Although Joe Berlinger’s biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile highly romanticized Ted Bundy’s and Liz Kloepfer’s relationship, their real story was straight from a horror movie.
1. Ted Bundy Was Both Verbally and Mentally Abusive
In her book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Liz described Bundy as emotionally and verbally abusive. Once, after confronting him about his kleptomania, he threatened her, “If you ever tell anyone about this, I’ll break your fucking neck.”
2. Bundy Admitted He Tried To Kill Liz
After Liz joined Alcoholics Anonymous, she began distancing herself from Bundy.
But while locked up in Florida, Bundy called her to admit, “There is something the matter with me … I just couldn’t contain it. I fought it for a long, long time … it was just too strong.”
In her book, Liz recalled that when she asked if he ever tried to kill her, Bundy told her that the urge took over one night when he was at her house. Bundy closed the damper so the smoke couldn’t go up the chimney, then he left after putting a towel under a door so the smoke wouldn’t escape.
3. Liz Discovered Bundy’s Murder Kit and Attempted To Alert the Police, But…
While snooping through Bundy’s room, Liz once found Plaster of Paris that he had stolen from the medical-supply company where he once worked. Another time, she noticed a pair of crutches in his apartment, which he said were his landlord. On another haunting occasion, she reached underneath his car seat to find something she had dropped, only to discover a hatchet.
She was frightened, but Bundy explained it with such ease—he needed to cut down a tree for his parents—that she waved it off in the moment.
While borrowing his car, Kloepfer found a stack of gas receipts over his visor—suggesting he had been on long road trips without telling her.
On August 8, 1974, Liz called the Seattle Police Department to tell them her boyfriend matched the description of the suspect who had used crutches to attack a victim.
But the dispatcher on the other end did not seem to be too interested, saying: “You need to come in and fill in a report. We’re too busy to talk to girlfriends over the phone,” and made Liz hang up.
Two months later, after Bundy moved to Utah and the kidnappings began happening there, she called the King County Police, but she was told they had already looked into Bundy and cleared him.
4. They Were Not Actually Married
Ted Bundy never seemed to show much empathy for Liz. Despite telling her he wanted to be with her, Bundy was always coming and going while having affairs and killing innocent women. But one day, Bundy finally seemed to be ready to make good on his promise to get married.
As Liz wrote in her book, “I had never been so happy, but it bothered me to be practically married to a man I wasn’t married to. When I talked to him, he agreed now was the time to do it.”
They went to the courthouse for a marriage license in February 1970, but after a fight a few days later, Bundy ripped up the document.
Despite that fight, Liz and Bundy continued dating.
5. Ted Got Liz Pregnant
In 1972, Bundy and Liz received some unexpected news. After Kloepfer’s doctor encouraged to give her body a rest from birth control pills, the couple decided to be very careful and track her cycle. However, the strategy did not last long and Liz got pregnant.
“Both of us knew it would be impossible to have a baby now. He was going to start law school in the fall, and I needed to be able to work to put him through,” she wrote. “I was distraught. I knew I was going to terminate the pregnancy as soon as I could. Ted, on the other hand, was pleased with himself. He had fathered a baby.”
After a long discussion, the couple agreed on getting an abortion.
According to Liz, “It was awful. Ted took me home and put me to bed. He lay down beside me and talked about the day when I wouldn’t have to work and we would have lots of kids. He fixed me food which I couldn’t eat and did all he could to comfort me.”