Elizabeth Kendall was Ted Bundy’s girlfriend for years during a time-span at the cusp of his most vicious crimes. Kendall, also known as Liz Kloepfer, and her young daughter, Molly Kendall, had no suspicions that the man who spent time in their home was a serial killer.
The women are sharing their story for the first time in 40 years. They were interviewed for a five-part series on Amazon, “Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer,” and with ABC 20/20. The Amazon Original will be released Friday, January 31, 2020, and on 20/20 tonight at 9 p.m.
Trish Wood, executive producer of the Amazon docuseries, told 20/20 she thinks it is important to reframe the story and share the perspective of the women in his life.
“I really felt we needed to hear their stories so we could reframe this finally once and for all from the perspective of the women,” she said. “And that was important to me also because I think we need to call this what it is. It’s misogyny, it’s hatred of women. We don’t need… to figure out what the diagnosis was for Ted Bundy. Simply, he killed women because he hated them. He obliterated them. So I thought it was important to reframe it.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Elizabeth Kendall Said She Felt Loved by Bundy & Planned to Marry Him
Elizabeth Kendall said she once planned to marry Ted Bundy. The couple dated steadily from 1969 to 1975, during a time period when Bundy was starting a killing spree. Kendall, who was then named Liz Kloepfer, told 20/20 she felt loved by Bundy, but now wonders if it was just one of his manipulations.
“I always felt loved,” she said. “But with Ted, it’s impossible to tell. It could’ve been love. It could’ve been just another manipulation.”
Meanwhile, Molly Kendall viewed Bundy as the dad she never had. He was a part of their lives from the time she was 3 to 10 years old, according to the New York Post.
Bundy had a much different effect on college co-eds who testified at his murder trial in Florida. According to court documents filed in his case, women who saw him in 1978 described a cold stare that scared them. One woman said he looked like “an ex-con.” In Florida, he was using the name Chris Hagan.
Despite feeling loved at the time, Elizabeth Kendall said she now wonders why she and her daughter were spared.
“I hate to even say this because it makes him sound normal, but I do think he loved us,” she said.
The question reminded Molly Kendall of a story from one of Bundy’s attorneys.
“I heard a story told by one of his attorneys he had. He said Ted told him that he would play games with these animals, I don’t remember if they were mice or something else. And he would let some of them live and some of them die, and to me, that’s us, we’re just these mice that were allowed to live,” she said.
Liz Kloepfer Met Ted Bundy at a Bar in Seattle & Approached Him Because He Looked Lonely
Liz Kloepfer, who now goes by Elizabeth Kendall, was a single mom when she met Ted Bundy at a bar in Seattle. She approached him herself, thinking he looked lonely, she said on 20/20.
“I saw him sitting at a table. I went over and talked to him because I told him he looked lonely,” she said.
At the time, she had recently moved from Salt Lake City, Utah. He was a psychology student at the University of Washington who worked on political campaigns and planned to go to law school. Kendall believed she found an intelligent, motivated and loving boyfriend. She was 24 and recently divorced, working as a secretary at the university, according to the New York Post.
“[He] put a lot of energy into making us happy, doing fun things… he always seemed to embrace us as a family unit,” Elizabeth Kendall told 20/20. “I loved going to places with him. He was never at a loss for words, whereas I was on the shy side.”
He wooed her quickly with his sweet and romantic gestures. He would take care of her when she was sick, and surprise her at work. He seemed to treat her daughter well, and she believed their relationship was pure and loving, according to the New York Post.
Molly Kendall, Elizabeth Kendall’s Daughter, Was Sexually Abused by Ted Bundy
While Ted Bundy was preying on college co-eds and starting a killing spree that would lead him to become one of the most widely known serial killers in history, Bundy was sexually abusing the daughter of his girlfriend, according to the New York Post. Molly Kendall looked at Bundy as a father. He was a constant in their lives from 1969 until his arrest in 1975. At the time, Molly Kendall was 3 to 10 years old.
Bundy and Molly Kendall were often together skiing or riding bikes. However, Kendall would realize later in life he was sexually abusing her. He once crawled into bed with her, and another time he played hide and seek with the young girl while naked, according to Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy.
Molly wrote in the book about her conflicted emotions about Bundy when she was a child.
“We loved Ted,” she wrote. “He had been such a positive figure in our lives, such a help to [us], I did not want him to get in trouble … I did not want him to have to go away.”
Bundy once bragged that he could “get away with anything” because he knew his “way around the law,” according to an appeal filed in his case. In Florida, he was identified by witnesses and by a bite mark and other forensic evidence, according to an an appeal filed in his case said.
Liz Kloepfer Called Police to Tell Them a Killing Suspect Sounded Like Her Boyfriend
After a composite sketch of Ted Bundy was released to the public, along with a description of Volkswagon Beetle, Elizabeth Kendall, then Liz Kloepfer, told police she thought the suspect might be her boyfriend. It was the summer of 1974, shortly after Bundy murdered two women at Lake Sammamish. He was wearing a fake cast and struggling to load a sailboat onto the roof of his car to gain the women’s sympathy when he lured them into his trap, according to the New York Post.
He was arrested in August 1975 with an ice pick, handcuffs, ski mask and pantyhose in his trunk, but soon released. He would later tell Kendall the arrest was too trivial to mention. In October 1975, he was identified in a police lineup by a surviving victim and charged with kidnap and attempted homicide.
Bundy would write her love letters from prison, while Kendall was drinking excessively and falling into a deep depression.
“In this life we are fortunate to find one person to love and love completely,” he wrote in one letter to Kendall. “I am lucky because I love you in that way.”
Kendall felt guilty, and eventually told him during a phone call that she tipped off police. He was unconcerned, saying, “If you told them the truth, then no harm has been done,” she wrote in her memoir.
When he made bail, he moved in with a friend in Salt Lake City. The couple reunited on Thanksgiving after he made a surprise visit to see Elizabeth and Molly. Bundy began referring to her as his fiancee. Kendall’s friends worried, but she stood by him despite some fear.
“If there was the slightest chance that he was innocent, I couldn’t and wouldn’t let go,” she wrote.
Their reunion ended in February 1976, when Bundy was found guilty of kidnap and murder. They spoke occasionally on a few occasions, but when Bundy wrote Elizabeth Kendall a letter years later, Molly Kendall found it first and burned it.
“I honestly would have taken him out back and shot him myself rather than let him hurt one more person,” Molly Kendall wrote.