Ted Bundy's teeth were so important in his trial for the most horrific reason

8 May 2019, 16:35

Jazmin Duribe

By Jazmin Duribe

A crucial part of Ted Bundy's trial relied on his teeth.

Before Netflix dropped Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile no-one could understand why Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron had been cast as serial killer Ted Bundy. However, after the film was released on Friday (May 3), it was hard to deny their likeness, right down to the facial hair.

But, there was one thing Zac had to change about himself for the role – his teeth. Zac wore fake teeth to play Ted and that's because Bundy's gnashers were a huge part of his conviction.

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"The only thing we did is we put in false lower teeth to match Bundy's, because the bite mark evidence plays a role in how he was ultimately convicted so I wanted the teeth to be similar," Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile director Joe Berlinger, told POPSUGAR.

Zac Efron in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile'.
Zac Efron in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile'. Picture: Voltage Pictures

Now, you might be thinking, why is everyone looking at his teeth anyway? But, they played a significant role in his trial.

In 1978, Bundy killed two women and badly injured two more, after invading the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University. One of the victims, Lisa Levy, was found with a double bite mark on her left buttock.

In the movie, we saw how Bundy was pinned down and impressions and photos of his teeth were taken whilst he was locked up in Florida on the orders of  Sheriff Ken Katsaris (Kevin McClathy).

Lowell Levine Testifying in Court.
Lowell Levine Testifying in Court. Picture: Getty

According to Ann Rule, author of the 1980 book The Stranger Beside Me: The True Crime Story of Ted Bundy, his teeth pinned him to the crime. She said: "Her killer had literally torn at her buttocks with his teeth, leaving four distinct rows of marks where those teeth had sunk in.

"A forensic odontologist would be able to match those bite marks to a suspect's teeth as precisely as a fingerprint expert could identify the loops and whorls of a suspect’s fingers."

During the trial, photos of Bundy's teeth were brought into court and placed alongside a photo of the bite mark on Levy. The forensic odontologist Richard Souviron used them to show that Bundy's crooked teeth matched the mark.

Of course, Bundy continued to protest he was innocent and got his wife Carole Ann Boone (Kaya Scodelario) to take the stand and say he didn't have the chip in his tooth at the time of the murder.

Zac Efron in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile'.
Zac Efron in 'Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile'. Picture: Voltage Pictures

In the end, those bite marks ended up being enough for the jury and Bundy was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of burglary. He was sentenced to death by electric chair.

Just days before he was due to be killed, Bundy confessed to the murder of 30 women, however, the real number could be much higher.