It’s what makes his heinous crimes against women all the more shocking.
But much of the truth about what it was really like to date and co-parent with Ted Bundy for six years is left out of the film.
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Elizabeth Kloepfer’s 1991 memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, which is the basis of the film, tells a very different story.
She writes that in her final conversation with Bundy – which actually took place on the telephone, not on death row as shown in the movie – she asked him if he ever tried to hurt her.
According to her book as reported by The Tab, Bundy confessed to feeling “it coming on” one night when he was staying over with her.
“I closed the damper so the smoke couldn’t go up the chimney,” Bundy said. “And then I left and put a towel in the crack under the door so the smoke would stay in the apartment.”
Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins in the movie, recalled the night he was talking about. She remembered waking up coughing and struggling to breathe, before flinging open the windows to let oxygen in.
“I almost didn’t believe him,” Kloepfer wrote. “It didn’t fit in with the murders. I thought that maybe he wasn’t willing to talk about any more serious attempts to kill me.”
Kloepfer also wrote about how rocky their relationship was at times: “We would be getting along fine, and then a door would slam and I would be out in the cold until Ted was ready to let me back in.”
In her memoir she also detailed some of Bundy’s bizarre sexual behaviour, including waking up in the night to find him examining her body under the covers with a flashlight, which we do see briefly in the movie.
How did Ted Bundy and Elizabeth Kloepfer meet?
This part of the movie is very true to Kloepfer’s memoir.
One night in 1969, Kloepfer was sitting in a Seattle bar when her friend Marylynne Chino noticed that a man had been staring at them.