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Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer
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Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer

3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  57 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 1st 1994 by William Morrow & Co
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Joanne
This book covers the Ted Bundy story from a different angle. It describes the 3 year battle Polly Nelson had, as Bundy's lawyer, to try and change his death sentence to a life sentence. She argued that Bundy was actually a manic-depressive who should not have been allowed to represent himself during his trial. He was incompetent in this role and ended up sabotaging his own case. His guilt was never in question just a man's right to live. At times it became bogged down in legal jargon, but this w ...more
Dennis
Apr 03, 2008 Dennis rated it it was amazing
This is really the book to read about Ted Bundy. It's depressing and strange and truly, deeply weird. His last lawyer, Polly Nelson, gives her own tortured account of her life, her lack of success in her field, and her bizarre interactions with Ted Bundy in the last years of his irredeemably horrific life. Nelson has this desperately sincere, almost pollyannish attitude toward Ted, and watches in horror as he plays with the cops and dooms himself through crazy stunts like adding pages of weird q ...more
Whitney Milam
Jan 11, 2017 Whitney Milam rated it really liked it
Interesting but not for anyone but true Bundyphiles.
Fishface
A really interesting, informative read. The author writes well; this book is well-organized and even well-copyedited. Nelson explains the legal issues involved quite well and even though the courtroom terminology got pretty dense at times, she never lost me. This is a very-little-known corner of the notorious Bundy story, and the author's approach to Bundy's case was really thought-provoking, with a potentially huge impact on other cases if other attorneys started using it. Ted was never going t ...more
Deborah
Mar 16, 2015 Deborah rated it really liked it
Out of all the books I have read on Ted Bundy it is the only one that actually shows that yes He Did Kill All Those Women. Other books allude to it, even the ones by Michaud Ted just always uses the third person when discussing the crimes but this one actually shows that he acknowledged in First Person that he did this. It also discusses the amount of month the state of Florida spent in trying to get him executed abt 6 millions dollars, whereas it would have cost abt 1 million to keep him alive ...more
Alexa
Jun 13, 2011 Alexa rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
I can't decide if the author is bravely honest or self serving and a little nuts. Maybe both.

More interesting for the insight it provides into his ordinary humanness than anything else. Despite the fact that she argued (sincerely, it seems) his lack of competence, he does not come across as insane. Unlikable, self-serving, disturbed and disturbing, yes, but not insane.

Detailed legalese weighs the narrative down. Reads like a rough draft or a journal instead of a complete and fully-formed book,
...more
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