Lecture will explore Ted Bundy’s past and the unsolved murder epidemic

Matt DeLisi

Matt DeLisi

AMES, Iowa – Renowned Iowa State University criminologist Matt DeLisi will deliver a lecture next week connecting notorious serial killer Ted Bundy with the wider problem of unsolved murders in the United States.

The lecture, titled “Ted Bundy and the Unsolved Murder Epidemic,” will take place Monday, Sept. 11, at 6 p.m. in room 2630 of the Memorial Union. The event is free and open to the public.

The lecture follows the publication of DeLisi’s most recent book, which seeks to reconcile the contradictions and controversies about Bundy’s life and illustrate the broader phenomenon of murders that go unsolved in the United States. It’s estimated there are between 250,000 and 350,000 open, unresolved and cold murder cases in the United States today.

In the new book, DeLisi builds an argument that Bundy’s murder count was likely 100 or more, a far greater total than the official count of around 30 young women and girls. DeLisi also suspects Bundy’s first murders took place in adolescence.

DeLisi recalls during his childhood watching nightly news coverage of Bundy’s crimes, jail escapes and ultimate capture. He was in high school during Bundy's execution in 1989, and his academic interests coincided with the burgeoning true crime genre.

DeLisi is a Distinguished Professor and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean’s Professor and coordinator of criminal justice studies and a faculty affiliate of the Center for the study of Violence at Iowa State University. His research interests include criminal careers, self-control theory, corrections, psychotherapy and the molecular and behavioral genetics of antisocial behavior.

The University Book Store will be onsite selling copies of his new book.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the ISU Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and Committee on Lectures, which is funded by Student Government.