This Is What Happened To Ted Bundy's Body After He Was Executed

Two corrections officers brought an ashen-looking Ted Bundy into the room. They'd shaved his head, which glistened in the bright lights of the death chamber from the gel on the serial killer's skin that would help in electrocuting him, according to the Los Angeles Times. On the morning of January 24, 1989, the guards at Florida State Prison in Starke strapped Bundy to the electric chair. "Jim and Fred, I'd like you to give my love to my family and friends," Bundy said to his lawyer Jim Coleman and a Methodist minister named Fred Lawrence. These were his final words.

The executioner, clad in a black hood, pushed a button, and 2,000 volts of electricity did its work, per the Daily Beast. Outside the prison walls, a cheer went up from the 500-strong crowd. Ted Bundy, who'd confessed to raping and murdering 30 women in the 1970s, was dead. But that wasn't the end of the story. Following his execution, medical examiners removed Bundy's brain and studied it, according to "Dead Men Do Tell Tales: The Strange and Fascinating Cases of a Forensic Anthropologist." After the autopsy, his body was cremated. His will stipulated that his ashes were to be scattered in the Cascade Mountains, per the Associated Press.

Brain examined

After Ted Bundy's execution at the Florida State Prison, officials transported his body under guard to Shands Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. Medical experts, including the forensic anthropologist William Maples, removed Bundy's brain and examined it for any abnormalities, per "Dead Men Do Tell Tales." In "The Riverman: Ted Bundy and I Hunt for the Green River Killer," Robert Keppel, a Washington state investigator, said Bundy's dark urges "surged over him in chemical tidal waves like a craving for a narcotic." The thinking went that there might be an abnormality in the killer's brain that led to his aberrant behavior. 

Maples, when examining Ted Bundy's corpse, noticed the "halo-shaped" scorches on the killer's head and a deep burn on his leg from the electric chair. Bundy had been in good shape, apparently spending his time in prison working out, and he had self-tanner on his skin. When they removed the top of Bundy's head, they found "a large mass of congealed blood on the top of the brain," a side effect of having 2,000 volts coarse through his body. What Maples didn't find was anything out of the ordinary with the killer's brain. "When it finally was removed and examined, Ted Bundy's brain looked like anyone else's," he recalled.

Last wishes

In the days before Ted Bundy's execution, between confessing to a string of murders in hopes of a reprieve, the serial killer also made out his will. He signed it the night before he died, per the AP. In it, he asked to be cremated and to have his ashes scattered over the Cascade Mountains near where he grew up in Washington state. Bundy dumped several of his victims in these same mountains.

He asked that his meager possessions — a radio, a fake gold chain with a cross, $709 given to him by friends and family to use at the prison commissary, and a few other items — be turned over to his civil lawyer. A Gainesville funeral home cremated Bundy's body. There was no public funeral. There was a public outcry in Washington state following the news of Bundy's last request, but there were no laws prohibiting his family from scattering his ashes in the mountains, per another Associated Press report from the time. It's not known if his relatives actually scattered his ashes in the mountains, according to "The Encyclopedia of the Ted Bundy Murders."