The Baptism of Ted Bundy | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Letters

The Baptism of Ted Bundy



Many tyrants, mass murderers, pirates, gangsters and other notorious criminals have been subjected to proxy rites by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The names of these infamous ones have ended up in the in the LDS Church’s database of posthumous ordinances, the International Genealogical Index (IGI): Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann, Benito Mussolini, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Vlad the Impaler, Blackbeard the Pirate, Jean and Pierre Lafitte, Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and Bugsy Siegel.

And not to overlook Ted Bundy, one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history. Ted Bundy was born as Theodore Robert Cowell, on Nov. 24, 1946, in Burlington, Vt. Bundy killed an untold number of women across the country between 1974 and 1978. He bludgeoned his victims, then strangled them to death. Bundy also engaged in rape and necrophilia. Authorities believe his victims numbered over 100. Some of Bundy’s victims were from Utah. On Jan. 24, 1989, Ted Bundy was executed in the electric chair at Florida State Prison in Starke, Fla. In the fall of 1974, during the time he was murdering innocent women, Bundy moved to Salt Lake City and began attending law school at the University of Utah. The following year, he joined the LDS Church.

Was Ted Bundy’s name removed from Mormon rolls because of his brutal crimes? Even if Bundy was excommunicated from the LDS Church, he was listed as Theodore Robert Cowell in the online IGI of the posthumously baptized, until Feb. 11, 2009. After leaving a blood-soaked trail of bodies and wounded families, can Ted Bundy, the poster boy of serial killers, now accept or reject the offer of celestial glory? Is this Mormon justice?

Helen Radkey
Salt Lake City