For the first time, a woman who was best friends with Ted Bundy’s long-term girlfriend has revealed the details of her close friendship with the serial killer.
Marylynne Chino says she met Bundy in the fall of 1969 at the Sandpiper Lounge in Seattle, Washington. “I’ve never forgotten this,” Chino told KUTV. “I walked in, and across the room, I saw Ted (Bundy) for the first time. I will never forget the look on his face, it wasn’t evil, but he was staring, nursing a beer.”
Chino said her best friend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, ended up spending the night with Bundy — and the couple began dating soon after that fateful evening.
Kloepfer, a divorcee with a young daughter who worked as a secretary at the University of Washington Medical School, became Bundy’s girlfriend, and the couple dated on and off for seven years. She was given the alias “Meg” in Ann Rule’s book about the case, The Stranger Beside Me.
“Ted was charismatic, he was nice,” Chino said. But her friend’s boyfriend was leading a double life — during this time, Bundy raped and killed women across several states, including Washington, Utah, and Florida.
Chino said she began to change her mind about Bundy when Kloepfer called her to tell her that she had found several odd items in his home, including women’s underwear and the plaster of Paris he would use to make his fake arm casts.
She said that Kleopher confronted Bundy, and that he threatened to hurt her if she ever told anyone — so she tried to put the stuff she found in the back of her mind.
A string of murders began in Washington in 1974, including two women were kidnapped and murdered from Lake Sammamish. One of the women who Bundy approached, but did not abduct, told investigators that the man said his name was Ted, had a cast on his arm, and was driving a Volkswagen Beetle.
Police also published a composite sketch of the man they believed was the kidnapper — and Chino said that she and her friend noticed the resemblance immediately. That’s when she said she convinced Kloepfer to call police from a pay phone.
When police told her that the suspect’s Volkswagen was bronze colored, she said the women felt relieved — because Ted’s car was tan.
Despite the fact that they had already suspected Bundy might have been responsible for the murders in Washington State, she remembers letting him drive her home one night — and described the car journey as the longest of her life.
Soon after that, Bundy moved to Utah to attend the University of Utah law school. When Chino heard about missing women and murders in Salt Lake, she said that she convinced Kloepfer that they needed to call police again.
The women ended up helping police build their case — and Bundy was eventually arrested. He confessed to 30 murders, and police say he is suspected in as many as 100. He was executed in Florida in 1989.
Chino said that she does not know why Bundy left her unharmed, and reveals that she considers herself “lucky to be alive.”