‘We Are Your Sons and We Are Your Husbands’

Here are some excerpts from the interview Jan. 23 between religious broadcaster James Dobson and convicted killer Ted Bundy.

Bundy: This is the message that I want to get across, that as a young boy . . . I encountered, outside the home again, in the local grocery store, in a local drugstore, the soft-core pornography that people called soft core. . . . And from time to time we would come across pornographic books of a harder . . . more graphic, explicit nature than we would encounter at the local grocery store. And this also included such things as detective magazines.

Dobson: Those that involved violence?

Bundy: Yes, yes, and this is something I think I want to emphasize is that the most damaging kinds of pornography . . . are those that involve violence and sexual violence. . . . Because the wedding of those two forces is, as I know only too well, brings out the hatred that is just, just too terrible to describe. The question and the issue is how this kind of literature contributed and helped mold and shape the kinds of violent behavior. . . .


Dobson: It fueled your fantasies, didn’t it?

Bundy: In the beginning it fuels this kind of thought process, then at a certain time it is instrumental, I would say crystallizing, making into something which is almost like a separate entity inside. At that point, I was at the verge of acting out in this kind. . . .

Dobson: Now, I really want to understand that. You had gone about as far as you could in your own fantasy life with printed material, or printed and film . . . and then there was the urge to take that little step, or big step, over to a physical event?

Bundy: And it happened in stages, gradually. It didn’t necessarily, not to me at least, happen overnight. My experience with pornography generally, but with pornography that deals on a violent level with sexuality, is once you become addicted to it . . . I would keep looking for more potent, more explicit, more graphic kinds of material.

. . . Another factor here I haven’t mentioned is the use of alcohol. What alcohol did in conjunction with exposure to pornography is alcohol reduced my inhibitions at the same time the fantasy life that was fueled by pornography eroded them further. . . .

It just occurred to me that some people will say that, ‘Well, I’ve seen that stuff and it doesn’t do anything to me.’ And I can understand that. Virtually everyone can be exposed to pornography and while they are aroused to one degree or another, they do not go out and do anything wrong.

Dobson: Addictions are like that. They affect some people more than they affect others. But there is a percentage of people affected by hard-core pornography in a very violent way and you are obviously one of them.

Bundy: And people need to recognize (that) . . . those of us who are or who have been so much influenced by violence in the media, in particular pornographic violence, are not some kind of inherent monsters. We are your sons and we are your husbands and we grew up in regular families. And pornography can reach out and snatch a kid out of any house today.