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Netflix Releases a Biopic on Ted Bundy

May 22, 2019

He was charismatic, charming, and a promising law student. Despite his picture-perfect adult life, he lived with a dark reality that he managed to keep secret for some time. Theodore, better known as Ted, Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history.

Bundy was raised in Philadelphia in a dysfunctional family, where he observed abuse as well as undiagnosed and diagnosed mental illness in his grandparents. Even at the young age of three, Bundy displayed disturbing behaviors; such as, placing knives from the kitchen directly around his aunt while she slept. 

However, into his adult years, Bundy had a persona of normality. He attended the University of Puget Sound, in Washington State, for one year, before transferring through multiple colleges throughout the span of 1966-1973, when he eventually was accepted into law school at the University of Utah. 

Bundy’s reign of terror began in the early months of the following year, when he abducted and killed his first known murder victim, Lynda Ann Healy, 21, from the University District of Seattle in Washington. Healy would be the first of at least thirty confessed murders over the course of four years, spanning seven states.

Netflix just released a biopic of the latter part of his life, following his acceptance into law school. “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile”, was dropped on May third of this year. The movie follows Ted Bundy—played by Zac Efron—and Bundy’s long-term girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, known in the movie as Liz Kendall — played by Lily Collins. The films begins with Bundy’s first meeting with Kendall, and it goes on to show their life together raising her child. Bundy is portrayed as a prince charming, a knight in shining armor—a trustworthy guy. However, as the beginning of the movie progresses, Kendall grows weary and begins to connect recent crime descriptions and the police sketch, to Bundy. Throughout the entire movie, Bundy professes his innocence. Despite being questioned multiple times, and convicted of the crimes, he never confesses. He even goes as far as to defend himself in the court of law. The biopic continues all the way to Bundy’s death, giving viewers a visual of what evidence lead to his demise. 

The movie is under fire however because many people believe it glamorizes Bundy, while ignoring the horrifying nature of his crimes. The movie does not focus on the victims and heinous acts, but it focuses more on Bundy and his story. However, they did so to show that Bundy was not unlike everyone else in a way, which is why he had the world fooled into believing his innocence. Many are also mad that Efron did not reach their expectations in portraying Bundy’s true manner. 

The known victims of Ted Bundy are:

Joni Lenz, 18; Lynda Ann Healy, 21; Donna Gail Manson, 19; Susan Rancourt, 18; Roberta Parks, 20; Brenda Carol Ball, 22; Georgeann Hawkins, 18; Denise Naslund, 18; Janice Ott, 23

Nancy Wilcox, 16; Melissa Smith, 17; Laura Aime, 17; Carol DaRonch, 18; Debra Kent, 17; Caryn Campbell, 23; Julie Cunningham, 26; Denise Oliverson, 24; Melanie Cooley, 18

Lynette Culver, 12; Susan Curtis, 15; Margaret Bowman, 21; Lisa Levy, 20: Kathy Kleiner, 20; Karen Chandler, 22; Cheryl Thomas, 21: Kimberly Leach, 12

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