Ted Bundy's Execution Party Was Completely Nuts
While Ted Bundy still evoked some instinctual residual disgust in America's collective psyche as recently as a few months ago, for the most part, he had fallen out of the consciousness of the average person who didn't spend an inordinate of time watching serial killer documentaries on basic cable and YouTube. But then Netflix released Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and suddenly his creepy eyes and creepier eyebrows were all the rage again.
The new Bundy craze is so powerful that Netflix actually decided to publicly address a problematic issue whereby people were going on and on about his "alleged hotness." Which is pretty damn gross, even though the man did have enough game to father a child while locked up in a prison with a strict "no conjugal visits" policy.
After a solid career of heinous criminality and justice evasion, Bundy finally wound up in Florida State Prison and won a front-row seat on their electric chair ride. On January 24, 1989, his passing was a solemn affair which saw him receive his just reward in grim silence, while the nation pondered the depths of mankind's capacity for evil and the ramifications of capital punishment.
LOL, kidding! The prison was surrounded by hundreds of hooting rubberneckers, who'd decided to turn the state-sanctioned homicide of one of the world's worst serial killers into a gigantic tailgate party that even Raiders fans would find a bit distasteful.
Fittingly, the day involved the same number of deaths as many Florida fraternity hazing rituals.
Among the swarms of revelers getting turnt in the adjacent cow pasture were a number of off-duty police officers, random drunks, fireworks-shooting tourists, and frat boys who had been maybe all of ten years old when Bundy was actively killing people. Attendees chanted things like "Burn baby, burn!" while banging on pots and pans and holding up placards. They generally made the event into Burning (Dead) Man. Opportunistic vendors and roadside entrepreneurs were also on hand to hawk T-shirts (such as the one featuring a cartoon Bundy getting electrocuted), in addition to other equally tasteless tchotchkes commemorating a day when the families of an obscene number of victims were getting some closure. No word on whether they were offered any "friends and family" discounts.
Being the narcissistic jackass that he was, you'd suppose that the star of the show might have taken some pleasure in all this attention. According to reports, Bundy and his jailers could clearly hear the commotion going on outside. But even the slayer of dozens of innocents apparently found the spectacle disconcerting. "They're crazy. They think I'm crazy? Listen to all of them," remarked the necrophiliac murder.
When 7:16 a.m. finally came and an anonymous executioner pulled a lever to send electricity coursing through his body, word soon trickled out that Bundy had finally been executed before even the "small puff of smoke" that arose from one of his legs even had time to dissipate. The news triggered an outpouring of emotion from all the Reagan-mask-wearing, homemade-tinfoil-electric-chair helmet-making members of the crowd outside. They let loose wild cheers and yelled in the faces of the many journalists in attendance things like, "Thank God it's Fry-Day!" (It was a Tuesday.)
Even a hardened law enforcement professional like Jim Sewell, the police chief of Gulfport, Florida, was taken aback by the unabashed merrymaking he witnessed from the masses outside the prison. Despite admitting he had zero sympathy for the now-dead murderer, he pointed out that, "Regardless of what Bundy did, he was still a human being." Meanwhile, the crowd squealed in delight like tweens at an Ariana Grande concert as the coffin containing Bundy's corpse was transported away in a white hearse. They surrounded and chased it all the way to Gainesville, where he was cremated. (His ashes were later dispersed at an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest.)
So maybe you think the people of today, with all the horrors of the world ready for their viewing pleasure right there on their phones, are exceptionally callous. Well, just remember the image of a mulleted guy piggybacking on a girl while holding a frying pan and wearing a tie-dyed shirt with "The Bundy-BBQ" written on it. We're not saying that Theodore Robert Bundy deserves any sympathy whatsoever. In fact, feel free to spit on the ground like a superstitious grandmother after speaking his name. But at least try to have a little dignity about it.
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