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Ted Bundy’s media takeover

Posted by: | March 29, 2016 | No Comment |

There are a handful of criminal cases that have a left a lasting impact on our nation. The cases that gained attention and popularity did not do so only because of the severity of the crimes, but it was also due to the amount of media coverage they received.


One of the greatest known criminal cases was the trial of American serial killer Ted Bundy.

His Florida trial, in which he was found guilty of the murders of Florida University students, was the first to be televised nationally in the United States, making it a pretty big deal in the world of journalism. It is one of the most-watched television trials in history and has made a lasting impression on the realm of criminal cases.

The trial was covered by over 250 reporters from 5 continents.

Due to his gruesome crimes and shocking personality, Bundy quickly became the major subject of the media. It was said that the media had a love affair with Bundy, due to the endless supply of headlines and stories his heinous crimes and large personality provided them with.

Another aspect of the reporting of Bundy was the fact that he defied the traditional stereotype of a serial killer, leaving the media to shape a newer stereotype. He was described by reporters as intelligent, handsome, articulate, charming, complex, and passionate. These are all attributes that normally would not have been associated with someone who viciously murdered over 30 people at that time.

But with his televised trial allowing his crimes and character to move from the court room to one’s living room, Bundy became a well-known personality. 

And despite his horrific acts, after his televised legal proceeding he was called “mesmerizing,” received thousands of letters from female fans, and even landed himself a wife.

Can he partially thank the media for this? I’d say yes.


under: Comm 455
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