A Serial Killer's Last Words: The hidden motive behind Ted Bundy's horrific murders (WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT)
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Bundy admitted to committing 30 homicides of young women and girls in the 1970s, though he may have been guilty of many more.
Raiford, Florida (CNA) - He was one of the worst serial killers in U.S. history. An infamous murderer, rapist and necrophile in the 1970s, Ted Bundy's life continues to attract the interest of psychologists today, who speculate about what drove the promising young law student to commit such horrific crimes.
Bundy admitted to committing 30 homicides of young women and girls in the 1970s, though he may have been guilty of many more. He appeared charming and approachable, which allowed him to lure his victims into brutal and often fatal assaults. Many of his victims were young, attractive, college women in the Pacific Northwest.
But what exactly led Bundy to commit these heinous acts? According to the serial killer himself, violent pornography was a huge motivating factor.
While the testimony of a serial killer - widely believed to be a psychopath - is clearly suspect, his account aligns with numerous other instances of violent criminals having strong connections to pornography.
On the day before he was put to death by electric chair in 1989, Bundy received hundreds of interview requests from media outlets nationwide. He declined these requests and granted his final interview to Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, to whom he said he believed he had something to say.
In their exclusive interview, Bundy discussed pornography as a possible explanation for what drove his behavior.
"I was essentially a normal person, I had good friends, I led a normal life except for this one small but very potent, very destructive segment of it that I kept very secret and very close to myself and I didn't let anybody know about it," he said.
Bundy said he first discovered "soft core pornography" in grocery stores, and was compelled to consume more, and increasingly violent, forms.
"...like an addiction, you keep craving something harder, which gives you a greater sense of excitement, until you reach a point where the pornography only goes so far."
It was an "indispensable link in the chain of behavior" that led to the assaults and murders that he carried out on dozens of victims, he said. It also was a common factor among other violent offenders that he encountered during his stays in prison.
"I've lived in prison for a long time now and I've met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me and without exception, every one of them was deeply involved with pornography. Without question, without exception, deeply influenced and consumed by addiction to pornography," he added.
When asked about his fate, he said: "I think society deserves to be protected from me and from others like me. That's for sure."
However, "well-meaning people will condemn the behavior of a Ted Bundy while they're walking past a magazine rack full of the very kinds of things that send young kids down the road to being Ted Bundys. That's the irony," he added.
While causation has been difficult to prove, a strong relationship with pornography exists for many violent offenders including numerous high profile murderers.
Brian Mitchell, who kidnapped and assaulted 14 year-old Elizabeth Smart in 2002, also had a pornography addiction. In 2016, after her release, Smart spoke to anti-pornography group Fight the New Drug about the effect that pornography had on her captor.
"Looking at pornography wasn't enough for him. Having sex with his wife, after looking at pornography, it wasn't enough for him," Smart said. "And then it led him to finally going out and kidnapping me. He just always wanted more."
She recalled one time when her captor "was just really excited and really kind of amped up about something."
It turned out his excitement was over hard-core pornography, which he forced her to watch and reenact.
"I remember he would just sit and look at it and stare at it," Smart said. "And he would just talk about these women. And then when he was done, he would turn and he would look at me, and he would be like, â€~Now we're going to do this'."
"It just led to him raping me more. More than he already did, which was a lot."
Smart said she doesn't know whether Mitchell would have kidnapped her had pornography not been involved.
"All I know is that pornography made my living hell worse."
Studies show a correlation between pornography viewing and violent crimes. A 1995 analysis of 33 different studies showed that viewing pornography increases aggressive behavior, including having violent fantasies and even actually committing violent assaults. A University of New Hampshire study showed that states with the highest readership of pornographic magazines like Playboy and Penthouse, also have the highest rape rates.
Other violent criminals who frequently watched pornography and became violent offenders include Mark Bridger, who abducted, sexually assaulted and killed five-year-old April Jones, and kept explicit images of child sex abuse on his laptop.
In addition, U.K. serial killer Stuart Hazell amassed images of child abuse and bestiality, and took naked, sexual photographs of one 12-year-old victim. There is evidence he sexually assaulted her before killing her.
Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer also once said in an interview that part of his routine before searching for his next victim included viewing pornography.
Online pornography is one of the fastest growing addictions in the United States, on par with cocaine and gambling.
Once confined to the pages of a smuggled Playboy magazine, pornography can now be in the hands of anyone with a smartphone, and is more prolific and anonymous than ever. PornHub, one of the world's largest sites with porn video streaming, reports that it averages 75 million viewers per day, or about 2.4 million visitors per hour.
With growing access has come growing awareness of pornography addictions, however, with several celebrities speaking out against it, numerous states declaring it a public health crisis, and grassroots anti-pornography groups sprouting up to help the addicted quit pornography.
Resources to fight pornography addictions include the online Fortify video program, Covenant eyes internet accountability and filtering software, and websites with information and support for individuals, spouses and communities facing addiction.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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