Handsome, charming and monstrous, the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy, even after 30 years of his execution, seem to haunt yet fascinate many crime thriller fans for the grotesque crimes he had committed. The new release, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile starring Zac Efron as Ted Bundy, tries to portray the criminal through the eyes of his girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer. The story received several backlashes for its plotline where the serial killer’s gruesome handiwork was allegedly curtailed under his enchanting personality. The film depicts the timeline of how Ted Bundy’s girlfriend slowly realises his true identity and deals with it. The director’s intention here, it seems, was not to showcase his abhorrent, monstrous acts of crime on screen; rather it was to portray the murderer through the eyes of the person who was in a romantic relationship with him. Now over the years people have been trying to find reasons to explain his psychotic mania: how did Ted Bundy become America’s most infamous serial killer? Did his family background, lifestyle, work or heartbreak, structure his infamy? Bundy was born into a family where he knew his grandparents were his birth parents and his mother was his sister. It is still uncertain when Bundy discovered the truth. Later on in his life, he worked for a Seattle Suicide Hotline Crisis Center. During his work there, he was known to be kind, solicitous and empathetic. He suffered a romantic heartbreak in 1973 with a woman named Stephanie Brooks. It is believed that Ted’s victims bore passing resemblance to Brook and it was only after a year of the heartbreak that he started the killings. His first documented homicide was in 1974. Bundy has confessed to a total of 30 murders, but it is believed that he might have killed more. He was arrested by the police several times but he somehow escaped custody. In 1978, he was finally caught by the police while driving a stolen car in Florida. Ted Bundy was finally executed at Raiford Prison in Starke, Florida, on January 24, 1989 with the accusation of raping and murdering a 12 year old girl in 1978. A terrible breakup, family issues and even hearing people talk about suicide may have somewhat turned him into a maniac, however nothing can ever justify his actions. He will always remain a monstrous criminal.
By Joana Nomrata Mazumder