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Cody Ackland: Murderer was inspired by US serial killer Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy (Alamy/PA)
Ted Bundy (Alamy/PA)

The guitarist who snatched 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod at a bus stop had an obsession with murder and serial killers, and one in particular – Ted Bundy.

Cody Ackland snatched Miss McLeod from a bus stop in Leigham, Plymouth in November last year, striking her twice to the head with a claw hammer before bundling her into his car.

He would later bludgeon her to death in a remote car park on Dartmoor.

Three days after the killing Ackland handed himself in, and investigators would find more than three thousand images of the bodies of murder victims, murder weapons and bloodstained clothing.

Ackland had pored over the lives of famous serial killers, but his decision to attack Miss McLeod with a hammer bore a striking resemblance to American murderer Bundy’s modus operandi.

Bobbi-Anne McLeod death
Cody Ackland, in the dock at Plymouth Crown Court (Elizabeth Cook/PA)

Bundy confessed to the murders of 30 women in the across the states of Oregon, Utah, Florida, Colorado, and Idaho, beginning in the 1970s.

The true figure might be much higher.

He would target young women who were usually living independently either in the early stages of their career or as college students.

Bundy would typically approach them in public places and fake a disability in order to get them to assist him with a task, such as lifting something out of his car.

He would batter them unconscious with a hammer or other blunt weapon before moving them to a secret location where he would rape and strangle them.

Often he would return to their bodies, sometimes washing them, putting make-up on them and sexually assaulting their corpses.

In some instances he decapitated the dead bodies and stored the heads in his apartment.

He twice managed to escape jail, and was finally recaptured in February 1978.

Bovisand
Drone view of Bovisand, outside of Plymouth, where Bobbi-Anne McLeod’s body was found (Devon and Cornwall Police/PA)

Bundy’s case captured the imagination of the US public, and his trial was one of the first to be broadcast live on television.

After a lengthy legal fight and numerous stays, Bundy was finally executed by electric chair in January 1989.

Ann Rule, one of Bundy’s many biographers, described him as: “A sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human’s pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death and even after.”

Like Bundy, despite turning himself in and confessing his crime, detectives working on the case say Ackland has never shown a shred of remorse for killing Miss McLeod.