It's weird to think of serial killers with girlfriends, but part of what makes them so mysterious is that they present a public persona of normalcy. Ted Bundy's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer knew him before he became a killer and thought he was normal at first. He came off as charming... but he also threatened her the first day they met.
After he began killing, she had no idea what he was up to at first, or at least that's what she told herself. But as he began to sink into his mania, she began to catch on. Kloepfer found evidence, including tools that looked like they were fashioned into weapons, and even the plaster material he used to create casts to get sympathy from his victims and then lure women to their deaths. Maybe she just couldn't believe that Bundy was capable of what in the back of her mind she knew to be true, but Kloepfer stayed with the serial killer for years before he was finally caught. The story she tells about what it's like to date a serial killer is truly creepy.
She Met Bundy Before He Became A Killer
Although Ted Bundy is best known for being a serial killer, he wasn't always a murderer. Elizabeth Kloepfer met him when he was on the cusp of becoming one. They met in a bar in 1969 while he as a college student in Washington, the same year he tried to kidnap a woman, and they would be together for two years before he slayed his first victim.
They stayed together even though she found suspicious things in his house, like women's underwear and materials to make plaster casts. He even threatened to assault her if she didn't keep his secret.
Her Search For A Father Figure Blinded Her To The Truth
When Elizabeth Kloepfer met Ted Bundy, she was in a vulnerable place. She was young and had been recently through a divorce and had a young child. In Ted, she thought she had found someone to be a new father for her daughter. This perhaps blinded her to the obvious warning signs in their relationship.
They were together for six years, during which time he also saw other women. Despite this, Liz's desire to have a father figure, perhaps with Ted' charm, kept her with the sociopath all those years.
She Stayed With Him Even Though He Played Mindgames With Her
As would be expected of a sociopath, Ted Bundy never seemed to show empathy for Liz. Despite telling her he wanted to be with her, he was always coming and going while having affairs with and killing women, traveling around the country to do so. But his manipulation and psychological abuse (and what Liz endured) was appalling. In once incident, Liz said that Ted finally seemed to be ready to make good on his promise to get married.
He even went and got a marriage certificate for the couple. However, when he returned he held it in front of her and tore it in half to taunt and mock Liz. He'd never even signed it.
Ted Exhibited Some Truly Strange Behavior Toward Liz Even When They Were Together
For a guy who was carrying on affairs and, of course, murdering women, Ted Bundy had some trust issues. Aside from the weird materials she'd find that he used in his crimes and his long absences from her, he also acted out while they were together. For example, Liz reported that sometimes at night while she was sleeping, Ted would get a flashlight and inspect her body while she slept.
She Became Suspicious Of His Weird Habits
Ted Bundy became one of the most notorious serial killers in history while living with his girlfriend. Bundy allegedly killed 100 women in different states but he only admitted to 36 murders. Strangely, he was living with Liz much of the time while he was committing the crimes. She became suspicious when he didn't come home at night and when she began finding things like a wrench, meat cleaver, and knife hidden in her car and their home.
She Caught Him Red-Handed, But Didn't Realize It At First
It's not necessarily shocking that Elizabeth Kleopfer wouldn't realize her boyfriend Ted Bundy was a serial killer, at least, not at first. Serial killers are, after all, relatively rare. Although his behavior was odd, it was perhaps not necessarily evidence that he was a bloodthirsty sociopath. However, Kleopfer did find odd things that he couldn't explain, like a new television and other electronic equipment.
According to The Lineup, she found "a lug wrench under his car seat, an oriental knife in a wooden case, a meat cleaver, plaster of Paris, and a pair of crutches." His behavior was absolutely suspicious, and he was clearly up to something, Kleopfer just couldn't piece together what that was.