Who Is Ted Bundy’s Victim Kathy Kleiner?

Kathy Kleiner, Ted Bundy's Victim

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Tonight, ABC News’ 20/20 will investigate the life and mind of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. The piece will include interviews with many former prosecutors and attorneys on the case, as well as victims who narrowly escaped his wrath.

One of those victims, Kathy Kleiner, will be interviewed on tonight’s broadcast.

What’s her story? How did she escape death at the hands of Ted Bundy?

Here’s what you need to know.


In 1978, Kleiner was asleep in her sorority house at FSU in Tallahassee. She was a sophomore and lived with a girl named Karen Chandler. Around 3 am early Sunday morning, the bedroom door opened and in came none other than Ted Bundy.

At the time, Bundy was running from the law. In the words of Rolling Stone, he was “ravenous” for another kill.

By the time he entered Kleiner’s bedroom, Bundy had already taken the lives of two women: Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy.

Speaking about the moment he entered their room, Kleiner tells Rolling Stone, “I remember the noise of the trip and something falling off the trunk, and that woke me up… The room was dark, and I didn’t have my glasses on, but I remember seeing a black mass. I couldn’t even see that it was a person. I saw the club, saw him lift it over his head, and slam it on me.”

She continues, “The first time, it didn’t hurt. It was pressure, like someone pressing on your arm. And then he hit me again. And I think that’s where he hit me in the face and broke my jaw in three places and I passed out. But that’s what I remember the most: him lifting the club and bringing it down on me.” After that, taillights from a boy’s car (he was dropping off a girl at the house) flooded into Kleiner’s room, and Bundy fled the scene.

When paramedics finally found Kleiner, they told her she was shot in the face. She was forced to stay a week in the hospital with her jaw wired shut. Her recovery took months.

According to Cosmo, Kathy eventually got married and faced Ted Bundy in trial.

She tells Rolling Stone of the experience, “He was just staring me down… I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t angry, so much as a…throwing-up feeling. It was so bad. It was disgust.”

Today, Kathy is remarried and lives in New Orleans.

And what does she think of Zac Efron playing Bundy in the new film “Extremely Wicked, Shocking Evil, and Vile?” She’s okay with it. After all, she admits, Bundy was “charming and handsome on the outside, and a monster on the inside,” writes TMZ.

Be sure to tune into tonight’s episode of 20/20 to watch Kathy Kleiner’s interview about Ted Bundy, on ABC at 9pm ET/PT.


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