What We Know About Ted Bundy's Mental Health

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Ever since the docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes premiered on Netflix last week, America has been captivated by notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, who raped and murdered at least 36 women over the course of four years in the 1970s.
Bundy's mental health and psychiatric state have long been called into question. When Bundy was on death watch in 1986 for three murders in Florida, his attorney Polly Nelson attempted to delay the death penalty by proving that Bundy was not mentally competent to stand trial. "We were hoping to find some clear mental illness that we could use as an issue in the case," she said on episode four in the Netflix documentary. So, they enlisted Dorothy Lewis, MD, a psychiatrist who specialised in "understanding the brain chemistry of violent men."
Throughout Dr. Lewis' examination, Bundy insisted that he was competent. "I knew I wasn’t crazy, insane, or incompetent, or anything else," Bundy said in an interview featured in Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. "I was insulted by even the suggestion by my attorneys that we should consider the defence. They knew damn well I wasn’t crazy."
Some have argued that connecting his crimes to his mental illness creates harmful generalisations about people with mental illnesses. There are 43.8 million adults in the United States who experience mental illness, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, but the vast majority of people with mental illness do not engage in violent behaviour. But given the internet's endless fascination with Bundy, here's what we know about his mental health and neurological anatomy, based on the revelations in the documentary.

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