted Bundy, but psychiatrists who interviewed him. The two factors that that were most significant were the revelations by the authors that Ted had been a victim of violent physical punishment by a female second grade teacher, who cracked a ruler over his knuckles. The memory of such a violent act inflicted by a female on a sensitive child, is not only retained by the child's mind, but rewires his brain and greatly influences one's feelings and attitudes about women in general. The authors also point out that alcohol played a significant role in diminishing Ted's inhibitions and in desensitizing him to the violence that was apparently churning inside him ever since the second grade teacher, Miss Geri, cracked the ruler over his knuckles. A UCLA psychiatrist, Dr. Louis West, observed that somewhere in Ted's boyhood a woman beat him with a stick." Corporal punishment by a female teacher, plus alcohol apparently produced Ted Bundy the killer. Although he only had once date his high school, most of his information about sex was learned from stories his male classmates told him about their own experiences and attitudes. Ted himself was vice president of a Methodist Youth Fellowship during high school. His own mother was very loving and good to him. An excellent textbook!
3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2001
This work of art is, in my opinion, the best Bundy biography. The authors tell the true story in a candid and detailed style. No event is left untold, and the ending will have the reader staring into space thinking for minutes, like I did upon the finishing page. You want to read about Ted Bundy? Buy this book and you'll know all that there is to know. I own every Bundy book written and this one is my little treasure.
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 14, 2002
Check the locks & turn on the lights. This is the first Bundy book I ever read and the best. I was practically hiding under the bed at night.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 21, 2012
Michaud and Aynesworth have written the most comprehensive account of Ted Bundy and what made him tick that I've read. I doubt that this account will help solve other serial killings, but it does give the reader an understanding of who Ted Bundy was and how he managed to avoid detection more from luck than great criminal skill. Very well written, almost scholarly.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 25, 2012
This book based on serial killer Ted Bundy is the only one worth reading and buying. It is intelligently written and well-detailed. One thing I'm glad about: that the authors don't try to make excuses for Bundy or have any tolerance for him. My only complaint of this revised edition is that the photos were removed. I don't know why this is so, but they should have left them in.
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Posted July 18, 2009
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Posted August 4, 2013
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