Ted Bundy: The All-American Boy

Before Ted Bundy was the infamous serial killer that we all know today, he was an average young man in law school. In December of 1975, Bundy was arrested and charged with kidnapping, which he claimed being innocent of. In preparation of the trial Bundy's attorney John O'Connell asked Dr. Loftus if she would testify about her knowledge of the malleability of memory to try and discredit the prosecution's most important witness, the alleged "victim" herself, Carol DaRonch. Bundy's attorney said that he needed help because this kidnapping charge had made him the prime suspect in the "Ted cases." The "Ted cases" began in Washington state in January of 1974, women in their late teens up to their early twenties had began to disappear. All the victims were pretyy and had long brown hair that was parted down the middle and one woman every month vanished. The media was insensitive about the case and toward the victims and began labeling the missing women as "Miss February," "Miss March," etc. Months after the first disappearance several women came forward after being the victim of an attempted kidnapping and said that a man, who introduced himself as "Ted" had approached them with his arm in a sling and tried to kidnap them. "Ted" was described of being friendly and very attractive. O'Connell was afraid that if Bundy was convicted of this kidnapping charge, the prosecution would be given ammunition for trying him of the "Ted cases." Dr. Loftus was to testify about the inconsistencies of Daronch's statement and how under duress a person's memory does not always work the same was as it would under normal circumstances. Judges normally have a hard time agreeing to let experts in memory testify, believing juries do not need to be told how memory works because it is something simple and easy to understand; in this case Judge Hanson decided that allowing Dr. Loftus to testify would only help him evaulate what he already knew about memory and that because of this her testimony was allowed. When on the stand Dr. Loftus was questioned about 'unconscious transference,' 'postevent information,' the effects of stress on memory, and many other sets of information having to do with memory. After all testimony had been given Judge Hanson delivered a verdict of guilty of aggravated kidnapping and Ted Bundy was sent to prison. After the returning of the verdict by Judge Hanson the prosecution charged Bundy with the "Ted cases" and charges of murder, this was to be the Ted Bundy that all of America remembered.  

George Franklin

The case of George Franklin is very interesting and can really make someone wonder if our memories can really be trusted. Franklin's trial began on October 31, 1990 and was concluded on January 29, 1991 when he was convicted of murdering his daughter's (Eileen Franklin-Lipsker) childhood best friend, Susan Nason, on September 22, 1969. Susan Nason was in fact murdered on that date in 1969, but until the accusation, trial, and conviction of George Franklin her murder had gone unsolved. Eileen Franklin-Lipsker is the sole reason that the case against her father was started. In January 1989 while sitting in her living room holding her infant son and watching her daughter Jessica play; in a split second her entire world was turned upside down. While watching her daughter play she suddenly and unexpectedly recovered a 20 year memory of her father, George Franklin, raping and murdering her best friend while she watched. Months after the first memory appeared Franklin-Lipsker finally went to the police with her tale, after undergoing therapy and hypnosis to find if the memory was real or not. Franklin-Lipsker's memory was the piece of evidence to tie her father to her best friend's death. She told the police many details, many that corroborated with the evidence that they already had on the case. However, there were some pieces of the memory that were not consistent with the crime scene facts. For instance, Susan Nason had a ring that she always wore and Franklin-Lipsker insisted that the day of the murder Nason had the ring on one hand while in fact it was on the other. George Franklin's attorney took this piece of information and ran with it discovering that she was not the only one to get this description incorrect, the media had as well. Franklin's defense was starting to wonder if she had actually repressed the memory or if the memory was a falsely created one. Franklin's attorney's Douglas Horngrad and Arthur Wachtel consulted, and asked to testify on behalf of the defendant, Dr. Loftus. Dr. Loftus has problems with repressed memories and also believes that memory deteriorates after time. In this case, Dr. Loftus mentioned in her testimony that since memory deteriorates after time the length of time between the occurrence of the event and the occurrence of the memory, makes the memory extremely faulty. Despite Dr. Loftus' testimony George Franklin was convicted of murdered and sentenced to life in prison based solely on a memory. However, his conviction was later overturned on appeal.