Sundance Film Festival to premiere Ted Bundy story ‘Extremely Wicked’

News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) –  Ted Bundy, one of the nation’s infamous serial killers will be featured at the Sundance Film Festival.

The movie, “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” premieres Saturday in Park City.  Zac Efron portrays Bundy in the film. The story is told from the perspective of his girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, an Ogden native. 

But Bundy also left behind a legacy of terror in Utah as well.  In 2015, ABC4 featured a three part series on Bundy and the Utah connection.

The following is part of that series:

It was 1974 and a Utah Highway Patrol officer stopped Bundy late at night in West Valley. Sgt. Bob Hayward pulled over a yellow Volkswagon that had been parked in a neighborhood.  But the driver fled when Hayward attempted to stop him.  The vehicle eventually stopped near 3500 South and 2700 West.

“And that was the first time that I had seen Theodore Robert Bundy and his Volkswagon.”

Hayward became suspicious when he asked the man what he was doing so late at night. The man said he had been to a drive-in movie and became lost. Hayward asked him what movie and the man answered that it was “Towering Inferno.”

“But I knew that wasn’t playing at the drive-in,” Hayward recalled.

The man produced a driver’s license which showed his name: Theodore Robert Bundy.  Hayward asked if he could look in the vehicle and Bundy allowed him to.

“The passenger seat in the Volkswagon was missing,” Hayward said.  “I found panty hose, holes cut in it. Different stuff for burglary tools.”

Bundy was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for speeding and avoiding arrest.  It was the first time Bundy was ever photographed by law enforcement.

About the same time, five young Utah woman had either disappeared or were nearly kidnapped.

Carol Daronch had escaped from a stranger who was driving a yellow Volkswagon.

Detectives with Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office were also aware of several missing and murdered women in Washington state. 

They came across a composite from Washington State of a man named “Ted.”

A detective got a search warrant for Bundy’s home and found evidence that linked him to Daronch’s kidnapping.

Bundy was convicted and sent to prison, but there was not enough evidence to link him to the Utah murders.

Authorities in Colorado were notified about Bundy because women had been murdered.  He was transported there where he was charged with the murders. But he managed to escape twice. The second time he fled the state and eventually made his way to Florida.

But two college co-eds were murdered and a teenage girl was also found murdered.  Bundy was charged and convicted with those murders and sentenced to death.

While on death row, then Salt Lake County Sheriff Detective Dennis Couch met with Bundy in hopes of solving Utah’s unsolved murders. Bundy obliged. 

The following are excerpts from that interview with Couch:

Bundy:  “What I’d like to do under the circumstances, I’d just like to, let’s just get a map out.”

Bundy looked at a Utah map confessed to the murder of Debbie Kent of Bountiful.

Couch:  “Was she killed right there at the school?”
Bundy:  “No.”
Couch:  “But you are responsible for her death?”
Bundy: “Yes.”
Couch:  “Was she alive during that time period?”
Bundy:  “Let’s see, during half of it.”

But Bundy could never pinpoint where Kent’s body was buried. He said it was somewhere east of Fairview in central Florida.

Bundy: “I was driving in the dark, late at night, not very conscious of much of anything else.  I can kind of remember, I’m trying to remember, remember little turns the road made.”
Couch:  “How deep was the grave?”
Bundy:  “Approximately 3-feet, 2-to-3 feet maybe.”
Couch:  “Did her clothes remain with her?”
Bundy: “No.”

The detective wanted to learn about the four other Utah women. Bundy spoke of Nancy Wilcox who was kidnapped in Holladay.

Bundy:  “I don’t remember exactly what she was wearing.  She was wearing casual clothes.”
Couch:  “Were you able to have a conversation with her?”
Bundy:  “Not really. Not much, nothing noteworthy.  She was unsure that I was there and restrained and placed in the car and taken to the apartment.”
Couch: “At what point would she have been killed?”
Bundy:  “The next day, the next day.”

Bundy told Couch that he drove Wilcox south and ended up near Capitol Reef National Park, but her body was never found by authorities.

During his conversation with Couch, Bundy said he couldn’t remember meeting Melissa Smith or Laura Aimee. But he denied killing Nancy Baird.

Bundy: “I think for the family the important thing is that you find the body.”

Despite searching, authorities never found the bodies of the missing women. They did find a small human female bone in the mountains east of Fairview. It was turned over to Debbie Kent’s mother.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

Hide Custom HTML H2 CSS