true crime

The real life faces behind Netflix's Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.

If you consider yourself a true crime fan, you probably watched Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, the highly-anticipated Ted Bundy Netflix movie, the moment it dropped on the streaming service this weekend.

Starring Zac Efron as the world’s most notorious serial killer, the film follows the story of a man whose personality, good looks and social graces defied the serial killer stereotype and allowed him to hide in plain sight as he committed his many brutal murders before being caught in 1978.

Watch the official trailer for Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile below. Post continues after video…

The mass murderer, kidnapper, and rapist, was responsible for the deaths of at least 30 people during the 1970s.

In the years following the capture of Bundy, who infamously escaped from prison twice, he received the death sentence three times at separate trials.

Finally, after years of lengthy appeals, a date was set for his execution by electric chair – January 24, 1989.

The Netflix movie takes its title – Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile – from the words of judge John Edward Cowart who sentenced Bundy to death.


It sheds light on the many people embroiled in Bundy’s case and personal life, from his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, to Judge Cowart himself.

So, as we so often find ourselves wondering after watching any true crime re-imagining, what do the real-life counterparts of the characters actually look like?

We’ve done the image searches for you:

Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy played by Zac Efron. Image: Netflix, Getty

A huge element of Ted Bundy's MO was how he used his good looks and charm to both bait his victims and evade suspicion, so, naturally, Zac Efron was chosen to portray him.


But, following criticism of the bizarrely upbeat trailer, the actor made it very clear that he is in no way glorifying the depraved killer.

“I really wasn’t interested in playing a serial killer," he told reporters at the London premiere of Extremely Wicked. "I’m not in the business of glamourising a horrendous person or his acts, but there is something unique about the way we went into the psyche of Ted and his longtime girlfriend Liz [Kloepfer]."

Elizabeth Kloepfer

Elizabeth Kloepfer played by Lily Collins. Image: Twitter, Netflix.

Extremely Wicked is told from the perspective of Bundy's longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, who for many years was unaware Bundy was a cold-blooded murderer connected to a string of unsolved murders and kidnappings throughout the 1970s.

Kloepfer wrote about her haunting experience with Bundy under the pseudonym Elizabeth Kendall in a memoir called The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, which was published before Bundy was executed. The book was the primary inspiration for the new Netflix film.

She's portrayed by Lily Collins, who met with Elizabeth to prepare for the role.

“It was really helpful, and she was so gracious, giving me material to look at and speaking to me and allowing me to ask questions," she told the hosts of This Morning.

Carole Ann Boone

Carole Ann Boone, played by Kaya Scodelario. Image: Netflix, Twitter.

Carole Ann Boone was Bundy's wife and they had one daughter together named Rose. The two first met while working for the Washington State Department of Emergency Service in 1974, and they began dating while Bundy was still with Kloepfer.

In 1979, Boone testified on Bundy’s behalf as a character witness and then got married at that very moment.

The courtroom wedding was a bizarre twist to the case which has already garnered an enormous amount of public interest.

In the film, Boone is played by Kaya Scodelario of teen drama Skins fame.

John Edward Cowart

John Edward Cowart played by John Malkovich. Image: Netflix, Facebook.

Bundy, serving as his own lawyer, had a widely noted, riveting back-and-forth with Judge Edward Cowart, played by acclaimed actor John Malkovich.

Judge Cowart often called Bundy "partner" and delivered his ultimate sentence, the death penalty, with surprisingly sympathetic words:

"You're a bright young man. You'd have made a good lawyer and I would have loved to have you practice in front of me, but you went another way, partner. I don't feel any animosity toward you. I want you to know that. Take care of yourself."

His final words to Bundy "stunned" the court room and the public at the time.

Larry Simpson

Larry Simpson played by Jim Parsons. Image: Twitter, Netflix

Larry Simpson - played by The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons - was the main prosecutor on Ted Bundy's case, and was only a few years out of law school when the case began.

"Nobody had ever handled a case like this before — before the cameras, and certainly not before the virtual nation watching," Simpson said in the Netflix documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.

"I was a young lawyer at the time. It was baptism by fire, if you would. But quite frankly from my perspective I had to treat it like it was just another case."

According to The Daily Business Review, after winning the case, he went on to form a private practice with his business partner Jimmy Judkins and worked as a lawyer for more than 35 years. He's now semi-retired.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is available to stream on Netflix now.

For more on this topic: