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Home / Articles / News / Letters /  The Baptism of Ted Bundy

The Baptism of Ted Bundy

By City Weekly Readers
Posted // February 19,2009 -

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

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Posted // October 5,2010 at 22:39

"Helen Radkey" is a bs feminist with hairy armpits, and a hairy cunt


Posted // December 25,2011 at 02:38 - Wow. Way to be complete and utter assholes to someone who is writing an article about facts that you simply do not want to admit. Way to make it extremely personal. Very mature. You should be very proud of yourselves.


Posted // March 9,2011 at 16:21 - Well said.


Posted // May 20,2010 at 13:49

After all these years, Helen, you still poisoning yourself with anger and hatred towards the Mormon Church. What is your beef? What have these people ever done to you?

I am a former Mormon, and left the church amicably--my idea, simply because I had moved past organized religion.

I knew you 25 years ago at the Golden Braid, and the main topic of all your conversations revolved around hatred toward this group of people. I love the quote, "hatred (anger) is like drinking poison, expecting the other person(s) to die." Give it up, Helen. Your crusade cannot be good for your health.


Nancy Morgan


Posted // February 28,2009 at 12:18 Correction: The posting responding to Cavender should have gone in under my name, Helen Radkey, not Freethinker, a friend of mine, who happened to be with me at the time of the posting.


Posted // March 2,2009 at 10:00 - Helen Radkey: thank you for your note. However, still I am not convinced that the LDS Church should receive so much blame for having "bad" people on their temple indexes. This is because, as I understand it, that church allows members to submit names for such work, with very little supervision, showing a high level of trust being exercised there between the church and its members. I am not LDS myself, but having lived in Utah for two years, I have come to respect that church for its people and what it does. It seems to me that if individual members put names of people on the rolls for temple baptisms, that's just the church giving them the freedom to add names that they think ought to be on those rolls. And, although some people, like the people you mention in your letter, may sometimes find their way on the rolls because church members put them there, this should not be criticized. To me, at least, that practice or doctrine seems to be the ultimate way of showing adherence to the Christian teaching of "judge not that you be not judged" (wording may not be correct, but the correct idea is expressed, I believe). In other words, who -- but God -- is to say who will be saved and who will not? Again, thank you.


Posted // March 1,2009 at 16:13 - Helen Radkey: you are not fooling anyone -- except perhaps yourself. In an earlier comment, you stated that "I have current work engagements and will not be responding to any more posts here." But you did, indeed, respond to more posts here, both under your real name and under your pseudonym "Freethinker". You don't fool anyone. In any event, thanks for your (very long) explanation -- or biography -- of Mr. Bundy. My question, which is a very simple one, is why would a woman, any woman, take such interest in a man like Bundy? You know the circumstances of his birth, his birth name, what he did during his life, and where he died -- you even have a video recording of his last interview! What on earth would cause a woman to take so much personal interest in a man like him? Please tell us. Since you have time to tell us all about Bundy, I assume you have completed all those important "work engagements." Looking forward to hearing from either you or your imaginary friend, Freethinker.


Posted // February 28,2009 at 12:09 Response to Cavender: My reference to “is this Mormon justice?” (in the original letter) pertains to the Mormon offer of redemption that was given to Ted Bundy in May 2008 in the Jordan River Utah Temple, which is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. According to Mormon theology, your once-more adopted “Brother Bundy” can now ACCEPT OR REJECT the posthumous ordinances that have been performed on his behalf by the LDS Church. FYI, LDS Church members give names to the Church. The Church then processes the names. The Church is ultimately responsible for ALL names that are processed through LDS temples. It also owns and controls the temples and its database of posthumous ordinances, which currently is the International Genealogical Index (IGI). When this original letter was sent to Salt Lake City Weekly, Ted Bundy’s identity was still in the IGI, disguised as Theodore Robert Cowell, which was Ted Bundy’s legal name for approximately the first five years of his life. When he was about five, Teddie boy was adopted by his step-father, John Culpepper Bundy, and Theodore Robert Cowell as a child LEGALLY became Theodore Robert Bundy. This was his legal name, until he was executed. (I have footage of Ted Bundy’s final interview, given only hours before he died. He was referred to as Ted Bundy in that interview.) The Mormon submitter who sneaked Bundy’s identity through a Mormon temple last May, and who probably went to the temple in person on Bundy’s behalf, went out of his/her way to conceal Bundy’s identity in the Mormon system. It appears that, not only was Bundy’s LEGAL name deliberately not used, as it should have been with this submission, but the precise location of death (other than state) was not given on an otherwise very well-detailed entry. If the city/town had been entered, this would have shown that Bundy died in Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida. It could have revealed his criminal identity. After news of the Bundy baptism went public this month (before the publication of the original letter in this newspaper) the LDS Church quickly removed the Cowell record from its online IGI. What does that prove? It proves the record was embarrassing to the Church. Nothing more. No error was corrected. Removal of names from the Mormon database which can be viewed by the public means nothing. “Purged” names that have been subjected to temple rites are kept in private lists. Even if the "removal" of the name of Theodore Robert Cowell, actually Ted Bundy, was supposed to mean something, Mormon temple ordinances for the dead are never reversed. In other words, Ted Bundy, can now supposedly “accept or reject” the Mormon invitation. It is not my problem if your potential once-again “Brother Bundy” wasn’t supposed to be given that offer.


Posted // February 27,2009 at 12:37 To you MORmONS who have bashed the reputation of the writer of this letter with your comments, I suggest you goose step back to your respective wards. Do you sickos enjoy bashing women? Why don't you criticize the Mormon responsible for Ted Bundy's big redunk? Maybe it was one of you?


Posted // March 4,2009 at 09:40 - To "Freethinker" a/k/a Helen Radkey: what if those people in the jewish organizations with whom you correspond knew of your note in this site suggesting that commenters "goose step" back to their respective churches. They would not appreciate such words. Do they really know you?