About this Blog

"In the future everybody will be world-famous for 15 minutes." So said the bleached-out, late lamented artist Andy Warhol. Having lived and worked in New York City, Warhol came to fully grasp the hold celebrity has on us. In this very famous sentence, he meant to point out that in a culture fixated on fame, many people will suddenly flash brightly onto the public screen, then--poof--will just as quickly disappear from public view--like shooting stars. Other individuals derive their celebrity from one stellar accomplishment (one hit song, one iconic role, etc.) that they never again match.

This blog is devoted to the one part of our celebrity culture that no one has written much about: temporary/one-shot celebrities.

The pace of modern life has quickened, and now we hear people speaking of someone's 15 seconds of fame. These "celebrities with a lower-case c" who will appear in this blog sometimes come to us from the world of entertainment, sometimes from the world of news. All are fascinating.

The need of our communications media for a continual stream of new material assures that we will have no end of colorful people who go quickly, where celebrity is concerned, from zero to hero (or villain) and back to zero. Now you see 'em, now you don't. What a crazy world, eh?

Temporary celebrities coming from the world of entertainment include one-hit recording artists; TV and movie icons who, although they might have had a great many accomplishments in their career, are remembered for one big role; standouts of reality TV; sports figures remembered for one remarkable accomplishment; and people whose celebrity came from one big role in a commercial or print ad.

News-based temporary celebrities come in many forms: mass/serial killers, other murderers of special note, sex-crime offenders, disgraced figures of government/military/business/media/religion, spies/traitors, hoaxers, femmes/hommes fatale, heroes, whistle blowers, inventors/innovators, and victims.

Celebrity Blogsburg will consider each category in turn.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mass/serial killers: Ted Bundy

We have come to expect most killers, especially those who do it wholesale, to be shaggy, unattractive outcasts whose frustrations and disappointments lead them into mental instability, but this is not always the case.

Ted Bundy, who confessed to 28 to 30 killings, was quite the opposite: a handsome charmer whose manner and good looks greatly appealed to the women who became his victims.

From 1974 to 1979, Bundy murdered at least 30 women of various ages in several states: Florida, Colorado, Utah and Washington. In many instances, he also assaulted them sexually, sometimes after their deaths. Most of his victims were attractive young brunettes, and he usually either strangled or clubbed them to death.

Unlike most serial killers, Bundy appears to have had a reasonably happy childhood, but by age 15, his murderous tendencies had surfaced. Ironically, he worked for a time in a rape crisis center and even wrote a pamphlet on rape prevention.

Bundy was arrested for burglary in 1977 but escaped, was recaptured, and then escaped again. He was caught in Pensacola, Florida, when someone spotted the license plate of a stolen car he was driving.

In 1989, Bundy was executed by electrocution. He had blamed his murderous instincts on pornography.

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