Bundy worked for a time at a suicide hot line, sitting next to and befriending ex-police officer Ann Rule, who later wrote a biography of Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me. Bundy was charming and a “good friend” to Rule for quite some time. It took her quite some time even after his first arrests to realize that Bundy was a heartless cold blooded killer. Even then she didn’t want to believe it.
Who knows if Bundy talked some caller out of killing themselves and saved their life? That would have been a very good thing for anyone to do. Yet, this most heartless person, by his own admission later to Rule, enjoyed kidnapping, torturing, raping and killing multiple victims. He used the “pity me” ploy with a fake cast or a limp to make his victims unafraid of him, a stranger. He asked their help.
There is an old saying that “an ill wind it is that blows no one good.” Not everyone who does evil or heartless things does bad things 24/7. Sometimes they appear kind and caring and do selfless things for others, while at the same time, committing horrible crimes in secret. It’s kind of like saying “John is such a good guy when he is not robbing banks.”
When an offender seems to have some “redeeming features” and does some good things in their life, does that negate the other things they do? Of course not. But those “good things” and those “expressions of love” tend to make us think that the offender we know “isn’t all bad.” Well, even Ted Bundy wasn’t “all bad.”
The loving words the offender may say to you, the fake apologies, but without changing their offending ways, may give you hope that the offender really can change. After all, “everyone deserves a second chance” we may think. Or “there’s good down in everyone” may be what keeps us holding on to hope that the offender in our life will eventually change. Unfortunately, neither of those statements is true.
My son Patrick doesn’t deserve another chance to live a free life. He has repeatedly shown that he has no intention of going straight, yet he panders to my mother whose only goal left in life is to live long enough to see him get out and come to live with her. He has her convinced that even though he has killed in cold blood, broken every parole and probation and second chance he has been given, that he is a changed man, even in spite of the evidence to the contrary. I fell for the same con for a very long time, so I know how easy it is to see the potential good, the charming parts of the offender, to hang on to that hope that this time he is changed. It’s difficult to give up on someone you love and the system and many times our friends and relatives are not willing to accept the real truth, that this person does not really want to change, that they only say they have changed, seen the light, found Jesus or whatever con they use to suck us into believing in them, giving them one more chance.
I’ve had many people tell me “oh, you can’t give up hope, he’s your son!” or “God can do miracles, so just pray for him.” There is heavy pressure from friends and family members to forget about what he has done, the chances he has blown away, or his cold blooded attitude and actual pride in his crime of murder.
It took my son sending someone to kill me before I truly woke up to what an evil person he is. The only reason he is not a serial killer is because he got caught after the first time, and his attempt to have me and his brothers, and probably even my mother snuffed out, was a failure because the man he sent double crossed him when I went into hiding and he couldn’t find me to finish the job.
When a person shows you what they are, believe them the first time. Save yourself more grief from future disappointments in the offender in your life. If they really want to straighten up and “fly right” they can do it and prove to you that they indeed want to change, have changed. Then you might consider continuing the relationship after a time, but not when they continue their offending behavior. How long should the person prove to you that they are responsible, accept the blame for what they did, not lay it off to their friends or anyone else. Admit that they made a bad choice (or more than one choice) and pony up to their responsibilities of getting a job, staying clean and sober, abiding by their parole rules, distance themselves from their friends who are offenders, go to AA or NA if that is appropriate.