In the 1970s, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy used his charm and good looks to lure at least 30 women to their deaths in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, and Florida.
His horrific crimes are now the subject of two different Netflix shows. The movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, stars Zac Efron as the callous killer; and the docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, pieces together archival footage and audio recordings of Bundy on death row.
But years before these projects, former police officer turned crime reporter, Ann Rule, who knew Bundy, wrote one of the seminal books about his crimes: The Stranger Beside Me.
It gives one of the clearest glimpses into Bundy’s life and how he was able to fool even those closest to him into thinking he was a stand-up guy.
Watch the official trailer for Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile below. Post continues after video…
Rule met Bundy in 1971 when they both volunteered at Seattle’s Suicide Hotline Crisis Centre.
Rule remembers Bundy was personable, bringing her a cup of coffee on her first night in the job. She recalls that he gestured at the rows of telephones and said: “You think we can handle all of this?”
“As it turned out, we made a good team,” Rule writes. “Working side by side in the cluttered two rooms on the top floor of the building, we seemed to be able to communicate in emergencies without even having to speak.”
She says charming, handsome and well-spoken – qualities he would later use to gain the confidence of his victims. The pair quickly became good friends.
She wrote: “I liked him immediately, it would have been hard not to.
“He always insisted on seeing me safely to my car when my shift was over in the wee hours of the morning.
“He often told me, ‘Be careful. I don’t want anything to happen to you.’
“As far as his appeal for women, I can remember thinking that if I were younger and single or my daughters were older, this would be almost the perfect man.”