While awaiting a sentencing decision after his conviction in the Carol DaRonch kidnapping trial on March 1, 1976, Ted Bundy underwent psychiatric evaluation at the Utah State Prison. The judge, Stewart Hansen Jr., was confused as to why such an upstanding young man would have committed such a violent act. Several psychologists interviewed him in an attempt to evaluate his capacity for violence and the potential impact of psychological treatment. Their findings were reported to the court prior to Bundy’s final sentencing.

Ted Bundy diagnostic psychological tests Utah

EVALUATOR: Evan Lewis, Ph.D., Counseling Psychologist
DATE TESTED: March 8, 1976

Theodore Bundy is a 29-year-old man who was seen in the County Jail after being convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping. Mr. Bundy was very verbal and cooperative during all contacts with him. He has maintained his innocence and stated that he had nothing to hide.
Mr. Bundy offered a fairly detailed account of his life since graduating from high school. This account was characterized by frequent moves from place to place and encompassed a large number of jobs held for relatively short periods of time. He was also active as a volunteer in a number of political campaigns. After changing schools several times, Mr. Bundy stated that he received a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology in June, 1972 from the University of Washington. He then attended the University of Puget Sound Law School in Tacoma for one year before coming to the University of Utah.
Mr. Bundy indicated that he had little contact with women until he met a girl at the University of Washington with whom he lived periodically. He now lists as one of his biggest mistakes the fact that he did not marry her. Since being in Utah, Mr. Bundy said he has had sexual intercourse with several women and insisted that he had no sexual difficulties of any kind. He has denied ever having engaged in any homosexual activity. Mr. Bundy acknowledged that he smoked marijuana on a fairly regular basis and drank alcohol occasionally.
The only times during the interview in which Mr. Bundy lost his self-assured composure was when he talked about his mother and when he expressed his belief that he would be committed to the Utah State Prison. He acknowledged that if he were ever set free, his life would have undergone some drastic changes. He cited loss of friends, an inability to finish law school and to participate in politics, and his “crushed” parents as examples of how his life has been immutably changed. Mr. Bundy stated his major goal at this time is to be free someday in order to “straighten out the (judicial) system that didn’t work for me.”

Intellectually Mr. Bundy appears to be in the highest 10% of the population. His verbal skills are very well developed; Mr. Bundy is able to express himself clearly and concisely most of the time. There was no evidence in the interview or test data to suggest the presence of a thought disorder. Mr. Bundy is not psychotic, nor does he evidence any other readily observable emotional disturbance.
Mr. Bundy’s overt approach to the testing situation was a cooperative one. He stated he would complete whatever tests were administered to him, and stressed several times that he had nothing to hide because he was innocent. However, on a more subtle level, he consistently attempted to disguise his attitudes and emotions primarily by responding in socially acceptable ways rather than expressing his true feelings. For example, he demonstrated a marked degree of response conformity on the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), denying any deviant attitudes, beliefs, or unusual experiences of any kind. However, his background is illustrative of a man who has chosen not to follow many of the traditional societal standards. This incongruence and other test data strongly suggests that Mr. Bundy exerted a systematic effort to portray himself in a manner which did not reveal his true attitudes and beliefs. While adopting this mode of adjustment to the tests, Mr. Bundy displayed a notably compulsive orientation. For example, he kept a record of how he responded to each of the 400 items on the MMPI, a behavior which I have never seen before, and one which is illustrative of the rigid sort of control Mr. Bundy was exerting over his emotional responsiveness. The compulsivity exhibited by Mr. Bundy is in contrast to other reports that his behavior sometimes becomes erratic and almost purposeless. He appears to operate on very different principles at different times, but, unlike most psychotic disorders, is able to determine his behavior pattern at any time. Thus, the crimes against women attributed to him are most likely of a calculated nature and not of an irrational or uncontrollable origin. Mr. Bundy’s robust (and extraordinarily successful) attempt to disguise his underlying feelings limited somewhat the diagnostic efficacy of the psychological tests.
For an intellectually gifted man who stresses the adequacy and stability of his emotional adjustment, there appears to be an inordinate amount of vacillation and ambivalence evident in his life. There are many instances in which he has gone from the pursuit of a strong achievement drive to menial jobs with which he says he was quite satisfied. His relationship with his girlfriend in Seattle was punctuated with periods of emotional attachment followed by a withdrawal from impending responsibilities and commitments associated with marriage. There are also reports from other people which suggest that at times Mr. Bundy was fastidious in his physical appearance, while during other periods, quite slovenly. The latter appearance was evident when Mr. Bundy was seen in jail. The tendency to vacillate from one mode of behavior to another and back again is suggestive not only of a man who cannot maintain his goal-directed behavior and accept the responsibilities that come with success, but also one who can compartmentalize his feelings to the point that he can, in effect, disassociate himself from one set of values in favor of another.
The sexual deviancy which led to his conviction seems to be encapsulated as far as the rest of his behavior is concerned. His lack of a prior record may suggest that such deviancy does not exert itself in the form of other antisocial behavior, although his lifestyle has been indicative of the non-internalization of many societal conventions.
The only suggestion of an aberrant feeling toward females was seen on the Rorschach, a measure which provides few clues as to what kind of responses are the most socially acceptable. On one card, Mr. Bundy identified two figures looking at each other and then ascribed each as having a bosom, a perfectly appropriate response. However, he then went on to state that the figures were “asexual” because they had “no other sexual identity.” Such a perception is indicative of an ambivalence toward females, an ambivalence which could resolve in either withdrawal or hostility. In addition, the Rorschach suggested that Mr. Bundy does not develop close emotional relationships easily, an impression corroborated by the MMPI. While he can interact rather easily on a verbal level, it appears that he allows himself to become emotionally close to few people; thus, Mr. Bundy could be expected to have many acquaintances, but few close friends who know him well.
Mr. Bundy’s emotional affect appears to be quite changeable and at times inappropriate. Both times Mr. Bundy was interviewed, he initially presented himself as being very relaxed and quite happy. He talked in a rather detached manner about all topics except his mother, his girlfriend in Seattle, and the prospect of a prison term. When not on these topics, Mr. Bundy spoke like a man who had few cares or worries. On the sentence completion blank, he wrote I am “at peace with myself” and added, “I feel good about the life I’ve had.” When quizzed about such responses, it again became apparent that Mr. Bundy was able to detach and compartmentalize his feelings toward different situations to a highly unusual degree.
Mr. Bundy thus appears to be an intellectually bright man who is able to give socially acceptable responses to obvious questions, thereby disguising his true attitudes and beliefs. However, his background, his sometimes inappropriate emotional reactivity, and his responses to more subjective measures belie his contention that he is a very emotionally stable and problem-free man. His social interactions tend to be schizoid in nature. Mr. Bundy is able to compartmentalize his emotions and thought processes to an unusual degree, possibly to the point that he can dissociate himself from one set of standards so that he can almost totally adopt another. Thus, he is probably capable of giving people very different impressions of himself, depending on what set of standards he chooses to guide his behavior. The test results uncovered no clear-cut reason as to why Mr. Bundy may have committed the crime of which he has been convicted, but some evidence of confusion and possibly hostility towards women was seen.
A further evaluation by the 90-day program might be helpful in terms of allowing assessment of Mr. Bundy’s behavior by a situational test rather than by standardized testing procedures to which Mr. Bundy can respond quite appropriately. However, such a sentence may only postpone a prison sentence because, in my opinion, available psychotherapeutic procedures would have little impact on Mr. Bundy’s basic personality structure.

Rorschach, Sentence Completion, MMPI

Louise Bundy Johnnie Bundy 1975
Johnnie and Louise Bundy, October 1975. Photo: Seattle Times.

Letter to Judge Stewart M. Hanson, Jr.
Date: March 10, 1976

Dear Judge Hanson:
You will, in the very near future, be receiving letters from various members of our family and others who know and love our dear Ted very much. We hope you will take the time to read them and to really try to understand, hopefully to come to know a lot more about, the wonderful young man who has recently been before you in court. We feel that, through no fault of yours, you have only heard bad things about Ted and we want you to know that there are many, many persons who have always believed in him and always will, no matter what misinformed persons may say.
(I am typing this in order to make it easier for you to read and also faster for me. I work full time and have a home and family to care for, even now, so my time is limited to do other things that I must do).
No where on the face of this earth did a boy ever grow up in a more loving family atmosphere than the one found in ours. Ted has two brothers and two sisters. He is the oldest and they have always looked to him as an ideal, a leader, a really great “big brother”. They (along with many, many others who know him) do not believe him guilty of the charges for which he stood trial. By no means do we claim that Ted is perfect or never did anything wrong– none of us is in that category. We know he has done some things that we would rather he had not done, such as smoking, drinking (although not excessively), and using (for a short time) marijuana. He has also admitted to going over the speed limit in his car on occasion. To say that many others have done those same things, we know, does not make it right. However, neither would it be right to find those persons guilty of another act for which there is no positive proof, merely because we disapproved of the actions mentioned above.
However, we do not want this to be a letter of accusation against you. We understand the heavy burden that was upon you in this case. But, there was no other way to go! Due to all the adverse publicity given this case by the media, it would have been impossible to find an impartial jury. What we are hoping, as I said before, is that you will see another side of Ted that was not brought out in the trial. His lawyers could have brought before you many character witnesses. Numerous persons had volunteered to testify in his behalf. Perhaps this should have been done–hindsight is wonderful, isn’t it? However, he (Ted) knew he was innocent and so did his attorneys and all three felt they could (did) prove that, during the trial, without drawing out the proceedings with a number of character witnesses.
From this point in this letter it will be me (his mother) speaking–I find it easier to write in the first person. My husband concurs in all that is written, however, and is suggesting thoughts as I go along. There never has been a child or young man anywhere more beloved and admired by his family than our Ted. No parents ever had a better son, and brothers and sisters a better brother. Being some five years older than our second child and fourteen years older than the fifth child, put him in a position of leadership and responsibility which he always handled quite well. This is not to say that he didn’t occasionally gripe about various chores at home that were his–he was a very normal boy. and would much rather at times be off playing with his pals than taking out the garbage or cutting the grass, etc. What I’m trying to say, though, is that Ted had a good childhood and young adulthood. We were (are) a family that did things together: we went camping every good summer weekend that we could; we always went to church together; we made long trips to the East coast to visit relatives on both sides of the family on at least four occasions; each child’s birthday was always very special. Our children’s friends were always welcome in our home and on picnics and camping trips. (sometimes it was difficult to fit them all in to our small station wagon!) We read to and with each child and provided lots of good books and music. Ted was always a good student, well thought of by his teachers, and had many friends all through school. He graduated with honors from high school here in Tacoma, and was admitted to his “first choice” college (at a time when this was not easy) with scholarship and financial aid given immediately upon application.
He did very well in college the first two years, but then began to wonder about his major (after some intensive summer study at Stanford on an all-expenses paid grant). So, as do many students, he took some time off, worked a while (never had any trouble getting or holding a job), then attended a semester at Temple University in Philadelphia (lived with my sister there). There was so much emphasis at that time about the problems and needs of the innercity and he felt a large city like Philadelphia would be a good place to learn and study and at the same time work to help in some way. True, it was idealistic, but Ted has always been one who wanted very much to find a way to help others less fortunate than himself. His first leanings had been toward government service in order to accomplish this or law enforcement (including being a lawyer). The idea of being a teacher in the inner city did not seem to have any future, and the beautiful Northwest, its beauty, and his family, beckoned and he returned here to finish school at the University of Washington. He did this mostly on a part-time basis while working to pay expenses. He graduated with honors.
All the time, no matter where he was living–he kept in close touch with us through letters and phone calls. He was always home for Christmas (think he has only missed twice in his life-time)–coming in, usually on Christmas Eve, with numerous little surprises for all of us–but usually the best for “Mom and Dad.” We had (and still have) a very special relationship, this “first-born” and I. We have been known to sit and talk together far into the night, long after his Dad had dropped off to sleep in his easy chair. We enjoyed talking about current events, politics, the state of the local, state and national government. Such things were frequently mealtime topics of conversation at our house, too. I was often involved in PTA projects or school election campaigns and we talked about them with our children. Ted developed a real desire to “get involved” in politics or government and out of this grew his decision to be a lawyer, I believe. It was hard to get into Law School then. When he was finally accepted at Utah he was ecstatic because he had come to love the area and knew Utah to be a good school. His decision to go to the University of Utah, despite the fact that he was already attending night classes at the University of Puget Sound Law School, was a hard one to make. However, UPS was very new and not accredited then, and he felt a more established school would be better from which to graduate. We would rather have had him stay here , but Utah didn’t seem all that far away and he said it was a great place. So, number two son, Glenn, helped him move in the summer of 1974. Little brother, Richard, really hated to see him go– he and Ted always had a very special relationship. Ted being 14 years older had really helped very substantially in raising him. Richard visited Ted in Salt Lake City last summer (last two weeks of July) and they had a great time together. Rich was bubbling over with tales of the good times. How could a young man be any thing but good who would take the time out of a very busy schedule to entertain a little brother and show the concern for him that he did? While Richard was visiting him, Ted had to work several evenings until 11 p.m. Each time he called Rich several times during the evening to make sure that he was all right, that he had had supper and letting Rich know what time to expect him home. Ted had (has) real love and concern for his other brother and his two sisters, but Rich was his favorite. They all knew that and were glad.
From the time that he was in junior high school, Ted was always able to find an after school or summer job and all of his employers spoke highly of him. He was a paper boy for the local newspaper for sever al years, worked at a bowling alley, formed a “lawn care” company with two other friends, and even did babysitting. As a result of the lawn-jobs, a neighbor offered him a good summer job for two years in a row with Tacoma City Light. He did well there and earned most of the money needed for two years of college. I believe you have a record of his other jobs and do hope that Mr. Hull has contacted some of those employers because I know they would have many good things to say about Ted’s reliability, good moral character, and pleasant personality.
Ted took part in all types of sports: played on little league basketball and football teams, was on the track team at school and participated in intramurals of all kinds. He and his buddies went swimming and skiing at every opportunity in the appropriate seasons. On top of all this activity, Ted was active in the youth groups at our church, First United Methodist, all during junior and senior high school, serving as vice president of the group at both levels. He was also a cub scout and a boy scout and his Dad was Scoutmaster of the troop for two years and they had many great times together. Added to that, he and his Dad frequently went berry picking and bean picking to earn extra money for the family during the years when we were having a hard time to make the budget meet the family’s needs. Those were long, hard days for only a few dollars, but Ted was willing. The idea of college was always in his mind. He knew we would have difficulty paying his way, so he wanted to help, and that he did, very well. I’m sure there were times when he wished we had a lot of money–most of us do! I know there were times (because he expressed his feelings to me) when he wondered how come other kids he knew had so much more in the way of material wealth. However, after discussing it, he understood and appreciated the things we did have– a sense of true values, family love, a home life he could depend on. One of the prime rules for all our children was that they must always let us know where they were or were going to be, if at all possible. Of all the children, Ted was most responsible in this respect. I rarely had to “call around” to find out where he was– he usually called us and also came home reasonably within the hour expected. This was not done because of threats on our part, but out of his respect for our feelings and of our concern for his well-being.
Now, you may be saying, this is all sounding good, but a mother and father are prejudiced, they are blinded by love, they don’t see the “whole picture”. Ah, but we see more of the “picture” than anyone else! We know more of his background than anyone else possibly can. Mothers, especially a mother in my position who was keenly desirous of having all her children have the best and do well in life, are very observant of the habits and/or problems of their children. I did not work outside the home until very recently, so was always available, even though active in community affairs. On top of what we observed at home, I (and my husband also, if possible) attended parent-teacher conferences when they were scheduled and knew very well what his teachers thought and observed about Ted. It was almost always good, but, of course, he was a normal boy and sometimes got into a scrape or two with someone else.
Why am I going into “past history” so much? Partly because I believe it has a bearing on what he is today and partly because I know there are those who are trying to establish that Ted has some kind of a personality “quirk” directly attributable to his childhood. I know that is wrong. Being wrong, then, there is no “strange demon” lurking in him and he is not the monster criminal certain persons are trying to make him out to be. HE COULD NOT BE! There has been a mistake made here in identification coupled with circumstantial evidence and happenings that do not add up to the crime of which he has been accused. It would be a tragedy of the first order to confine a fine, good young man in the prime of his life, to any kind of a prison. Ted has so much potential for accomplishment, for being a very responsible member of society, that not only would he suffer but society as a whole, should he be confined to a prison. Already six months of his life have been wasted because of all this.
Oh, there is so much more I could say, Judge Hanson. It’s too bad we can’t get together and talk about this face to face. Let me just close by saying that all of Ted’s family stands behind him, one hundred percent. Many, many of his friends have been in constant contact with me, expressing the same support. Life has never been easy for him, and will be much harder from now on, but we have great confidence in his ability and desire to be a good and productive member of society. We all ask that you consider that very seriously and give him a chance to prove his worth.

Louise C. Bundy & Johnnie C. Bundy

P.S. After reading through my letter, I notice an important item I unintentionally omitted. I mentioned Ted’s many friends, but did not mention girl-friends in particular. I feel that, in this case in particular, his attitude toward women, especially his peers, is important. Ted liked (likes) girls, very naturally. He had an assortment of girl-friends during late Jr. High and through High school. They surely liked him, because they were always calling him. He didn’t solo date a lot, but was invited to many parties, which he enjoyed. Until he got his driver’s license, we performed a lot of taxi service for those events. In college he had several special girls (at different times). He always brought them home to meet us and we often had them for dinner or on family outings. The young woman whom he has dated almost exclusively for several years lives in Seattle. They occasionally split up or had differences of opinion, but always got back together. Ted wanted to finish his education before getting married, but she finally changed his mind on that. They had planned to be married in December, 1975, but the unfortunate happenings of early fall put an end to those plans, temporarily. She still stands by him and completely believes in his innocence. She was with us in Salt Lake City during the trial and we are in touch frequently by phone . Ted treats girls and women with respect at all times and really enjoys their company. His two sisters love him dearly, as you can tell by the letters they have written to you. Yes, he had dates with other girls while in Salt Lake City and the important girl was in Seattle, but those were as friends, as a very important of his social life and the Seattle young lady was well aware of them. The important thing to remember is that each one speaks highly of him. I could say much more for and about his love for and relationship with me, his sisters, his aunts, girl cousins, but will not take your time. Suffice to say it has always been a loving, good relationship all the way around.

Ted Bundy’s March 24, 1976 prison enrollment record index card. Courtesy Utah Dept. of Corrections.

Letter to Judge Stewart M. Hanson, Jr.
Date: May 12, 1976

Dear Judge Hanson,
My writing hand has grown weary drafting and then carefully redrafting letters to you, which I ultimately find unsatisfactory. My confusion, my indecision about this correspondence are products of many conflicting emotions and unresolved doubts. My hesitation in sending a letter stems from a knowledge of the god-like power you have over my life which has resulted in a fear that I might offend you in some way. Nevertheless, I am compelled to speak my mind to you. It has been my experience when dealing with rational, professional people that candor is often preferable to polite discretion, so I shall attempt to be candid with you.
In those discarded letters I shunned the issue of guilt and innocence, diplomatically avoiding any mention of my position on the subject. This approach resulted in stifled, strangely dialectical positions. For instance, I found myself arguing, uncomfortably, for a “fair sentence”, while my honest opinion is that no sentence can be fair or just. Permit me, then, to speak openly about this most sensitive area. You found me guilty; I know myself to be innocent. There—a disagreement between two individuals which, due to the subject matter and the forum, has been elevated to a conflict with far-reaching consequences.
Every text on elementary criminal advocacy urges the novice attorney that sentencing is not the time to dwell on the innocence of a client. If a defendant’s innocence is argued, say the texts, it will only serve to irritate the sentencing judge. Should you be genuinely irritated, I am afraid I shall simply have to suffer the consequences. I still cling to my belief that you are a rational individual who can deal with my position without becoming emotional, just as I must accept your guilty verdict without agreeing with it and without becoming bitter about it.
My situation offers much temptation to be hostile and angry. I have chosen to do my best to understand you, rather than be blinded by hate and resentment. This choice is unusually difficult because we are not two students on opposite sides of a debating issue. I cannot approach you and you cannot approach me informally and frankly. In a way this is the most frustrating barrier I have encountered as a defendant. You are surrounded by the inviolable aloofness of your judicial office, and I am not accustomed to having answers to critical questions concealed behind an official role. This is not as much a criticism of you as it is a criticism of the system. There is something lacking in a system that relies wholly upon organized, impersonalized exchanges of information. You are the judge and I am the defendant and never the twain shall meet. Undaunted, I shall ask the unanswerable questions, raise the unresolvable doubts. I must seek to understand.
At this point in time it is not the evidence which lead you to your verdict which concerns me. Indeed, it is not presently the issue in question. You made yourself clear on March 22 when you affirmed that your decision had been made without a reasonable doubt. So be it. It is the course of events subsequent to your verdict which intrigues me.
First, the pre-sentence report, a standard device, was ordered and completed. I have already expressed my opinions about that secret document in an earlier letter to you. I believe it to be a sleeping, probably hostile, dog. However, my attorneys and I did expect it to be a thorough, though thoroughly biased, report upon which you would impose a sentence on March 22.
I will pause at this time to tell you that my attorneys have always held the highest respect for you. I was appalled by the prosecutor’s inferences to the contrary. (Their opinion of you was certainly a factor in my decision to waive the jury trial.) They are realistic, however, and firmly believed you had no alternative but to sentence me to five years to life on March 22. We were all surprised and confused when you did not.
What could the additional ninety days accomplish? Could the pre-sentence report have been that incomplete? Somewhat rhetorically we asked, is this purely an attempt to probe Theodore Bundy further for answers to questions needed to confirm the verdict and justify a prison sentence? I am afraid we were all in a highly skeptical mood, reacting to the verdict like captured soldiers.
I was subsequently delivered to the State Prison where the diagnostic evaluation you requested was to take place. Not unexpectedly, I was the object of curiosity among prison officials and inmates alike. Immediately the deputy warden took me aside, offering me protective custody and explaining to me that the Judge had thought such a measure advisable. I was and I still am puzzled. Did you actually make that request and if so, why?
I suppose what puzzled me was not that you expressed concern for my safety. Out of ignorance and hate, threats had been made on my life. Some prisoners are pathologically violent and perhaps would enjoy the notoriety of hurting me; therefore, protection seemed reasonable. In the long run, what would be accomplished though? You see, I believed then, as I believe now, that I will be committed. What difference did it make that I be attacked now or later?
It was my decision not to accept protection and I chose not to do so for several reasons. I fear no one and no thing, not even death. I am not trying to sound courageous; that’s just the way it is. I was certainly not going to accept the 24-hour isolated horror of protection which becomes a kind of living death. After all, how was I going to write writs for prisoners from isolation? I am intent upon proving my own convictions regarding my integrity, upon maintaining my pride and upon taking advantage of the little civilities available in prison. Still the lingering question: why did you suggest this precaution? Were you unaware just how dreadful protection becomes? What were you preserving me for?
So I became just another ninety-dayer; or did I? In addition to the curiosity, I received a good deal of special attention. True to your order, the psychologists and psychiatrists tested and examined me thoroughly, a fact which irritated the bulk of the other diagnostics who receive little personal treatment. I was the exception.

A note and doodle on the back of Bundy’s “Vocational Opportunities” worksheet. Courtesy Utah Dept. of Corrections.
"Ted Bundy" Utah prison court
“Theodore Bundy wore a scruffy beard and a T-shirt for his courtroom appearance yesterday after three weeks in jail.”
March 23, 1976 (A.P. Wirephoto)

I was also singled out for preferential treatment of another sort. Nearly all ninety-dayers are transferred from medium security to the minimum security farm after two or three weeks. On April 8, fifteen days after I arrived, my abortive chance came. Fourteen men were recommended to the farm, one name had been crossed off the list: Theodore Bundy. Deputy Warden Hatch had countermanded the recommendation of the Diagnostic Unit. Why? Because of a fear for my safety, a third party told me. My safety, again!
Since that time my name has failed to appear on the farm list twice. Since that time, I have written a letter to Warden Hatch and have not received a reply. Since that time all other ninety-dayers, who have not been recommended for commitment, have been transferred to the farm. I stand alone, again. Again, I have achieved a special status. Why?
Did you suggest that I not be sent to the farm? Is my safety a pretext for some other, less worthy, motivations held by the prison administration? Are they afraid of the adverse public reaction if it were discovered I was at minimum? Is it a recognition that no serious alternative to commitment is being considered, that I am here only to be head shrunk? What is the reason? I don’t like being in the dark.
I mentioned ninety-dayers who have been recommended for commitment. The recommendation process is called staffing and staffing is conducted by a half dozen persons associated with the Diagnostic Unit. I too, will be staffed shortly, and I am fairly certain that the recommendation will be for commitment.
One does not have to be a psychologist to analyze the criteria upon which recommendations are based. Crimes involving violence or the threat of violence are invariably staffed for commitment according to some anachronistic penal axiom, which pays little attention to the individual or his capacity for “rehabilitation.” The publicity in my case virtually assures the safe, politically correct recommendation for commitment.
Where are we then? The results of the medical and psychological tests are nearly complete. A staff psychiatrist explained them to me; those who think I am abnormal will be deeply disappointed. I will be recommended for commitment. Thanks to the prosecutor’s office and Campaign ’76, the public will not be allowed to forget about me or my sentencing. I still stand guilty of kidnapping, and I still proclaim my innocence. Very little, it appears, has changed or will change before you impose sentence.
And you–I do not, as yet, know what influences you. Have the police convinced you with their malignant speculation that I am responsible for other things? Are you concerned that people might think you are a lenient judge? Do you resent that I chose you to try the case? How much are you influenced by public opinion and aspirations for higher office? Does my unshakeable belief in my own innocence offend or anger you? Does my normality confound you in any way? Will you render a sentence based on my character, my background, and the circumstances of the crime without any attention to suspicion, public opinion or personal fears? There are so many questions I’d like to ask.
I think I have been candid; I hope I have not offended you. So I will send this letter. I have asked many unanswerable questions, and have no hope that a candid exchange can be accomplished; at least I have expressed myself.
You have the power over me which until now I thought only God could exercise. I do not envy the almost divine burden you must bear.

Theodore Bundy

Picture #9 from the Thematic Apperception Test

Excerpt from Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy, by Dr. Al Carlisle:
Date: April 28, 1976
The Thematic Apperception Test, commonly known as the TAT, is a personality test comprised of a number of pictures of various situations. A person taking the test is asked to make up stories for the pictures. The TAT is a ‘projective’ test because he ‘projects’ aspects of himself onto the picture. He is saying something about himself through the story.
It was clear at this point of the evaluation that Ted had some serious emotional problems. I wanted to see what a projective test would tell me about the inner workings of Ted Bundy.
Picture Number 9: Man in a cemetery looking down at a grave.

Ted’s story: “There is a sinister gentleman standing in the middle of the graveyard, it would appear. In spite of his solid face and his rather bizarre dress, and even because it appears by the light it’s late in the day and it’s getting dark, he’s come to pray for a child and lay flowers on the grave of a child who was his– who belonged to he and his wife before their divorce. People don’t give him much credit sentiment but underneath the rather evil, rather sinister, sad face, there is someone who can feel a great deal of loss– and come late at night so people won’t mock him so he can be alone in the quiet and think his own thoughts. Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t want to show the goodness that is inside of him and reveal the weakness (which he thinks is a weakness) that he has for sorrow and sadness. He comes there once a week, stops and thinks about the life he could have had but he knows it is long past time for that life as long as it has passed, and yet he cares very much and only wishes that things had been different.”

Liz Kloepfer Ted Bundy
Elizabeth Kloepfer, undated. Courtesy Amazon Studios

Picture Number 13: Make up a picture. [In this one, the person is handed a blank card and is asked to make up a picture and then tell a story to it.]

Ted’s story: “Well, the picture that’s in my mind the most, all the time is a picture of a girl I love very much. It’s a picture of her apartment and the memories of us being together. But mostly it’s the picture of her and one that occurs most often in my mind is a picture of her kneeling, cleaning the oven. Just standing there in the doorway watching her clean the oven when she didn’t know I was there, really marveling about how in spite of all the grease around her elbows, the smudges on her face, that I really cared for her, knowing that I could take her any way she was– dirty or clean or any other way. In that picture of her when I came over to her and how happy we were to see each other. And I only hope I know how it ends.”

June 7, 1976 letter to a member of the Diagnostic Committee. Courtesy Hanson family via M.C. Serban.

Letter from Utah State Prison to the Honorable Stewart M. Hanson Jr., Judge
June 7, 1976
RE: Bundy, Theodore R.; Case #28629

Dear Judge Hanson:
I have completed my evaluation of Mr. Bundy whom you committed to the Division of Corrections for a ninety-day presentence evaluation. My evaluation has consisted of multiple interviews, skull x-rays, electroencephalograms, a computerized thermographic brain scan, review of collateral information, review of current psychological test data, and discussions of the case with Drs. Howell and Carlisle. This report is only intended to assist the court during the sentencing process.
The skull x-ray showed a small osteoma of the left frontal sinus. Otherwise, the skull x-rays, electroencephalograms, and brain scan were completely unremarkable. Because of these negative findings and an unremarkable medical history, I did not feel that further testing and neurological evaluation were indicated.

Utah State Prison Ted Bundy
Courtesy Utah State Prison.

I do not feel that Mr. Bundy is psychotic. There is no evidence of a major thinking, mood, or behavior disorder at this time. Although his mood is dominated by some ambivalence, a somewhat flat emotional responsiveness and lack of empathy for others, I do not feel they are present to the degree seen in a psychosis. His thought processes show good contact with reality, good concept formation, and no evidence of delusions or hallucinations. If he had been psychotic in the past I would expect to see certain personality features at this time which are not present.
I can find no evidence of organic brain disease (problems associated with impairment of brain tissue function). He is fully oriented and has excellent recent and past memory. There is no evidence of impairment of any of his intellectual functions, impairment of his ability to use good judgement or impairment of his ability to show appropriate affect.
There is no evidence of a neurotic disorder. He displays none of the anxiety or subjective discomfort seen in this diagnostic category.
It is possible to propose that the current crime was a product of a hysterical neurosis of the dissociative type.
This is not consistent with my current observations of his personality or psychological test data. A second neurotic condition which must be considered is an obsessive-compulsive neurosis. This disorder is characterized by persistent intrusion of unwanted thoughts, urges, and/or actions which the individual is unable to stop without developing considerable anxiety. I can only find minimal support for this diagnosis during my interviews and in the psychological test data.
A fourth diagnostic category which must be considered is the personality disorders (character disorders). These disorders are characterized by deeply ingrained, life-long, maladaptive behavior patterns. There is considerable evidence of past successful adaptive behavior in Mr. Bundy.
He does have some features of the antisocial personality such as lack of guilt feelings, callousness, and a very pronounced tendency to compartmentalize and methodically rationalize his behavior. I feel that he has also used this compartmentalization and rationalization in a passive and obstructive manner during my interviews. It is my impression that this is due to the deep-seated hostility which is evident on the psychological tests. At times he has lived a lonely, somewhat withdrawn, seclusive existence which is consistent with, but not diagnostic of, a schizoid personality.
I have reviewed his pattern of alcohol and drug abuse and do not feel that these are dominant features in his personality.
I have been unable to find data to support a diagnosis of sexual deviation.
His denial of memory for the crime is not consistent with amnesia due to a hysterical reaction, alcohol or drug intoxication, or temporal lobe epilepsy. This amnesia seems too circumscriptive and convenient to be real.
At this point, diagnostically I can only conclude that Mr. Bundy has no mental illness but does have a personality structure which is dominated by passive aggressive features.
The question of treatment and disposition in this case poses some serious problems. The first consideration is that he has been found guilty. The second fact is that he adamantly denies his guilt and in fact denies that he has any personal problems of a magnitude that could lead to such a crime. I do not feel that he is a candidate for treatment at this time.
In conclusion, I feel that Mr. Bundy is either a man who has no problems or is smart enough and clever enough to appear close to the edge of “normal.” I do not feel that he is a candidate for treatment at this time. Since it has been determined by the court that he is not telling the truth regarding his present crime, I seriously question if he can be expected to tell the truth regarding participation in any program or probation agreement.
It is my feeling that there is much more to his personality structure than either the psychologist or I have been able to determine. However, as long as he compartmentalizes, rationalizes, and debates every facet of his life, I do not feel that I adequately know him, and until I do, I cannot predict his future behavior.

Van O. Austin, M.D.
Prison Psychiatrist

Ted Bundy Utah Diagnostic
Ted Bundy being escorted to court June 30, 1976. Photo: Salt Lake Tribune.

Utah State Prison Psychological Evaluation
Evaluator: A. L. Carlisle, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist
NAME: Bundy, Theodore Robert
DOB: November 24, 1946
AGE: 29
OFFENSE: Aggravated Kidnapping
DATE TYPED: June 14, 1976

Ted was born in Vermont but lived in Philadelphia until he was four years of age. This seemed to have been a fairly happy time in his life. At the age of four his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington. When asked why, he said both his mother and grandfather were strong-minded people. In Tacoma, they lived with her brother who was a professor in music at Puget Sound. He had a cousin, John, with whom he seemed to have a competitive relationship. He found his initial life in Tacoma a period of readjustment and indicated “Life was not as sweet but not a nightmare.” He felt there was not the completeness that he had found in Philadelphia. His mother married and they moved to the Brown’s Point. He found this a moderately lonely life, but indicated the loneliness was not pervasive.
He moved back to Tacoma and lived in an Italian, Catholic neighborhood for the kindergarten, first and second grades. He was less lonely because he lived in a larger house and found life a little more adventurous. His early years in school were moderately enjoyable. He did have a second grade teacher who “put the fear of God in you.” After the second grade, he moved to a new area in Tacoma where he lived until he graduated from high school. In the fourth grade he had a desire to be in the “inner circle” in reading but he said his ability level was not such to place him there. He said he felt somewhat humiliated by this. He described his fourth grade teacher as a “voluptuous disciplinarian,” but said she treated him well.
Ted began playing football in the fifth and sixth grades. In junior high he became active in track and football. He ran the hurdles and took third place, but indicated he was not the greatest runner. He tried out for the basketball team but was not successful in getting on it. He also ran for Student Body Vice President but lost. This possibly initiated a change in his personality during these junior high years because he began being “less dependent” on his friends. Mr. Bundy said that he “didn’t adapt to the broader social schemes and he ”restricted myself to the friends in my neighborhood.” He felt he was left as his friends began going out in other directions. When asked why he didn’t broaden his social activities as his friends were doing, he indicated he “had apprehension toward establishing new relationships,” and that he was “just as secure with the academic life.” Although he did not date, he did go to parties and had a girlfriend. He engaged in kissing and some petting activities and said that he enjoyed them. However, for some reason he became less involved with girls and did not date any more until at least his senior year of high school. When asked about this, he was unable to give any explanation for the change in his personality.
Ted was fairly resourceful during his high school years. For example, he had a “lawn cutting business” in which he was involved with three other boys. He did discontinue sports but then while in the 12th grade began getting involved in campaigns. He indicated that while in the 12th grade, his “social deficits were cured,” he had “neutral feelings about girls,” and he indicated he had no inhibitions or fears but just a lack of motivation toward dating. He worked during the summer after his graduation at a ‘lucrative’ job and then bought a 1933 Plymouth Coupe.
Ted indicated that although he did not do many things of a social nature with friends, he was consistently involved with a skiing group who went to the resorts on weekends. They put together a “forgery ring” where they made their own tickets. This was done by bleaching the letters off the old tickets and through using a rubber stamp and different colored stamp pads, they could recreate new tickets. Ted said he saved a lot of money this way.
Following his graduation from high school, Ted entered the University of Puget Sound because it was close to home. Ted talked about a relationship with only one girl while at this university. He did say he may have been somewhat hurt by her but could not remember her name nor many details about the event. About this period of his life, he said he “had a longing for the beautiful coed,” but he felt, “I didn’t have the skill or social acumen to cope with it.” He remained there for a year then went to the University of Washington to major in ancient studies. He indicated he was somewhat of an opinionated person who enjoyed supporting the underdog.
His goal was to obtain a degree and work for the State Department in an academic position, such as in trade on Mainland China. He wanted to gain a position of authority to improve the relationships between the United States and China.
Following this year at the University of Washington, he went to Stanford University for the summer but felt he was not measuring up and that it was “a bit too alien,” so he terminated this area of study. While at the University of Washington, he engaged in a fraternity rush for four days but then moved to a dorm. On one hand, he indicated he wasn’t interested in “parties, clothes and appearances” but also indicated he was living off his own finances and couldn’t afford it.
Mr. Bundy met a girl while at the University of Washington. He said this was his “first real involvement,” and indicated it was a “very intense” relationship. He later said, however, there was no deep love between them. This was a sometimes good and sometimes stormy relationship. She (Diane) came from a wealthy family and was further along in college than he. Ted had no savings and was often broke. He, therefore, felt quite insecure about their relationship. He felt their relationship was “strained over petty matters” and in many ways they were “worlds apart.” He appeared to show a sense of resentment as he talked about her. Ted returned to the University of Washington to major in architecture and urban planning. However, after the first quarter of 1967, he had several incompletes and seemed to be going through some emotional problems so he decided it was time to “regroup.” He left school and went to San Francisco, then to Denver (Aspen or Vail) and when he got tired to skiing, he went to Philadelphia. After leaving there, he traveled to see his Uncle Jack in Arkansas and then again came out west. About this time he became involved in politics. He became very out-going and self-confident through his campaign work. While doing campaign work for Art Fletcher, he was able to critique his speeches and his policies, and he felt this life was more meaningful.

"Art Fletcher" 1968 Washington Ted Bundy Seattle
“Seattle, Wash., May 3 1968- to run for Lieutenant Governor – Pasco City Councilman Art Fletcher, 42, announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Washington. Fletcher is one of the first Negroes elected to a city council post in this state.” Courtesy Washington State Archives.

In September, 1968, he went back to Seattle and worked in a shoe store. He made the decision to return to school and wanted to major in the area of law. He indicated he was not ready for the University of Washington because of the memories of the failure experiences he had while there. In January of 1969, he went to Temple University in Philadelphia majoring in general art, science and political science. Mr. Bundy said he left there because he was unaware of what to expect in the East before going there and he found it “crowded, dirty, with no forests.” He said it was not as stimulating as the University of Washington and he didn’t find what he wanted in the curriculum. In the spring of 1969, he left school and returned to San Francisco and then to Washington where he got a job in a lumber mill. In June, 1970, he re-entered the University of Washington and two years later graduated with a degree in Psychology.
In the summer of 1972, Ted worked at the Harbor View Mental Health Center in Seattle. Although he was very much in love with a girl named Liz Kloepfer (his present girlfriend) he began going with another girl who worked at the clinic which caused considerable problems between he and Liz. He worked at this clinic for a short period of time but became disconcerted with his inability to work with some of the clients. Because of his lack of success there, he left. He then became involved in the campaign of Washington’s Governor Evans as a volunteer worker. He also obtained a consultant contract for three months’ study on misdemeanant behavior but never finished this study. He also worked for a few months as an assistant to the director of the crime commission. While he was there he studied white collar crime and rape prevention. He found that the pay was small and that the commission was an advisory board with no power. He worked for the State Republican Party and was able to suggest new ideas for reconstructing the party and improving campaign services with the use of computers.

Ted Bundy Seattle Advisory Commission Crime Prevention 1972
Ted Bundy on the the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission, 1972. Courtesy King County Archives.

In December of 1973, Ted became engaged to Diane while still going with Liz. As soon as the engagement was made, Ted decided he really didn’t want to marry Diane, so he did not remain in touch with her. Diane did not know she was not engaged to be married to Ted until she called him up a few months later to ask him why he had not called nor written to her. About this event, Mr. Bundy said he was “trying to demonstrate to myself I could have married her.”
Ted continued his education by going to night school at the University of Puget Sound during the winter and spring. He then withdrew from there without taking the finals. There was disagreement over a paper he wrote and he felt he was going to lose credit on it. He also indicated he may have had test anxiety that kept him from taking the finals. Ted then applied at the University of Utah but when he began in the Fall, he found difficulty adjusting and attended only a few classes during that semester. In spite of this, his grades were fairly good.
In the fall of 1974, he joined the L.D.S. Church. Ted said he was getting tired of his own failures and he wanted to adapt a more disciplined approach. He was drinking alcohol, using some marijuana and was having sex with girls, both before and after he joined the L.D.S. Church. He felt that joining this church would help him gain the strength over these habits. In the summer of 1975, he became a part-time security guard at the University of Utah.

Murder kit Ted Bundy burglary tools
The “burglary tools” confiscated from Bundy’s car on August 16, 1975. Courtesy Bountiful Police Dept.

He was arrested on August 16, 1975. He indicated he was restless and at about 12:30 a.m. began driving around. He said he wanted to go to Kennecott because he knew they were open all night. He missed the location and so he started back.
According to him, he had smoked one marijuana cigarette and had pulled over to the side of the road to smoke another one. About 2:00 a.m. he said he saw a car “coming fast around a corner and I panicked.” He knew he wanted to get out of there so he threw the marijuana out of the car and ran through a stop sign. Ted justified his not having his lights on by indicating at times he would start out a night without his lights on and may have done it on this night. The car was a police car which proceeded to pursue Ted. He tried to explain his fleeing by saying that he was somewhat confused because this car had the red light on the side and not on the top, as he had been used to police having in Washington. He indicated the police searched his car illegally and found an old pair of handcuffs. He said he obtained them just before getting the security job position and he felt he might need them.
They also found strips of cloth which he said was used for cleaning the Volkswagen seat runner. An ice pick was also found but he said this was also to clean the runners because his screwdriver would not fit. Two other items were ski mask and an insert of a ski mask made out of pantyhose. Ted said the ski mask was uncomfortable and he did not want to pay $10 for the insert and the pantyhose were much cheaper. A crow bar was also found which he said was used to help get the seat out of his car. Other items were hack saw, a tube for siphoning gas, coveralls, flares, etc.
Because of the handcuffs, he was linked to Carol DaRonch who had earlier reported an attempted kidnap using handcuffs.

Ted Bundy psychological test Diagnostic Carlisle
Bundy’s TWIST (Two Word Incomplete Sentences Test) answers. Dated April 1, 1976. From Violent Mind by Dr. Al Carlisle.

Mr. Bundy was moderately cooperative throughout the assessment. He was given several tests and was interviewed for over 20 hours over a six week period. He took each of the tests but often questioned their usefulness stating he felt they were too open to subjective interpretation.
At times he seemed happy and outgoing. At other times he was angry and depressed. There were also times of rapid mood changes. Overall, he was extremely guarded throughout the interview. He picked his words very carefully. He was defensive, evasive and non-committal.
Although he showed general control in his voice and through his facial expression, he demonstrated some anxiety through deep sighing when approaching the projective tests and perspired fairly heavily at certain points during the interview, indicating the presence of anxiety.
Test and interview material were evaluated by the psychology staff at the Utah State Prison.

On the intelligence test, Mr. Bundy obtained an I.Q. score of 122 which places him in the category of Superior intelligence. He scored high in most areas on the Education Performance Test and also scored high in most areas of the GATE. In general, his intellectual abilities are very good, as is also evidenced by his general college success. There were no indications of cerebral dysfunction found in the testing.

There were no indications of psychotic thinking or ideation found in the testing nor in the interview. He is reality oriented and can respond to the demands of most situations in an appropriate manner.
The Psychological Testing consisted of both objective, paper-and-pencil tests and projective tests. In the former, the person basically tells how he sees himself.
Mr. Bundy appeared in a very favorable light in these tests, giving an impression of a very well-adjusted person with no significant problems, anxieties or other negative emotions. Mr. Bundy sees himself as a fairly open person. This contrasted with the strong defensiveness shown throughout all the interviews. He also viewed himself as a person who experiences almost no anxiety, yet he showed definite indications of anxiety at times during the interviews. In general, the scores of the objective tests portray the picture of a person who is happy, confident and very well adjusted. These results contrasted with the results found in the projective tests and in the interview. Even the turmoil he is experiencing because of his present situation did not show up on the objective tests. An intelligent person can answer the questions to place himself in a favorable light, which would help explain the conflicting results. Because of the discrepancy between the two types of tests, further testing and extended interview time was undertaken.
The following personality picture was obtained from testing and the interview data. Mr. Bundy is an intelligent person with a good verbal ability. He can present himself well and makes a good initial impression on most persons. Thus, he tends to win friends easily. He has a strong desire for achievement and has good perseverance in working toward his occupational goals. He has often withdrawn from his educational pursuits which has shown a definite pattern of instability, but he does show determination in his desire to eventually reach his goal.
Mr. Bundy is a “private” person who does not allow himself to become known very intimately by others. When one tries to understand him he becomes evasive. Outwardly he appears confident and reveals himself as a secure person. Underneath this veneer are fairly strong feelings of insecurity. He has a strong need for structure and control, such as in interpersonal relationships and in control of his own emotions. In the California Life Goals Evaluation Schedules he scored very high in the area of Security (to have freedom from want), and high in the areas of Power (to control the actions of others), Leadership (to guide others with their consent), Interesting Experiences (to desire the avoidance of boredom), Self Expression (to desire self-fulfillment), and Independence (to live one’s life in one’s own way). He becomes somewhat threatened by people unless he feels he can structure the outcome of the relationship. The testing revealed an over responsiveness to his emotions which would indicate his defenses are not always adequate.
The constant theme running throughout the testing was a view of women being more competent than men. There were also indications of a fairly strong dependency on women, and yet he also has a strong need to be independent. I feel this creates a fairly strong conflict in that he would like a close relationship with females but is fearful of being hurt by them. There were indications of general anger and more particularly, well masked anger toward women. His attempt to remain emotionally distant from others is probably a defense against being hurt by them. There were indications of a fear of being put down and of humiliation which relates to this.
He has difficulty handling stress and has a strong tendency to run from his problems. That his defenses break down under stress is shown by his general instability, both in the past and with his inability in adjusting during his first quarter at the University of Utah. His use of marijuana and the fact that he was a heavy drinker at one time are also indicators of difficulty with handling stress. These correlate with the evidence of anxiety, loneliness, and depression found in the testing.
There were signs of incongruity and dishonesty found in the assessment. In the Fall of 1975 Mr. Bundy joined the L.D.S. Church, yet contrary to church law he maintained his smoking, drinking, smoking of marijuana and his sexual habits. This shows incongruity between his professed beliefs and his behavior and indicates he must have been untruthful during his pre-baptism interview.
Passive-aggressive features were also evident. I felt there was a good deal of hostility directed toward me and other personnel even though he would carefully point out that it was not aimed directly at us personally.
The above personality profile is consistent with the possibility of violence and is consistent with the nature of the crime for which he is convicted. A prediction cannot be made as to whether or not Mr. Bundy will show violence in the future as the best predictor is past behavior, and he disclaims any violent acts in the past, including his present charge. However, I feel Mr. Bundy has not allowed me to get to know him and I believe there are many significant things about him that remain hidden. Therefore, I cannot comfortably say he would be a good risk if placed on probation.

Bundy is escorted to a court hearing, June 30, 1976. Courtesy Netflix.

Rorschach, Otis Quick-Scoring Mental Ability Test, Make A Picture Story, Thematic Apperception Test, Bender-Gestalt, Sentence Completion Test, GATB, Education Performance Test, Descriptive Words Inventory, California Life Goals Evaluation Schedules, Bipolar Psychological Inventory, and Interview.

Excerpt from Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy, by Dr. Al Carlisle:

On June 30, 1976, Ted was sentenced to 5 years to Life in Utah State Prison. The other members of the committee and I were in the courtroom that morning, sitting in the jury seats, in case we were called upon to answer questions posed by the judge or Ted or his attorney. The room was packed. Ted was sitting with his lawyer, John O’Connell. Judge Stewart Hansen said he wouldn’t allow Ted or his lawyer to cross examine any of us who were on the committee but he would allow Ted to make a statement before he pronounced Ted’s sentence.
Ted stood and began speaking. He had some papers in his hand which he began to waive in the air. He was holding my report! With an angry voice and tears in his eyes he said the report was written to fit the crime and was totally inaccurate. Ted sounded sincere and believable. I watched Ted but I could almost feel the eyes of the people in the courtroom looking back and forth between Ted and me. More than one person had tears in their eyes as Judge Hansen told Ted that he would be going to prison for at least five years but he could be kept there for several more. This would be difficult to hear if you were a family member or if Ted were actually innocent, but I felt confident that what I had written was accurate.

Excerpts from Ted Bundy’s Speech to the Court
Reported in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Seattle Times
June 30, 1976

“I don’t want another 90 days, I just want to be sure the diagnostic report information is clear and not misleading to the court… The doctors may have had a fear of being wrong.”
“When you have a spare 90 days you should go take the tests,” Bundy told Judge Hanson.
In a final emotion packed plea, Bundy broke down in tears and addressed both the judge and psychiatrists in the court room. “Someday, who knows when, five to ten or more years in the future, when the time comes when I can leave, I suggest you ask yourself where we are, what’s been accomplished, was the sacrifice of my life worth it all?…”
“I’ll be a candidate for treatment,” he sobbed, “but not for anything I’ve done, for what the system’s done to me.”

University of Utah Psychological Evaluation
Evaluator: Gary Q. Jorgensen, Ph. D., Clinical Psychologist
Name: Bundy, Theodore
Date: December 18, 1976

Mr. Bundy was referred by his attorney, Mr. John O’Connell after he had been charged for aggravated kidnap. Mr. O’Connell was concerned about Mr. Bundy’s psychological condition and wondered if there might be some psychopathology which would have caused him to commit such an act.
Mr. Bundy was born in Burlington, Vermont. He was raised in Philadelphia until he was four years old. At that time, his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington. He stated that his father’s identification was unknown to him, and he later learned that he was an illegitimate child. When Mr. Bundy was five years old, his mother remarried and, at that time, he took his stepfather’s name. He had four younger half brothers and sisters. He felt that he was raised as an equal with his siblings and he had no great difficulties in his home.

The Bundy children, circa 1964. Left to right: Linda, Ted, Richard, Glenn, Sandra.

Mr. Bundy remembered his school life as being good; he had friends and did “fairly well.” He stated that he graduated from high school with approximately a 3.2 grade point average, on a system where an “A” would be 4.0. In 1965 he entered the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, where he did approximately “B” average work. He stated that he wanted to stay home his first year of school. For his second year he went to the University of Washington in Seattle, where he obtained a 3.5 grade point average while majoring in Chinese Language. He stated that he transferred to Stanford that summer to take advanced training in Chinese. It was at that time that he decided on a new major because he felt that Chinese was not a suitable major to get employment after graduation. He stated that he tried architecture but eventually dropped out of school and began to travel around the country. He stated that, at this time, he did a lot of skiing, eventually going to Heavenly Valley Ski Resort where he worked that winter.

A postcard from the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in California, circa 1960s.

After his stint at the ski resort, he went to Philadelphia to live with his mother’s sister, eventually returning to the northwest in the Spring of 1968. At that time he became a night stocker in a Safeway store and started to work in the political campaign of Art Fletcher. He stated that he was willing to work in politics for free because of his great interest in politics. He stated that he became the Seattle chairman for New Majority for Rockefeller and worked through the summer without pay. His only compensation for this work was a trip to the Republican National Convention. He stated, “I learned how to be realistic, but disappointed about politics.”
After having worked in a lumber mill and driving cars back and forth across the country, he was ready to go back to school, and, in 1970, after having been a Process Server in Seattle, he went to the University of Washington where he majored in Psychology. He graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, but with an interest in law school. It should be noted that he worked in a Crisis Clinic in 1971-72 on a work-study project. He worked for the Harborview Psychiatric Mental Health Center as an aide. He stated, “I worked on the front lines and could not handle the powerlessness of my position.” At that time, he decided that the best trained people were in administrative positions, while the more poorly trained people were on the front lines handling the counseling problems.

Harborview Mental Health Center in Seattle, 1974. Photo: The Seattle Times via VintagePhotos

In September, 1972 Mr. Bundy worked for the Governor Dan Evans Reelection campaign. This was on a non-pay basis, but he was interested in politics and later on this work helped him obtain a job with the Seattle Crime Commission. Eventually, he went into the King County Law and Justice Planning Office where he studied the recidivism of misdemeanant criminals. He stated that this was a very difficult job. In April, 1973 he worked as an assistant to the Washington state Chairman of the Republican Central Committee. At that time, he had applied to the University of Washington Law School and was not admitted. However, he was admitted to the University of Utah Law School for the Fall of 1973. However, he had a relationship with a girl friend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, and decided not to come to Utah. Eventually, he entered the university of Puget Sound. He attended there, and had a fairly good record but did not like the 125 mile round-trip commuting three days per week, so he decided to re-apply to the University of Utah. He was readmitted for Fall, 1974. He did not tell the University of Utah that he had been to the University of Puget Sound, which he did not feel was necessary.
Mr. Bundy described his mother as a person with incredible energy. He stated that she was always going and managed the affairs of the household very well. He stated that she cares a great deal for her children, and, in fact, is very protective in a way. On the other hand, “she let me go my own way and choose my own career and friends.” He stated that she never really engaged with him in conversations on a feelings level, but they did have other meaningful conversations. He stated that his mother is very religious. She does not feel that she is as bright as she probably is. She finished high school but shortly after that, she had Mr. Bundy and did not go on to college. Mr. Bundy feels that she could easily have obtained a college degree if she had gone to college.
Mr. Bundy ‘s stepfather was described as a man who, “I always knew was not my biological father.” He stated that he had a fairly good relationship with him, but that he was not really close to him. He stated that he never really knew who his own father was and that one of the reasons he went back to Philadelphia was to find out the identity of his father. He stated that, after his arrest, his mother wanted to tell him about his birth, but he stated, “I closed off this conversation because there was too much going on at the time for me to digest and incorporate.” He stated that, after he gets through with his trial, he is going to talk to her about it and find out exactly what is going on. He stated that he feels his mother needs to talk about it more than he does.
Mr. Bundy had a normal psychosexual development; he has had sexual relationships with several women. In fact, he is very close to Elizabeth Kloepfer. There have been other women with whom he has been very close and who would have liked to marry him, but he stated that they did not have the kind of relationships which he feels would have lasted. He gets along with other people but does like to have his own privacy.

Mr. Bundy is a man who has good social presence and the ability to meet and communicate with other people. In fact, he has used these abilities in his work career and also in his work in political campaigns. On the psychological tests, he attempts to present himself in the best possible light, which is a sign of his ego-strength and good self-concept. In fact, all of the tests indicate that he has a positive self-identity. He appears to be extremely intelligent, and it is estimated that he has superior intellectual capabilities. He is capable of using these capabilities in everyday situations. He also can achieve either independently or in group situations. His intellectual efficiency is extremely high. He is very psychological minded and is tolerant of other people, which characteristic allows him to view people and accept them as they are. He appears to have developed into a responsible person who presents himself well. He has good self-acceptance and his skills at socialization are excellent. He has the ability to be dominant in interpersonal situations, but not to the extent when he is overbearing. In fact, he has the profile of a person who would be a leader. There is little evidence of psychopathology on the psychological tests, with the exception of some hostility, probably over the fact that he had to take the tests.
There is evidence that he deals with his problems in an intellectual and rational manner. He appears to be a somewhat compulsive person who avoids situations with emotional overtones. There is no evidence of thought disorder. On the Rorschach he was able to come up with most of the popular percepts, but he may have had some experience with the test when he was an aide at the Mental Health Clinic. However, he denied any such exposure to the tests. The anger and hostility which is seen in the protocol may have been due to several factors, such as his difficulty with the law, his being tested, or perhaps his feelings that someone was questioning his integrity. There is no evidence of schizophrenic thinking or a split personality, which theory had been suggested for Mr. Bundy. In fact, in many regards he is the typical young Republican that he has been in the past.

Mr. Bundy is an extremely intelligent young man who is intact psychologically. He has a good self-concept and has the ability to relate to people in social situations. There is some evidence of anger and hostility on the tests, which is not unusual in view of the fact that he is under arrest and being tried for a very serious charge. However, this hostility is mild in nature and probably not indicative of an assaultive person. There is evidence that he controls his life by thinking his way through problems, which is not surprising for a man of his intellectual capabilities. He is highly intellectually efficient and is very flexible. He probably avoids emotional situations, but he does have good relationships with the opposite sex. Perhaps he’s very selective with whom he will get close. If he were to be diagnosed, it would be as a normal person who is adequate to handle most intra and interpersonal situations. He displays some obsessive-compulsive features, and does avoid some emotional situations, but neither characteristic is pathological.

California Psychological Inventory, Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Hooper Visual Organization Test, Draw A Person, Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank, Rorschach

Excerpt from “Ted Bundy: An Interstate Enigma” in The Seattle Times by Richard Larsen June 12, 1977

Adding it all up, it becomes enormous in its implications—enormous in the scope of crime, more enormous in injustice if Bundy is, as he says, innocent.
Many of Bundy’s friends, who know him from his days working in Washington Republican Party affairs, or from his law school days, or from the days when he worked with the Seattle Crime Commission (and evidenced a high interest in police work), find the implications almost overpowering.
As one former law-school chum said last week: “If it’s Ted, it’s not the Ted I knew.”
Dr. Al Carlisle is the Utah State Penitentiary psychiatrist who examined Bundy before sentence was pronounced in the kidnapping conviction.
Dr. Carlisle’s conclusions were confidential—for the court, prosecution and defense only, not the public. However, Dr. Carlisle reflected: “I did a lot of testing (of Bundy)—more than for a lot of guys, just because Ted was difficult to get to know.”

Ted Bundy "Hi I'm Ted" Utah State Prison Utah Department of Corrections 1976
Ted Bundy’s official Utah State Prison mugshot, July 6, 1976. Courtesy Utah Department of Corrections.

Special thanks to the Utah Department of Corrections, the Hansen family, Dr. Al Carlisle, Maria-Cristina Serban, and Angela Lewis.

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