Ted Bundy’s take on porn

Posted on: 05/23/19 10:16 AM | by Jonathan McKee

In the last two weeks I watched the Netflix documentary about serial killer Ted Bundy. . .fascinating and truly frightening.

As I was watching it I wondered if they’d mention the Dr. James Dobson interview because Dobson was actually the last person to interview Bundy before his execution. Sure enough… they offered a little blip at the end of the documentary.

Bundy was very open about the influence pornography had in his life:

I’ve lived in prison for a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence just like me, and without exception every one of them was deeply involved in pornography… the FBI’s own study on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.

The timing of this was interesting because I just spoke at a conference about porn and technology (my role was to talk about helping teens be wise with screens), I just released a book to young guys about battling the temptation of porn, substances, and screens… and I just posted an article to parents helping their sons evade porn. Not to mention I was actually at Focus on Family speaking the week I saw this documentary (and yes… I asked around to see if any of the people from the 80’s who helped film that interview were still around—no luck—no 70-year-old cameramen still working there).

Here’s Dobson’s full interview with Bundy on YouTube.

The interview is really intriguing—worth watching. My two cents:

  • Research is clear, pornography definitely rewires our brain and softens us to violence against women. (The Time cover article on porn cited compelling research about this as well)
  • Porn isn’t the only reason Bundy killed countless women—but it was a contributing factor. Ted even admits this.
  • Ted admits that he was under the influence of alcohol during most of his acts (I remember the testimony of the one lone survivor in the documentary saying she smelled alcohol on his breath)
  • Tod lies in almost every interview he gives—so I listened to this interview with a grain of salt, realizing he is probably spinning his story. But it’s amazing how most interviewers were able to get tidbits of truth from him, and it’s pretty clear that Dr. Dobson was able to some authentic thoughts from Ted about porn, violence and desensitization.

I find it interesting that even in the Netflix documentary they minimized, almost chuckling and dismissing Bundy’s comments to Dobson about pornography. In fact one of the journalists rationalized, “I was stunned when he blamed it on pornography because we all grow up having access to pornography and it doesn’t turn us all into serial killers. I guess he was trying to blame it on somebody else (chuckled). Blame it on the Devil.” But this journalist apparently hadn’t paid close attention to Ted’s words, calling it merely an “influence” or “factor” (naming alcohol as another one).

People always want to dismiss factors when violence occurs. The same thing happens every time there is a school shooting—people try to dismiss bullying as a factor. Sure, most school shootings have multiple factors, big ones being mental illness, home environment AND bullying. But for some reason people always speak out against entertainment media as an influence… afraid that we’re going to demolish the first amendment and start burning copies of Catcher in the Rye.

Let’s not put on blinders. Don’t ignore the nuggets of truth so clearly evident in this kind of testimony. Like about six and a half minutes into that YouTube video when he talks specifically about his experience violent pornography:

Once you become addicted to it… I would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of material. Like an addiction you keep craving something that is harder, something which gives you a greater sense of excitement. Until you reach the point where the pornography only goes so far. You reach that jumping off point where you begin to wonder if maybe actually doing it will give you that which is beyond just reading about it or looking at it.

Words to consider.

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