I already had a few asks about it so I decided to put together a list of the ultimate books on Ted Bundy. It’s a work in progress, and I might add more in the future!
The Only Living Witness : The true story of serial sex killer Ted Bundy by Stephen G. Michaud & Hugh Aynesworth (x)
Michaud and Aynesworth are a reporter and an investigator team who interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy while he was on death row in Florida. This volume chronicles his activities throughout several states but is at its best in a long section of transcripts from the interview in which, while he never admits his quilt, Bundy offers vivid details of the crimes and commentary on the mindset of a serial killer.
The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule (x)
The Stranger Beside Me is a 1980 autobiographical and biographical true crime book written by Ann Rule about the serial killer Ted Bundy, whom she knew personally before and after his arrest for a series of murders.
Note : It’s a good book but her perception of Ted is often off base. It’s better to be read with some distance as she perpetuated some fake myths like the long parted hair in the middle, but it’s overall a good read with an interesting point of view from someone who worked with him and hanged out socially a few times with him.
Ted Bundy : Conversations with a Killer, The Death Row Interviews by Stephen G. Michaud & Hugh Aynesworth (x)
Drawn from more than 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews with Bundy, this collection provides shocking insights into the killer’s 11th-hour confessions before his death in a Florida electric chair. A unique, horrifying self portrait of one of the most savage sex killers in history.
The Riverman by Robert D. Keppel (x)
After a search of over twenty years, one of America’s most elusive serial killers was finally apprehended. Now, read the true story of one man’s attempt to get inside the mind of the Green River Killer July 15, 1982: 3 woman’s strangled body was filed, caught on the pilings of Washington state’s Green River. Before long, the “Green River Killer” would be suspected in at least forty-nine more homicides, with no end in sight. Then the authorities received an unbelievable letter from the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy – then on Florida’s death row – offering to help catch the Green River Killer. But he would only talk to one man: Robert Keppel, the former homicide detective who had helped track Bundy’s cross-county killing spree. Now these conversations are revealed, in which Bundy speculates about the motive and methods of the Green River Killer – and reveals his own twisted secrets as well. Now, as never before, we look into the face of evil … and into the heart of a killer.
The Phantom Prince : My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall (x)
One of my personal favorite, it’s a kind of autobiography written by Elizabeth Kloepfer about her 7 years relationship with Ted. It gives the best insight on how he acted around someone close to him and on his every day life. It’s a must read!
Defending the Devil : My story as Ted Bundy’s last lawyer by Polly Nelson (x)
As a brand-new lawyer, Polly Nelson was offered serial-killer Ted Bundy’s case as a pro bono project for her prestigious Washington, DC law firm just weeks before he was scheduled to be executed. Defending the Devil is a unique and candid look at the Bundy case and at Nelson’s three-year personal battle to balance her duties as a lawyer, her compassion for human life, and the inhuman crimes her client had committed.
Through the obstacles and setbacks faced by Nelson there was Ted Bundy himself. While his crimes show the extremely violent side of his personality, there were many other sides –many other extreme sides–that the public never saw. Ranging from shy and defensive to a narcissistic performer, Bundy professed his innocence by day while offering confessions to the police and helping the FBI at night. His own worst enemy, Bundy seemed never to understand the severity of his crimes, the punishment, or the public’s reaction to them. Through it all stood Nelson, defending him from both the system and himself.
I’m Not Guilty : The Case of Ted Bundy by Al Carlisle Ph.D. (x)
Dr. Al Carlisle evaluated Bundy for the Utah court when he was first arrested in 1975 and conducted extensive interviews with him after that. Carlisle has painstakingly reconstructed the life of Ted Bundy through conversations with his friends, family, neighbors, lovers, investigators, and surviving victims—and with the killer himself. I’M NOT GUILTY finally answers the questions about Bundy’s own crimes through a fictional dialogue between Carlisle and Bundy on the day before his execution, and sheds light on the development of the violent mind.
The Bundy Murders : A Comprehensive History by Kevin Sullivan (x)
Theodore Bundy was one of the more infamous, and flamboyant, American serial killers on record, and his story is a complex mix of psychopathology, criminal investigation, and the U.S. legal system. This in-depth examination of Bundy’s life and his killing spree that totaled dozens of victims is drawn from legal transcripts, correspondence and interviews with detectives and prosecutors. Using these sources, new information on several murders is unveiled. The biography follows Bundy from his broken family background to his execution in the electric chair.
The Trail of Ted Bundy : Digging up the untold stories by Kevin Sullivan (x)
Within the pages of The Trail of Ted Bundy : Digging Up the Untold Stories, you’ll hear the voices – many for the first time – of some of Ted Bundy’s friends, as they bring to light the secrets of what is was like to know him while he was actively involved in murder. The stories of his victims are here as well, as told by their friends, including the information and anecdotes that didn’t make it into the investigative files and are being published here for the first time. Two of the former detectives who worked with author Kevin Sullivan during the writing of his widely-acclaimed book, The Bundy Murders, return to aid readers in fully understanding Bundy’s murderous career; it’s ripple-effect impact on those who came into contact with him in one way or another, and dispelling commonly held myths.
The Trail of Ted Bundy is a journey back in time, to when Ted Bundy was killing young woman and girls in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It’s told by those who knew him, and you’ll hear their revealing stories, many being voiced and put to print for the very first time. The friends of the victims are here as well, and they too share their insights about the victims, and some of what they tell here had been held back from the investigators, such was their commitment to their deceased friends. It’s also the story of those who hunted Bundy; those who guarded him, and those who otherwise were a part of this strange case one way or another.
The Bundy Secrets : Hidden Files on America’s Worst Serial Killer by Kevin Sullivan (x)
Within the pages of The Bundy Secrets : Hidden Files Of America’s Worst Serial Killer is a unique, never-before-published look at the investigations undertaken to stop the depredations of America’s most infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy. Presented here in an easy-to-follow chronology are the raw, unedited and most fascinating official case files as they appeared to the detectives from the Pacific Northwest to the Rocky Mountains to Florida.
Ted Bundy : A Visual Timeline by Rob Dielenberg (x)
Ted Bundy was, and still is, an enigma. This book goes part way towards dismantling some of the mythos that has been built up around him over the 40 years since he first came to light. It does this by presenting – in chronological order – all the important available information on Ted gleaned from books, archives, TV, film, newspaper articles, essays, police reports, court transcripts, and original sources, so that readers can make up their own minds. If you are a student of abnormal psychology and/or criminology you will find this book an invaluable resource in answering most, if not all, the questions you ever wanted to ask about Ted. This book may not be the last word on him, but it is without doubt the most exhaustively researched to date.
In Defense of Denial: Ted Bundy’s Final Prison Interview 1989 (x)
In 1989, shortly before his execution, Ted Bundy met with Robert Keppel in what would be his final confession to the events that had occurred some years prior in Washington State. Although much of this confession has been published in other forms and through various media outlets, this is the original version of that confession as provided by an FOIA request made in June of 2015. It contains more of the interview than has been discussed over the years. It was released in transcribed form by the King County Sheriff Office.
Reflections on Green River : The letters of, and conversations with Ted Bundy, edited and compiled by Sara (x)
“Reflections on Green River” contains a collection of original letters written by Ted Bundy to the Green River Task Force in 1984. It also contains the original transcriptions of the recorded interview with Ted in 1984 and in 1988. In 1984 the interview centered on Ted Bundy’s evaluation of the Green River killings but it also discussed a suspect in the case as well and went into detail about the dump sites and Ted’s intuition that the Green River killer was moving up and down I-5 corridor possibly more than police were aware of. Bundy also analyzed the disappearances of the women associated to the Green River Killer and those that he felt could be associated. The 1988 interview centers around Ted’s evaluation of questionnaires related to crime being developed in Washington State as well as discussions related to serial killing. These interviews and letters were talked of in some measure in other books but this collection is more complete than most other sources. It is a very important text for those researching the Bundy era.
Violent Mind : The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy by Al Carlisle (x)
In March 1976, Ted Bundy was convicted of the aggravated kidnapping of a young woman near Salt Lake City, Utah. Bundy had not been accused or convicted of any violent crime except this one. No one knew then how many women Bundy had murdered, and many thought him incapable of doing so.
Dr. Al Carlisle was part of the 90-Day Diagnostic team at the Utah State Prison when Bundy was sent there after the trial. Dr. Carlisle’s assignment was specific: Determine to the best of his ability, without being biased by any of the reports previously done, whether Ted Bundy had a violent personality. The judge would use this information in deciding whether Bundy should serve time or be released on probation.
In Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy,Dr. Carlisle takes the reader step by step through this previously-unpublished evaluation process, and shows how he concluded that Bundy had the capacity to commit aggravated kidnapping, and perhaps much worse.
The Deliberate Stranger by Richard Larsen (x)
The award-winning Seattle Times reporter reconstructs the events surrounding Ted Bundy’s two-year killing spree that claimed the lives of nearly forty women in a series of brutal sex slayings. Interesting to note that Larsen was a friend of Bundy before his arrest.
Ted Bundy: The Killer Next Door by Steven Winn and David Merrill (x)
Ted Bundy is linked forever in the eyes of many Americans to the worst string of sex killings in our history. He is the prime suspect in the brutal murders of more than 30 young women from coast to coast. The corpses were found in beds, ravines, snowbanks, even a hog shed, many of them raped, strangled or bludgeoned to death, their bodies dumped. Bundy denies everything. Once this charming, good-looking, brilliant law student lived the All-American dream. Now he is waiting to die. Sentenced to death in the electric chair, he refuses to admit any guilt. Is he in fact the killer next door? Or is he totally innocent? Will he be executed? Or will he finally win his appeal?
The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy by George R. Dekle Sr. (x)
The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy follows the facts and circumstances of Kim Leach’s disappearance and the investigation and prosecution of Ted Bundy in rough chronological order, from Bundy’s escape from a Colorado jail in 1977 to his execution at Florida State Prison in 1989. it provides an inside look at the intricacies and complications of this historic case that spanned many states and jurisdictions, documenting how unselfishness and dogged determination were key to solving the case.
The story is told from the vantage point of one intimately involved in both the investigation and prosecution of the criminal, clearly showing how friction between agencies can impede the investigation and how cooperation can expedite a solution. The book emphasizes the important role played by circumstantial evidence and forensic science, explores the impact of pervasive publicity upon such an investigation, critiques the investigation and prosecution of Bundy, and offers suggestions on how–and how not–to deal with “celebrity killers” in the future.