8 Books About Ted Bundy Worth Reading

Last Updated on September 22, 2022 by Ben Oakley

He is one of the world’s most notorious serial killers and there are many books about Ted Bundy.

But which ones are actually worth reading? And how many are there exactly?

After a couple of hours of painstaking research, the answers are here. There are over 860 books that mention Ted Bundy, and at least 120 in which Ted Bundy is the main subject.

He is perhaps, alongside Jack the Ripper, the most written about serial killer in history.

Here, we look at which books about Ted Bundy are worth reading. These are based on customer reviews and original content.

8 Books About Ted Bundy Worth Reading

1. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule.

It is the big daddy of Ted Bundy books, and one of the most important true crime books of the 20th Century. It’s no surprise that it’s at the top and one of the best books about Ted Bundy you’ll ever read.

A #1 New York Times Best Seller, Ann Rule’s The Stranger Beside Me gives us a unique perspective into the hidden world of Ted Bundy.

Rule gives a chilling and intimate description of her time at a crisis hotline alongside her co-worker, the then charming, sensitive and trustworthy Ted Bundy, and the devastating realization that he was a brutal killer hiding in plain sight.

After multiple arrests and an escape from jail, Bundy would later confess to the murders of at least thirty-six women and soon after was executed for three cases.

Rule, a certified instructor for police training seminars, prosecutors and forensic science organizations, delves into how this savage killer — a man she thought she knew — could have fooled so many, including a professional like herself.

2. The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall.

An interesting and insightful book about Bundy from someone who was in a close relationship with him. It is at times harrowing, but a vital read on the subject.

The book was turned into a documentary series on Amazon called Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer.

Now in paperback, 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.

3. Ted Bundy: The Only Living Witness by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth.

The New York Daily News called this one of the best true crime books ever written. It is the most complete self-portrait ever painted by a serial killer.

Intelligent. Articulate. Evil. Killer.

Two journalists with unprecedented direct access speak to Ted Bundy and those closest to him – friends and family.

What follows is a candid and chilling full account of the life and crimes of the most notorious serial killer in history.

What Bundy had to say in over 150 hours of face-to-face interviews is as relevant today as it was at the time.

4. Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth.

The second entry on the list by Michaud and Aynesworth. This book was made into a series on Netflix called The Ted Bundy Tapes. It is one of the best books about Ted Bundy out there today.

Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer was born out of more than 150 hours of exclusive interview footage with Bundy himself, recorded on death row before his execution in a Florida electric chair.

Bundy’s shocking eleventh-hour confessions to journalists Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth provide a horrifying insight into the twisted mind of America’s most notorious serial killer.

He was a sadistic monster. A master manipulator. His grisly killing spree left at least 30 innocent young women dead.

This is Ted Bundy in his own words.

5. The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy by Al Carlisle.

An actual psychological assessment of Bundy from one of the psychologists who conversed with him. Al Carlisle has also interviewed and reported on the Hi-Fi killers, Arthur Gary Bishop, Westley Allan Dodd, and Keith Jesperson.

Many books have been written about Bundy, but rarely have we had the opportunity to understand the inner workings of his mind.

Now, Dr. Carlisle shares the step-by-step psychological assessment process regarding how he determined that Bundy was indeed a violent person and would likely continue to kill if he was set free.

6. Ted Bundy: America’s Most Evil Serial Killer by Al Cimono.

The second Al on the list is Al Cimono, a crime writer and journalist who takes us on a tour of Bundy’s life and crimes. One of the better books about Ted Bundy that goes into detail about his life.

On first impressions, Ted Bundy seemed like the perfect all-American boy. He was good-looking, fun and very charming; many women found him irresistible…

But deep inside he was an evil monster who terrorised large areas of America, assaulting and murdering numerous women and adolescent girls.

He used his insider knowledge of law enforcement to evade detection, escaping from imprisonment twice before his eventual capture.

While he confessed to 30 killings, the real figure was probably much higher and many of the bodies have never been found.

7. The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History by Kevin M. Sullivan.

The Bundy Murders offers fresh material and ideas about Bundy’s predatory movements. Insightful, well researched, and well written.

In this revised, updated and expanded edition, the author explores the life of Theodore Bundy, one of the more infamous and flamboyant American serial killers on record.

Bundy’s 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 totalled dozens of victims is drawn from legal transcripts, correspondence and interviews with detectives and prosecutors.

Using these sources, new information about several murders is unveiled. The biography follows Bundy from his broken family background to his execution in the electric chair.

8. Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy’s Last Lawyer by Polly Nelson.

Bundy represented himself at various stages of his trial, but he had many lawyers surrounding him before and after. Polly Nelson was one of those lawyers. Her revelations make Defending the Devil one of the more important books about Ted Bundy.

Charged with defending the convicted and unrepentant mass murderer Ted Bundy during the last three years of his life, newly minted Washington, D. C. attorney Polly Nelson fought to keep him out of the electric chair.

In the now-classic Defending the Devil, she recounts with powerful honesty her own challenging role in the drama.

Viewing herself as a compassionate humanitarian first, Nelson reveals her struggle to uphold her professional vow to represent her client (and try to save his life) while simultaneously being deeply mortified by the magnitude of his heinous crimes. 

Bundy’s legal proceedings are meticulously recounted here, offering an eye-opening glimpse into the complex judicial appeals system.

Showing a decidedly humanist slant, she brings Bundy’s overt mental illness to the fore and makes a compelling case against the use of capital punishment. 

Defending the Devil is available as a paperback or hardback. See options here.

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