A new Amazon Prime series finally uses a female lens when talking of one of America's most heinous serial killers. It allows Elizabeth Kendall, Ted Bundy's former girlfriend, to talk through what led her to report Bundy to police as a suspect
The problem with our obsession with serial killers is most problematic when we remind ourselves that so often, the female victims are left out.
The Staircase, The Keepers, Making a Murderer, these are three of the most popular series on Netflix, all of which the killers seem to take centre stage and the female victims to a lesser extent, drive the narrative; the focus is, more often than not, less on the women who were killed and more what motivated the (usually male) killer.
Related: Stans are disturbingly 'feuding' over serial killers yet we're obsessed with the murder of women
The 'hot serial killer' narrative is one frequently associated with Ted Bundy. A recent series on Netflix and a Zac Efron–led film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile, saw a subsection of the internet treating one of America’s most notorious serial killers like he was Robert Redford. The tweets especially were disturbing; each which essentially said: Theodore Robert Bundy, a man who confessed to killing 30 women between the years 1974 and 1978, a man who likely killed even more women than that, is still considered "so f**king hot."
The male killers have continuously been glorified; Bundy and Jeffrey Dahmer mugs appeared on Etsy, while made-for-entertainment portrayals of famous murders (committed by men to mostly women) started winning Emmys. Charles Manson was the same; perceived as this almost God-like figure at the time of his spate of sixties killings.
Frequently, this is mentioned before any of his victims, the fact that Bundy didn't "look like a serial killer."
A female perspective
The biopic at least introduced us to Bundy's ex-girlfriend and her daughter – she's scarcely mentioned in the Netflix documentary – but now Amazon is finally allowing her a platform, along with the surviving female victims, a chance to speak out.
Amazon Prime’s five-part docuseries will reframe Bundy’s crimes from a female perspective. Kendall and her daughter will share their experiences of Bundy with new details about the pull he had on women around him.
Kendall published a memoir in 1981, titled The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, but hasn't been public about her relationship with him – she called the police on Bundy before he became an official suspect for his crimes – until now.
“I just didn’t think he could do these things,” she says in the trailer.
“I fell in love with him from day one, but there were all these coincidences. I couldn’t let it go.”
The series will drop on Amazon Prime on 31st January