Discussion time! Ted on Liz

Fear not my fellow crime buffs, chapter 9 will go up this weekend!

In the meantime, I was replying to a comment and had a great idea for a discussion topic. Of all the police interviews, at the beginning and especially towards the end when he was close to execution, I don’t think anyone asked him about his years with Liz. We’ve heard him talk about murders, porn, being a serial killer. But what I wish we had were his deep dark thoughts on Liz. What was it about her that made him keep her around? What value did she bring to his life? In the book, Liz talks about how he had urges to kill her and Tina, even foiling his own attempt once.

I know a lot of people say she reminded him of Stephanie. But he relied on Liz for a lot. He willingly took her on trips, he spent time with Tina. And he trusted her enough to open up about his morbid sexual fantasies as well.

Wouldn’t you love to hear him talk for an hour on their relationship? From what you’ve read so far, what do you think he would say about her?


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9 responses to “Discussion time! Ted on Liz

  1. Beckey

    Not sure if he would admit it but he totally used her. I’ll bet that’s all it was. She describes in the book times when she’d come home or wake up and find him oddly in her apartment. Hunkered down like it was his secret Lair hideout. And he used her car! nothing like a Vehicle that’s not registered to you and nobody is looking for to swap out as needed. Somewhere else I read he may have even used that fireplace of hers (the one they are both sitting by in their pic together) to burn one of his victims!? PLUS she was always paying for meals and things and typing and other random tasks for him. And even if he was tempted to give up all that and kill her and Tina, he couldn’t because unlike the other (random) victims he would have been the first suspect.

    • Liz was certainly an asset to his serial killer ways. He had a place to hide out when he needed it, a car to use and a place to burn the head of a victim. Plus she helped him through school and gave him money. I gotta wonder if she thinks about all the times she helped him, she facilitated some of the murders. That’s got to weigh heavy on her heart still.

  2. Nat

    Beckey is right, he used her fireplace to burn skulls. He didn’t work, he just took things. Just like he took his TV from the store window and his stereo when nobody was looking and just walked out of the place like he owned it.

    She was easy to fool, apparently because it seems like she was asking for him to explain the inexplicable: she found a bag of women underwear in his appartment and did what? Asked what was that? I wonder what the excuse was. This was 73, I think. She had plenty of reasons to leave him even before 74 when he “started” killing.

    The day of the lake Sammamish murders, after abducting and killing two girls, he went for burgers with Liz at night. What was he doing all day on the Saturday? – she asked. “Cleaning my car” – he replied.

    • I am so glad you brought up Liz always accepting his ridiculous excuses for stuff. If I found all sorts of stuff like she did, I would be right in his face until I got answers. I think she was too scared to rock the boat. Which is sad and you see that a lot with couples. He certainly wasn’t bringing much to their relationship since there were tons of times when Ted would disappear and flake on her. If my significant other told me he was cleaning his car, my Veronica Mars spidey senses would kick in.

  3. SM

    Like the previous posters, I think he was using her. But I don’t believe it was intentional or even conscious on his part; I think he was legit attracted to her from the beginning (she was thin and young with long dark hair after all!) And over time I think she just became a safety net for him. A possible alibi, a sweet person who would soothe him when he was craving murder, someone who would indulge him and sleep next to him after he’d bashed in a girl’s skull. I don’t think anything about their relationship was fake or contrived by either of them – I get the feeling that they needed each other desperately, albeit for drastically different reasons. I think he also kept her around because she was insecure, and demure, and he assumed she loved him too much to turn him in. Also, Liz talks about all the fun things they did together – picknicking, kayaking, etc – a narcissist like Ted would definitely keep someone around who’s down to do what he likes to do.
    I do believe that Liz played an extremely important part of Ted’s life while he was in WA. I don’t know if her part was beneficial or not (such as, could she have actually prevented a killing through one of her phone calls when he was sobbing in Olympia?) Who knows? I do think that he kept her around for a specific reason, and not because he “loved” her. She was accessible, gullible, and she needed him as much as he needed her.

    • Elsa

      I don’t think he ever liked her, the guy was a sociopath, maybe he wanted to like her, but sociopaths just don’t have those feelings, they don’t have any in fact. She gave him what he needed and I think that’s all it was.

    • You’ve made some awesome points! I do think they fulfilled something the other needed. Liz always cleaned up whatever mess he brought to her. He would disappear for days and come home crying and she would comfort him without ever really questioning where he was. I wonder if the first few weeks were just sex for him but as he got to know her, he recognized that he could get away with thing and she wouldn’t ever kick him out. If we think about Stephanie, she was pretty hardcore strict with Ted and her expectations. Liz was more of a go with the flow, enjoy when he gave her attention and accept whatever he could offer her.

      You hit the nail right on the head, he needed her as much as she needed him. I do wonder if every once in a while, he wanted to be normal. And in Liz, he could pretend for a moment that he was a normal guy, with normal sexual preferences with a normal life.

  4. Bethany

    Here’s my .02, but I just have a gut feeling that Ted would say Liz had a lot more to do with the reason he jumped over that line between thinking about it and murdering those women than not. She was horribly insecure. She was pressuring marriage. Constantly questioning him, and this was before he started killing women (as far as we know).
    Ann Rule and Carol Boone have both said he would fight with Liz at work all the time.
    I believe there were a lot of contributing factors, Stephanie had something to do with it, I believe his feelings for his mother did as well, but I think that the pressure Liz put on him also contributed.
    She was the first person he called when they picked him up in Florida, and talked to her for two hours.
    Ed Kemper killed many co-eds, but after he killed his mother, he said it was almost cathartic, and he stopped and turned himself in. The reason why he felt he killed the women he did was he really wanted to kill her, but couldn’t because……he was totally dependant on her.

    Ted was pretty much totally dependant on Liz, too.

    “And when you are dependant on someone, you can’t risk taking out your anger on that person. There’s always a chance that the person will reject or abandon you. So one possible solution is to express the rage against a substitute.”
    Dr Ratner
    No Apparent Motive, 1984

    Did he love her? IDK.
    I want to think so.
    I think he loved the family atmosphere, the peace she gave him.
    When the relationship started to go downhill, to not be peaceful anymore, he started staying away more and more.

    Like I said just my opinion.

  5. Greg

    They were both alcoholics. They met drinking. She took him home to a small child without knowing him. That’s wreckless. As it turns out she brought home a serial killer. Certainly clear thinking, sober people don’t do this. My guess is that drinking was what united and bonded them first and foremost. Alcohol unfortunately also fueled his craving to kill. He even stated that alcohol was involved in the murders. That I much I do believe. The worst cases of domestic violence usually involve liqueur. I also agree with the other poster, the only reason she’s not dead is because he’d be the prime suspect. Nothing more. Alcoholism is also in the same spectrum of personality disorders and is a form of psychopathology itself, driven by narcissism. I think recovering alcoholics refer to themselves as “self centered”, a less clinical way to say narcissism. Liz even acknowledged at the end of her book that they shared this common trait of compulsiveness. She was in Alcoholics Anonymous and trying to understand her famous boyfriend through the lens of recovery lingo. In many ways they were two peas in a pod, sharing in one common pathology. He had others. She was really his victim type: shy, helping, vulnerable, pretty, petite, gullible. It took everything he had not to murder her, which he says he struggled with at times. Perhaps being around Liz actually caused him to kill, creating a thirst that he’d then need to quench. My guess is she was another fantasy for Ted, one that fueled that fire.

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