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Cases that Changed America -- Human Hunters

Aired May 25, 2009 - 19:00:00   ET



JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, HOST (voice-over): Tonight, a special ISSUES presentation. Cases that changed America. Human hunters. For the next hour, I`ll analyze the nation`s most infamous serial killers to find out what caused them to become monsters. And I`ll explore what these cases tell us about the media, and our justice system.

Starting with the BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader, a church-going family man. But for more than 30 years, he terrorized the people of Kansas, playing a chess game with cops. Rader would send them poems and letters and even gave himself a nickname, BTK, for "bind, torture, kill." I`ll show you his chilling courtroom testimony that gives a stunning look inside the mind of this killing machine.

Then one of America`s only female serial killer, Eileen Wuornos. She used her past -- a broken home and sexual abuse -- and twisted it into hatred and death. The case captivated the nation and spawned the Oscar- winning film "Monster."

Plus, jaw dropping analysis of text book serial killer Ted Bundy, the handsome law student who lived a true Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde double life. Bundy believed to have killed 35 college women. His weapon of choice? A baseball bat. The ruthless serial killer kept souvenirs of his victims and twice escaped prison. I`ll tell you how cops finally nabbed him for good.

This ISSUES special presentation starts now.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Tonight we begin our ISSUES special presentation with the man who dubbed himself BTK, bind, torture, kill. The monstrous alter ego of a very average-looking family man. Dennis Rader, his real name, terrorized the people of Wichita, Kansas, for more than 30 years.


DENNIS RADER, BTK KILLER: I proceeded to tie her up, and then she got sick. Threw up. Got her a glass of water. Comforted her a little bit and then went ahead and tied her up and then put a bag over her head and strangled her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What a sicko. Rader, a father, husband, church deacon and Cub Scout leader, kept his hidden life from his own wife, two kids and friends for three long decades. That, and he stalked his victims like prey and taunted police and local media with clues. He sent letters detailing his crimes, and mocked law enforcement for their inability to catch him.

Inexplicably in 1985, the letters stopped, and BTK vanished without a trace. He came back twice 20 years later after a book on the case came out called "Bind, Torture, Kill." Again, he began sending investigators and the media letters and puzzles. But Rader`s obsession with keeping BTK in the press eventually made him slip up. He sent a computer disk to cops who were able to examine it and link it to the former dogcatcher.

The 59-year-old father of two was then arrested. He soon confessed and pleaded guilty to ten murders. His rambling courtroom diatribe will go down in history. Rader seemed to proudly relive his crimes as he recounted his killings in gruesome detail, right in front of the victims` families.

Tonight we will examine every aspect of this sick and twisted killer.

Straight to my fantastic expert panel: Casey Jordan, noted criminologist and former criminal profiler; Diane Dimond, a syndicated columnist and author of "Be Careful Who You Love"; Dr. Park Dietz, a world- renowned forensic psychiatrist who has testified in such cases as Jeffrey Dahmer, the Menendez brothers, and the Unibomber; and Steven Singular, author of "Unholy Messenger: The Life and Times of the BTK Killer"; and Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and author of "And Justice for Some."

Wendy, why did it take 30 years to catch this man who lived literally doors away from one of his victims?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: Well, I think a couple of things. One is he`s obviously smart. And the obvious. He doesn`t look like the kind of killer we are raised to believe is the dangerous guy to worry about. He wasn`t a toothless, homeless guy living in a shack by the river.

He built around him the kinds of insulating lifestyles, features of his lifestyle that made everybody who knew him think, "What a lovely man." Between church going and a having a family that seemed normal and a lovely picket fence around his house.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: He looks like a professor right there, when you`re looking at him.

MURPHY: He absolutely does. But you know what the moral is? Give me a guy with honest -- a little bit of honest bad behavior any day over somebody with a little bit too much fake perfection.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Absolutely. Diane Dimond, this is just a lesson here. The lesson is, we should not have stereotyped notions in our brains of what criminals look like.

DIANE DIMOND, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST/AUTHOR: Absolutely. Think about John Wayne Gacy, for example. He was a clown that entertained all the kids on the weekend. And we know he killed, oh, 30 or 33 people.

When I look at Rader, what I am overwhelmed with is his ordinariness. You know, he goes to church. He goes to the Cub Scouts. He -- he`s a compliance officer for the city. He`s like -- you know, he`s like "Father Knows Best" on the outside. But on the inside, he`s this horrible monster without even really a bad childhood to blame it on.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: We`re going to get to that in a second. There`s some fascinating tidbits. New information from our author who joins us.

But first, BTK`s first victims were the Otero family. He targeted the mother, Julie, and her daughter, Josephine, followed them home and tortured and killed four members of the family. Charlie Otero, then 15 years old, came home to find his parents, brother and sister all brutally murdered.

Here is the BTK serial killer describing those murders.


RADER: I didn`t have a mask on or anything. They would have I.D.`d me. And I made a decision to go ahead and put them down, I guess, or strangle them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right. What did you do to Joseph Otero?

RADER: Joseph Otero?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Joseph Otero Sr., the father.

RADER: I put a plastic bag over his head and then some cords and tightened it.

After that, I did Mrs. Otero. I had never strangled anyone before, so I really didn`t know how much pressure you had to put on a person or how long it would take.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was she also tied up there in the...

RADER: Yes, both their hands and feet were tied up. She was on the bed.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He`s talking like he`s at a city council meeting. Dr. Dietz, Dennis Rader was not only the father, the church leader, and the local animal control officer, which is a fancy way of saying dog catcher, a woman once complained he put down her dog for no reason. Did you hear how he referred to putting down these victims? That is so creepy.

DR. PARK DIETZ, FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGIST: Look, the problem here is that we expect to somehow be able to detect someone`s character or someone`s perverse sexual desires from the way they live and the way they look. And we can`t do that. Until they tell us, or show us, we`re not going to know what lies inside the mind.

And this is a mistake that sucks people in again and again. They think if someone seems harmless, if they seem nice, if they`re good looking, that it`s safe. And that`s not true.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, I don`t think this guy`s good looking. But I get your point.

Steven Singular, you wrote a fantastic book, "Unholy Messenger." And you talk about this divided life. What is it -- because most of these serial killers have these really horrible, crazy, pathetic, abusive childhoods. He didn`t seem to have that.

But we do know a couple of things about his behavior toward animals, and we also know something that you learned later, which is the new information, really, about sexual orientation issues. Tell us.

STEVEN SINGULAR, AUTHOR, "UNHOLY MESSENGER": Yes, the interesting thing about what you just showed is that he didn`t have any problem going into court like that after he was caught and confessing to ten murders. But there were lots of things about his sexuality he didn`t share with us.

After I was on "ANDERSON COOPER," after my book came out, a man in Wichita contacted me after that, a gay man who talked about when he was about 20 and Rader was about 20, they would meet down at the Wichita bus station, and Rader was a gay hustler down there. This is something that he never talked about at all.

He got involved with this man. They actually went out a few times. He tied him up and beat him up and just completely scared the bejesus out of this fellow, who remembered it 30 years later, came to me and told me about all of this.

So it shows this very definite split in his character. He wanted to talk about certain things, but not about others. And this was there right from the beginning.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, are you saying he was a repressed homosexual?

SINGULAR: I`m saying that`s a distinct possibility. But his sexuality actually seemed to cover almost everything on the waterfront.

DIETZ: That`s right.

SINGULAR: I mean, he kept numerous pictures of women in his -- in his house, in his office. He cut out these little pictures for years and years. He had thousands of those. He had pictures of Barbie dolls and things like that. I think there`s a term called paraphilia, which is just being interested in everything.

DIETZ: That`s how it seems...


DIETZ: Any sexual deviation is a paraphilia. Homosexuality isn`t among them. And this guy was sexually indiscriminate in what kind of people he was interested in. But the one theme that`s shown throughout his behavior and his self report is the sadism, that he is aroused by the binding and torture of another.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And he also tortured animals as a child. We know that. And that most serial killers begin by torturing animals. Do they not, Doctor?

DITZ: No, they don`t. That`s a widely believed myth.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, he did. Didn`t he? Steven Singular, you wrote about that in your book.

SINGULAR: Yes. He began -- he began by looking at pictures of women on magazines where they were tied up. That was the first thing that stimulated him.

Then he began making drawings of women who were tied up. Then he took dogs and cats into a barn and tied them up or used barbed wire to kill them. So it graduated from an image to a drawing to actually committing the act.

And this is what carried through his whole life. He wanted to be a writer. He wanted to use the visual arts. But what was he going to write or draw about?


RADER: ... killing people...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, the only thing he ended up were writing was notes to the cops saying, "Come and find me."

I`m going to ask my excellent panel to stand by. More fascinating analysis of the grisly BTK serial killer case in just a moment.

Then, human hunter Ted Bundy, the law school student who`s believed to have killed more than 30 women. I will tell you about this real-life Jekyll and Hyde.

But first, BTK serial killer Dennis Rader`s courtroom appearances provided a very disturbing glimpse into the mind of a sick monster. Here he is, finally apologizing to his victims.


RADER: Finally, I apologize to the victims` families. There`s no way that I can ever repay them. That`s all, sir.




RADER: I had her lay on the bed, and I tied her feet. And then I undressed her to a certain degree. I got on top of her and I reached over. Either her feet were tied or not tied. Anyway, I think I had a belt. I took the belt and then strangled her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dennis Rader, the real name of the monstrous BTK serial killer, eerily explains to the courtroom exactly how he killed one of his many innocent victims. BTK terrorized the people of Wichita, Kansas, killing at least ten people and keeping that community in total fear for three long decades. The twisted killer currently serving 175 years behind bars. Not long enough.

Casey Jordan, criminal profiler, what I find so astounding is that his own wife never had a clue until cops arrived at her doorstep. This as he targeted women in the community. One was a neighbor who lived just a few doors down.

CASEY JORDAN, CRIMINAL PROFILER: Yes, we see this a lot, actually. And I`ve read that he had his souvenirs and the photographs and driver`s licenses of some of his victims in a file cabinet in his home that was never even locked. If she had known to even go in there.

But that was the competency he had, the sort of marriage he had with his children. It looked so normal. His wife would never have any reason to suspect him of any sort of abhorrent behavior. She was so confident of that, perhaps overly confident.

MURPHY: I don`t agree that this was confidence. Wait a minute. She could well have just been an idiot, all right?

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Or completely controlled.

MURPHY: How can you not know there were underpants under the bed. But you know what? Let`s just say when you`re married to a guy who has a lot of secrets, instead of sticking your head in the sand, how about taking a look around, asking some tough questions? You know, growing a backbone might have helped a couple people along the way.

SINGULAR: And one...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s a cautionary tale in so many ways, because I see lesser examples of this going on all over the place. We read these stories, we cover them all the time. Girlfriends and wives who have no idea of the double life that their own significant other is leading, Diane Dimond.

SINGULAR: At one point, at one point she -- at one point his wife told him that his handwriting looked just like BTKs. They were putting his handwriting in the paper and doing all that, and she said looked at him and said, "This is exactly like your handwriting." But she didn`t take it any further than that.

DIMOND: You know what I was going to say, Jane? Is that, to me, I look at his psychopathy, if that`s a word, and I think to myself, he probably practiced that control at home. And there was no way that wife, Wendy Murphy, was going to go around and poke around in any of his things, because that would have brought the wrath of you know what down on her head.


SINGULAR: She also read the poem that he wrote to one of his victims, one of his eventual victims. But again, she didn`t pursue it. He said, oh, it was a classroom project.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Those poems are absolutely astounding to me. This guy romanticized his crime spree and wrote these bizarre poems.

JORDAN: Yes. He fancied himself a writer. And in fact, it was his pride in his writing that would eventually be his downfall. You don`t often have serial killers -- I mean, obviously son of Sam is perhaps the only other one that`s so famous -- playing that cat and mouse game with the police, sending them poems, sending them letters, basically provoking them.

If he had not engaged in that sort of power control behavior, he probably would have gotten away with it. But he thought he was so smart. And you`re right, Wendy. It`s not that he was confident. It`s that he was delusional. He thought he was that smart.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now listen to this. In an extraordinary bizarre and...

DIETZ (ph): He wasn`t delusional. That`s absolutely wrong.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: ... creepy courtroom speech -- listen to this. This was broadcast live across the whole country. Dennis Rader, the BTK serial killer, thanked the police. You`ve got to hear this.


RADER: I can`t believe the people that dealt with this. I think that society has to, even though I`m a criminal, I think you have to appreciate the police department. They`ve done a lot of work. Even though it took a long time, they gathered evidence. They had the evidence. When they got the key suspect, they zeroed in on him very rapidly.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: I always worry when people refer to themselves in the third person, and now I know why. This guy is truly -- I mean, I`m left speechless. He`s -- Wendy Murphy, he`s congratulating the police on a job well done.

DIETZ: This is not about the police.

MURPHY: I`m sure that`s very -- you know, they`re going to put that right up on their wall next to all the other awards they get, that he thinks they did a good job.

You know, can I take a slap at culture for a second? Because two things: No. 1, pornography, mainstream pornography is so violent, that when you talk about a guy who found sadism pleasurable, let`s at least talk about where that comes from in culture and slap the porn industry around a little bit.

And the place I want to blame is the place like the Disney princess movies. Because look, all of the handsome princes that all the princesses end up marrying at the end look like handsome guys, nice guys living in nice homes. They mislead us to not have the skills necessary to realize that sometimes very nice people can do very bad things.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Steven Singular, I`m still not understanding the why, the deeper why. Do you have any theories as to why this particular guy turned out so twisted?

SINGULAR: I was -- I grew up in a very small town in Kansas, just like Dennis Rader did, in a repressed -- somewhat repressed environment by religion, by culture, by all of those things. He`s a little older than I am. This was in the 1950s.

He had a deep desire to express himself artistically. It was quashed. He had very interesting sexual desires that were not at all welcome in that environment. And they morphed into something that was dangerous and violent and horrible.

But if he had -- there were kids in my hometown who were taken to the Meninger (ph) clinic when they were 10 years old, and they said, "This kid has severe psychological problems." Why? Because in that case he was torturing animals. And they got a hold of him and they did something with him. It may or may not helped.

But everything went wrong in his case. He kept following his father`s footsteps: "If I join the Army, all of this will go away." That didn`t happen. "If I just get married to a nice woman and have kids, all this will go away. If I join the church and become president, I can shove this down."


SINGULAR: I think he was a serial killer because he could not deal with himself in his own identity.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I get your idea. Good theory. Everybody, more human hunters on the way. Eileen Wuorner, career serial killer. This is a case that shattered all serial killer stereotypes. And we`ll analyze Ted Bundy, one of America`s most prolific and infamous murderers. Behind his handsome facade, a sick, sadistic killing machine.



RADER: She was already dead. So I took pictures of her in different forms of bondage. And that`s probably what got me in trouble was the bondage thing. So anyway, that`s probably the main thing.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Dennis Rader`s sick courtroom rant. Here he is talking about victim No. 7. Here`s what he said about Nancy Fox.


RADER: I confronted her, told her that I was -- had problems, sexual problems, that I would have to tie her up and have sex with her. She was a little upset. We talked for awhile. She smoked a cigarette. While she smoked a cigarette, I went through her purse, identifying some stuff.

And she finally said, "Well, let`s get this over with so I can call the police."

I handcuffed her, had her lay on the bed, and then I tied her feet. And I was also undressed to a certain degree. And then I got on top of her. And I reached over -- either -- either her feet were tied or not tied, but anyway I think I had a belt. I took a belt and then strangled her.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: It`s so sick, the lack of affect as he`s explaining all this.

Wendy Murphy, there were a lot of people who were upset that he got the opportunity to do all this on camera and then it was broadcast all over the country. And the victims` families are sitting there while he`s recounting this so dryly.

DIETZ: And again, watching this show, they`re experiencing the same thing. You`re doing it, too.

MURPHY: Yes. But you know, but here`s the difference.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I didn`t make the decision to allow the cameras in the courtroom, sir, and allow this to go out live as he said it. We`re looking at the case now several years later. But Wendy Murphy...

MURPHY: And we`re criticizing that choice. That`s right. Jane, look, we`re...

DIETZ: We get to keep choosing.

MURPHY: ... about -- about why it`s a bad idea to give a guy like that in a sense a celebrity venue, to come out in this cold way and describe human life in such a cavalier manner. I think it`s important that we hear him. It`s important that we understand him. But then let`s put it away.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Diane, you covered a lot of cases. Do you think they should have allowed him to talk on camera?

DIMOND: You bet your life I do. And I`ll tell you why. Because the FBI behavioral unit right now tells us there are 50, maybe 100 active serial killers just like that, active in America right now. If we don`t look them in the eye, if we don`t hear what they have to say, then how the hell are we going to ever identify them in the future?

Because we do think that they are the toothless guy living in the van down by the river. They`re not. They`re living right next door to you.

MURPHY: That`s a good point.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hey, Casey Jordan, how do we stop this in the future?

DIETZ: ... still not going to be able to identify them, because they can look like anything.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes. But how do we stop the next batch, the next generation of serial killers? We see they all have serious problems, Casey Jordan. But where`s the early -- intervention?

DIETZ: I know the answer to that. If you want a list, I`ll tell you.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I`ve kept -- I`ve kept calling for group therapy in public schools so that we can give kids a chance to deal with their emotions before they become psychos.

DIETZ: That`s not going to fix it. You`re going to have to take away bad parents, take away bad genes, change what...

SINGULAR: His parents were not -- his parents were not bad people.


SINGULAR: That does not apply in this case.

DIETZ: No, none of these things apply to every case. That`s exactly the point. Each serial killer is made uniquely.

MURPHY: Look, we could do a better job noticing red flags...

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on. We`re going to continue this conversation with the next serial killer.

Thank you, Steven. Excellent work.

Panel, stay with me as we examine the female serial killer, Eileen Wuornos. She captivated the nation. It`s an unbelievable story that`s inspired a movie.



I`ll analyze the nation`s most infamous serial killers, to find out what caused them to become monsters.

Aileen Wuornos, one of America`s only female serial killers used her past of broken home and sexual abuse and twisted it into hatred and death.

Plus, jaw-dropping analysis of Ted Bundy, the handsome law student believed to have killed 35 college women. He kept souvenirs of his victims and twice escaped from prison. I`ll tell you how cops finally nabbed him for good.

Suave, sicko Ted Bundy would shatter our beliefs about how a serial killer should look and act. I will have more on that demented, deceptive human hunter coming up.

But first to another unlikely suspect who carried out a monstrous series of cold-blooded, calculating, vindictive murders. Aileen Wuornos was one of America`s only female serial killers. The so-called "Damsel of Death" made a living as a hooker and would eventually confess to slaughtering seven of her Johns.

She claimed it was self-defense. Listen to her chilling confession.


AILEEN WUORNOS, FEMALE SERIAL KILLER: I killed them because they got violent with me, and I wasn`t going to let them beat the (bleep) out of me or kill me either. And I`m sure if they found out I had a weapon on me which was very easy to find because I always had it behind me where I could grab it quick, that if after the fight, they found it, they would`ve shot me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The prostitute claimed she killed her victims before they could kill her. She was the product of a childhood filled with violence. She claimed her own grandfather sexually abused her. She was abandoned by her mother.

Prosecutors at her 1992 murder trial said it was greed combined with an appetite to control men that motivated Aileen to become a murderous monster. Aileen got six death sentences and was executed by lethal injection at the age of 46.

So was she a cold-blooded killer? A tragic victim? Or both?

Back out to my fantastic, fiery panel: Casey Jordan, criminologist and former criminal profiler; Dr. Park Dietz, world renowned forensic psychiatrist; Wendy Murphy, a former prosecutor and a law professor and author of "And Justice for Some;" plus, Sue Russell, a journalist and author of "Lethal Intent: The shocking true story of one of America`s most notorious female serial killers;" and Diane Dimond, a journalist, syndicated columnist and author of "Be Careful who You Love."

Diane, she claimed to kill in self-defense over and over and over again. She claimed to be fighting off rape. But she was a prostitute who stayed on the job night after night. Is this a perfect illustration of the twisted criminal mind, they call themselves victims while they kill?

DIANE DIMOND, JOURNALIST & SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well they -- they are both in her case specially. And you gave some of the background. Her mother abandoned her. She was raised by an alcoholic grandmother. Her father killed himself in prison. He was a child molester; she may or may not have had sexual relations with her own brother -- a tragic, tragic figure.

Lots of people have bad childhoods. They don`t grow up like Aileen Wuornos. They don`t grow up and kill people. I think your term human hunter really, really does apply to her. It was like she went out night after night looking for an outlet for her anger.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Now, Dr. Park Dietz, you`re a forensic psychiatrist. We`ve been talking about how to prevent this from happening again. And the conversation got fiery, because everybody has different ideas.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

DR. PARK DIETZ, FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIST: Well, for preventing all serial killers and all other killers, we`d have to change massive numbers of things. Parenting is the number one, education to some extent. The media and the culture that surrounds our children, we`d have to change dramatically.


DIETZ: And we`re not prepared to do any of it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Wendy Murphy, listen, bad parents, you know, unfortunately there are -- we have a teen pregnancy epidemic in this country. A lot of these cases, you have mothers who are having children with absolutely no support system in the worst possible situation.

Again, I think you cannot just separate out education from parenting. The way you get better parents...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: to educate them to be better parents. But that`s nothing that we teach in the schools. We don`t teach kids how to deal with their emotions so they grow up to be mature adults.

We don`t teach kids that it`s all right to have feelings that you don`t have to act on them. We don`t do any psychological teaching in the schools. And yet -- of course, the richest kids in the world can go to shrinks.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: But the poorest kids and troubled kids they don`t get any help, and they`re the ones who sometimes grow up like this Aileen to be these monsters.

MURPHY: Yes. But let`s remember that the rich kids become monsters, too.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, yes, no I`m not saying that...

MURPHY: Let`s not forget that.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: I was talking about that only in terms of access to therapy. That kids who are of a certain group can access to therapy. But a lot of -- the vast majority of American kids who might have problems, whether it`s the Ted Bundys or this woman, do not get necessarily access to therapy that would prevent them from...

DIETZ: Well, we don`t know that therapy can prevent any of this.

MURPHY: Yes, fair enough, fair enough. But you and Dr. Dietz -- you and Dr. Dietz come to some agreement about the fact that there are all kinds of things we could be doing better.

Therapy is a big one. And I`m on board with you. I think it could help an awful lot of people figure out their bad feelings rather than just explode inside, which then sometimes becomes explosions outwardly, murder and other kinds of bad behavior.

But look, while we`re fixing all those other things, we need to be clear that no matter how you came to be a monster, you can`t use the Twinkie defense, the abuse excuse or any other cockamamie explanation for why you hurt someone else.

You want to live in a free society? You want to walk around without leg chains? Don`t hurt someone else, period. End of discussion. There is no excuse for this behavior.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, in less than a year in the late 1980`s the bodies of several men found along the highways of central and northern Florida.

Listen to Aileen Wuornos finally coming clean about the real reason she murdered them.


WUORNOS: I killed those men, I robbed them and I killed them as cold as ice. And I would do it again, too. I know I would kill another person because I`ve hated humans for a long time.

And I want to come clean with God, tell the truth and go on with the execution because there`s no sense in keeping me alive.

I`m very sorry for the family members, what happened to your husbands and what will happen to me in the execution chamber will be justifiable.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Well, Sue Russell, you wrote a book on this case. Doesn`t this hatred of humanity go back to her tortured childhood?

Her father was a child molester she never met. Her mother abandoned her. She accused her grandfather of molesting her. She got pregnant at 14 and gave the baby up for adoption. I mean, this childhood hell is a prescription for serial killing disaster, you might say.

SUE RUSSELL, JOURNALIST & AUTHOR, "LETHAL INTENT": Well yes it is. But certainly many children have worse abuse than Aileen did, and don`t go on to become serial killers. There`s still that X Factor.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: What is the X-Factor?

RUSSELL: Well, I just like to correct you on one thing...


RUSSELL: ...because it`s very upsetting...


RUSSELL: ...for the victims` families. And of course, these men were victims and their families were victims. And they were not all Johns or at least we don`t know that they were. If they wore condoms, if there was nudity, yes, we can assume they were Johns.

But she also had an M.O. of flagging down drivers on the highway saying, my kids are in a motel. She had a fake photograph of her family. "They need food. Can you give me a ride to them?" So she had various ways of getting into men`s cars.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: And I appreciate you making that distinction. It`s a very important distinction. And you`re right. It`s kind of urban myth while they were all Johns while some of them were determined to be others were not necessarily.

Casey Jordan, though, when you hear about her past...


VELEZ-MITCHELL: What do you think in terms of, obviously, as you just heard from the author, not everybody with a hellish childhood grows up to be a serial killer. But what is this X-Factor?

JORDAN: Well, the X-Factor is just the unknown. But I have to say, her hellish childhood was a tremendous factor in her turning out the way she did.

Many people like to point out that the first victim had served nine years in prison for attempted rape. And there are really not many people who dispute the idea that in the first incident she was horribly abused.

And many people would also argue the first murder was different from the rest. The first one in her mind probably was self-defense. But she liked it.


JORDAN: She finally had gotten back at her attacker and she blossomed into somebody who not just had killed a man, but actually didn`t feel any remorse about it. Maybe even felt good. And that might explain why it continued.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Yes and once you feel...

DIETZ: The X-Factor is psychopathy, this woman is a psychopath, and shares that in common with many other killers and serial killers. And the best thing we can learn from this case is that women can be psychopaths, too. Only one quarter as many are, but they are all around and we tend to ignore it.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: All right, a very good point. We have to move on. Thank you, Sue, for joining us with your insights.

Up next, perhaps the most infamous serial killer of all, Ted Bundy, suspected of killing 35 college women. I`ll tell you how he escaped from prison, twice.



ROBERT KEPPEL, BUNDY LEAD DETECTIVE: I think he was born to kill. I don`t know if it was a bad seed or what, but boy, he`s just totally consumed with murder.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Ted Bundy: handsome, educated and a psychopath. The suave sicko shattered our beliefs about how a serial killer should look and act. Take a look at him.

He confessed to the brutal murders of more than 30 young college women in a diabolical four-year rampage across America. Bundy would carefully select his victims and then stalk, bludgeon, rape and strangle them to death.

Nobody knows exactly where and when Bundy began killing. The why? It chills the soul.


TED BUNDY, SERIAL KILLER: I was ok, I was. The basic humanity, the basic spirit that God gave me was entrapped, unfortunately I had been overwhelmed at times.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bundy finally caught in February 1978 after a frenzied killing spree in a Florida State University dorm. He turned the sorority house into his own personal house of horrors, killing two young co-eds and seriously wounding two others. Bundy was sentenced to death in 1979. He died strapped to Florida`s electric chair in 1989.

Some estimate he could have many more victims. But only Bundy knew for sure and a secret he carried to his grave.

Look at him smiling there. What a sicko.

Straight back to my amazing, expert panel. Also joining us, Stephen Michaud, the author of "The Only Living Witness: The true story of serial sex killer Ted Bundy." Steven spent hours interviewing Ted Bundy just before he went to the electric chair. We`re going to get to him in a moment.

But first up, former prosecutor, Wendy Murphy -- Wendy, how was it that he was able to continue his reign of terror for several years killing women from Seattle all the way to Florida and in between, escaping from jail twice, and he couldn`t be stopped sooner?

WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR: You know, again, I`m going to go back to the point I made about how we`re raised to look at guys like that and say, "Well, he couldn`t be the one. People who look like that don`t kill."

Remember what I said about the Disney movies and the nice "Prince Charmings" at the end. He looks like all of them. How do you look at a guy like that and think he could be killing people. It makes -- you`d think -- he could be your neighbor, your son, your cousin, your brother. It`s hard to get your head around the idea that someone who looks like someone close to you could be doing brutal things.


DIMOND: And you know what, Jane, these guys are really charming. They are so charming they`ll charm your socks off, as my mother used to say. And he was polite. He had nice manners and he would look at these girls and they would just melt. That`s how he got away with it.


DIETZ: I`ve been teaching for years that everyone ought to be careful before they give their money or their bodies to people who have a lot of charm.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Interesting. Reminds me of high school where the ones that the parents always thought were the goody two shoes were really the worst kids. And they had that sort of Eddie Haskell manner.

DIETZ: That`s right.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Bundy showed no remorse for his unbelievably vicious and sadistic attacks on women. Here`s what Bundy himself said in a jailhouse interview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is there remorse there?

BUNDY: Again, I know that people will think but we`re beyond that now. I`m just telling you how I feel. I have been able to come to the point where I -- much too late, better late than never, feel that I`m responsible for it.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: The author on the book of the subject, Stephen Michaud, with us today. You looked into his eyes. You interviewed him.

You know, we know he didn`t target men; his prey exclusively women. What have you learned about why he hated women, why he carried on this murderous campaign against them? Stephen?


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Why did he do it?

MICHAUD: Why did he do it? Because it was fun and because he wanted, as he told me, to possess these girls. As Ted said, as you would possess a potted plant or a Porsche. His idea of fun was the dead or lifeless body of one of his victims, in a nice, quiet place and a lot of time to do as he said anything he wanted to, to them.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Let`s get back to the childhood.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: He had a very tormented childhood in the sense that he was born in a home for unwed mothers. His mother said that she was his sister. So he grew up thinking his mother was his sister. He grew up apparently, according to some reports, thinking that his grandparents were his parents.

Casey Jordan, that`s enough to make you a little squirrelly.

JORDAN: Yes, and I`ve got to say, he didn`t find out that his older sister was actually his mother until high school. And a lot has been made of that in his early childhood behavior.

But I have to remind people, a lot of kids born of that era who were the product of young mothers or unwed mothers were raised in the same situation. And they didn`t turn out to be serial killers.

DIMOND: It happened to actor Jack Nicholson and he didn`t grow up to kill people.

JORDAN: Absolutely. And Ted Bundy pretty much always argued he was hard- wired wrong. In that very interview that you just showed with him, he`s getting a little teary-eyed and basically faking emotion that he`s -- watch out for pornography. Yet a moment later he`s asked about his last victim only 12 years old, and he shoots that interviewer a look that you can see straight into his eyes and it looks like Satan.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: To many, Bundy, of course was the opposite -- as we`ve been discussing -- of what we imagine a serial killer to be. He was handsome, he was suave, he was educated, he was charming. He was a law student.

Was that a factor in being able to get away with this killing spree for so long? Consider that as you watch more of his jailhouse interview.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you deserve the punishment the state has inflicted upon you?

BUNDY: That`s a very good question. I`ll answer it very honestly. I don`t want to die. I`m not going to kid you. I kid you not. I deserve certainly the most extreme punishment society has. And I deserve particularly for me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Critics say, Diane Dimond, the killing spree could have been stopped sooner, but the FBI got the profile wrong. We all have this stereo typical notion -- I don`t -- but I mean, I think a lot of us do, and maybe I do, too, of what a criminal should look like. It`s sort of disturbing to hear that the FBI is suffering from the same misconception.

DIMOND: Well, but let`s remember, this was 1979. 1979 to 2009, they`ve taken great strides in profiling. And identifying traits that can blossom into -- I`m being very careful -- blossom into a serial killer`s life.

DIETZ: Profiling was in its infancy then. Something that Bundy has said that we can learn from that`s true of BTK, too, is Bundy attributes his early sexual arousal pattern to detective magazines showing sexy women who were bound. BTK says the same thing.

BTK says the same thing.

Roy Hazelwood -- Bruce Harry (ph) and I wrote an article on this in the `80s about a number of serial killers who started by using those magazines as their source of fantasy material.


MURPHY: You`re describing basically porn. That`s not detective magazines, porn.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: Hang on, hang on. We`re going to get back to it; more on Ted Bundy, the porn, the man who killed dozens of women in the `70s.

Here`s one lucky woman who escaped, thank God.


KAREN CHANDLER, BUNDY ATTACK SURVIVOR: It happened ten years ago. My life is totally different from the girl that lived in the sorority house and was attacked. And so it`s hard to really think terrible things about that. It`s almost like it happened to another person in some ways.




ELEANOR ROSE, MOTHER OF BUNDY VICTIM: Ted Bundy took that away from me.


VELEZ-MITCHELL: This is the mother of one of Ted Bundy`s victims. How horrifying, multiply that many, many times. He destroyed not just the lives of the estimated 30 young women he confessed to killing, but he also left many dozens of devastated, destroyed families in his wake.

I am back with my fantastic panel.

You know one of the sickest aspects of this case, Ted Bundy got married while he was being prosecuted and he also got thousands of fan letters from women after he was convicted while he was on death row? That, to me, is totally 100 percent sick.

Stephen Michaud, you actually interviewed him. We were talking about this history of porn. What do you know?

MICHAUD: Well, Ted used porn to ratify what was already going on in his head. Bundy had these ideas from a very early age. And he progressed through steps to becoming a serial killer. He was self-taught.

I think the lesson -- the take-home lesson with Ted is that he discovered fairly soon how easy it is to be a serial killer. And he kept coming back to the subject with me saying that given his level of success, he was sure that there were dozens, hundreds, thousands more like him who simply don`t get detected.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Casey Jordan, it just seems when I review this case that he just was on a rampage. And he escaped from jail twice. Nobody was able to stop him. Why is it that he was so -- I mean, it was one woman a month at one point?

JORDAN: Right. He was smart. He moved around. He was in Utah, he was in Washington, he was in Colorado, he was in Florida. And don`t forget in the 1970s, we did not have the DNA technology that we have today. Today those crimes would have been linked very quickly. And you would have been able to at least map out the progression.

But I mean -- When he was in the Colorado jail, he dieted down so he could fit through the heating duct and escape. This guy really -- I mean, he knew what he was in for if he got caught. He was just determined to get away with it as long as he could.

VELEZ-MITCHELL: Wendy Murphy, final thoughts. We`ve only got a few seconds. What can we learn?

MURPHY: You know, look, he got so many love letters while he was in prison. We know that probably the daughters of those women are now writing love letters to Scott Peterson. I hope the one thing we learn is that sometimes too good to be true really is.


Thanks to my fabulous panel for joining me tonight.

You are watching ISSUES on HLN.