About a week before Ted Bundy abducted and killed two girls on the same day in Washington State, his girlfriend thought he seemed odd. He inexplicably pushed her out of a raft into icy water and made no move to help her get out. “His face had gone blank,” she later wrote, “as though he was not there at all. I had a sense that he wasn’t seeing me.”
To several of his post-arrest interviewers years later (William Hagmaier, Robert Keppel, Steven Michaud), Bundy described a malignant being – an “entity” – that emerged from him whenever he was tense or drunk.
Defense investigator Joe Aloi seemed to have gotten a clear view. While they were talking, he suddenly noticed an odor emanate from Bundy as his face and body contorted. “I felt that negative electricity,” Aloi said, “and along with that came that smell.” Aloi was suddenly terrified that Bundy would kill him.
Bundy said that during these encounters some malignant part of his personality took over – he called it “the entity” – and it was looking for satisfaction. It was not an alter personality, he insisted, but more like a disordered part of himself, a “malignancy.” Under its influence, he was aware of what he was doing.
In third-person, he described his experience as the entity took over: “What began to happen was that ... important matters were not being rearranged or otherwise interfered with by this voyeuristic behavior, but … things were postponed or otherwise rescheduled, to, uh, work around, uh, hours and hours spent on the street, at night and during the early morning hours…
"And as the condition develops and its purposes or its characteristics become more well defined, it begins to demand more time of the individual [referring to himself] ... There's a certain amount of tension, uh, struggle, between the normal personality and this, this, uh, psychopathological, uh, entity ... This condition inside him [Bundy] seems to be competing for more attention ...
“ ... a point would be reached where we'd had all of this, this reservoir of tension building. Building and building.” Finally, he said, the entity would break through. “The tension would be too great and the demands and expectations of this entity would reach a point where they just could not be controlled."
In an earlier blog, I interviewed Rosemary Ellen Guiley about her book The Djinn Connection, and she’d described a force or entity from Arabian folklore that is not well known in this country, the Djinn. (You can find that blog here.)
According to lore, the Djinn were here first and were pushed out by or for us, and some of them are still angry about it and want the place back.
This sound like an interesting application to Bundy, considering his description, so I told Rosemary about what he'd said. She offered the following interpretation:
“The entity that Ted Bundy described as having an influence on his murderous behavior could very well have been a Djinn. In Djinn lore, every person is born with a Djinn that stays with the person for their entire life. Like the Greek daimon, the Djinn can be either good or bad, and it will influence a person accordingly.
“A bad or evil Djinn understands the person’s weaknesses and takes advantage of them in a type of possession. Its means of influence can include a voice in the head, dreams, and thoughts and urges that arise. It would be capable of creating a physical tension or pressure that would build until released by action – in Bundy’s case, killing. And, it would be relentless, pushing and pushing until the person went over the edge.
“Defense investigator Joe Aloi noticed dramatic changes in Bundy: contortions of the face and body, an unpleasant odor, and ‘negative electricity.’ All of these would be consistent with Djinn possession. When the Djinn gains the upper hand, it distorts the person’s body, especially the face. Foul odors are common. The description of ‘negative electricity’ is especially interesting, for the Djinn are said to be made of ‘smokeless fire,’ perhaps a type of plasma, and they often give off an electrical presence when they manifest.”
When I was writing Inside the Minds of Serial Killers, I noticed that several of these extreme offenders had described the feeling of being possessed by some force that seemed outside their control. I made a list of those who had not been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Stay tuned for "Bundy’s Demon, Part II," for a case comparison.