I think you could make a little more sense out of much of this if you take into account the effect of alcohol. It’s important. It’s very important as a trigger. When this person drank a good deal, his inhibitions were significantly diminished. He would find that his urge to engage in voyeuristic behavior, or trips to the bookstore, would become more prevalent, more urgent. It was as though the dominant personality was sedated. On every occasion he engaged in such behavior, he was intoxicated.

On one particular evening, when he had been drinking a great deal, he was passing a bar where he saw a woman leave and walk up a fairly dark side street. Something seemed to seize him. The urge to do something to that person seized him in a way that he had never been affected before. And it seized him strongly. Without a great deal of thought, he searched around for some instrumentality to attack this woman with. He found a piece of two-by-four in a lot and proceeded to follow and track this girl for several blocks. There was really no control at this point.

The situation was novel because while he may have toyed around with fantasies before, and made several abortive attempts to act out a fantasy, it never before had reached the point where actually he was confronted with harming another individual.

So he’d gotten ahead of his quarry, this girl, and was laying in wait for her. But before she reached the point where he was concealed, she turned and went into her house.

On succeeding evenings, he began to scurry around that same neighborhood, obsessed with the image he had seen. On one particular occasion, he saw a woman park her car and walk up to her door and fumble for her keys. He walked up behind her and struck her with a piece of wood he was carrying. She fell down and began screaming. He panicked and ran.

What he had done terrified him, purely terrified him. Full of remorse and remonstrating with himself for the suicidal nature of that activity, the ugliness of it all, he quickly sobered up. He was horrified by the recognition that he had the capacity to do such a thing. He was fearful, terribly fearful, that for some reason or another he might be apprehended.

The effect was for some time to close up the cracks again. For the first time, he sat back and swore to himself that he wouldn’t do something like that again, or even anything that would lead to it. He did everything he should have done. He didn’t go out at night, and when he was drinking he stayed around friends. For a period of months, the enormity of what he did stuck with him. He watched his behavior, and reinforced the desire to overcome what he had begun to perceive were some problems that were probably more severe than he would have liked to believe they were.” – Ted Bundy, Conversations with a Killer

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