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Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy

Development of the Violent Mind, Book 3
Narrated by: Stephen Harmon
Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Summary

"”Do you think I killed those girls?"

Ted Bundy asked me this question after we had completed the final interview. We were standing in the corridor outside my office and Ted was about to return to his cell. It was an unusual question to ask...I was caught off guard by the question.”

“....With this question, Ted had put me in a lose-lose situation. My best option might have been to tell him that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t, answer his question. However, I said to him, “I don’t know, but if you did, I believe you will do it again.”

I’m sure it wasn’t what he wanted to hear. He didn’t say anything. He turned and walked back to his cell. In future conversations we had together he never again asked that question.”

“ ....Putting all the information I had gleaned from the test data as well as the phone conversations and the personal interviews with Ted...I concluded that it was my opinion that Ted’s personality fit the crime for which he was found guilty. I submitted my report to the court. Then all hell broke loose.”

(From The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy)

Many books have been written about Bundy, but rarely have we had the opportunity to understand the inner workings of his mind. Now, Dr. Carlisle shares the step-by-step psychological assessment process regarding how he determined that Bundy was indeed a violent person and would likely continue to kill if he was set free.

Book four in the Development of the Violent Mind series.

©2017 Al Carlisle (P)2019 Genius Book Publishing

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Only in the era of Bundy-mania...

Bit of a disappointment. This is really just something along the lines of a professional’s notes read out, but in a bizarre way. The narrative is fine but the narrator insists on going it as performance. Every time he refers to someone else’s opinion from the notes he insists on doing a silly voice to act out what they say. So not even the dignity of being a dry tome on the subject. This would never have been commissioned if we weren’t in a weird Bundy-mania phase due to the anniversary of his death.

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Brilliant

As long as I can remember ive been fascinated with Serial Killers, especially Ted Bundy. As a Criminology and Psychology Student and trying to understand the Criminal Mind this Book was a fantastic read, very informative and thorough. There was a lot of information which surprised me, shocked me and overall different ways of looking at what a person might say or do. Even though I've studied Ted Bundy for years (10 years), there was still that sense of information given to me which I didn't know. so thank you for adding this to Audible, I will however be buying this book and keeping it as a studying book.. x

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Shame

Shame really, could of been a good audiobook with fascinating insight however the narrator renders it unbearable with his stupid attempt at different voices of females and Ted.

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Great book on Bundy!

I binged this book and didn't even notice how much time had passed. I've read extensively on the case but I still feel like I got some new insight. It's a fascinating analysis of Bundy and I was particularly interested in the interviews.

I like the narrator. He does different voices to distinguish characters, which initially took some getting used to, but as I zoned out and let the book play, I came to appreciate the voices as they made it clear who were talking.

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  • LifeDontWasteIt
  • 19-05-19

Only reason not 5☆s: too short!

Very good but you realize how much you still don't know. it would have to be an entire doubling in length.

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  • GEM
  • 18-03-19

Needs a New Narrator

I could barely get through the first few chapters. I have the book and it's great. Wonderful content and I couldn't wait to listen to this. I would STILL love to listen to this actually. There's something 'off' about the narrators voice and I can't put my finger on it. Is he 400 lbs. and trying to read the story while walking a flight of stairs? Is it a lisp? I'm not a speech therapist so I have no clue what it is, only that it's hard to listen to. I wish my phone had a radio antenna and I could move it to adjust the static in his voice but I can't. It's not smooth at all. Lots of strong SSSS, Shhhh, Schhhh and Zzzzz sounds that are just grating on the ears!! Again, great content, great book, just hard to listen to...

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  • Patrick Reeve Boyd
  • 13-02-20

Cheap Microphone

Hey thrilling Bundy content first off. The reason for the distorted Ss and tinny sound is the narrator used a cheap microphone or like a default laptop one as if you’re hearing it over Skype. He later went back and did inserts or re-recorded sections with a different distance from the microphone, making it a little jarring, sometimes worse than the main track.

1 person found this helpful

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  • StarGazerDoe89
  • 31-12-19

loved this

this is just fascinating as heck, and the author pretty much just kept to the fact.

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  • Mark
  • 09-12-19

Great content. Poor performance

I just loved the content. Very thought provoking and intense. The performance suffers and is just annoying. The male reader uses a fake female voice for female parts and i just picture a man talking like a women. They should have used a woman for the female parts.

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  • CJ45
  • 06-12-19

Something about this complex guy...

Something about this guy and his life and crime keeps me trying to figure him out. He's so complex. He was such a pathological liar that even after convicted and sent to prison experts still weren't sure he was telling the truth about what his background really was that made him turn out the way he did. Anne Rule worked with him at a rape line crises center, imaginge that, and she said he lied till the day he was put to death.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sunflower
  • 05-06-20

Sadly Disappointing

For a man with the education of a PhD, this book sadly disappoints. The narratives/letter that is depicted as direct from Ted Bundy are probably the most interesting talking points of the novel. The narrator is also inappropriate for this piece. Overall, I think this could’ve been done better with the resources available.

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  • Bethany Adler
  • 03-05-20

Outstanding

If you can’t fathom how a person becomes extraordinarily cruel but you try to figure it out anyway, this is for you. The author walks you through the intensive process of trying to unravel the history of a pathological liar through his own in-prison interviews and assessments, but also how he took it much further by interviewing many people who’d known Ted Bundy at various stages of his life, helping him sort out likely fact from fiction. This then revealed countless red flags throughout Ted Bundy’s life which were tragically dismissed for myriad reasons. Important reading for anyone who may be in contact with troubled youth, or adult survivors of childhood trauma.

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  • MMR
  • 06-04-20

Good for what it is

Compared to most nonfiction books about Ted Bundy, this book is a little dry. It is based on a psychological assessment done on Bundy at a court's request. As far as a retelling of what is always an extremely dry and sometimes tedious writing form, this isn't bad. Readers who are very versed on Ted Bundy will probably want to listen to this for completeness, but there were only a few unknown details for me. One is that something happened to Bundy that changed his personality and social life radically after middle school, but before high school. The author suggests that it was learning that he was adopted, which would be earthshaking for anyone who had lived to that point believing that he had one back story and then discovered that it wasn't true. This is absolute speculation on my part, but I lean towards the idea that it wasn't an event but rather a few events. The transformation was so complete that I almost wonder if Ted hadn't killed (although one would think that would be discussed somewhere) or something involving sexuality that he found profoundly disturbing happened. A child simply doesn't go from being sociable, dating girls, and having multiple friends to being totally alone when not at school and having no interaction with females. Whether it was something that happened to him or something he did, it was also earthshaking. This period of time is also when boys begin to experience the flow of hormones that can drastically alter their personality expression as well- many teachers say today that the summer between 7th and 8th grade is when this happens, but in those days it likely happened a bit later- although that's absolutely not the case for all children, who can mature earlier or later depending on environmental and genetic factors.

Something surprised me about how I viewed Bundy while listening to this book, which is that I found myself feeling a measure of sympathy for him - at least in childhood. It seems like he was largely ignored throughout his life (at least after his mother moved away from his grandparents). He was an unwanted illegitimate child at a time when this was truly stigmatizing and it seems like his mother did her duty by him and was mostly kind to him but for the most part everyone just wanted him to be small and quiet. "An unfortunate situation, but we have to make the best of it" kind of attitude seemed to follow him. It was said several times that Ted was "just there". A good boy, but not interested or interesting in any way. After his mother married and began having children with her husband, Ted was just set aside and left to fend for himself emotionally as long as he didn't cause any trouble. He had no emotional relationship with his stepfather and no real attachment to his mother, either. This, to me, sounds like emotional neglect, which can be as brutal as physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, although in a different way. This kind of neglect makes a child feel invisible, as if they are not even worth noticing. Some parents go through the motions of parenting and don't strike or criticize their kids, feeding and clothing them appropriately but that's it. These children are treated as well as a family pet owned by distant but not cruel people. All their needs are met except for their emotional ones, which leaves them with a desperate need to be seen. People who haven't been through this never seem to experience this to the same depth or profound intensity that children who were enotionally neglected do. As adults they're almost driven to scream to the world that they exist. In Bundy's case, it seems like he took the path of demanding absolute attention from a female. It's impossible, one would think, to have one's attention on anything else at all when one is being raped, tortured, and murdered. This doesn't in any way excuse the egregious behavior and actions of this serial killer or anyone who has experienced emotional neglect and goes on to violate the law in ways that hurt others. It was just something that really struck me and it may be why he never seemed to look the same in any pictures- he had no solid identity beneath all his seeming charm and projected confidence.

I don't for a moment believe that Bundy was open or honest in his testing or interviews and the author makes this clear. It's interesting to see how he tells on himself without being aware of it, though.

The narration of this book is, like the text, a little dry. The most jarring thing I found about it is its production quality (it's obviously an older recording) - there are odd pauses or gaps that are spots where the recording was edited, and badly. Sometimes it's apparent when the narrator took a break and began recording again. A few times I could hear when he moved further away from or closer to the microphone. It's nostalgic for me - we certainly didn't have sophisticated expectations back then.

In closing I wonder if Bundy lived today, if he would be as successful as a serial killer or as big of a deal as he was in the late 60s and 70s. We are a less trustful society and he would have to find a different way to get his victims. While a few still hitchhike, it's inconceivable that no matter how attractive he is that hitchhikers would be a primary way of getting hold of victims. We are more jaded now, less trusting, and entirely less susceptible to the kinds of ploys Bundy used. This is in large part to Bundy himself and others like him. In this way, he not only brutally raped and killed his victims, he helped to kill the beautiful joy and hopefulness of that era.

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  • xtasista
  • 25-03-20

It’s nothing new

I have heard it all before and was hoping for some new insight - Ted Bundy hid his real psychology from this man and so nothing can be taken as the whole truth. I wish they would have kept him alive bc he was willing to offer his true story up if they didn’t kill him and I happen to believe that he would have. What a bummer and a waste of potential learning.