After a decade of blaming herself for her ex-fiance Ted Bundy's (Zac Efron) incarceration, at the end of Netflix's new film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Elizabeth Kloepfer (Lily Collins) visits the twisted killer on Death Row to ask one simple question: What happened to the decapitated head of one of his alleged victims?
After a long pause, he breathes on the glass separating them and writes with his finger the word, "hacksaw".
By far the most chilling clip in the critically acclaimed film, strangely enough, this conversation never actually happened in real life. Director Joe Berlinger has since spoken out about the fictional moment, admitting that although the rest of the movie is based on historical fact, their showdown was significantly dramatised for cinematic effect.
"95% of the film is extremely accurate," he said. "But that final scene is, you know, embellished for dramatic purposes. But it is based on a real conversation that had happened. But that was a telephone conversation – and in a movie that's full of telephone conversations, it would have been very anticlimactic to have yet another phone conversation."
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In reality, Bundy only alluded to his crimes in two phone conversations and never explicitly confessed his guilt to Kloepfer. She revealed the intimate details of their final discussion in her 1981 memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy.
"There is something the matter with me … I just couldn't contain it. I found it for a long, long time … it was just too strong," she says Bundy told her. "I don't have a split personality. I don't have blackouts. I remember everything I've done. [ . . . ] The force would just consume me. Like one night, I was walking by the campus and I followed the sorority girl. I didn't want to follow her. . . . I'd try not to, but I'd do it anyway."
According to Kloepfer's book, the film neglected to show another significant moment during their final call. After Bundy hinted he was guilty, she asked if he ever tried to kill her.
"I closed the damper so the smoke couldn't go up the chimney," Bundy told her. "And then I left and put a towel in the crack under the door so the smoke would stay in the apartment."
According to recent reports, there was also another terrifying conversation which wasn't shown in the film. Right before Bundy was executed in 1989, he allegedly told Detective Robert D. Keppel that he had burned one of his victims' heads in Kloepfer's fireplace.
"Of all the things I did to Liz, this is probably the one she is least likely to forgive me for. Poor Liz," he allegedly told the detective.