Ted Bundy Netflix Movie: Real Story Behind Extremely Wicked

Netflix Ted Bundy

Wikimedia Commons/Getty Ted Bundy (l) and Zac Efron, who plays Bundy in a new Netflix movie.

The new Netflix movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, attempts to capture what has been famously dubbed the banality of evil: Serial killer Ted Bundy is seen through the eyes of his initially adoring girlfriend, attending birthday parties, making breakfast, even playing father to her son.

The real Bundy had a malignant charisma that Zac Efron partially captures in Extremely Wicked. There was a reason Bundy was able to lure women to their deaths. He wore a mask of normalcy.

However, what’s the real story behind Extremely Wicked? Did Bundy really have a girlfriend named Elizabeth Kendall? Where did the movie’s title come from? What about Carole Ann Boone, who has intimate relations with the killer as a prison guard looks the other way in the movie? Did a woman really escape the killer’s clutches and accuse him of kidnapping her?

Some scenes in the Netflix movie are fictional; for example, Bundy didn’t really face a barking dog that sensed his demonism. Other scenes and characters are real. To be blunt, although Efron kind of looks like Bundy in the movie, he doesn’t have Bundy’s wildly demonic eyes, and he doesn’t quite capture the killer’s disturbing magnetism. You can see (or hear, really) that more clearly in the other recent Netflix venture on Bundy: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes. The latter was extremely chilling.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ted Bundy Really Did Have a Long-Time Girlfriend But Her Name Was Elizabeth Kloepfer, Not Kendall

elizabeth kloepfer

NetflixElizabeth Kloepfer AKA Liz Kendall with boyfriend Ted Bundy.

In real life, Ted Bundy did have a girlfriend. However, her name was not Elizabeth Kendall. It was Elizabeth Kloepfer.

The Extremely Wicked movie stars Lily Collins as Kloepfer. The movie says that, today, Elizabeth Kloepfer and her daughter are living in Washington State.

According to Biography.com, Kloepfer describes herself in a book she wrote “as a shy, insecure and lonely single mom, divorced, and struggling with alcoholism.” She was the daughter of a Utah doctor, according to Women’s Health.

Elizabeth Kloepfer’s relationship with Ted Bundy was a significant one. It lasted five years. According to Vanity Fair, Kloepfer began dating Bundy in 1969; that was before he, by some accounts, started killing. Others think he murdered a child in his teenage years.

Elizabeth Kloepfer told her story in the 1981 book that is now out of print. She wrote the book using a pseudonym, Elizabeth Kendall, and, according to Vanity Fair, later changed her name. The Extremely Wicked screenwriters understandably wanted to talk to her but, the magazine reports, filmmaker Joe Berlinger determined at first that she was “not findable.”

Today, Berlinger told Esquire, “She was very ambivalent…She does not want the spotlight. For example, she didn’t want to come to Sundance. She doesn’t want to participate in the press. She wants to remain anonymous.” She hasn’t spoken publicly about Bundy since the book, but she did visit the set and speak with Lily Collins and the screenwriters.

“I handed Ted my life and said, ‘Here. Take care of me.’ He did in a lot of ways, but I became more and more dependent upon him. When I felt his love, I was on top of the world; when I felt nothing from Ted, I felt that I was nothing,” she wrote in the book, according to Biography.

Kloepfer Did Introduce Her Daughter to Bundy & Did Normal Things With Him

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Ted Bundy’s former girlfriend did cooperate with the Netflix movie, and it’s clear that some aspects of their home life derive from her recollections.

Berlinger was eventually able to track her down, Vanity Fair reports, but the magazine didn’t provide many details, only that she met with Collins and Berlinger, and has a daughter named Molly – the daughter for whom Bundy was once a somewhat father figure.

“She brought out photo albums—photo albums that had not been seen by many,” Berlinger told Vanity Fair. “…There’s a father figure, a mother, and a daughter—camping, skiing, birthday parties—all the things that you would expect from family photos. But the man is Ted Bundy.” Molly and Kloepfer also visited the set.

It’s True That Kloepfer & a Friend Met Bundy in a Seattle Bar

The movie starts with, and lingers on, the first meeting between Kloepfer and Ted Bundy in a Seattle bar. This is based on real life.

Kloepfer’s friend, Marylynne Chino, who was with her when she first met Bundy in Seattle’s Sandpiper Bar, spoke in 2017 to Utah television station KUTV. Kloepfer eventually told Chino she had suspicions of Bundy after finding “women’s underwear there and the plaster of Paris,” Chino told KUTV.

“I’ve never forgotten this,” Chino said to the television station. “I walked in, and across the room, I saw Ted (Bundy) for the first time. I will never forget the look on his face, it wasn’t evil but he was staring nursing a beer.”

The movie shows Kloepfer appearing to move on, as another man answers the phone when Bundy calls and hangs up on the serial killer. A marriage license obtained by Heavy shows that Elizabeth Kloepfer married another man in 1978 with Chino as a witness. He appears to have died in 2018, per a public obituary. Online records show Elizabeth took her husband’s last name. Heavy is not printing his name or the document to protect her privacy.

In Real Life, a Judge Did Use the ‘Extremely Wicked’ Line & Called Bundy ‘Partner’

The Netflix movie on Ted Bundy is titled after a real-life line uttered by the judge after one of Bundy’s sentencings. When Judge Edward Cowart imposed a death sentence on Bundy, he memorably said, “The court finds that both of these killings were indeed heinous, atrocious and cruel. And that they were extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile and the product of a design to inflict a high degree of pain and utter indifference to human life.”


Ted Bundy – Sentenced to death & then complimented by Judge Edward Cowart (2/10/80)Full episodes – potentiumpodcast.com Voicemail – 847-220-4850 Email – potentium70@gmail.com2019-05-05T02:07:43.000Z

He also referred to the serial killer as “partner” in a statement that some people thought was disturbingly kind to Bundy. The judge told Bundy in real life: “You’d have made a good lawyer. I’d have loved to have you practice in front of me. But you went the wrong way, partner.”

Cowart died at age 62 in 1987. His obituary described him as a respected member of the Florida bench known for his homespun comments.

A Woman Did Escape Bundy’s Clutches in Real Life

It’s also true that Bundy was put on trial for the kidnapping of a woman who escaped. Her name is Carol DaRonch.

In a different Netflix documentary on Bundy, DaRonch describes in vivid detail how Bundy convinced her he was a cop, but, when she realized that wasn’t true, she fought him off, and she was later able to identify him in court.

“He headed down a side street and then he suddenly pulled over up on the side of a curb up by an elementary school and that’s when I just started freaking out,” she said in The Ted Bundy Tapes show. “And he grabbed my arm and he got one handcuff on one wrist and he didn’t get the other one on and the one was just dangling. I had never been so frightened in my entire life.”

It’s True That Bundy Escaped From Jail & That He Was Accused in a Series of Horrific Murders

By 1974, Bundy had launched into one of the country’s most notorious murder sprees, ultimately slaying at least 30 women (some believe the death toll exceeds 100).

However, how many women did Ted Bundy kill? Who were his victims? There are deaths that he was convicted in, deaths he was suspected in, and deaths he confessed to. Some victims survived his attacks. Overall, it’s believed that Bundy killed at least 30 women, although some people think he may have murdered many more women than that.

The former number is the number he confessed to, describing a murder spree that covered seven states and spanned the years 1974 and 1978. Some think his death toll could have reached 100. Some sites say he confessed to 36 homicides.

Some of the murders mentioned in Extremely Wicked really happened; they included the bludgeoning of college sorority girls in Florida and the disappearances of two young women from a Washington State Park. You can see photos and stories about the women Bundy murdered here.

If anything, the movie downplays the horrors of Bundy’s crimes; the only glimmer into his utter ruthlessness comes when Elizabeth presents him with a crime scene photo of a headless women and he informs her that he used a hacksaw (the hacksaw bit is fictional).

The details are beyond disturbing as Bundy was accused of keeping some of his victims’ heads in his apartment. According to Mirror, he would “wash their hair, apply make-up to them, and engage in sexual acts with” the severed heads. Some women survived Bundy’s attacks. For example, Susan Clarke was a Washington State victim who survived, according to the Newton book. She was assaulted and “bludgeoned in her bed,” but lived, the book reports. Karen Sparks (also called Joni Lenz) survived a vicious attack by Bundy. The college student was bludgeoned with a piece of a bed frame.

Ted Bundy was indeed first caught in a Utah traffic stop. According to ABC News, the cop saw a Volkswagen Beetle “parked in front of a house where he knew two young women lived.” Inside Bundy’s car? “Handcuffs, a ski mask and pantyhose with holes cut in it,” ABC News reported.

Bundy’s escapes are also based on real life. He escaped twice. The first time was out the window of a law library, where he was allowed to go because he was representing himself. “The guard went outside for a smoke. The windows are open, and the fresh air is blowing through. And the sky was blue, and I said, ‘I’m ready to go,’ and walked to the window and jumped out,” Bundy told a prison psychologist, according to ABC. “Honest to god, I just got sick and tired of being locked up.”

In the second escape, ABC reports, Bundy indeed escaped through a duct in the ceiling.

In the Movie, Bundy Dodges Liz’s Question About Whether He Ever Tried to Harm Her

VideoVideo related to ted bundy netflix movie: real story behind extremely wicked2019-05-05T00:16:06-04:00

In the Netflix movie, Liz Kendall eventually visits Bundy on death row and demands to know the truth. In one query, she asks whether he ever tried to kill her. He dodges the question, never copping to doing so.

In real life, according to Women’s Health, Bundy admitted to Elizabeth that he once tried to poison her with chimney smoke. She woke up coughing but survived.

However, Esquire reports that, in real life, Kloepfer wrote in her book that in a final phone call with Bundy, he told her, “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.” The dramatic confrontation between them had elements of truth but was fictional. The filmaker admitted to Esquire that the final confrontation doesn’t match what Kloepfer described in her book, saying, “I wanted Liz’s character to really hold him accountable at the end and make him say those words to her face.

Bundy discusses Kloepfer in the Netflix docu-series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, saying, “I loved her so much it was destabilizing. I felt such a strong love for her but we didn’t have a lot of interests in common like politics or something, I don’t think we had in common. She liked to read a lot. I wasn’t into reading.”

Elizabeth Kloepfer Gave Ted Bundy’s Name to Authorities

Bundy, wanted, FBI, prison escape, serial killer

FBI archivesTed Bundy – Wanted by the FBI

In the end of the Netflix movie, Elizabeth reveals to Ted that she was the one who called the police. This happened in real life.

According to Esquire, the seemingly domestic bliss was shattered when Kloepfer began to suspect Bundy as the killer being described in Seattle news reports. Young women were vanishing or turning up dead, and the city was on edge.

The clues were fairly significant, including that police said the killer had given the name Ted and drove a VW. Kloepfer had once spotted plaster of Paris in his desk, and news reports said the killer wore a cast, Esquire noted. The magazine quoted Kloepfer’s book as saying, “He said that a person never could tell when he was going to break a leg, and we both laughed. Now I keep thinking about the cast the guy at Lake Sammamish was wearing—what a perfect weapon it would make for clubbing someone on the head,” she writes.

Chino told KUTV that she helped convince Kloepfer to go to police with her suspicions, saying, “I remember calling my dad and he said, and I never forgot it, I just don’t know, and this is what he said to me: ‘Marylynne, if he did it once he’ll do it again,’ and that’s’ exactly what happened.”

Bundy Married Carole Ann Boone in a Courtroom & She Bore His Child

Ted Bundy proposes marriage to Carole Ann Boone2013-03-13T20:26:41.000Z

In one of the most bizarre twists in the Bundy real-life tale, he did in fact marry Carole Ann Boone in a courtroom, and she gave birth to his daughter, Rose Bundy. Boone was being questioned on the stand when Bundy asked her to marry him in the courtroom. He was on trial for the murder of a 12-year-old girl.

Bundy was acting as his own attorney. “Bundy’s proposal at the time was considered legal thanks to an arcane Florida law that stated as long as a judge was present for a marriage declaration in court, the transaction would be allowed,” Cosmopolitan reported. Boone and Bundy had worked together for the Department of Emergency Services in Washington State.

Boone told the Associated Press it was no one’s business how she managed to get pregnant by Bundy while he was incarcerated.

You can read more about Carole Ann Boone here. Boone divorced Bundy three years before he was executed, according to true-crime author Ann Rule, who knew Bundy.

As for the daughter Boone had by Bundy (Rose), she leads a private life. “I have deliberately avoided knowing anything about Ted’s ex-wife and daughter’s whereabouts because they deserve privacy,” Rule wrote. “I don’t want to know where they are; I never want to be caught off guard by some reporter’s question about them. All I know is that Ted’s daughter has grown up to be a fine young woman.”

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