Movies

Three compelling reasons why Ted Bundy didn't kill Elizabeth Kloepfer

Sadly, the other women weren't so lucky...

By Erin Doyle
Ted Bundy's shockingly brutal murders of more than 30 women in the 1970s horrified the world.
His actions were unimaginably evil but at the same time, Ted was charismatic and good-looking and attracted a lot of attention from women – both while the crimes were taking place and as the trials following his arrest gained national attention.
One of these women – apart from his many victims – was Ted's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, who he dated after meeting at a bar in 1969 and during 1970s when many of the killings took place.
But given she was so close to one of America's most infamous serial killers, how exactly did she manage to escape the same fate that so many other women tragically befell at the hands of the same man?
Zac Efron portrays serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. (Image: Netflix)

He genuinely loved her

Despite Elizabeth suspecting that he was sleeping with other women while they were together, it's possible that Ted had genuine feelings for his girlfriend.
In the Netflix four-part series, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, Ted spoke about how much he adored Elizabeth.
"I loved her so much. It was destabilising," he said in audio recorded on death row in 1980.
"I was terribly jealous of her. I used to agonise about losing her. I used to just torture myself."
Lily Collins portrays Elizabeth in Netflix's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. (Image: Netflix)

It would draw too much attention

There were several clues and pieces of evidence about five years into their relationship that made Elizabeth increasingly suspicious that Ted was involved in a spate of abductions in the area.
In 1974, police released sketches of a man of interest named 'Ted' who bore a striking resemblance to her own Ted.
Elizabeth raised her concerns with the authorities who dismissed her at the time as Ted had no criminal history.
Had she gone missing as well, would the perpetrator responsible be too obvious? Even without Elizabeth's prior suspicions being known, the partner of a missing woman is usually high on the initial suspect list.
Perhaps Ted didn't want to risk fingers being pointed at him and police digging around and discovering his other crimes.
WATCH Zac Efron and Lily Collins play the on-screen versions of Ted and Elizabeth in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Post continues after video...
The real-life Ted Bundy and Elizabeth Kloepfer dated after meeting in a bar in 1969. (Image: Netflix)

Having a girlfriend helped his case

Another theory is having Elizabeth by his side and Ted acting as a father figure to her child affected how innocent he looked in the eyes of the public and the jury.
Many followers of the case were already doubting that Ted had the "look" of a serial killer.
With Ted seemingly capable – at least from the outset – of managing to hold down a healthy relationship, it's possible he may have considered this to be good for his image.
After all, would a genetically blessed family man really murder innocent women using despicable acts?
Ultimately, the courts saw through the facade and Ted was sentenced to the death penalty and was executed via the electric chair in January 1989.
Another theory is that dating Elizabeth (played by Lily Collins, pictured) and the image of a family man made Ted (Zac Efron, pictured) seem innocent. (Image: Netflix)