11 Ted Bundy Books to Add to Your Reading List

Published: December 29, 2021

These 11 Ted Bundy books offer several viewpoints about the life and crimes of this killer. He confessed to 30 murders and 20 of those have been confirmed. All of these were committed between 1974 and 1978. 

He murdered his victims in a numbers of states including California, Colorado, Florida, and Washington. He also committed murder in Idaho, Oregon and Utah. He was arrested on August 16, 1975.

Books About Ted Bundy

1. The Stranger Beside Me

The Stranger Beside Me

Written by: Ann Rule

Published: August 1st, 1980

Pages: 456

In the definitive book regarding Ted Bundy, Ann Rule was a homicide detective for the Seattle Police Department, and Ann Rule was used to dealing with death. But it was a personal experience that inspired her to write The Stranger Beside Me, one of the most chilling accounts of terror and evil imaginable, Ted Bundy.

In this book, Rule relays the story of her friendship with Ted Bundy - a man who she knew was responsible for dozens of murders but never suspected of being capable of anything more appalling than stealing a parking spot. This book goes up until his execution as they continue to correspond throughout the years. Incredibly well-written and convincingly terrifying, this is an essential read for fans of true crime stories.

>> More books by Ann Rule

2. The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy

The Only Living Witness

Written by: Stephen G. Michaud

Published: February 1st, 1983

Pages: 338

In 1974, a young woman was brutally assaulted and murdered in her bed. Her attacker left her for dead, but she miraculously survived. This harrowing story of survival would ultimately lead investigators to one of the most notorious serial killers in United States history: Ted Bundy. In The Only Living Witness, Stephen G. Michaud tells the complete, true story of his extensive interviews with Bundy – from their first meeting to the killer’s last words on death row.

As the only person granted face-to-face access to Bundy, Michaud provides readers with an astonishing insider’s view into one of the most depraved minds of our time. What emerges is a troubling portrait of a man devoid of all empathy or conscience for killing at least 33 women, including two twelve-year-old girls.

>> Additional books by Stephen G. Michaud

3. Violent Mind: The 1976 Psychological Assessment of Ted Bundy

Violent Mind

Written by: Al Carlisle

Published: September 21st, 2017

Pages: 258

As a series of murders that took place in the 1970s rocked the nation, Ted Bundy's name was tossed about as a possible suspect. However, before law enforcement could build a case against him, they needed to know whether or not he was capable of such violence. They also wanted to see how a man, who seemed so normal on the outside, could be so evil on the inside.

In 1976, Dr. Al Carlisle was commissioned to assess Bundy's mental state, and his findings would shake the public's perception of the killer. In this book, Carlisle provides an in-depth look at Bundy's psychological profile, shedding light on how he became one of America's most notorious serial killers.

4. The Bundy Murders: A Comprehensive History

The Bundy Murders

Written by: Kevin M. Sullivan

Published: August 12th, 2009

Pages: 264

One of the shorter reads on Bundy, this is an excellent primer for those interested in the man and his murders. One of the reasons we think this is such a good read is that you will learn about the man, the more famous murders, and the other crimes he committed.

Kevin Sullivan does a great job showing what the women were like in their daily lives and brings out their personalities. Using these, Sullivan goes on to show the destruction these murders had on the family and friends of these women. It goes into Bundy's personal life as well. There are photos, which are not graphic but will give you more of a sense of their lives, and how he destroyed them, and into him too.

5. I Survived Ted Bundy: The Attack, Escape & PTSD That Changed My Life

I Survived Ted Bundy

Written by: Rhonda Stapley

Published: July 15th, 2016

Page: 192

Rhonda Stapley was just your average girl living her life when her paths crossed with the horrid Ted Bundy. Even though he was well-known in the press, she hadn’t heard of him, so she wasn’t suspicious at all. However, he was his next victim. Amazingly, she was able to escape and survive.

This next part of the book is incredibly revealing and different from most since she was one of the few that survived. Instead of going to the police for fear that she wouldn't be believed or would just be ignored, she tried to live her life as best she could with these horrors in her mind. This causes her to have PTSD, and that she blamed herself for others that had died after her because of her choices.

However, the reality is that she did the only thing she could to protect herself. It will give you an idea of what living with this horror, for years and years, could do to anyone who has gone through it.

6. The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy

The Last Murder

Written by: George R. Dekle

Published: May 26th, 2011

Pages: 263

This book focuses on the disappearance of Kim Leach and continues through with the investigation and the prosecution of Ted Bundy. It also focuses on how he escaped from prison in 1977 and concludes with his execution in 1989 at the Florida State Prison.

Most of the other books on this list go into the investigation and how the police handled it. We found it most interesting how they also mishandled it, including how there was sometimes ego involved, and therefore agencies wouldn't help each other. We also liked that this book focuses on evidence and scientific ways that they were able to track Bundy down and bring him to justice. Lastly, Dekle goes into how we can better stop serial killers in the future from our mistakes in the past.

7. Ted Bundy: America's Most Evil Serial Killer

Ted Bundy

Written by: Al Cimino

Published: September 15th, 2019

Pages: 256

Being that Ted Bundy seemed like such a regular guy and had such intricate knowledge of how the police and legal system worked, he could murder for years and years. His ability to escape from prison twice should have made him an immediate suspect. However, he realized that if he wanted to stay free, he would work his way around the country, and it would seem like they were unrelated.

All the books on this list deal with the rape and murders of these poor women. However, this one looks at his murders and his incredibly disgusting deviant behavior of necrophilia. If you don't know what that is, someone has sex with a dead person. This part of his personality and his actions aren't as well known but are just as, or even more than, disturbing as anything else in his life.

8. Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger

Bundy: The Deliberate Stranger

Written by: Richard W. Larsen

Published: July 28th, 1980

Pages: 303

Probably closer to Ted Bundy, as a friend, the author Richard W. Larsen sheds light on this man and his ways of charming women and then murdering them. Larsen knew Bundy for many years before the murders and even lent him his car after being released from prison for kidnapping.

One would think that someone so close to Bundy would have easily seen through his disguise, but since he put up such a fantastic one, even Larsen was fooled like so many others. During this exhaustively researched book, Larsen digs into the personalities of people the knew him, the police that investigated him, and how the horror this man brought up for years across the USA. It has also been adapted into a mini-series.

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

Defending the Devil

Written by: Polly Nelson

Published: July 1st, 1994

Pages: 336

Being chosen to defend the horrible serial killer, Polly Nelson had to fight to keep him from being electrocuted. As anyone could imagine, she was torn about trying to keep alive this monster who had killed so many women and at least two twelve-year-old girls, and her own belief that all people deserve to be humanely treated.

Her job as Bundy’s legal counsel is shown here, which allows someone outside the legal system to understand how convoluted and confusing it can be to anyone. Nelson does a magnificent job of showing Bundy's actual beliefs and immorality as no one else can since she was so close to him. Looking at him as his defense lawyer and as someone who sees deeply into him, she explains his mental illness and why she believes that capital punishment was wrong.

10. Ted and Ann: The Mystery of a Missing Child and Her Neighbor Ted Bundy

Ted and Ann

Written by: Rebecca Morris

Published: September 1st, 2011

Pages: 256

Who was Ann Marie Burr? She was Ted Bundy’s eight-year-old neighbor in Tacoma, Washington. Why is she important? Because she disappeared in 1961 and is thought to have been the first-person Bundy murdered before his cross-country rampage began.

This book is unlike any other as it tries to reconstruct how this could happen and how the elegant, classy, and debonair Ted Bundy could have done it. Strangely enough, Bundy tells a story, which people still aren't sure is real, about killing her and dumping her into a pit. But since they've never recovered her remains, and Bundy died so long ago, no one can ever know the truth.

11. The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy

The Phantom Prince

Written by: Elizabeth Kendall

Published: December 12th, 1988

Pages: 183

Initially written in 1981, this memoir examines the author's relationship with Ted Bundy. It lasted six years, and she was lucky enough to survive his reign of terror. Being so close to him gives an intimate portrait of his personality unlike any other book on this list.

Using interviews with friends, family, and Ted Bundy before he was executed, she shows how he could hide his true self for so long, and then what it was like when she found out he was such a horrible monster. It also includes photographs, documents, and a chapter written by Kendall's daughter so that readers can get even more information and learn how deeply this relationship affected both Kendall and Bundy.