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The ego is formed through the interaction and socialization with others. The ego is based on the reality principle and recognizes that other people have needs that also need to be fulfilled. The ego also understands that submitting to the id can lead to self-destructive behavior. The ego is also subject to "defense mechanisms" that will help it mediate between the id and the super-ego. One defense mechanism present in Bundy's behavior is displacement. Displacement occurs when one directs threatening impulses on a less threatening target. Reports indicate that Bundy directed his attacks on middle-class, white females, between the ages of 15 and 25, many of who were college students. His victims are speculated to have resembled his first girlfriend, "Stephanie Brooks." After his relationship with "Brooks" ended in 1968, Bundy became depressed, dropped out of school, and began traveling east. Bundy had confessed that his first attempted kidnapping occurred in 1969, an indication that the termination of his relationship with "Brooks" may have been the trigger on his serial killing spree.
The super-ego is closely associated with the individual's conscience and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. In Bundy, his sense of right and wrong was corrupted at a young age as his parentage was initially hidden from him by his "parents," who were in fact, his grandparents, and his "sister," who was, in fact, his mother. Bundy made an attempt at appearing normal to society, participating in politics, attending and completing college, and by maintaining a seemingly normal relationship with Elizabeth Kloepfer. But Bundy could not maintain this facade and eventually quit politics, school, and his relationship ended when he went to prison in 1976 for kidnapping. Further deterioration of his super-ego led to his murderous rampages and to the disintegration of his super-ego. It is speculated that serial killers lack the capacity to feel guilt, and therefore are devoid of super-egos.
Bundy was executed on January 24, 1989. He never made a full confession to his crimes, though he confessed to having committed more than 30 crimes, of which only 20 were verified.