Ted Bundy appears to be bigger than ever before with reports circulating in May 2021, that yet another movie was in the works about him. And, in keeping with previous iterations of this particular true-life story, another so-called “hot” actor was cast as the serial killer, former teen star and scourge of Riverdale, Chad Michael Murray. Even the filth merchants at the New York Post wondered who the hell asked for this movie. American Boogeyman, a title that kind of rips off Michael Myers but whatever, reportedly, “follows the elusive and charming killer and the manhunt that brought him to justice involving the detective and the FBI rookie who coined the phrase ‘serial killer.’ ”
Social media wasn’t too impressed with the news, which is heartening considering just how many so-called fans Bundy had, and continues to have, due to his alleged good looks (check out old pics — he’s certainly not that cute). As the Post notes, to date, Bundy has been played by all-out hunks including Spike himself, James Marsters, and even Jigsaw’s apprentice, Cary Elwes, as well as Zac Efron in the most recent iteration, Netflix’s Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Serial killers have always had their diehard fans, but the current obsession with hideous men like Bundy is troubling, particularly as it takes much-needed attention away from their many victims, and the loved ones they left behind.
With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at the women Bundy targeted and whose lives he ruined either by killing them or forcing his victims to live with the memories forevermore:
23 year old Caryan Campbell had gotten sick at the worst possible time. While vacationing in Aspen, Colorado in January 1975 with her fiancé, a cardiologist, and her future step children, Caryn caught a slight case of the flu. Despite the illness, Caryan mustered up the energy to take the kids skiing, go shopping and go out to dinner with friends. She was a registered nurse.
Unfortunately there is little known about 26 year old Julie Cunningham’s early life. What has been reported is that, in early March of 1975, she was to suffer her last heartbreak on a recent ski trip. Julie worked as a clerk at a Vail ski shop and was a part-time ski instructor. She was not the best judge of men and was just trying to find someone she could really love and trust.
Sadly there is also very little known about 25 year old Denise Oliverson either. We do know Denise graduated from Grand Junction High School in 1968, divorced following a brief marriage in 1972 and worked for Dixson Inc. as an assembler as of 1974. On April 6th, 1975 Denise left the home she shared with her boyfriend to clear her head. They had just fought and it’s believed she was heading for her parents’ house.
Lynette Culver, according to all accounts, was considered a perfectly normal preteen woman. She was the youngest of three children, one of whom died before she was born. The family relocated to Idaho in 1967, although Lynette was born in Washington. She had a good relationship with her family, was in the seventh grade and considered a good student although Lynette did have some problems with truancy. On May 6th of 1975, the Alameda Junior High School student was on her way home for lunch. She was only 12 years old.
Susan Curtis was a 15-year-old student at Woods Cross High School at the time of her disappearance. She was on the track team and the girls’ baseball team. She had a history of running away from home for days at a time, but Susan rarely went missing for very long. In June of 1975, Susan rode her bicycle 50 miles to attend the Bountiful Orchard Youth Conference at Brigham Young University in Provo. While there, one evening, following a formal banquet at the Wilkinson Student Center, she left her friends to walk back to her dormitory and brush her teeth. The distance was about a quarter of a mile.
On the evening of Saturday, January 14th, 1978 most of the women who lived in Florida State University’s Chi Omega House had plans for the evening. Their number included 21-year-old Margaret Bowman, the daughter of a wealthy and socially prominent family from St. Petersburg. That night Margaret went out on a blind date, returned to the Chi O house and discussed the details of her night until two o’clock in the morning with a friend.
Unfortunately there is very little written on the early and personal life of 20-year-old Lisa Levy. She had been a member of Congregation B’nai Israel of St. Petersburg, while during the summers and holidays she worked at the Colony Shop at Tyrone Square Mall. Lisa spent Saturday, January 14th working herself to near exhaustion. After her shift, she spent only an half hour at a popular campus disco — Sherrod’s — before heading back home to go to bed.
Survivor Karen Chandler spent her evening cooking dinner for her parents. After eating and assisting with the clean-up, Karen returned to the Chi O house to work on a sewing project. She was asleep in bed by midnight. In a recent interview with The Cinemaholic Karen offered an update on life after her attack. “I’ve had a 40-year marriage… I have two wonderful, self-sustaining children. I have three wonderful grandchildren… I really don’t think about Bundy anymore,” Karen opined. She now lives in Arizona.
Survivor Kathy Kleiner did not have the easiest childhood. She lost her father at just 5 years old. And, by the time Kathy turned 13, she had been diagnosed with Lupus erythematosus, which attacked her kidneys quite aggressively. The experimental chemotherapy made her so weak, caused her to lose all her hair and Kathy even had to be home-schooled for seventh grade. But she never let herself slip up with her studies. After her attack in 1978 Kathy, who understandably developed an intense fear of men, took a job as a cashier at a lumberyard in Miami. She got married. They divorced. She got married again to Scott Rubin, one of her old theater friends from high school. Kathy and Scott now reside in New Orleans as a happy couple, proud parents, grandparents, and dog owners. She often visits bookstores with her husband and usually heads right for the True Crime section. She’s a big true crime fan, funnily enough.
21-year-old FSU student Cheryl Thomas spent her Saturday evening in style. As a dance major, she enjoyed going to the disco and that night she headed to Big Daddy’s with a date — another dance major, in fact — and the duo stayed until closing time. Cheryl drove her date to his house where they drank tea, ate cookies and chatted for about half an hour before she went home to her apartment near the Chi O house. She was in bed with her new kitten by 2 a.m.
12-year-old Kimberly Leach was ecstatic on a gloomy day in February, 1978, despite the weather. Kimberly discovered she’d been been elected first runner for Lake City Junior High School’s Valentine Queen. Ruby Bedenbaugh, a close childhood friend of Kimberly’s, told ABC News she wanted people to remember Kimberly as a “beautiful, young girl that would have done great things had she not crossed paths with a monster… There’s a void that will always remain… Where would Kim be today?” Bedenbaugh said. Likewise, “The world missed out on a great soul.”