This Is How Many Victims Ted Bundy Might Have Had

Theodore (Ted) Robert Bundy was one of the United States' most notorious serial killers. Although he was ultimately captured, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death, the actual number of Bundy's victims remains a point of controversy.

As reported by Biography, Ted Bundy's crime spree began on January 4, 1974, with the physical attack of University of Washington student Karen Sparks. Despite the fact that she survived the assault, Sparks was brutally beaten and left with permanent brain damage. Bundy committed his first known murder less than one month later. History 101 reports University of Washington student Lynda Ann Healy went missing from her home in the early morning hours of February 1, 1974. The only trace of the missing student was a bloodstain on her nightgown and bedding. According to her roommates, nothing else had been disturbed.

Authorities were unsure whether foul play was involved in Healy's disappearance until her skeletal remains were found on Taylor Mountain in 1975. Three years later, Bundy admitted she was his first murder victim. In a number of separate trials, Bundy was eventually convicted on one count of aggravated kidnapping, three counts of first-degree murder, and three counts of attempted murder. He was ultimately sentenced to death. Prior to his execution, Bundy confessed to killing 30 women, East Idaho News reports. As reported by Sun-Sentinel, he also confessed to killing at least one woman as early as July 1971. 

Ted Bundy may have killed over 100 people

Authorities had reason to doubt some of Ted Bundy's confessions. In the days prior to his execution, Ted Bundy confessed to killing eight women in the state of Utah. As reported by East Idaho News, detectives concluded Bundy could not have been involved in at least three of those murders. While discussing other homicides that authorities believe Bundy may have been responsible for, he denied any involvement.

It is unclear what may have motivated Bundy to confess to murders he did not commit, but it may have simply been a matter of confusion. East Idaho News reports many of the murders happened more than a decade before the confession. Author Ann Rule, who wrote a true crime book about Bundy titled "The Stranger Beside me," said she thinks he purposely misled authorities by providing false information about the locations where he buried his victims. Rule said, "A scheme to send police out slopping through the mud in vain [was] something Ted would enjoy." 

Former King County detective Bob Keppel, however, believes Bundy "killed way over 100" people in his lifetime. As reported by AP News, Keppel was one of the first detectives to investigate the series of murders later connected to Bundy.

Ted Bundy was executed on January 24, 1989, at the Florida State Prison. As reported by Biography, the convicted killer asked to be cremated and for his ashes to be scattered in the mountains in Washington state.