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Ted Bundy's family member shares disturbing ‘red flags’ that were missed during his childhood

Ted Bundy's family member shares disturbing ‘red flags’ that were missed during his childhood

The serial killer's cousin has explained how her family initially believed Bundy was innocent of his crimes

One of Ted Bundy’s family members has revealed some ‘red flags’ the convicted serial killer exhibited while the pair were growing up.

One of the most notorious criminals of the late 20th century, Bundy was known to have murdered at least 20 women during the 1970s and possibly earlier.

Following repeated arrests, denials and releases, the infamous man was reprimanded for the final time in 1978 - and received three separate death sentences before being executed via electric chair in 1989.

Despite the horrific crimes he committed, Bundy was reportedly a ‘normal’ and even ‘charming’ child, according to his cousin, Edna Cowell Martin.

The woman - who is now in her 70s - has opened up about the familiarity she shared with Bundy ahead of the release of the book, Dark Tides: Growing up with Ted Bundy.

According to Martin, she saw the to-be serial killer as an older brother figure in her younger years and remarked that he had a penchant for detective novels.

She claims the covers of these books often featured depictions of the 'damsel in distress' narrative devices - women being tied up or rendered helpless in some way.

Years later, Bundy would tell investigators in Utah that when he took women back to his apartment, he would ‘reenact scenarios depicted on the covers of detective magazines.’

Furthermore, as a teenager, Martin recounted that she’d hosted a dinner party at her flat and invited Bundy along.

However, while dancing to vinyl, Martin claims she remembers going into the backroom to find her roommate Margie slow dancing with the criminal.

Ted Bundy with his ex-girlfriend, Liz Kendall. (Amazon Prime(
Ted Bundy with his ex-girlfriend, Liz Kendall. (Amazon Prime(

Speaking to MailOnline, she said: “I got an apartment about a five-minute walk from where Ted was living, and I saw him a lot and he would drop by frequently.

“Margie had her head leaned against Ted's chest, and as they turned with the music, I got a direct view of Ted. I could see him looking down at her.

"I will never forget the look on his face. For a moment, I swear, I didn't recognize him at all. It wasn't Ted. His countenance was tense. Mean."

Realising something was wrong, Martin claimed she called Bundy’s name to ‘snap him out’ of his trance and that her cousin quickly exited the party soon after.

Elsewhere in her book, the woman claimed he would act ‘quite normal’ in front of his family and that she initially believed he was innocent following his first arrest for kidnapping in 1975.

“Ted had two personas,' she continued. “He had the mask on when he was with his family and friends, and he put us in a completely different space where he could appear quite normal.”

Ted Bundy's cousin claimed she was initially adamant he was innocent. (Bettmann via Getty)
Ted Bundy's cousin claimed she was initially adamant he was innocent. (Bettmann via Getty)

After Bundy was bailed in Salt Lake City, Martin claimed she was reassured her cousin was innocent.

However, after she picked him up from jail, he claimed Bundy was lapping up attention and repeatedly chanting his name.

“’Tis is the image that probably haunts me most, the image that still, 50 years later, makes my heart rate surge,' she wrote.

After realising her relative was guilty of his crimes, the woman said that it was ‘sickening’ to realise his actions and that she ‘felt betrayed and manipulated by him’.

Dark Tides: Growing up with Ted Bundy, the first memoir penned by a blood relative of Ted Bundy, is out now via Simon & Schuster.

Featured Image Credit: Bettmann via Getty

Topics: Ted Bundy, Crime, True crime, Books