Ted Bundy's Early Years:

Young Ted Bundy
Young Ted Bundy

Bundy spent the first few years of his life believing his maternal grandparents, Samuel and Eleanor Cowell, were his parents. In reality he had been born to their unwed daughter, Louise Cowell, and his father was unknown. Having an illegitimate child was considered wrong in those days so to escape the stigma his grandparents raised him as their own. Believing his mother, Louise, to be his sister, Bundy was understandably distraught to discover via his birth certificate that she was actually his biological mother, something he, apparently, permanently resented her for, although in later years he denied ever being bothered by it. Whilst Bundy appeared to have a softness towards his grandmother, there are conflicting accounts on whether he got along with his grandfather Samuel. Although Bundy was also known to occasionally praise his grandfather, the wider consensus is that Samuel wasn't particularly nice to his family. At one point Bundy and other family members referred to Samuel as a racist, bigot and bully who often displayed violent and sometimes strange behaviour.

Bundy himself began to exhibit the same worrisome behaviour at a young age, His Aunt Julia (Louise's sister) recalled...

"awakening from a nap to find herself surrounded by knives from the kitchen and Bundy standing by the bed smiling."

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The family were relieved when Louise moved to Sheridan Street, Tacoma, Washington in 1950, taking Bundy with her.

(I'm not sure if they were relieved she'd taken Bundy with her because his weird antics freaked them out or if they were relieved because they felt it was best for Bundy to be away from Samuel. Probably a mix of the two.)

In 1951 she met Johnny Culpepper Bundy and a year later they married and he adopted Ted willingly raising him as his own. They would attend church regularly and were active within the Scouting scene. The family grew as Louise and Johnny had four more children but Bundy always remained distant towards his adoptive father, often complaining about him to friends. However when discussing his childhood, Bundy himself stated

"boyhood was not an unpleasant one."

The Ted Bundy Tapes **

Ted Bundy's Parents

However, childhood friends remember Bundy as being different and not quite fitting in and in early childhood he had a speech impediment which made him an easy target for teasing. Allegedly, as a young boy, Bundy had used pegs to hang a cat to a clothes line before dousing the animal in diesel and setting it alight.

In his teenage years Bundy grew to be a loner, by his own admittance it was from his own choosing, not other peoples.

"I wasn't a social outcast."**

The Ted Bundy Tapes**

He later remarked he just didn't understand the rules of socialising or why anybody would want to do it. He would often search neighbours trash for pictures of naked woman, peep through windows at woman undressing and look for magazines and literature involving sexual violence.

Before the age of 18 Bundy was already known to the police, having been arrested twice for burglary and auto theft.


Young Ted Bundy