good grades and participated in school activities. Although his mother and stepfather attended First United Methodist Church regularly and devoted themselves to Bible study, Ted preferred to simply accompany them to church once per week. From birth, Ted Bundy had known his grandfather as his father figure, and Samuel remained the guiding example in his life. The alcoholic Samuel provided his role model. Neighbors would recall to reporters and police that Samuel Cowell regularly beat his wife and the family pets, frequently verbally abused people, and exhibited both racist and sexist tendencies. Ted’s grandmother, Eleanor, diagnosed with severe depression, underwent electroconvulsive therapy, commonly called “shock therapy,” as a treatment. Some of Bundy’s early neighbors describe a creepy boy who scared them. Others describe a squeaky-clean kid with a paper route, similar to the fictional character Wally Cleaver. In truth, Ted Bundy could swing from a Wally-like sweetness
to a dangerous version of the Wally character’s best friend, Eddie Haskell. Leave It To Beaver was a show that Bundy likely watched growing up, as most of America did during its six-season run from 1957 to 1963. When watching video of his trial, journalists and law enforcement officers would comment that Bundy would act. He would do an imitation of a normal person, as one official put it. But Bundy had to act, since he had never known normal behavior during his formative
As a child, Bundy was known by neighbors as a creepy boy who scared them.
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