Ted Bundy is one of the most popular and violent serial killers that have ever lived. The new film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile on Netflix, details the court proceedings that would lead to the conviction and death of Ted Bundy, highlighting Bundy's manipulative techniques, with a particular focus on his then-girlfriend, Elizabeth "Liz" Kloepfer. Just days before his actual death, Bundy confessed to the murder of 30 persons. Is there any value to be gained in understanding this story? Yes.
First, this movie brings attention to victims that were brutally violated and murdered by Bundy. My heart aches for the victims and the victims’ families that fell prey to this man’s interests. These women were created in the image of God and slaughter by Bundy in pursuit of his own sick pleasure. The focus of this story on the victims in both the film and the marketing of the film is commendable.
Second, this film shows us a part of ourselves. You might think of yourself as a decent person, but the reality is that you are capable of far more evil than you could possibly imagine. Do you think the Nazis were some special breed of person that were oblivious to moral rights? What about the 'Rape of Nanking,’ 300,000 dead and over 20,000 raped. We are talking about thousands of Japanese soldiers, invading China, and committing horrific crimes. Still not convinced? Too distant? What about the My Lai Massacre, normal American men who slaughtered a village of civilians in Vietnam. See this quote from history.com:
“The My Lai massacre was one of the most horrific incidents of violence committed against unarmed civilians during the Vietnam War. A company of American soldiers brutally killed most of the people—women, children and old men—in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. More than 500 people were slaughtered in the My Lai massacre, including young girls and women who were raped and mutilated before being killed. U.S. Army officers covered up the carnage for a year before it was reported in the American press, sparking a firestorm of international outrage.”
A fantastic podcast on this massacre can be found here by Jocko, former Navy Seal commander.
Evil is in our veins, and there is no hope other than Christ Jesus. We might want to distance ourselves from the reality that we even share the same air as a person like Ted Bundy but really if the circumstances were right, would you commit an equally heinous act? It's important that we examine and understand the furthest extents of wickedness in the human heart because it helps reveal our own and in doing so you lose hope in yourself and look to someone greater.
Caleb Jacobs is a writer and host at webasicbible.com. Caleb holds degrees from Liberty University and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife live in Kentucky.