Author Discussion & Signing with Emilie LeBeau Lucchesi
Title: The Light in the Dark: Surviving More than Ted Bundy ...
Date: October 22, 2023
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
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.
About the Authors
Emilie L. Lucchesi, PhD studies framing, stigma communication, and medical history with specific regard to stigma communication and mental health.
Dr. Lucchesi is the author of This is Really War: The Incredible True Story of a Navy Nurse POW (Chicago Review, 2019), which won second place in the American Journal of Nursing’s 2019 Books of the Year awards. The book was also featured in The New York Times, NPR, and Fox-Chicago. The book debuted as an Amazon #1 new release in multiple categories including Nursing & Critical Care. The book was also recorded as an audiobook and released by Tantor Media. Emilie is also the author of Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago (Chicago Review, 2017), which was recommended by The New York Times in June 2017 along with Crain’s Chicago Business and Ms. Magazine. She has appeared on PBS, NPR, FOX-32, and European television to discuss her books. In May 2019, WGN-TV ran a six-minute cover story on This is Really War -- the first book to focus exclusively on the “Twelve Anchors,” who were navy nurse POWs in WWII. Dr. Lucchesi engages with the most timely and important issues surrounding health and/or stigma communication in elite publications such as The New York Times and The Atlantic. Emilie is the faculty mentor for the women’s soccer team. And as a person with lifelong hearing loss, she is available as a personal mentor to any student with physical or learning differences. She is a regular contributor to Discover magazine and her work has appeared in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Atlantic, and the nation’s other top newspapers. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three dogs.
Kathy Kleiner Rubin is a sought-after motivational speaker who specializes in survivor impact. Since 2018, Kleiner Rubin has been sharing her story with audiences eager to hear of her courage and survival. She has spoken to universities, law enforcement agencies, forensic nursing organizations, and true crime conventions. Kleiner Rubin has given dozens of interviews to the country’s top news agencies including CBS News, 48 Hours, 20/20, USA Today, CNN, and Newsweek. She has also been interviewed in Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, and People. Kleiner Rubin lives in South Florida with her husband and dog.