DirectorMarvin J. Chomsky Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateMay 4, 1986 (1986-05-04) Based onThe Deliberate Stranger
by Richard W. Larsen WriterRichard W. Larsen (book), Hesper Anderson (teleplay) CastMark Harmon (Ted Bundy), Frederic Forrest (Det. Bob Keppel), George Grizzard (Richard Larsen), Ben Masters (Det. Mike Fisher), Glynnis O'Connor (Cas Richter), M. Emmet Walsh (Det. Sam Davies) Similar moviesMad Max: Fury Road, John Wick, Taken 3, The Collector, A Walk Among the Tombstones, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
TaglineHe was easy to like. Deadly to know. Tough to catch.
Joe bob briggs the deliberate stranger monstervision
The Deliberate Stranger is a book and television film about American serial killer Ted Bundy.
The deliberate stranger tv miniseries feature clip
Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger was written by Seattle Times reporter Richard W. Larsen and published in 1980. Larsen covered politics for the Times and had interviewed Bundy in 1972, several years before he became a murder suspect, when Bundy worked as a volunteer for the re-election campaign of Gov. Daniel J. Evans and had been seen trailing the campaign of Evans' Democratic opponent with a video camera.
Larsen would go on to cover the "Ted" murders in 1974 and then cover the Ted Bundy story up until Bundy's execution in 1989. Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger was published in paperback in editions as late as 1990 but has since gone out of print.
The Deliberate Stranger was adapted into a two-part television movie originally broadcast on NBC in May 1986. The film, based on Larsen's book, starred Mark Harmon as Bundy. The film omits Bundy's childhood, early life, and first six known victims (five murders and the first victim who survived), picking up the story with the murder of Georgeann Hawkins and following Bundy's further crimes in Washington, Utah, Colorado and Florida. Frederic Forrest starred as Seattle detective Robert D. Keppel, and George Grizzard played reporter Larsen.
Bundy's lawyer Polly Nelson, in her book Defending the Devil, characterized the film as "stunningly accurate" and said it did not portray anything that was not proven to be factual. She singled out for praise Harmon's portrayal of Bundy, noting how Harmon reproduced Bundy's rigid posture and suspicious expression. According to Nelson, her client, still on death row when the program aired, showed no interest in seeing the film.
Ann Rule, who had known Bundy before the murders when they worked together on a suicide crisis hotline, felt that Harmon's portrayal missed the insecurities that lurked under Bundy's confident facade. Harmon was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Bundy.
While the film is accurate in its portrayal of events, the names of all the victims (as well as Bundy's girlfriend) have been changed, with the exception of victim Denise Naslund and her mother Eleanor Rose.
According to The New York Times, the two shows ranked seventeenth and sixth in the Nielsen ratings. Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times described it as "taut, suspenseful, scary".