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30 review for The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy

  1. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    “People have suggested that I have survivor’s guilt. I reject that. We all should be alive.” They say love is blind and The Phantom Prince truly epitomises this. Kendall wrote this book back in 1981, and in the after note she revisits her relationship with Ted Bundy all these years later, and this was really the most interesting part of the book. She reflects on how naive she was and that she wishes she could just erase some parts she had previously written. I’m glad I read this edition, as other “People have suggested that I have survivor’s guilt. I reject that. We all should be alive.” They say love is blind and The Phantom Prince truly epitomises this. Kendall wrote this book back in 1981, and in the after note she revisits her relationship with Ted Bundy all these years later, and this was really the most interesting part of the book. She reflects on how naive she was and that she wishes she could just erase some parts she had previously written. I’m glad I read this edition, as otherwise I would have been left incredibly frustrated at how she just continued to keep contact with him, even after he had been accused of such vile crimes. And the fact he was clearly in contact with other women too... But hey, it’s hard to judge isn’t it? There’s also a short section written by Molly Kendall, Elizabeth’s daughter, who also spent a lot of time around Bundy as she was growing up, and some of the memories she recalled are just... horrifying. The stuff of nightmares. I’d never heard these details before and they just left me feeling very icky. That being said, it’s interesting to have a different perspective on Bundy. And it makes me extra paranoid (if that’s possible). He really did seem so charming and lovely, especially when they first got together - I laughed along at some of his jokes and pick-up lines, and then caught myself like...NO. It terrifies me how someone can so easily hide who they really are. For those who are intrigued by true crime but like to steer clear of gory details, this would be right up your street, as the crimes themselves are not covered in any great detail. Glad I finally got the chance to read this one! A must for any true crime fan, particularly if you are interested in Bundy’s ability to deceive those around him! 4 stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nan

    I was 14 when I read this book. That's too young. My mom had a unique philosophy regarding censorship--so far as I remember, she didn't censor anything. I watched Holocaust movies when I was six. And I watched Mark Harmon portray Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger on TV when I was just a kid. I was a freshman in high school, doing an overly ambitious research project on Ted Bundy. He had captured my imagination in the movie, and his recent execution left him lingering in my thoughts. As I was r I was 14 when I read this book. That's too young. My mom had a unique philosophy regarding censorship--so far as I remember, she didn't censor anything. I watched Holocaust movies when I was six. And I watched Mark Harmon portray Ted Bundy in The Deliberate Stranger on TV when I was just a kid. I was a freshman in high school, doing an overly ambitious research project on Ted Bundy. He had captured my imagination in the movie, and his recent execution left him lingering in my thoughts. As I was researching, I wanted desperately to know--how could someone live with and love someone that was so patently evil? The answer is simple; it's easy to miss what you don't want to see. Kendall wrote this book with the benefit of hindsight. She was able to look back at their years-long relationship and see just how twisted and damaging it actually was. She was able to piece together odd occurrences and see them as signs of Bundy's monstrosity. At the time, though, he was her prince--the man who loved her. The small odd things weren't enough to force her to leave him in much the same way that people don't leave abusive partners. At first, it wasn't bad. Later, she didn't know what to do without him. He had become a habit in her unhappy life. It was only after he was accused of murder--and his coworker Carol seemed to be his second girlfriend--that Kendall was able to cut him out of her life. This is an important book in helping to understand the psychology of abused and dependent partners. It's too bad that it's out of print. The fact that I remember the book this well--19 years after reading it--should serve as testament to its power.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cbj

    When I first read Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me, I was intrigued by the fact that Ted Bundy was first reported to the police by his girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall. Kendall felt that the sketch put out by the police in the papers resembled her boyfriend . He also drove a Volkswagen, the car reported to be used by the killer according to people who might have seen him. But by then, the police had already checked Bundy out twice and ruled him out as the killer/kidnapper of the missing women. Kend When I first read Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me, I was intrigued by the fact that Ted Bundy was first reported to the police by his girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall. Kendall felt that the sketch put out by the police in the papers resembled her boyfriend . He also drove a Volkswagen, the car reported to be used by the killer according to people who might have seen him. But by then, the police had already checked Bundy out twice and ruled him out as the killer/kidnapper of the missing women. Kendall continued to date Bundy after he was initially cleared, before reporting him again to the police. She even dated and stayed with him even after he was arrested and released on bail! The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy is a painful and brutally honest account of Elizabeth Kendall's relationship with Ted Bundy during the early 1970s. I say brutally honest because Kendall is frank about her own inferiority complexes, dependent behavior, immaturity and above all, her alcoholism. She portrays herself as a naive, silly and overtly dependent person who turns to alcohol when the lying, manipulative and guiltless Bundy stands her up on many occasions after promising to marry her. She supports him throughout his failures as a law student and setbacks in his career. She probably did get paid to co-write the book. I am not sure about this. At the center of this book is an outwardly normal and promising American couple about to embark on the fulfillment of their dreams and get married. They even meet each other’s parents and friends. They have a great sex life. But the guy exhibits strange behavior at times - stealing, lying about his career prospects, indulging in hurtful behavior like not turning up on dates and going back on promises to get married that would make most women ditch him. But the girlfriend holds onto her man, hoping that he would reform eventually. And for a while it does seem like things would work out for them when he is accepted at law school. But it eventually turns out that the guy has a secret life, unbeknown to his woman, in which he goes around kidnapping, killing and raping beautiful young women. I cannot even begin to imagine the pressure this lady must have gone through when she first suspected Bundy of being the killer and her mental state when he was eventually arrested. The relationship scarred her beyond recovery. As she admits in the last few pages of the book: “On one level I find I have developed a grim view of human beings and what they are capable of doing to other human beings. That makes it hard for me to get very close to people.” There were many instances in the book when I found myself feeling really bad for this woman. I don’t know much about the milieu of 1970s America. But it seemed to be a time when people where moving out of their parent’s homes and living alone in other states and trying to face life on their own. Imagine a vulnerable girl on her own, without too many friends, running into someone like Ted Bundy. I don’t deny that I am intrigued and fascinated by Ted Bundy and his acts. I would read any book that would offer me clues about what drove Bundy to do what he did. That is the main reason why I read this book. But this book offers another point of view. It offers insight into why some weak women are attracted to manipulative, charismatic but eventually damaging personalities like Ted Bundy. Interestingly, Ted Bundy was in jail around the same time as Gary Gilmore. Norman Mailer wrote a towering true-life novel about Gilmore’s life, including his relationship with his girlfriend Nicole. I don’t think Mailer would have been interested in the middle-class milieu in which Bundy and Kendall met and moved around in. But he was certainly interested in psychopaths. Some great writer ought to have written a true-life novel about the relationship between Bundy and Kendall. It certainly deserves a better book than this one. Not that this is a bad book. It covers the procedural aspects of Kendall and her best friend’s initial suspicions about Bundy quite well, like their initial phone calls to the police and meetings with undercover policemen. They did not have mobile phones back in the 60s and the 70s. People who did not keep diaries kept track of the past through notes on the sides of their cheque leaves/books. That’s how Kendall tries to recollect the past when the police become interested in her allegations about her boyfriend. Like in Mailer’s The Executioner’s Song, The Phantom Prince also contains the letters and poems exchanged by the jailed killer and his girlfriend on the outside. Psychologists might never come to a conclusion about what drives psychopaths. Is it the genes? Upbringing? Modern life? But this book is not really about the psychopathic Ted Bundy. It is about a vulnerable, materialistic, needy and ultimately tragic person who wants a good square life for herself in the greatest country in the world. But the man she chooses as her gateway into the American dream is the most successful psychopath of the 20th century. At one point, she fears whether newspapers would dig out the fact that she reported her law student boyfriend as a possible killer when he ran for the post of governor after they were married!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina - Recipe & a Read

    4, what a harrowing story, had to read it before her interview stars!! Full disclosure, this one was hard for me to read and to rate. What Kendall went through, especially in hind-sight and having to learn piece by piece the atrocities that Bundy committed is devastating to say the absolute least. However, Kendall isn't an author, she was just a woman who had a story to tell and a human being who had more trauma and emotion to sort through than most of us will ever have to face. They saw Ted Bund 4, what a harrowing story, had to read it before her interview stars!! Full disclosure, this one was hard for me to read and to rate. What Kendall went through, especially in hind-sight and having to learn piece by piece the atrocities that Bundy committed is devastating to say the absolute least. However, Kendall isn't an author, she was just a woman who had a story to tell and a human being who had more trauma and emotion to sort through than most of us will ever have to face. They saw Ted Bundy as a murderer. I knew him as a lover and a friend. This book was originally written in 1988, by a version of Elizabeth Kendall that no longer exists. I don't know many people, if any, who would say they're the same person they were 5 years ago, let alone 20 or 30. I know how different I am, how much I've grown and changed through adult hood and I've had little trauma that compares to that of Kendall. This book felt a little bit like a tableau of a person who no longer exists and I found that absolutely fascinating. When you're reading the portions of this book that were written back in 1988 it's painfully clear that Kendall hadn't worked her way through the trauma, emotions or abuse that she had faced at the hands of Bundy. The Phantom Prince is a painful and heartbreaking look at a woman who was broken, only to put herself back together, alone, at the end of one of the most harrowing stories I've ever read. Kendall was incredibly honest with herself throughout the writing of this story. She is frank and open about her alcoholism, her dependency on a man she knew was no good, her immaturity and how that allowed her to be targeted and abused, her anxious attachment and the inferiority complex that kept her coming back to Bundy time and again despite his own abhorrent behavior. I see why people are obsessed with figuring him out. For years, I thought continually about how this same person I loved could do these cruel and violent things. Finally, I was able to let go. I took on this mantra: He’s crazy, and being sane, you will never understand crazy. Just give up. Live your life. You still have it. It’s a gift. I'm not going to go into a full synopsis of this book, because at it's heart, it really isn't about Ted Bundy, the lover or the boyfriend. It's about Elizabeth Kendall and her strength and resilience. It was an interesting insight into one of the most notorious murderers and monsters the world has ever seen. Straight through the eyes of his closest, most intimate victims. While the entirety of this book held my interest, I have to say the preface and the afterward were my absolute favorite. To read about Kendall's reflection on what she had written so shortly after Bundy's arrests and trials was absolutely inspired. In the end, this isn't necessarily about Ted Bundy, but the way that life, experience and love can heal a human being. It's Elizabeth Kendall's story of self-redemption and of finding her way back from the brink of absolute darkness.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ryn

    A quick addictive read. I got this out of print book in a PDF attached to a discussion thread in one of my murderinos groups on face book. As interested as I am in the psychology of everyone, it was extremely interesting peering into the mind of Ted Buddy’s long time girlfriend. I feel like I understand her. He sounds like he was your average avoidant manipulative asshole to her and she didn’t want to believe that he was truly a monster. He really was a frightening monster and a confusing one. M A quick addictive read. I got this out of print book in a PDF attached to a discussion thread in one of my murderinos groups on face book. As interested as I am in the psychology of everyone, it was extremely interesting peering into the mind of Ted Buddy’s long time girlfriend. I feel like I understand her. He sounds like he was your average avoidant manipulative asshole to her and she didn’t want to believe that he was truly a monster. He really was a frightening monster and a confusing one. Makes you believe that some people may be born evil and there may be no way to mitigate that state. Here is a link to the PDF version that I read. I heard it is out of print and sells for 200$ on Amazon so I thought I would share the love. https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%... no idea if this link will work

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz Pardue-schultz

    The only memoir I’ve read while constantly muttering “Oh hooneey..” to myself the entire ride.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Valerity (Val)

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This updated book I felt was very well done, given the wisdom of several decades to reflect, and to help improve Liz's harsh feelings about herself at the time. I was shocked at how much I'd forgotten of the original story. I'm still absorbing it, I suppose. The part written by the daughter, Molly, was enlightening and heartbreaking all at once. But she seems to have made peace with the past fairly well. I would recommend for any true crime fan, especially for any that are interested in Ted Bun This updated book I felt was very well done, given the wisdom of several decades to reflect, and to help improve Liz's harsh feelings about herself at the time. I was shocked at how much I'd forgotten of the original story. I'm still absorbing it, I suppose. The part written by the daughter, Molly, was enlightening and heartbreaking all at once. But she seems to have made peace with the past fairly well. I would recommend for any true crime fan, especially for any that are interested in Ted Bundy, one of the better known serial killers with many books written about him, even long after his execution. There are also many never seen before pictures in the book of Bundy and the author and others. Published on my WordPress blog, seen here: https://wordpress.com/post/bookblog20...

  8. 5 out of 5

    JG Wagner

    I found this book at my parents used book store in a pile of books they found at a yard sale. I read through it in a weekend. This book is super creepy. If you want a book that you can't put down and will scare you to death for the next ten years, then read this.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    Thin, but fascinating! This and Ann Rule's book are the best two about Bundy of all of them. Good luck finding this one. My hubby bought it off ebay for entirely too much.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    This was an impulse read, a book which I noticed our library had on order. Years ago I read Anne Rule's book on Ted Bundy The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story and she mentioned this woman (in a somewhat derogatory way, if I remember correctly). Bundy was a big story when I was in high school and his actions and trials may have been what started my life long fascination with true crime stories. Sometimes I wonder if I read this genre to get clues about keeping safe. On the This was an impulse read, a book which I noticed our library had on order. Years ago I read Anne Rule's book on Ted Bundy The Stranger Beside Me: Ted Bundy: The Shocking Inside Story and she mentioned this woman (in a somewhat derogatory way, if I remember correctly). Bundy was a big story when I was in high school and his actions and trials may have been what started my life long fascination with true crime stories. Sometimes I wonder if I read this genre to get clues about keeping safe. On the theory that if I can figure out where other women went wrong, I can avoid the same mistakes. Rule mentioned this book in passing and I tried to find it years ago without success. This version is a new edition with some new thoughts from a woman who has hit bottom and has struggled to free herself from the expectations of patriarchal religion, from addiction, and from an abusive, manipulative relationship. There were several times that it seemed to me that she was assuming responsibility for things that weren't hers. This idea that somehow women are responsible for the behaviour of their boyfriends and husbands. This lets the men off the hook and makes women feel like they are crazy. As if there was anything that Liz could have done to fix Bundy. It's hard to believe awful things about anyone, let alone someone you have an intimate relationship with. This is one of the reasons that people remain in abusive situations. When one of my sisters was extracting herself from an abusive marriage, her counsellor told her that taking 4 to 6 years to take decisive action isn't unusual. This means that Liz, who was involved with Bundy for 6 years, was completely within the bounds of normal. But her subconscious was working overtime. Her drinking just kept getting worse, probably because she didn't want to see the situation clearly. Her suspicions kept driving her to talk to the police, followed by feelings of guilt for having those doubts. No wonder that these swings in view added to her substance abuse led the police to unkindly call her “a real squirrel.” I wonder if she would receive better treatment today, with our greater understanding of addiction. One can hope so. I really felt for her daughter, who kept some unsettling experiences to herself for a long time. So many of us keep secrets for fear of not being believed. I think both of these women are exceptionally luck to be alive. I wish them both peace. Cross posted at my blog: https://wanda-thenextfifty.blogspot.c...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kalyn✨

    How well do you think you know your loved ones? Ted Bundy was a master of disguise. To people looking in, he seemed like a doting boyfriend, goofy father figure, and charming golden boy. Even to Liz, his worst offences seemed to be cheating and stealing— definitely not murder and rape. He played his role well and that makes it all the more terrifying. He didn't seem like a serial rapist and murderer, just a flawed, normal dude. As an outsider holding the knowledge we have now, it's easy to look at How well do you think you know your loved ones? Ted Bundy was a master of disguise. To people looking in, he seemed like a doting boyfriend, goofy father figure, and charming golden boy. Even to Liz, his worst offences seemed to be cheating and stealing— definitely not murder and rape. He played his role well and that makes it all the more terrifying. He didn't seem like a serial rapist and murderer, just a flawed, normal dude. As an outsider holding the knowledge we have now, it's easy to look at the bits of relationship Liz shares in this book and judge. Point out all the red flags, and tell yourself you would've spotted them and left him right away. I don't think it's that simple, and I'm honestly not too sure what I'd do myself if I were in her shoes. While she does a good job of describing it, I can't actually imagine the horror and disbelief that went through her head as she connected the dots. When she found out her worst fears and suspicions were correct, not just her being paranoid. I'm glad I read the updated and expanded version because Liz's afterword gave wonderful insight to what she was going through at the time of writing her account. She admits that she was still in love with him and corrects a few things that she now sees much differently. It just goes to show how strong denial and a manipulator's charm can be. Molly's story was also disturbing and heartbreaking— I'm glad she was able to find peace and sobriety.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cassie

    Christ alive. That was rough. God, I just can't get over the last few lines in the book. The realization that Kimberly Leach was only 12 years old, the same age as Elizabeth's own daughter at the time, and how Bundy's assurances that she and her daughter were safe from him were an outright lie. Or his admittance to either considering or outright trying to kill her on multiple occasions. Or the last few lines of that final letter he sent her, threatening her and everyone she loved had the informati Christ alive. That was rough. God, I just can't get over the last few lines in the book. The realization that Kimberly Leach was only 12 years old, the same age as Elizabeth's own daughter at the time, and how Bundy's assurances that she and her daughter were safe from him were an outright lie. Or his admittance to either considering or outright trying to kill her on multiple occasions. Or the last few lines of that final letter he sent her, threatening her and everyone she loved had the information she had given to the police turned out to be the reason for his predicament. This poor, poor girl. I can't believe how much Bundy preyed on her insecurities. Of course, that sounds incredibly stupid given the fact that he is a whole ass serial killer, but just...Jesus. I find it incredibly disconcerting how easy it could be to fall for that act. And any woman who has felt the pressures and insecurities that society thrusts upon us weighing her down will understand the fear that comes with the realization that you very well could have been another one of his victims. Because, no matter how you look at it, Liz was one of Ted Bundy's victims—just one of the few to survive him.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ines

    I adored this book. I'm probably one of the few people who thinks Ted Bundy's interview with James Dobson and his salvation were genuine and that he really did hate what he had done. Too many books and documentaries about Bundy focus on the awful things he did (as they should), but they never attempt to show his human side. This book does exactly that. It shows that Ted Bundy was not a monster, but a man who somehow got lost along the way and started doing the most terrible things. I love that t I adored this book. I'm probably one of the few people who thinks Ted Bundy's interview with James Dobson and his salvation were genuine and that he really did hate what he had done. Too many books and documentaries about Bundy focus on the awful things he did (as they should), but they never attempt to show his human side. This book does exactly that. It shows that Ted Bundy was not a monster, but a man who somehow got lost along the way and started doing the most terrible things. I love that the author got so candid about her daily life with Ted and showed not only his strengths and shortcomings, but also her own. I admire the fact that she was not portraying herself as an innocent victim in it all, but showed that both of them contributed to the toxic nature of their relationship. Don't be fooled - Liz makes no excuses for any of his behaviour, from stealing to infidelity and eventually, murder. She shows us however how much we are willing to overlook and write off when we love someone. It was utterly fascinating to read about how normal and sweet someone like Ted Bundy could be to a person he cared for. In parts, it shows his desperation in dealing with what he was doing and even his admissions of guilt and truthful confessions of his crimes to Liz, which he later denied in court and to the media for almost a decade. If you want a book that you can't put down which shows you Ted Bundy the human being, this is it.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jewel

    This book is extremely disturbing. I don't know how to talk about it, I don't know how to review it, and I don't want to think about it. All I can say is that Elizabeth is a hero. I don't judge her for any of the ways she reacted in this retelling of her life. I know if I found out somebody I loved was a brutal serial killer, I'd be destroyed and traumatized for life. That she managed to move on, raise her daughter and find love again is a testament to how strong she is as a woman. It seems very This book is extremely disturbing. I don't know how to talk about it, I don't know how to review it, and I don't want to think about it. All I can say is that Elizabeth is a hero. I don't judge her for any of the ways she reacted in this retelling of her life. I know if I found out somebody I loved was a brutal serial killer, I'd be destroyed and traumatized for life. That she managed to move on, raise her daughter and find love again is a testament to how strong she is as a woman. It seems very obvious to me that Ted was preying on her and manipulating her because he knew she was a loving and overly empathetic woman, but I can understand her confusion. She loved him, and then she found out that the man she loved didn't exist. I understand why she hung on to him for so long, even after he was sent to prison. I mean, how can you accept that someone you've spent years with did something so horrible? Again. She's amazing for surviving. Five stars for the fantastic writing. (but for the record I'm probably going to get rid of this book. I don't think I ever want to look at it again)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alana Voth

    Here's a must read for those interested in learning what sort of boyfriend/lover Ted Bundy was as revealed by his former girlfriend of seven years, Elizabeth Kendall, who was a single mom struggling to make ends meet in the late sixties and early seventies. Right away, Elizabeth refers to herself as a "failure" following her divorce. She leaves Utah for Washington in hopes of a new start for herself and her young daughter, Tina. Once settled in Seattle, Elizabeth admits her loneliness and throug Here's a must read for those interested in learning what sort of boyfriend/lover Ted Bundy was as revealed by his former girlfriend of seven years, Elizabeth Kendall, who was a single mom struggling to make ends meet in the late sixties and early seventies. Right away, Elizabeth refers to herself as a "failure" following her divorce. She leaves Utah for Washington in hopes of a new start for herself and her young daughter, Tina. Once settled in Seattle, Elizabeth admits her loneliness and throughout the book, like so many young women, continues to berate herself as ugly and stupid and so on. Heartbreaking and familiar. Enter Ted Bundy, handsome, intelligent, ambitious, attentive, sweet, charming, great with kids, and loves to cook. He's also the bomb in the sack, or so the author implies, although she's not forthcoming with details. Too bad. Yeah, I said it. Kendall had a sexual relationship with America's most notorious serial sex killer. I want details. Oh, well. The main thing is, Ted Bundy came off a Prince Charming, and if Kendall were writing a romance novel . . . well, she wasn't. Prince Bundy was an illusion he fought hard to maintain even as he succumbed to his dark impulses and murdered young and beautiful women all over the country. Poor Elizabeth Kendall. I mean that. Imagine you're in an emotionally abusive relationship then add finding out he's a serial killer. Yeah. He would have snowed me, too. That is what is so powerful about Kendall's story. I relate to her. That's what makes Ted Bundy so scary. I would have fallen for him, too. How emotionally and physically exhausting to try and keep up with Ted's infinite manipulations. He turned on the crocodile tears and overwrought sentiments of love over and over and over again. What a mind fuck. How painful. Did Ted love Elizabeth? Probably not. I'm pretty sure Ted didn't experience emotions the way most of us experience emotions. I'm also pretty sure he wished he experienced emotions the way most of us do but was unable to because of wiring and biology. Ted admits to Elizabeth during a phone call from jail she was a touchstone for him, a reality check, the way in which he tried to feel and appear "normal." One of the most powerful moments in Elizabeth Kendall's story happens when she drives to the mall where Ted attempted to abduct Carol DaRonch, the one who got away. Kendall asks herself if a handsome and well mannered stranger (Ted) approached her and said he was a police officer and asked her to come with him, would she? Her answer is probably, yes. Me, too. Especially in 1974. I wouldn't have seen him coming. That trick with the cast on his leg would have worked wonders on me. Here comes this handsome, wounded man asking for help then chatting me up. Yup. There's me walking to his car and carrying his books for him. Jesus. XO.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    This book was fantastic! I really appreciate Elizabeth's (author) honesty and openness in her book. I have created chapter vocabulary questions, quizzes on this book. Here is a link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/P... "Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir, detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, long out of print, now reissued with startling new material from the author and her daughter. Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince, was originally published in 1981. Mo This book was fantastic! I really appreciate Elizabeth's (author) honesty and openness in her book. I have created chapter vocabulary questions, quizzes on this book. Here is a link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/P... "Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir, detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, long out of print, now reissued with startling new material from the author and her daughter. Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir, The Phantom Prince, was originally published in 1981. Molly Kendall, her daughter, considered Bundy a father figure between the ages of three and ten. Ted 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. This updated and expanded reissue of Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 book The Phantom Prince chronicles her intense, six-year relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. Featuring a new introduction and a new afterword by the author, never-before-seen photos, and a new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, this gripping account presents a remarkable examination of obsession, intrigue, and the darkness that love can mask."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacy Fetters

    What a frightening tale to tell. Can't even imagine the horror she went through not knowing who she was actually seeing. With each page came unbelievable truths of living/dating a serial murderer. What really got me was that even after she knew what he was up too, she didn't leave him and kept crawling back to him. Quite astonishing. Why has this book never been republished? It took me forever to get my hands on this book and I'm glad I did. One I need to have in my own collection of macabre.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Julie Belcher

    I'm surprised this book got so many good reviews. Personally I was disappointed. It gives you another perspective on the many faces of Theodore Bundy but it ended up being more like diary entries from a 14 year old girl. Why won't he love me? Why won't he marry me? Why am I so miserable? Why is he so distant? I wanted to hear facts and stories of her time with Ted but instead all I heard was her damsel in distress act.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hilary

    makes me want to quit drinking

  20. 4 out of 5

    Attack Salmon

    Well ... at the end of the day I am like Elizabeth . I can't concide the image of Bundy killing women to the Bundy in here. He is too normal and too caring. I don't know what make this not as fascinating as A Father's Story. Could it be the writing? But it could be also that Bundy is too good of an actor. He is freaking good at hiding his true nature and put on a facade of the All American golden boy. With Dahmer, he shows unusual behaviour and characteristics that we can pinpoint, things like a Well ... at the end of the day I am like Elizabeth . I can't concide the image of Bundy killing women to the Bundy in here. He is too normal and too caring. I don't know what make this not as fascinating as A Father's Story. Could it be the writing? But it could be also that Bundy is too good of an actor. He is freaking good at hiding his true nature and put on a facade of the All American golden boy. With Dahmer, he shows unusual behaviour and characteristics that we can pinpoint, things like antisocial behaviour and lack of interest in almost everything. But Bundy would have u fool. Thats how good he is. I think I even like him a little. He treat Elizabeth real nice albeit they have some up and downs. I can see that he love Elizabeth a lot but I couldn't understand why he wouldn't marry her but go for Carole Anne Boon instead. I don't know what to think of this. It read like Bundy is not the killer but being frame because of how much love he show Elizabeth. How can someone who kill so many women still being able to profess love for another woman?

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jennie Damron

    I have read many books on Ted Bundy. He is probably the most evil man I have ever read about. Never once have I thought him attractive and could not understand how women could think he was good looking. Could they not see his souless eyes? That's why this book was fascinating to me. Elizabeth dated him, loved him, trusted her daughters care to him. She saw a side to this man that few did. The pain and anguish of building their lives again once finding out he was murderer, i could never understan I have read many books on Ted Bundy. He is probably the most evil man I have ever read about. Never once have I thought him attractive and could not understand how women could think he was good looking. Could they not see his souless eyes? That's why this book was fascinating to me. Elizabeth dated him, loved him, trusted her daughters care to him. She saw a side to this man that few did. The pain and anguish of building their lives again once finding out he was murderer, i could never understand what that is like. I found myself frustrated with Liz and wanting to shake her. To refuse to see what was right in front of her was maddening. I tried not to judge, but it was hard. I am glad I read this book. And I am glad that Elizabeth and Molly survived and sought the help they needed to move forward.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rosie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I went into this book fully expecting to enjoy it (as much as anyone can, given the topic) and it lived up to my expectations. In November last year I read The Stranger Beside Me, which I'm now glad I did. I'm also glad I read it before I read this. Personal Preference, I guess. Because, where Ann Rule gives us the facts and the 'real' view of Ted Bundy the serial killer, Elizabeth Kendall gives us her rose-tinted view of him. I can see why Kendall was so taken in by him and how, despite her doubt I went into this book fully expecting to enjoy it (as much as anyone can, given the topic) and it lived up to my expectations. In November last year I read The Stranger Beside Me, which I'm now glad I did. I'm also glad I read it before I read this. Personal Preference, I guess. Because, where Ann Rule gives us the facts and the 'real' view of Ted Bundy the serial killer, Elizabeth Kendall gives us her rose-tinted view of him. I can see why Kendall was so taken in by him and how, despite her doubts, she still didn't know about this other side to him until later on. I enjoyed this perspective for one main reason: it's a known fact he was charming but Ann Rule telling me that very matter-of-factly, didn't have the same impact as Elizabeth Kendall detailing that side of him. The Phantom Prince really gets that across in a way that The Stranger Beside Me didn't. I'm glad that The Phantom Prince doesn't focus on Bundy's body count. That really would've taken away from what Kendall was trying to convey. In addition to this, the book concluded with Molly Kendall's story, which gave some quite disturbing insight into the side of Ted Bundy that came out with her while Elizabeth wasn't around. I definitely got a bit giddy when Ann Rule was mentioned too 🤗 In my opinion, The Phantom Prince is the perfect companion to The Stranger Beside Me. I'd definitely recommend both!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    "I understood perfectly well what the power of fear could do to a person." I've been dying to read The Phantom Prince for years, and I'm so happy that it was finally re-released. This was an intense and unsettling read, and I highly recommend picking it up if you're interested in a unique perspective on Ted Bundy. The Phantom Prince is haunting because it really shows how normal he appeared to be (even more so than The Stranger Beside Me, in my opinion, because Ted and Liz were romantically invol "I understood perfectly well what the power of fear could do to a person." I've been dying to read The Phantom Prince for years, and I'm so happy that it was finally re-released. This was an intense and unsettling read, and I highly recommend picking it up if you're interested in a unique perspective on Ted Bundy. The Phantom Prince is haunting because it really shows how normal he appeared to be (even more so than The Stranger Beside Me, in my opinion, because Ted and Liz were romantically involved). It's difficult to read from the perspective of someone trapped in an emotionally abusive relationship, and I appreciate Liz's openness and honesty. He deceived everyone he met, and she's had to live with the guilt and lasting effects. I like that I was able to read this version because they maintained the accuracy of the original, but Liz was able to write an afterword many years distanced from what happened. She's also changed a lot from the person who wrote this book (she felt that she was still in love with him at the time, and that's no longer the case). Liz's daughter Molly tells her story for the first time, and that was disturbing and heartbreaking to read. So many people were his victims in different ways. This is definitely not a light read, but it's an intriguing one, and I am grateful that Liz & Molly shared their stories. CW - addiction, abuse, pedophilia

  24. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    I still think Ann Rule’s is the best written form of Ted Bundy’s story, this was definitely an interesting read and from the most long term, directly-involved party. Also, seeing the photos at the end only reinforces for me how I will never ever understand why people say he was “so attractive.” I mean... no. Just no. The letters shared in this book did help shed some light, though, on what someone could have seen in him (he had a way with words for sure!) and it is so sad that he took such advan I still think Ann Rule’s is the best written form of Ted Bundy’s story, this was definitely an interesting read and from the most long term, directly-involved party. Also, seeing the photos at the end only reinforces for me how I will never ever understand why people say he was “so attractive.” I mean... no. Just no. The letters shared in this book did help shed some light, though, on what someone could have seen in him (he had a way with words for sure!) and it is so sad that he took such advantage of an insecure single mom. Definitely worth the read!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah

    Most of my time was spent getting frustrated with the narrator and her sympathy for a serial killer. It had a very 'woe is me' vibe that got awfully tiring. Regardless, learning more about true crime is always a plus for me.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scar Young

    Liz was also a victim to Ted Bundy. I hope one day her story gets published again, because it deserves to be heard.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linds

    This book is out of print and I needed an interlibrary loan to get my hands on a copy. It is an account of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend/fiancé of five years. Liz is a 25 year old divorcee and Mother of a young daughter. She meets Ted, a charming law student, falls in love, and thinks she’s on track towards a marriage and a nice life. Unfortunately lies, thefts, and evidence of other woman hurt her (though surprisingly no violence). When descriptions of a murderer named Ted that fit her Ted start This book is out of print and I needed an interlibrary loan to get my hands on a copy. It is an account of Ted Bundy from his girlfriend/fiancé of five years. Liz is a 25 year old divorcee and Mother of a young daughter. She meets Ted, a charming law student, falls in love, and thinks she’s on track towards a marriage and a nice life. Unfortunately lies, thefts, and evidence of other woman hurt her (though surprisingly no violence). When descriptions of a murderer named Ted that fit her Ted start filling the newspapers, she calls in to tip the police even though she doesn’t think it’s him. Ted is arrested and Liz stands by his side as long as there is some hope he could be innocent. Liz is not really self aware or insightful enough to explain why she does this despite massive amounts of circumstantial evidence pointing to Ted. This is also before people really knew what sociopaths were and how they operated, and you can see her confusion at the gross mismatch between his words and actions. It is only after Ted’s confession after the Florida sorority murders that she is able to finally accept that her lover is an evil killer. I’m left with feelings of pity and contempt for Liz (more of the former than the latter) as it shows an extreme case of how far people can be deluded in their denial. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule is a much better account of Ted Bundy but if one is interested in the case this is worth reading. It is a primary source though it lacks insight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mandi Bean

    I can't remember the last time I read a book in two days. The honesty of the author's account of her life with Ted Bundy is remarkable. Kendall freely admits her own shortcomings which may have attracted Ted to her in the first place. She does not deny any facet of her relationship with Ted and while some readers have found her to be irritating in her inconsistencies, I felt it made her human and actually gave her credibility. Unfortunately, now having read the source material for the wildly popul I can't remember the last time I read a book in two days. The honesty of the author's account of her life with Ted Bundy is remarkable. Kendall freely admits her own shortcomings which may have attracted Ted to her in the first place. She does not deny any facet of her relationship with Ted and while some readers have found her to be irritating in her inconsistencies, I felt it made her human and actually gave her credibility. Unfortunately, now having read the source material for the wildly popular Netflix film starring Zac Efron, I dislike the film as they weren't true to the material.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    The old adage states that 'love is blind', and The Phantom Prince proves it. In 1969, Liz Kendall was a 24-year-old divorced single mother of a 2-year-old girl when she moved to Seattle from Utah to start her life over. She met charismatic Ted Bundy at a bar—he seamlessly inserted himself into their little family unit, and they dated for about seven years. Five years into their relationship, he began his rape and murder spree which turned him into one of the most notorious serial killers of the 2 The old adage states that 'love is blind', and The Phantom Prince proves it. In 1969, Liz Kendall was a 24-year-old divorced single mother of a 2-year-old girl when she moved to Seattle from Utah to start her life over. She met charismatic Ted Bundy at a bar—he seamlessly inserted himself into their little family unit, and they dated for about seven years. Five years into their relationship, he began his rape and murder spree which turned him into one of the most notorious serial killers of the 20th century. He targeted young, attractive, long-haired college students, but he didn't shy away from little girls, and officially confessed to thirty murders before his execution (but had previously copped to killing 35–36 women, and some estimates run upwards of 100). His victims bore a striking resemblance to Liz, and one of his young victims was the same age as Liz' daughter Molly at the time. When this book was published in 1981, Bundy was still alive, and would send Liz frequent love letters from prison. What I found so icky and hard to stomach about this book is that it's very apparent that she had not yet been able to reconcile the image she knew of him with what she knew he had done. She had suspected that something was wrong for years—she called the police herself when she recognized him in the first composite drawing in 1974, and the feeling persisted even after the police said they'd eliminated him as a suspect, but despite her knowing better, she believed him when he said he was innocent, stood by him, and kept in contact with him after his arrest. Kendall writes about all sorts of abusive red flags during their relationship, but glosses over them at the same time, which made for an incredibly unsettling reading experience. I can absolutely see why her memoir went out of print in the intervening decades as opposed to Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me ; it's honest and personal, and as such it feels wrong to judge her choices or put any sort of qualifier on it, but from an outsider's perspective it's obvious that she was a vulnerable young woman in complete denial. Her judgement was clouded by her naivete, Mormon upbringing, inferiority complex, alcoholism, and blind devotion for this master manipulator. She's had to work through survivor's guilt and the lingering shame of having loved Bundy for decades now. The recent renewed interest in Bundy led both Liz and her daughter to break their decade-long silence. The memoir has now been republished as an updated and expanded edition with new fore- and afterwords, as well as a final chapter contribution by Molly, which is the most sobering. It's these additions, colored with the benefit of many decades of healing and hindsight, that redeem a book which should otherwise, quite frankly, have been left to be consigned to oblivion. Instead, the book is now the basis for the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, starring Zac Efron and Lily Collins, and both mother and daughter participated in the excellent Amazon docu-series Falling For A Killer, which presents the kidnappings and murders in the historical context of the women's lib movement, shifting the focus away from Bundy, and onto his victims and survivors. I heartily recommend the documentary—in it, Liz expands upon her feelings in retrospect much more than in the rather short additions to the book, and I felt much more sympathetic towards her as a former gaslighted abuse victim than I did while reading the memoir, written as she was still very much under Bundy's spell. The Phantom Prince offers a different perspective of the Bundy case, and isn't your typical true crime book, since it doesn't go into any sort of detail about the murders themselves. Instead, she writes about their relationship, and as a memoir it's neither objective nor comprehensive, especially considering her frame of mind when she originally wrote it. She only mentions a select few abductions and murders which lined up with events from their life together, piecing together a timeline by these coincidences and his odd behaviors. It's unnerving without going into any gruesome details, so it might be perfect for squeamish people who are intrigued by true crime, as well as anyone who is more interested in the psychological aspect of what an abusive and dependent relationship looks like from the inside. It's a short book, but it shows how Bundy managed to charm so many women into following him to their violent deaths, as well as how he could manipulate the press and public into fiercely believing in his innocence, which, more than his crimes, is really why we still find him so fascinating over three decades after his execution. "I see why people are obsessed with figuring him out. For years, I thought continually about how this same person I loved could do these cruel and violent things. Finally, I was able to let go. I took on this mantra: He’s crazy, and being sane, you will never understand crazy. Just give up. Life your life. You still have it. It’s a gift." —from Molly's Story ————— All my book reviews can be found here · Buy on BookDepository

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Liz's writing is very compelling. I've read this book within hours. I enjoyed the transcriptions from Ted's letters to Liz the most. Very interesting read from a viewpoint of someone so close to a serial killer. Disturbing, although lacking most details of the vile acts.

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