A Time of Change
To make matters worse, in 1969 Bundy learned his true parentage. His "sister" was actually his mother and his "parents," were actually his grandparents. Not unexpectedly, this late discovery had a rather serious impact on him. Michaud says that his attitude towards his mother did not change much, but he became nasty and surly to Johnnie Bundy.
It's hard to say whether the knowledge that his mother had deceived him all his life had any impact on his other character flaws which were beginning to blossom. Throughout Ted Bundy's high school and college years, there was always a cloud over his reputation for honesty. Many people close to him suspected him of petty thievery.
Perhaps Ted's psychopathic nature was being revealed, but the people who witnessed his behavior did not realize the implications of the tendencies he was developing. Stealing without any sense of guilt and, in fact, a sense of entitlement, is a common trait in a psychopath. Also, psychopaths get a thrill from the the excitement and danger that stealing and shoplifting presents to them. Ted's dishonesty evolved from stealing small things in work and school situations to shoplifting to burglarizing homes for televisions and other items of value.
He changed from a shy and introverted person to a more focused and dominant character. He was driven, as if to prove himself to the world. He re-enrolled at the University of Washington and studied psychology, a subject in which he excelled. Bundy became an honors student and was well liked by his professors at the university.
It is also at this time when Ted met Elizabeth Kendall (a pseudonym under which she wrote The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy), a woman with whom he would be involved with for almost five years. Elizabeth worked as a secretary and was a somewhat shy and quiet woman. She was a divorcee who seemed to have found in Ted Bundy the perfect father figure for her daughter. Elizabeth was deeply in love with Ted from the start and wanted to one day marry him. However, Ted said he was not yet ready for marriage because he felt there was still too much for him to accomplish. She knew that Ted didn't feel as strongly for her as she did him. She felt that on many occasions Ted was meeting with other women. Yet, Elizabeth hoped that time would bring him around to her and he would eventually change his ways. She was unaware of his past relationship with his girlfriend from California and that they still continued to keep in contact and visit each other.
Outwardly, Ted's life in 1969-1972 seemed to be changing for the better. He was more confident, with high hopes for his future. Ted began sending out applications to various law schools, while at the same time he became active in politics. He worked on a campaign to re-elect a Washington governor, a position that allowed Ted to form bonds with politically powerful people in the Republican Party. Ted also performed volunteer work at a crisis clinic on a work-study program. He was pleased with the path his life was taking at this time, everything seemed to be going in the right direction. He was even commended by the Seattle police for saving the life of a three-year-old boy who was drowning in a lake.
In 1973, during a business trip to California for the Washington Republican Party, Ted met up with his old girlfriend. She was amazed at the transformation in Ted. He was much more confident and mature, not as aimless as he was when they last dated. They met several other times afterwards, unknown to his steady girlfriend, Elizabeth. During Ted's business trips he romantically courted the lovely young woman from California and she once again fell in love with him.
Marriage was a topic brought up more than once by Ted over their many intimate rendezvous during that fall and winter. Yet, just as suddenly as their romance began, it changed radically. Where once Ted lavished affection upon her, he was suddenly cold and despondent. It seemed as if Ted had lost all interest in her in just a few weeks. She was clearly confused about this "new" Ted. In February 1974, with no warning or explanation, Ted ended all contact with her. His plan of revenge worked. He rejected her as she had once rejected him. She was never to see or hear from Ted again.