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The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Edition

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,369 ratings  ·  216 reviews
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.

Hardcover, Updated and Expanded Edition, 240 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by Abrams Press (first published September 1981)
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    The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy, Updated and Expanded Edition
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    really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
    Rating details
     ·  1,369 ratings  ·  216 reviews

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    Johann (jobis89)
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Emotionally heavy and exhausting. But a very worthwhile read for true crime fans. Full review to come!
    Oct 18, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: nonfiction, borrowed
    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
    Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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. ...more
    Liz Pardue-schultz
    The only memoir I’ve read while constantly muttering “Oh hooneey..” to myself the entire ride.
    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.
    Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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 (not her real name). 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 ...more
    Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: true-crime
    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.
    Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Alana Voth
    May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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 ...more
    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
    Julie Belcher
    Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Dec 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    makes me want to quit drinking
    May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: memoirs, true-crime
    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.
    Jul 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    When I recently learned that Liz had written a book about her life with Ted Bundy, I knew I had to track down this book. The Phantom Prince is a well-written, engrossing book that details how she met Ted, their rocky relationship, the anxiety, obsession, and self-doubt she faced as she suspected his involvement in the crimes, and their contact following his arrest and imprisonment. For those interested in the Ted Bundy case, this book will offer you a very unique perspective. I highly recommend ...more
    Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Phantom Prince is one of the most brutally candid memoirs I've ever read. Elizabeth Kendall is extremely frank about her personality traits which left her so vulnerable to Bundy's extremely skilful manipulation. She has no illusions about her dependent personality, her poor self-esteem, or her alcoholism. It was heartbreaking to hear her relate his taking a woman already vulnerable and gaslighting her masterfully. I hope wherever she is today, almost thirty years after his execution, that ...more
    Kristen Suire
    May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    “He loves life and enjoyed it to the fullest. The tragedy is that this warm and loving man is driven to kill.”

    This is just one of the most interesting serial killers I’ve ever read about. It baffles me to read about someone with an obvious severe case of personality disorder. How someone can flip a switch so easy it makes you wonder if he had a disorder at all. He could seem so normal and keep it together so easily or so it seemed. Wow is all I can say at this point.
    Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
    Shelves: true-crime, memoir
    A very good, enlightening read about the Bundy murders from the POV of his ex-fiancee. I never realized what a strong role she had in the investigation, the court proceedings, all of it. I now feel I was misled by the other books I've read on this subject.
    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
    Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
    **Review coming soon**
    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
    Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    Mandi Bean
    May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    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
    May 29, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
    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.
    Scar Young
    Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
    Liz was also a victim to Ted Bundy. I hope one day her story gets published again, because it deserves to be heard.
    Erika Loveall
    Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    For whatever reason Ted Bundy is one of the most fascinating people to me. It's likely because I have such a difficult time reconciling the face, lifestyle and then the dark secrets. The infamous "Liz" is a testament to exactly what makes Ted Bundy so very fascinating. Though I struggle to understand and empathize with her throughout the book, I appreciated the opportunity to be a fly on the wall of her life.
    For those of you who know me, you are all aware that I have an almost sick fascination with serial killers and true crime in general, for the rest of you, now you know.

    I was searching for this book almost manically. It isn’t available in any of the libraries in my area and it is out of print everywhere online. It currently sells on ebay for $2000. Yes, it is that precious and people are now looking for it more than ever, all because of the recent Ted Bundy movie, Extremely Wicked Shockingly
    Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Found a free PDF of this online after watching the Netflix movie about Bundy. This was the most incredible deep dive into his personal life and what he was like to someone who knew the other parts of him. Absolutely chilling and fascinating. I read it in one sitting.
    May 15, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
    Hello everyone, I have not read this but very interested in it. Does any body know where I can buy this?? Any information would be amazing!
    Ciara Bartlett
    May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Read this in two days. Great read.
    Breann Bianco
    Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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    “Ted lunged at me, put his hands on my shoulders, and pushed me into the river. The plunge into the icy water took my breath away. I came up sputtering and grabbed the rope on the edge of the raft, too dazed for the moment to do more than hang on. I looked up at Ted and our eyes locked. His face had gone blank, as though he was not there at all. I had a sense he wasn’t seeing me. I struggled to pull myself into the raft. He didn’t move, he didn’t speak. I could find no expression on his face.” 0 likes
    “I am, I thought, capable of holding a hundred different points of view on any one idea at any one time. There is no real me.” 0 likes
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