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The Phantom Prince by Elizabeth Kendall
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bookshelves: true-crime, non-fiction
Recommended for: true crime junkies

With last year's Netflix releases of both a film and a documentary about serial killer Ted Bundy (and a new Prime documentary coming at the end of this month), it makes sense that Elizabeth Kendall would re-release her 1981 memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy. While Ms. Kendall did not edit the original text of her book, this new release includes a forward and afterward by her, as well as a final chapter written by her daughter.

As a true-crime junkie, I immediately picked this book up when I found out it was available. The original book went out of print years ago and is difficult to find. It is interesting to read about Elizabeth and Ted's relationship, which started when they met in 1969. I think when Ms. Kendall wrote her original account, she was still too close to the events and was looking through some rose-colored glasses.

Liz wanted nothing more than to get married, and Ted strung her along while she helped to support him. As an outsider reading this it seems pretty obvious that while their love story may have started off well, ultimately (even if Ted Bundy were not a serial killer) he would have left Liz for greener pastures sooner or later. It seemed that right when Liz had enough, he was just really good at telling her exactly what she wanted/needed to hear. And even when she had her doubts about whether or not Ted was "the Ted" the police were looking for (and after his arrest in Salt Lake City), she still stood by him, convincing herself he was innocent.

This is a fairly quick read of an ultimately doomed (for many reasons) relationship. It was nice to read Ms. Kendall's new updates that indicate that she has been able to come to terms with her past and move forward. She has a unique voice and point of view that no one else can provide. While she doesn't have answers for Ted Bundy and why he committed his horrible crimes, this book is not really about him but about Ms. Kendall and her story.

This book is probably a must-read for true crime fanatics and those still interested in Ted Bundy. However, if you are not into the true crime genre, I don't think this book will resonate with you.

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Reading Progress

January 11, 2020 – Started Reading
January 11, 2020 – Shelved
January 13, 2020 – Finished Reading
January 14, 2020 – Shelved as: true-crime
January 14, 2020 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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