This updated, expanded edition of The Phantom Prince, Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, includes a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a startling new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, who has not previously shared her story. Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and one of the most publicized to this day. However, very rarely do we hear from the women he left behind—the ones forgotten as mere footnotes in this tragedy. The Phantom Prince chronicles Elizabeth Kendall’s intimate relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. As much as has been written about Bundy, it’s remarkable to hear the perspective of people who shared their daily lives with him for years. This gripping account presents a remarkable examination of a charismatic personality that masked unimaginable darkness.
Obviously I am a true crime fan, and the Ted Bundy case is one of the most popular is our country’s history. I’ve read The Stranger Beside Me, watched the movies, and listened to podcasts about it/him. None of those provide quite the same perspective as The Phantom Prince.
I absolutely devoured this book. It’s pretty short, so it’s easy to get through quickly. But, I could not put it down at all. It was just all so interesting. Hearing the story of Ted Bundy from someone who was in a relationship with him and absolutely in love with him was something else. The way she write about him, it’s so easy to see how charming he was and why it was easy to fall in love with him. You almost start to fall for him yourself.
When this book was originally released, Liz still loved Ted Bundy. She had sort of come to terms with the awful, horrific things that he had done, but she still loved him. Once you fall in love with someone, you don’t immediately fall out of love with them – no matter what they do.
It was even more interesting to read her additions to the original release and to see how she feels about him today. I’m so happy for her and Molly that they’ve been able to come to terms with their life with Ted Bundy and completely cut ties with the love they had for him. Their lived will forever be impacted by their time with him and the unthinkable crimes he committed, but at least they were able to move on.
If you are a true crime fan at all, or interested in the Ted Bundy case – this book is an absolute must-read. You won’t get this type of insight into the person he was behind closed doors anywhere else. It’s truly fascinating.
Ted Bundy was a horrible, horrible monster. There’s no other way about it.
Memorable quote: “I didn’t understand Ted Bundy and I never will.”