He was a handsome student, charming, articulate and brimming with self-confidence. Success was his for the choosing, but the vocation Ted Bundy chose is not to be found in any careers book. While his fellow-students set their sights on becoming lawyers, architects, doctors and accountants, Bundy secretly devoted himself to something totally different.

Serial killing was what appealed to him, and the random nature of his murders would make him difficult to catch. In his four-year orgy of sex attacks committed right across the United States, he killed at least 23 women. The actual figure may be as high as 40, and Bundy boasted that the accurate total was “in three digits.”

When he went to the electric chair on January 24th, 1989, after some 10 years on Death Row, Americans celebrated by holding parties, wearing T-shirts emblazoned: “Burn, Bundy, Burn.” A local disc jockey urged listeners to turn off their coffee pots so that “Sparky can have more juice.”

And at the moment of Bundy’s death thousands of spectators outside the prison roared their approval, drivers hooting their horns, while a nearby bar served Bundy “fries” and Bundy “toast,” with a sign above reading: “Roast in Peace.”