With the release of Netflix’s new docuseries Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and the world premiere of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (which stars Zac Efron) at Sundance on January 26, Ted Bundy is sure to be a dominating topic of conversation soon. Of course Bundy is at the centre of both the Netflix true-crime series and the movie, but there is another figure who plays an important role in the docuseries and the film: Bundy's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer.
Kloepfer, who is portrayed by Lily Collins in the thriller, was in a relationship with the serial killer while he was committing the violent crimes in the Northwest during the 1970s. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, which is composed of more than 100 hours of audiotaped interviews with Bundy and on-camera interviews with journalists and lawyers who interacted with him, also includes audio of Kloepfer’s attempt to warn the police about Bundy being involved in the deaths of multiple women.
Kloepfer Attempts To Become A Whistle-Blower
The Netflix series introduces Kloepfer as a single-mother from a religious and wealthy background. Kloepfer, her daughter, and Bundy were a family and lived together. But, the dynamic changed when he began to act suspicious. A year before Bundy was actually arrested, in 1974, Kloepfer contacted the police and told them about his alarming behaviour. Kloepfer shared with the police that Bundy mentioned a sorority girl and that he “would follow people like that, but he tried not to.” She also stated that she found a bag full of women’s undergarments, a bowl of keys, and a knife in his car. Kloepfer said Bundy had left their home the night Brenda Ball, a missing person at the time, disappeared.
After Kloepfer’s tip, the police did not have any concrete evidence against Bundy, so they could not charge him. However, the information Kloepfer provided may have caused police to be more alert when they eventually arrested Bundy in 1975 after a traffic stop.
Bundy Calls Kloepfer From Jail
After being convicted of kidnapping, Bundy escaped prison twice. When he was arrested a third time, the police didn’t know his identity and he refused to tell them his real name. On February 16, 1978, Bundy agreed to reveal his identity in exchange for a phone call with Kloepfer. The Netflix series includes an audio recording of an interview with Kloepfer from 1978 that details of her conversation with Bundy. “He repeated over and over again that this was really going to be bad when it broke,” she said. “That it was not going to break until tomorrow morning ... but it was going to be really ugly.” She asked what he was referring to but he didn’t tell her. He called her again and told her he was sick and “consumed by something that he didn’t understand.”
Kloepfer Continues Contact With Bundy After 1978
Although this conversation is the last time Kloepfer is mentioned in the docuseries, she seemingly still had contact with Bundy. In 1981, Kloepfer published the book The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy under the pseudonym Elizabeth Kendall. The personal narrative, which is online, explains how she met Bundy and provides details about their relationship that lasted over six years.
Kloepfer Ends Her Relationship & Removes Herself From Public Life
According to Biography, Kloepfer’s last spoke to Bundy in a tearful phone conversation from his jail cell prior to his death. Their relationship officially ended in 1980. Her book is seemingly the last time Kloepfer publicly addressed Bundy as she has not given any interviews since and has basically retreated from the public.
Given that Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is supposed to be told from Kloepfer’s point of view, it will be interesting to see if anyone from her family speaks out about the film, and breaks the cone of privacy that currently surrounds her life.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is out on Netflix now.