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5 Books to Read in Anticipation of Sundance’s Ted Bundy Premiere

by | January 7

If you missed the Golden Globes last night and are craving some award-winning cinema, you won’t have to wait around much longer. Sundance Film Festival is right around the corner (running from January 24th through February 3rd). So, if you’re a Zac Efron fan, like me, then you may have gotten wind of the news that the handsome actor will be portraying none other than the notorious serial killer Ted Bundy in a new movie (premiering at Sundance), Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The film tells the story of Bundy’s murder spree through the eyes of his long-term girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer (played by Lily Collins). Bundy may have been executed decades ago for his long list of gruesome and unimaginable crimes, but his image lives on through the various retellings of his story in books, magazines, and film. Here’s a list of books to read if you want to know more about Bundy, before you see the High School Musical heartthrob portray him in the much-anticipated film.

Riverman

Riverman

by Robert Keppel

Robert Keppel details his time as the chief consultant to the Green River Murders Task Force in this book. Ted Bundy essentially decided to put himself in the center of the case by writing a letter to the force offering to provide insight into the mind of a serial killer. Was proposing to help catch a killer Bundy’s way of redeeming himself or was it just another manipulation tactic of his to stay relevant?

The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me

by Ann Rule

True crime writer Ann Rule shares her experience working alongside Bundy at a suicide hotline center in this telling. Bundy was not only Rule’s coworker, but he was also able to charm her into being his friend. Through her firsthand experience in interacting with Bundy, Rule shares her insight into the secrets of the mind of the infamous serial killer that he was subsequently revealed to be.

Signature Killers

Signature Killers

by Robert Keppel

Signature Killers profiles various infamous killers, including John Wayne Gacy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and, of course, Ted Bundy. Keppel shares the killers’ known “calling cards,” their primary motives, and identifiers. He shows how understanding the mind-sets of known psychopaths and sociopaths can help map out the patterns, behaviors, and reasoning behind their actions.

Violent Mind

Violent Mind

by Al Carlisle

Al Carlisle was given the task of determining whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality after his trial for the kidnapping of a young woman in Utah in 1976. This assessment would be used to decide if Bundy should be put in prison or on probation. The book details the interviews and tests that Dr. Carlisle put Bundy through in order to examine his inner thoughts and behavior following his first conviction—and at the time his only known violent crime.

Hunting Humans

Hunting Humans

by Elliott Leyton

Elliott Leyton presents a case study on the reasoning behind why people commit attacks on, and murders of, strangers, using six of the most well-known murderers—one of whom is Ted Bundy. Leyton’s theories on these killers’ motives revolve around American mass culture.

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Jess is a Digital Marketing Content Coordinator at Simon & Schuster. Her guilty pleasure is reading Young Adult series like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Field Party, and To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before. When she’s not reading, you can find her at a Yankees or Giants game or rewatching Riverdale for the hundredth time.