Theodore Robert Bundy, best known as Ted Bundy, was one of the most notorious and sinister serial killers of the 20th century. Having confessed to at least 36 murders that took place between 1974 and 1978, his actual body count is estimated to exceed 100. To this day, there are still many unanswered questions surrounding this heinous serial killer, but his life and crimes continue to captivate true-crime aficionados all over the world. Elizabeth “Liz” Kloepfer was his longtime girlfriend from 1969 until after his second conviction. Who is Elizabeth Kloepfer and why would she stick with a brutal murderer after his arrest? Read our Elizabeth Kloepfer wiki to find out everything there is to know.
Ted Bundy’s existence and crimes have spawned numerous documentaries, TV miniseries, movies, biographies, and even true crime books written by people who either knew him or were involved in the lengthy investigations of his crimes. Over the years, a few of his survivors have come forward to tell their stories as well. With the new biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile set to be released some time in 2019, it makes sense that the general public has a renewed interest in the serial killer’s life.
|About Elizabeth Kloepfer|
|Known As||Elizabeth Kendall, Meg Anders|
|Affiliation||Princeton, Bard College, Columbia University, and Smolny College|
Judging by the ages and appearances of the women Bundy targeted, it’s clear that he had a certain kind of victim in mind: female, white, pretty, young, and often with long brown hair parted down the middle. Almost all of his victims matched this description. Even his girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, looked like many of his victims. Yet for some reason, he spared her life and never so much as harmed a hair on her head, despite having plenty of opportunities to do so.
What made Kloepfer so special that he chose not to kill her, and what is she up to now?
She Had Suspicions That Something Was off before His First Arrest in 1975
There are a lot of notably bizarre factors surrounding Kloepfer’s relationship with Bundy. The charming serial killer had many girlfriends, but Elizabeth Kloepfer, who he occasionally lived with in Washington, is of particular interest.
The year was 1969 and Elizabeth Kloepfer was a newly divorced single mother from Ogden, Utah. She was working as a secretary at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
Bundy was ironically studying to become a lawyer at the time (presumably so that he could find legal loopholes to cover his tracks). He would ultimately represent himself during the trials against him.
Recently, a good friend of Kloepfer’s, Marylynne Chino, who was with her the night both met Ted Bundy, decided to speak out for the first time about their shared encounter.
According to Chino, she and Kloepfer used to frequent local clubs and bars on a regular basis. One night, they decided to go to The Sandpiper Lounge in Seattle, Washington, where they met Bundy.
In a 2017 interview with ABC News, Chino recollected the night she met Bundy:
“I’ve never forgotten this. I walked in, and across the room, I saw Ted for the first time. I will never forget the look on his face, it wasn’t evil, but he was staring, nursing a beer.”
Chino went on to state that Kloepfer ended up going home with Ted and that’s when their tumultuous, seven-year-long relationship began.
While there’s a lot of speculation over whether Ted had killed anyone before that night—some accounts claim that he’d committed several heinous crimes in his youth—one thing was for sure: most people knew him as an attractive, bright young man with a good future ahead of him. And it was just that perception, along with his physical presentation as an injured man in need of assistance, which drew so many of his victims directly to him.
Oddly enough, even though Kloepfer fit Bundy’s exact victim profile, he never attempted to kill her—although he had threatened to do so when they first started dating.
Early on in their relationship, she started questioning his odd behavior, especially after she found a few strange and out-of-place items he’d hidden in her car, her home, and his apartment.
These included a ski mask, a meat cleaver, a bag of plaster of Paris (which he used to make fake casts and slings), and crutches.
According to Chino, when Kloepfer confronted him about it, he allegedly said, “If you ever tell anyone this I’ll break your effing head.”
That threat alone is reason enough to wonder why on earth the young woman decided to stay in a relationship with Bundy. What’s even weirder is that she continued to stay with him even after she’d started suspecting that there was something sinister going on.
According to a few telling passages from her book about her relationship with Bundy, Kloepfer apparently not only knew that he was a killer, but still loved him regardless.
Take a look at the final passage where she talks about a phone call Ted made to her when he was in Florida (where he was eventually apprehended):
“In that middle-of-the-night phone call from Florida, Ted told me that he tried to stay away from me when he felt the power of his sickness (his urge to kill) building in him. I wondered if those times coincided with the times I felt so left out, felt that he was hiding something from me. I suspected that it was other women, and it often was, but he was also hiding a terrible secret. He loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest. The tragedy is that this warm and loving man is driven to kill.”
It almost seems as if she’s empathizing with Bundy for being afflicted with murderous tendencies rather than feeling sorry for the women who were brutally killed at his hands.
Kloepfer Reported Bundy to the Police Three Times
In the mid-70s, the police were already on a nationwide manhunt for a serial killer matching Ted Bundy’s description. The entire country was in a state of panic and hundreds of tips were coming in on a daily basis.
Young, college-aged women were going missing left, right, and center across several states, with their maimed and sexually assaulted bodies being discovered in remote areas throughout the country. Or, in some cases, they were abducted and never seen or heard from again.
Because Bundy was a college graduate and had attained several degrees, he fit in very well on college campuses and never seemed out of place. His main tactic was to wear self-made casts and hobble on crutches to feign an injury, making himself seem helpless. He’d pretend to drop his books or other belongings in an attempt to lure young women to his car. And for the most part, it worked.
When Elizabeth Kloepfer and Marylynne Chino saw a police sketch of the suspect authorities were looking for in the local newspaper, they recognized it as Ted Bundy right away. He drove a tan Volkswagen Beetle, but the police believed the car they were looking for was bronze. That minuscule piece of misinformation led the police to completely ignore Kloepfer’s claim that she knew the man they were looking for.
At first, she was reluctant to contact the police, but Chino convinced her it was the right thing to do. They found a pay phone and Chino spoke with the police, giving a description of Bundy and his car.
However, because of the color discrepancy, the police dismissed their information without looking into it. At the time, they were receiving upwards of 500 tips, so it was impossible to take them all seriously enough to investigate. This information would have been instrumental in capturing the heinous serial rapist, murderer, and necrophile, and could have effectively prevented other numerous women from becoming his victims.
Kloepfer made two other attempts to turn Bundy in to the police, but they ruled him out as a suspect in all instances.
After two long and arduous investigations, police were finally to able string together a case against Bundy.
Kloepfer Stuck with the Accused Murderer
When Bundy was finally arrested and then released on bail from the Salt Lake City jail system in Utah, Kloepfer continued to date him, despite knowing that he was a violent murderer.
Bundy didn’t show any signs of remorse for the crimes he’d committed, the loved ones he’d hurt, or his victims. Of course, nowadays, this stunning lack of empathy is a commonly known trait in most serial killers.
Ted Bundy is credited for setting the behavioral standards that criminal investigators and psychologists often look for. At the time, however, it was an extremely foreign concept, and it’s important to keep this in mind when examining the relationship between Bundy and Kloepfer.
On February 21, 1978, Elizabeth Kloepfer sat down for an interview with rookie Washington homicide investigator, Robert Keppel. She gave a detailed description of her relationship with Ted Bundy. She described how he’d admitted to her that he was “sick” and that he retreated from her whenever he felt the sickness within him rising up again. Presumably, that sickness was his urge to kill.
An audio file of that police interview is available in the below video:
This testimony, along with Bundy’s numerous confessions to crimes he’d committed—some of which were unknown to police at the time—would eventually be the catalyst for the trials against him and his execution.
Ted Bundy was executed at 42 years old in the Florida State Prison located in Bradford County, Florida on January 24, 1989.
She’s a Highly Accomplished Author
Elizabeth Kloepfer’s 1981 memoir, The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy, chronicles her relationship with Bundy, including how they met and when she first started becoming suspicious of his actions. Although it has since gone out of print, copies of it can be found online for exorbitant prices due to its rarity. The book was originally published under the pseudonym Elizabeth Kendall.
She’s also authored many other popular titles since then, including Autobiography of a Wardrobe and American Daughter: Discovering My Mother.
Under her pen name, Liz Kloepfer has been published in The New York Times, The New Yorker, and other prestigious publications. She was also inducted as a fellow at the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library in 2004-2005. In 2006, she was the recipient of the Fulbright grant to conduct important research in Russia.
All of her books are published under the name Elizabeth Kendall and she appears under a number of other names in different Ted Bundy biographies.
She Stays out of the Public Eye
Unfortunately, not much is known about Elizabeth Kloepfer, as she has managed to stay out of the public eye for the past 30 years, with the exception of her literary achievements. Following tremendous public scrutiny after her suspicions of Bundy’s wrongdoings came to light during the initial investigations, it seems that Kloepfer chose to keep a low profile—most likely for her own safety and that of her daughter, Tina. We do know that she currently lives in New York City.
The New Biopic Sheds Light on Kloepfer’s Experiences
It’s unclear if film producers consulted with Elizabeth Kloepfer or even got her permission to portray her likeness in the upcoming biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.
The film will explore Kloepfer’s point of view regarding her relationship with Ted Bundy and how she figured out that he was the serial killer police were searching for. It’s set to be released sometime in 2019, with Zac Efron playing Ted Bundy and Lily Collins as Elizabeth Kloepfer.