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Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy

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Ted Bundy was convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping. But was he violent? In March 1976, Ted Bundy was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping of a young woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy had not been accused or convicted of any violent crime except this one. No one knew then how many women Bundy had murdered, and many thought him incapable of doing so. Dr Al Carlisle was Ted Bundy was convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping. But was he violent? In March 1976, Ted Bundy was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping of a young woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy had not been accused or convicted of any violent crime except this one. No one knew then how many women Bundy had murdered, and many thought him incapable of doing so. Dr Al Carlisle was part of the 90-Day Diagnostic team at the Utah State Prison when Bundy was sent there after the trial. Dr. Carlisle’s assignment was specific: Determine to the best of his ability, without being biased by any of the reports previously done, whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality. The judge would use this information in deciding whether Bundy should serve time or be released on probation. In Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy, Dr Carlisle takes the reader step by step through this previously unpublished evaluation process, and shows how he concluded that Bundy had the capacity to commit aggravated kidnapping, and perhaps much worse. Many books have been written about Bundy, but rarely have we had the opportunity to understand the inner workings of his mind. Violent Mind contains never before seen interviews with Ted Bundy and those who knew him, including a letter Bundy wrote to Dr Carlisle that has been locked away for more than 40 years.


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Ted Bundy was convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping. But was he violent? In March 1976, Ted Bundy was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping of a young woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy had not been accused or convicted of any violent crime except this one. No one knew then how many women Bundy had murdered, and many thought him incapable of doing so. Dr Al Carlisle was Ted Bundy was convicted of Aggravated Kidnapping. But was he violent? In March 1976, Ted Bundy was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping of a young woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy had not been accused or convicted of any violent crime except this one. No one knew then how many women Bundy had murdered, and many thought him incapable of doing so. Dr Al Carlisle was part of the 90-Day Diagnostic team at the Utah State Prison when Bundy was sent there after the trial. Dr. Carlisle’s assignment was specific: Determine to the best of his ability, without being biased by any of the reports previously done, whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality. The judge would use this information in deciding whether Bundy should serve time or be released on probation. In Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy, Dr Carlisle takes the reader step by step through this previously unpublished evaluation process, and shows how he concluded that Bundy had the capacity to commit aggravated kidnapping, and perhaps much worse. Many books have been written about Bundy, but rarely have we had the opportunity to understand the inner workings of his mind. Violent Mind contains never before seen interviews with Ted Bundy and those who knew him, including a letter Bundy wrote to Dr Carlisle that has been locked away for more than 40 years.

30 review for Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This book is based on a report that Dr. Al Carlisle wrote for the judge to help him determine a sentence for Ted Bundy after he was found guilty of the aggravated kidnap of Carol Da Ronch near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy was sent over to the Utah State Prison for a 90 day period for Dr. Carlisle and the rest of the team to test and talk to him to get a full idea of him psychologically and assess him for violence for the court. The judge had been rather surprised by a group of citizens who This book is based on a report that Dr. Al Carlisle wrote for the judge to help him determine a sentence for Ted Bundy after he was found guilty of the aggravated kidnap of Carol Da Ronch near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy was sent over to the Utah State Prison for a 90 day period for Dr. Carlisle and the rest of the team to test and talk to him to get a full idea of him psychologically and assess him for violence for the court. The judge had been rather surprised by a group of citizens who rallied on behalf of Ted Bundy despite his conviction, saying they still believed he was innocent and asking him to make sure he wasn't sending him away wrongfully. So the judge requested this added step, just to be sure. I found it quite interesting as part of the Ted Bundy lore, filling in some of the picture of him mentally, telling how he tried to fool the experts and how he was doing while being held. No one knew at that time if he had killed anyone. There were only suspicions. "Dr. Carlisle’s assignment was specific: Determine to the best of his ability, without being biased by any of the reports previously done, whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality. The judge would use this information in deciding whether Bundy should serve time or be released on probation." The book shares the evaluation process and its conclusions, along with some of Ted's answers on different tests he took. There are conversations he had with Dr. Carlisle during that time and in later years. and it even has a letter found in Bundy's effects after his death that he wrote to Dr. Carlisle and never sent. All in all, a very unique look at the killer that would be lacking if left out. For Ted Bundy readers, and true crime readers, and psychology readers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dsjm Reviews

    Reviewed by Demetrius Svette *This book was provided for an honest review Most minds are not like mine; I bought my first serial killer book when I was nine years old and fell in love with the twisted psychopaths after that. I look into all different kinds of serial killers to learn their habits, wants and needs- to find out what drives them to the brink of madness. How did they become that way? It is what I always try to figure out. It is more of an art form to these particular people. Some can Reviewed by Demetrius Svette *This book was provided for an honest review Most minds are not like mine; I bought my first serial killer book when I was nine years old and fell in love with the twisted psychopaths after that. I look into all different kinds of serial killers to learn their habits, wants and needs- to find out what drives them to the brink of madness. How did they become that way? It is what I always try to figure out. It is more of an art form to these particular people. Some can cover up that darkness, but some are completely overtaken by the dark side of their minds. If you have a respect towards the crazies (as I call them) then you will respect this book, titled Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy. You may ask yourself why and I’ll tell you, but where should I begin? I fell in love from the title alone, Assessment of Ted Bundy; but not only is it an assessment of a very famous serial killer, but the author- Dr. Al Carlisle- was actually a part of the assessment team for ninety days. Are you ready to explore the depths of the twisted inner working of a true violent mind? If you are, then look no further. Ted Bundy was convicted of aggravated kidnapping in March of 1976 of a young woman in Salt Lake City, Utah; at the time of this conviction, he was not accused or convicted of any other violent crimes. Many of Bundy’s friends and family did not believe he was capable of doing these heinous acts of violence. The judge presiding over the case ordered a psychological evaluation on Bundy, which was performed with a ninety-day diagnostic team at the Utah State Prison where Ted was sent after trail. Dr. Carlisle was one of these team members. You will go in depth with them in this step by step process using the actual questions given to Bundy and his genuine answers to them. The judge will use the assessment- alongside of Dr. Carlisle’s evaluation- to gain the information needed to decide whether he should serve time or be released on probation. With these until recently unpublished findings, you can understand why and how Bundy became the most famous one of the all. Dr. Al Carlisle should be praised to the higher tops of the globe for providing the world his eye-to-eye experience with Ted Bundy. Through reading this phenomenal assessment, he made me feel as if I were there across from Bundy, reliving the process that Carlisle went through in 1976. I thank Dr. Carlisle humbly for that. He also provided us with not just the assessment, but also never before seen interviews (the kind that make people all around the world buy blu rays just to see hours upon hours of extra footage) that includes letters that Ted Bundy actually wrote to Dr. Carlisle. Throughout this book, you build this emotional attachment from Bundy’s answers because you get to experience his personality. I have learned way more about him from Dr. Carlisle than I ever would have from a movie, documentary or anything else out there. He is lucky and fortunate to have done this to be able to provide all these great experiences to the society within a disturbed world; furthering the understanding of the inner minds of serial killers and how they work. Not only has Carlisle interviewed Ted Bundy, but he has done so with other serial killers and I will be looking into more from him- reading more of his extensive research and interviews with the others.

  3. 4 out of 5

    B.J. Thompson

    New Insight to Bundy Recommend to anyone who has read the Aynesworth/Michaud interviews as augmented material. The woman cleaning the oven card I do not believe is likened to Liz. I believe it's Bundy pining for the corpses in the Cascades, all dirty but still beautiful to him.

  4. 4 out of 5

    An Aussie Book Nerd

    Forever infamous An intriguing read that she’s a different light on a serial killer that we’ve come to to as a charmer and so called lady’s man. I love that this was written by a psychologist it made for some very interesting reading material!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Noctvrnal

    Review time! Al Carlisle - "Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assesment of Ted Bundy" This time I read a non-fiction book and it's not rare of me to read true crime but I read this one in a record winning time - one day! I got this eBook as a gift and I didn't know how much I wanted to read it before I started reading it. I haven't read about Ted Bundy explicitly before except for "The Phantom Prince" which I was lucky to get as a digital temporary version. The book shook me in all kind of ways 🌿Review time! 🌿Al Carlisle - "Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assesment of Ted Bundy" 🌿This time I read a non-fiction book and it's not rare of me to read true crime but I read this one in a record winning time - one day! I got this eBook as a gift and I didn't know how much I wanted to read it before I started reading it. 🌿I haven't read about Ted Bundy explicitly before except for "The Phantom Prince" which I was lucky to get as a digital temporary version. The book shook me in all kind of ways and it really fascinated me too. That's why I opened this book right away. 🌿I haven't read any other Carlisle books but I have to say I just might start reading his other publications. 🌿Now, this book isn't boring or dry. Far from it. While Al explains how he drew conclusions from interviews with Ted and those close to him, he also provides parts of those interviews and even adds letters Ted wrote to him from prison. 🌿"The Phantom Prince" gave me a pretty deep insight of what kind of a person Ted was and I knew majority of his life and crime from other general true crime books so I didn't really expect this book to show me anything new but it really did. Al lays down everything he knows, every detail he sees as important and this was just one amazing read. 🌿One thing I never understood, which was confirmed by several people from Ted's background, that people, and girls mostly, saw him as handsome. Sorry gals, Ted is a one man I probably will never find handsome and that's not because he killed people, I just don't understand how so many women and girls fell for him 😂 🌿Do I recommend this book? Definitely. One of the most interrsting reads of this year despite the year being still young! 🌿My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

  6. 5 out of 5

    Zephyrine

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I'm a psychology student and I want to work in the justice system. I like to read about serial killers, because I think it's an interesting topic. I always try to figure out how can they do what they do. This book is very precise and cover every aspect of Ted Bundy's personality. It's very well written and interesting. Dr. Carlisle showed us a true monster, who could disguise I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I'm a psychology student and I want to work in the justice system. I like to read about serial killers, because I think it's an interesting topic. I always try to figure out how can they do what they do. This book is very precise and cover every aspect of Ted Bundy's personality. It's very well written and interesting. Dr. Carlisle showed us a true monster, who could disguise himself as a handsome, intelligent and friendly man. Of course Ted was intelligent, because he couldn't hide his true self otherwise. I couldn't put down this book, and I'm sure I will be looking into Dr. Carlisle's other works in the near future.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn Pachnek

    Interesting This was shorter than a typical book, and lacked the kind of sureness I was hoping for. However, it does present some cogent theories as to what happens in the process of becoming a serial murderer. It’s presented as fact, but with far from proof of that. I had to keep reminding myself that the assessment was from 1976, although the author/psychologist who did the assessment does use knowledge gained since to explain his reasoning. I was left with food for thought, but not a feeling Interesting This was shorter than a typical book, and lacked the kind of sureness I was hoping for. However, it does present some cogent theories as to what happens in the process of becoming a serial murderer. It’s presented as fact, but with far from proof of that. I had to keep reminding myself that the assessment was from 1976, although the author/psychologist who did the assessment does use knowledge gained since to explain his reasoning. I was left with food for thought, but not a feeling of the mystery explained. In fact, this author’s postulations stipulate that these killers experience very real emotions and guilt, contrary to the prevailing theory that anyone who could do such heinous things must be stone cold incapable of compassion or remorse.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

    Interesting perspective of the monster we knew as Ted Bundy. Right from the psychologist who did an assessment and wrote the psychological evaluation for the courts. It gave some real insight to what made Ted Bundy who he became. I've always been interested in the psychology behind the mind of the serial killer, and this book really gave some insight into what and how they think, their emotions or lack there of, and their ability to understand what they are doing and that it is wrong. Very Interesting perspective of the monster we knew as Ted Bundy. Right from the psychologist who did an assessment and wrote the psychological evaluation for the courts. It gave some real insight to what made Ted Bundy who he became. I've always been interested in the psychology behind the mind of the serial killer, and this book really gave some insight into what and how they think, their emotions or lack there of, and their ability to understand what they are doing and that it is wrong. Very interesting book. Highly recommend it to those interested in the psychology behind the serial killer.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Stelling

    This book was strictly the psychiatrist\psychologist point of view with transcripts of the sessions had with Ted Bundy. It was very interesting how the potential for violence was gleaned from the tests and conversations had with him. This book was not a rehashing of his crimes at all so someone looking for gruesome details of violent murders would be disappointed. What it did include was interviews with the people who knew him. It was a quick read and well written.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Susan Bennett

    Fast read...Informative This book is not a true crime account of Bundy's murders but centers on his review and evaluation. I enjoyed learning the impact that detachment and compartmentalization has on the criminal mind. I also enjoyed the discussion of the homicidal tendencies becoming an actual addiction.

  11. 5 out of 5

    DP Lyle

    Ted Bundy is the poster boy of charismatic serial killers. In Violent Mind, Dr. Carlisle offers his in-depth exploration of "Ted's" psychological make-up. A fascinating read. Highly recommended. DP Lyle, award-winning author, lecturer, and story consultant

  12. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    Excellent. Dr. Carlisle really has wonderful insight to this infamous killer. There is some new material too!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    couldn't put it down.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Heather Ingram

    5 Stars I really enjoyed this book. I love learning about psychology and what makes people tick, so this was the perfect read for me.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lynn

    A quick read, but enjoyed detailed background information about Ted and his past from the mouths of people who knew him personally. Would definitely recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Athena Stephenson

    Very interesting and in depth look into the psychological assessment on serial killer Ted Bundy by Dr. Carlisle.* I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review *

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephani Elise

    Compelling, informative, highly interesting. Read it in less than 24 hrs. I simply couldn't put it down.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lucila Rodriguez

    Excelente libro. Dr Carlisle presenta los test psicológicos a los que Ted Bundy fue sometido, intentado diagnosticarlo como violento o no, antes de su sentencia en el caso de intento de secuestro de Carol DaRonch. El autor no conoce que Bundy es sospechoso de múltiples asesinatos y violaciones enEashington, Utah, Colorado. Y a pesar de que Bundy miente en sus respuestas, tratando de presentarse como una persona ‘mormal’ ( de lo que se enorgullece después al comentárselo a su amiga Ann Rule, ya Excelente libro. Dr Carlisle presenta los test psicológicos a los que Ted Bundy fue sometido, intentado diagnosticarlo como violento o no, antes de su sentencia en el caso de intento de secuestro de Carol DaRonch. El autor no conoce que Bundy es sospechoso de múltiples asesinatos y violaciones enEashington, Utah, Colorado. Y a pesar de que Bundy miente en sus respuestas, tratando de presentarse como una persona ‘mormal’ ( de lo que se enorgullece después al comentárselo a su amiga Ann Rule, ya que él era graduado en Psicología, materia que estudió, pienso yo, para tratar de entenderse a sí mismo), el autor informa a la Corte que “ el individuo en cuestión es violento, y si ha cometido un crimen antes, volverá a cometerlo.” Meses después Bundy escaparía de la cárter, huiría a Florida y cometería varios crímenes más. En la parte final del libro, el autor hace una explicación sobre el Yo dividido de los asesinos en serie, la compartimentada personalidad, la disociación, el rol de la fantasía (violenta), la obsesión, la habituación ( al crimen/ abuso sexual/ homicidio), el declive y finalmente la caída de un asesino en serie. Realmente interesante. Explicación que se puede aplicar también a asesinos en masa ( como Columbine, donde los que cometieron la masacre fantaseaban en verse superiores, armados hasta los dientes, y como una especie de ‘Trrminator’ entrar al colegio y acabar con todos y con todo). Difícil entender porqué no puede ser considerado una enfermedad mental, ya que se parece mucho a la addiccion al alcohol y drogas, pero la adiccion al crimen violento no causa daño sólo al perpetrador sino a muchas personas. No quiero decir que no merezcan ser encarcelados y castigados, sino que pueda ser diagnosticado, intentar tratarlo, y más importante aún: prevenirlo.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This book is slightly better than Mr. Carlisle’s book, I’m Not Guilty, also about Ted Bundy. This book was interesting because he wrote primarily about the assessment he did on Bundy when he was arrested in the DaRonch case. However, what comes shining through is Mr. Carlisle’s ego. He considers himself special to have assessed Bundy, recurved a telephone call and letters from the serial killer...because Bundy was a famous serial killer? Because he respected Bundy? I think Carlisle was pulled in This book is slightly better than Mr. Carlisle’s book, I’m Not Guilty, also about Ted Bundy. This book was interesting because he wrote primarily about the assessment he did on Bundy when he was arrested in the DaRonch case. However, what comes shining through is Mr. Carlisle’s ego. He considers himself special to have assessed Bundy, recurved a telephone call and letters from the serial killer...because Bundy was a famous serial killer? Because he respected Bundy? I think Carlisle was pulled in by Bundy’s charisma and he also jumped on the hype to write a few books and get his 5-minutes if fame. I also question a great deal of what Carlisle conjectures about the results of the psychological tests he conducted. I am not impressed at all with this author.

  20. 5 out of 5

    John-Paul Newton

    Not blown away; my expectations were probably too high. It seemed fairly superficial, and provided minimal insight beyond what could be gleaned from any basic Bundy bio. But maybe that's all a court-ordered psych is going to get from a man like Bundy. Lots of typos, which doesn't really lend it any further weight or impact, except maybe in the measure of disappointment you feel about halfway through. Decided to move on after the second appendix.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca- bookworm from Birmingham

    Good overall analysis of what was going on in Bundys mind Highly recommend for all Bundyphiles! Dr Carlisle established a relationship with Ted that went beyond psyche evaluation. He actually got to know him enough for Ted to seek his approval.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    If you want to know Ted Bundy read this I found this book really interesting the words of Bundy as he spoke revealed a lot about him, the science behind how a serial Killer comes about is really interesting stuff.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Cochran

    A great Bundy book I liked the psychological explanations for how Bundy evolved into a killer. If you enjoy true crime books this is one of the best. It approaches the genre and the development of Bundy’s demons from the psychological perspective.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlene A. Lester

    Guilty or not?, Sane or not? Ted Bundy was quite a character - and not in a good way. This book doesn't go into any detail about the murders it does go into great detail as to mental health. The author did a psychological evaluation and found Mr. Bundy did have violent tendencies.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Adcock

    Really nice first hand read. Written by the psychologist that interviewed Bundy. Very fast read and easy to understand.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    Interesting look at old psychological assessment.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jason Claus

    This was a different type of book in my opinion. The perspective was clinical but there are still a lot of questions that were not answered.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Fantastic book for those who are looking for more psychological insight on Ted as a human being. There’s a lot of tidbits from the assessment that are quite interesting, and Carlisle gives his insights and interpretations along with the answers Ted gave. If you’ve read other books about his crimes but are yearning to learn more about the person behind them, I think this does that. Bundy was never particularly forthcoming or honest, and is long dead, so this book is the best you’re going to get on Fantastic book for those who are looking for more psychological insight on Ted as a human being. There’s a lot of tidbits from the assessment that are quite interesting, and Carlisle gives his insights and interpretations along with the answers Ted gave. If you’ve read other books about his crimes but are yearning to learn more about the person behind them, I think this does that. Bundy was never particularly forthcoming or honest, and is long dead, so this book is the best you’re going to get on explaining Teds inner psychology.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Dr Carlisle was part of the 90-day diagnostic team of Utah State Prison and did the diagnostic of Ted Bundy while he was there after his trial. He needed to find out if Bundy was capable of doing the things he was charged with. The answer was, obviously, a big fat yes! He spoke to Bundy and interviewed various people in his life, old friends, ex-girlfriends and people he knew from various jobs and places he rented, Dr Carlisle then built a picture of him from these interviews. A very informative Dr Carlisle was part of the 90-day diagnostic team of Utah State Prison and did the diagnostic of Ted Bundy while he was there after his trial. He needed to find out if Bundy was capable of doing the things he was charged with. The answer was, obviously, a big fat yes! He spoke to Bundy and interviewed various people in his life, old friends, ex-girlfriends and people he knew from various jobs and places he rented, Dr Carlisle then built a picture of him from these interviews. A very informative and interesting read, Dr Carlisle had to be unbiased in his assessment (as you have to be with everyone who goes through the diagnostic), it's still a frightening look into the mind of a serial killer who looked like the 'boy next door' and tried to hide his true nature from everyone around him. Thoroughly enjoyed this as i do love True Crime and books by professionals who are in this field. *Huge thanks to Dr Al Carlisle, Kobo Writing Life and NetGalley for this copy which I chose to read and all opinions are my own*

  30. 4 out of 5

    ed boatright

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