Who Was Louise Cowell, Serial Killer Ted Bundy’s Mother?

Louise Cowell was the mother of Ted Bundy who was an American serial killer who abducted, sexually assaulted, and killed numerous young girls and women in the 1970s and possibly earlier. She was raised by her parents’ Philadelphia house. She grew up with her sister and her grandparents. Over the years, Louise Bundy and her husband John faced taunts and obscene stares, and they frequently changed their phone number to avoid bitter calls.

Louise Cowell Wiki

Louise Cowell worked as a university secretary, initially refused to believe her son Ted had killed more than two dozen women. She passed away in her native Tacoma, Washington. She died after entirely defending her son, serial killer Ted Bundy, prior to his confessions on death row. Louise took her last breathe at the age of 88. Her daughter name was Rose Bundy.

Louise Cowell Husband

Louise Cowell claimed she met a war veteran named Jack Worthington, who abandoned her soon after she became pregnant. In fact, Ted Bundy’s biological father’s identity has never been confirmed; his original birth certificate apparently assigns paternity to a salesman and United States Air Force veteran named Lloyd Marshall, though a copy of it listed his father as unknown.


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Census records reveal that several men by the name of John Worthington and Lloyd Marshall lived near Louise when Bundy was conceived. Some family members expressed suspicions that Bundy was sired by Louise’s own father.

However, in the 2020 documentary film Crazy, Not Insane, psychiatrist Dorothy Otnow Lewis claimed she received a sample of Bundy’s blood and that a DNA test had confirmed that Bundy was not the product of incest.

Louise Cowell Early Life & Son

At the age of five Ted moved to Tacoma, Washington with his mom Louise Cowell. She met John Bundy, a military chef there. It was not until many years later when he was in college that the truth was revealed about his family circumstances.

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Louise changed her surname from Cowell to Nelson, in 1950 and at the urging of multiple family members, left Philadelphia with Ted to live with cousins Alan and Jane Scott in Tacoma, Washington.

In 1951, Louise met Johnny Culpepper Bundy (April 23, 1921 – May 17, 2007), a hospital cook, at an adult singles night at Tacoma’s First Methodist Church. They married later that year and Johnny formally adopted Ted.

Johnny and Louise conceived four children together, and though Johnny tried to include his adopted son in camping trips and other family activities, Bundy remained distant from him. He would later complain to a girlfriend that Johnny “was not his real father”, “wasn’t very bright,” and “didn’t make much money.”

Mrs. Bundy often defended her son, even if she became aloof as the years passed. In 1999, Ted Bundy was linked to the 1961 disappearance of eight-year-old Ann Marie Burr in Tacoma who was never seen again. Ms. Bundy stated to the News Tribune:

‘I resent the fact that everybody in Tacoma thinks just because he lived in Tacoma he did that one, too, way back when he was 14. I’m sure he didn’t.’

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