Outline how offender profiling techniques were used to solve the case of 'Ted Bundy'?

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rrjrobinson1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Profilers were incorrect in most of their profile of Ted Bundy. Because of the failure to profile him correctly, authorities missed opportunities to capture him sooner. Authorities thought the serial killer would be wild-lookind.  Bundy's appearance was actually clean and neat. He seemed sane. He was a law student who had connections with politicians.


Ted Bundy did not fit the profile, so he was often discarded as a murder subject, even though evidence pointed to him. Witnesses to earlier abductions had described Bundy's vehicle and some women who had escaped Bundy's lure and reported to that they had talked to a man name "Ted".


This serial killer was captured by accident, not by criminal profiling. Police pulled Bundy over for his bizzare driving and checked his car. After they found commonly-used burglary items in his Volkswagon, he was arrested as a burglary suspect, not a murder suspect.

Police learned that their burglary suspect was a serial killer after yet another woman identified Bundy's vehicle and Bundy himself.


Law enforcement personnel had been correct when they determined that the missing women were similar in some ways. All of them were Caucasian, slim-built and single. They wore their hair long, with a part in the middle.  All of them went missing in the evening.

Each of the women killed in Utah shared a trait: the killer had used a blunt object to strike them over the head. He also abused each woman through rape and sodomy.  Because the abductions and murders were so similar, law enforcement realized that they were looking for a serial killer who was able to travel to other states.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most interesting elements in terms of the profiling of Bundy was that the victims' profile became instrumental in determining his.  Given the fact that Bundy's crime spree was over a period of four or five years and encompassed over different states, authorities had to compose a profile of the victims' before determining Bundy's.  From my research, I think that authorities were able to profile the victims' as middle class, White women, who were between the ages of 18- 25, and wore a part down the middle of their long hair.  For the most part, each had experienced blunt force trauma to the head and were sexually violated.  It seems that this profile emerged and from that, a composite of "Ted" began to emerge.