A Light in the Dark
Surviving More than Ted Bundy
by Kathy Kleiner Rubin; Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 26 Sep 2023
Independent Publishers Group, Chicago Review Press
THE FIRST BOOK BY A CONFIRMED SURVIVOR OF TED BUNDY, AND THE ONLY MEMOIR TO CHALLENGE THE POPULAR NARRATIVE OF BUNDY AS A HANDSOME KILLER WHO CHARMED HIS VICTIMS INTO TRUSTING HIM
In January 1978, I slept in my bed at the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University as Ted Bundy stalked nearby.
He grabbed an oak log from a stack of firewood, slipped through a back door with a broken padlock, and headed upstairs.He began twisting doorknobs. Room 9 was open, and he quietly and quickly killed one of my sleeping sorority sisters. Across the hall, he found another unlocked door and murdered again. Then, he turned the knob to my bedroom and found it was open. I remember the attack vividly. Bundy bashed me once in the head with the log and then attacked my roommate. He heard me moaning and came to finish me off. He never let his victims live. But he stopped suddenly when a bright light filled the room. He fled the sorority house and the light disappeared.
Bundy wasn’t my first brush with death, and he wasn’t my last. I’ve long been a survivor. I was born into a Cuban American family in 1957 in Florida. I had a happy childhood until I received my first death sentence at the age of thirteen. Physicians weren’t sure why I was always so exhausted and running a low-grade fever. The prognosis was grim after my left kidney started to fail. Then, a physician from Cuba saved my life with a surprise diagnosis—lupus—and treatment plan: chemotherapy. I endured chemotherapy again in my early thirties when I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.
This is my story of surviving three death sentences and finding love and happiness along the way. I was saved by a bright light, and I hope my story is one for people who are experiencing their own dark times. I am a victim, but I am also a survivor, and I want to speak up for all the women and girls whom Bundy murdered.
He has become a legend, and our voices have been muted or ignored. It’s time we were heard.
“A Light in the Dark puts the story of unimaginable crime exactly where it belongs: with the victims, not the monster. Kleiner and Lucchesi bear witness and speak for those who cannot. Unflinching, resolute, and above all compassionate, Kleiner and Lucchesi give us a powerful story about the resilience of the human soul.” —Arnie Bernstein, author of Bath Massacre: America’s First School Bombing and other books
"A coming-of-age narrative wrapped inside a survivor's testimony, Kleiner and Lucchesi put another crack in the myth of Ted Bundy not just with Kleiner's own life story, but also the stories of the other women and girls who met with Bundy's violence. Full of everyday details and poignant honesty, A Light in the Dark reclaims the focus for this unfortunate sisterhood, a group who have also been mythologized over the decades and who have been waiting so long to step into the light shone so beautifully by Kleiner." —David Nelson, author of Boys Enter the House
"In a genre that’s been overwhelmed with Ted Bundy’s poisonous tale, at last we get an antidote: a full-length memoir from one of his victims, arguing that she’s so much more than one of his victims. A compelling and encouraging account of survival from someone who’s been the footnote in a serial killer’s story for far too long." —Tori Telfer, author of Lady Killers and Confident Women
"An inspiring addition to the true crime space, A Light in the Dark rewrites broken narratives around a serial killer." —Foreword Reviews
“In A Light in the Dark Kleiner and Lucchesi underscore that in a very short time span a killer can either take or alter one’s life forever. In this era with the fascination of the true crime genre, Kleiner emphasizes she is a real person who is more than a survivor of Ted Bundy. Kleiner not only survived the night of his horrifying attack at her sorority house, but has continued to survive and thrive while dealing with the trauma of that night. A must read for anybody who wants to better understand the impact serial predators have on victims and their loved ones.” —Paul Holes, author of Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases
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