The trailer for Netflix's new movie about Ted Bundy, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, has just been released and we don't know how to feel about it. While on the one hand, it feels like Ted Bundy has been getting a lot of coverage lately — what with Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and his subsequent 20/20 special — this Zac Efron movie, directed by Joe Berlinger, the same guy who made The Ted Bundy Tapes happen, promises to deliver something new.
Namely, the fact that it's told from the perspective of Bundy's ex-girlfriend, Liz Kendall (real name: Elizabeth Kloepfer), brought spectacularly to life by Lily Collins. So, who was this woman? And was her kid also Ted Bundy's?
Read on for everything you need to know about Liz.
Bundy met Liz at a bar in Seattle in 1969 — and the two were an item for six years.
Liz wrote a memoir — The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy — under her Kendall pseudonym, likely to protect herself from the wrath of those seeking revenge for Bundy's crimes. And it's safe to assume a lot of Extremely Vile, told through her eyes, will be largely based on her book.
In it, she writes how she was trying to get away from a creepy guy at Seattle's Sandpiper Tavern when she happened on Bundy, who was sitting alone. By her account, she approached him and said, "You look like your best friend just died," and that was the start of an instant connection.
Liz's friend who came out with her that evening also remembers the encounter. "I've never forgotten this," she told KUTV. "I walked in, and across the room, I saw Ted 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 two went home together that night and would spend the next six years in a relationship.
Liz had a daughter — but no, Ted wasn't the father.
If you've been following Extremely Wicked since it first made the rounds at Sundance last year, you might remember that the movie was promoted with a still of Ted and Liz wearing hats to celebrate the birthday of the little girl sitting between them. That's Tina, Liz's daughter from her ex-husband (also a convicted felon).
According to Oxygen, Liz didn't know about her first husband's criminal record, but that marriage dissolved quickly anyway, and the two were divorced before Tina's third birthday. That's when Liz moved to Seattle to start a new life, which is where she met Bundy.
Liz suspected Bundy and tried to turn him in to the police.
This might sound familiar to those who've seen The Ted Bundy Tapes, but in 1974, about five years into their relationship, Liz started getting suspicious of her boyfriend after seeing reports on the news about the murders and rapes of two women in Seattle. Witnesses mentioned the name "Ted" and his Volkswagen, which began to sketch Liz out.
According to Biography, Liz "questioned him about some strange behaviors," like the meat cleaver she found on his desk, the surgical glove she found in his coat pocket, and the time he "drove hundreds of miles to Colorado one night to de-stress from work," but Bundy used the charm he's notorious for to gaslight Liz into thinking she was the crazy one.
As The Ted Bundy Tapes mentions, however, Liz eventually became so suspicious of Bundy after finding a bowl of women's underwear, a knife in his car, and the bandages and casts he used to fake his injuries, that she went straight to the police. Sadly, those items didn't provide enough evidence to connect Bundy to the murders and her tip went nowhere.
Liz stayed with Bundy even after trying to turn him in, despite his unusual behaviors and the strange items he kept around the house.
Bundy even tried to kill Liz — and later told her about it.
In case this whole relationship isn't yet sounding unhealthy enough, Bundy opened up to Liz once he was in jail about one night when he attempted to murder her. Over the phone, he admitted he'd once tried to poison her by lighting a fire in their home and closing off the chimney.
"I remember that night well," she later wrote in her memoir. "My eyes were running, and I was coughing. I jumped out of bed and threw open the nearest window and stuck my head out. After I had recovered some, I opened all the windows and the doors and broke up the fire the best I could. I had gotten on Ted the next day for not coming back with the fan."
Where is Liz today?
Liz kept dating Bundy after he made this shocking attempted murder admission and after she'd tried to turn him into the police. They even stayed in contact while he was on death row. But in 1980, she decided to cut all contact with him, and Bundy met and married Carole Ann Boone (the mother of his only daughter Rose) shortly thereafter.
The following year, in 1981, she published her memoir in which she tried to grapple with the many sides of the man she used to love. "I pray for Ted, but I am sickened by him," she wrote.
But ever since her book's release, she's been keeping a low profile. She hasn't given any interviews and has retreated from the public eye. She might even have changed her name once again in order to put her past, and her relationship with Bundy, behind her once and for all.
However, that all may change with the release of the new Netflix film. Since the movie is told from Liz's perspective, there's still hope that she or her family might come back into public life to offer their thoughts or give an interview or two about the couple's time together.
Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile premieres on Netflix on May 3.