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The Only Living Witness: The True Story of…

The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy (1999)

by Stephen G. Michaud

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234469,963 (3.73)11



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This is probably my all-time favorite true-crime book. It's by far the best book on Bundy, chiefly because of the authors' brilliant idea to have Bundy "speculate" about how the murders were done. The story of the victims was handled gracefully and respectfully. Even on re-reading this book, I would still find myself saying "Don't do it, don't go with him" but to no avail. I get that involved in this book. One of these days I suppose I will have to re-read Ann Rule's book on Bundy but I don't recall it holding a candle to this one.

I tried to stay up late for his execution but unfortunately I was on the east coast at the time and didn't make it. But I was relieved to get up the next morning knowing that Ted Bundy was no longer of this world.

I wonder about his family sometimes living down in Tacoma. I wonder if any of them ever changed their names, and, if not, how they cope with the inevitable questions. How awful to have your life mixed up with Ted's in any way, shape, or form. ( )
  Tonestaple | Apr 28, 2015 |
This book was truly the most anyone has gotten out of Ted Bundy out of his own words about his crimes. I was bored with the rehashing over the victims (no disrespect, I just had read quite a few times before). What really intrigued me were his dialogues with the author. The author and his fellow investigator in 1980 (one year before I was even born) was trying to get Bundy to talk about his victims. They wasted a lot of time by asking questions. Then the author and his investigator about to stop the project realized they were frustrated because Ted Bundy was acting like a 12 year old boy stuck in a grown man's body. And they wondered if maybe that might not be the key to helping him talk. So they started a game of "Lets PRETEND...YOU KNOW WHAT THE KILLER WAS THINKING". In doing that, he opened up for the only time in his life. And through this "game" just like a child he really believed no one would think HE had done these things even though he had details of the crimes he spoke that no one else could possible have!! The only type of person that could believe in such a thing would be a vastly immature juvenile. His revelations into the development of the psychopathic mind were incredible and something that no one else put someone who went through it could describe. After Bundy stopped talking they took their recordings to forensic psychiatrists asking what he thought and if their impressions were accurate--that somehow Ted Bundy stopped maturing at about 12 years old or so. The shrink agreed and told him that this was probably as close to a truthful self portrait in his own words of Ted Bundy that anyone was ever going to get. That made this book startling and compelling. I just wish there was more of that. I know you need to recognize the victims. I'm not a groupie. I'm just trying to understand psychopathology. And Ted Bundy opened up more than most of his kind. And he also did what Mrs. Hahn from the Goodbye Door did. He described his need to kill, his psychopathology as an "entity" inside him. A compulsion that was hard to control and as the record shows he failed to control in society all to often which is why he wished to stay locked up (but not be executed). After his last escape, he truly did feel like he wanted to live behind bards because the control he used to have over his psychopathology had completely dissolved. At it was against women where his violence and murderous rages were prone to strike. I'm not saying he didn't deserve execution or not. That was not my choice to make. And as a woman, I feel safer knowing there is one less person like him no longer in this world to be honest even if there has been plenty to replace him in the ensuing years. ( )
1 vote Danie_Jorgenson | Sep 16, 2013 |
9 out of 10. great book! ( )
1 vote Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
Not quite as good as "The Deliberate Stranger" - but worth the read. ( )
1 vote inGraveDanger | Mar 31, 2009 |
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I last saw Ted Bundy on a miserable day in early June.
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Book description
He didn't fit the stereotype. Before Ted Bundy face the nation in America's first televised murder trial, most people assumed that a vicious multiple murderer would look like an ogre, complete with hunchback, crooked teeth, and leering eyes. When millions of people finally saw Bundy, they were horrified to discover that it was his boyish good looks and charming manners that helped make him one of the most successful sex murderers of all time. In the Only Living Witness you'll meet America's first celebrity serial killer up close and maybe too personal for comfort. You'll follow Ted Bundy on a ferocious four-year, coast-to-coast slaughter spree that left at least thirty young women raped, mangled, and murdered, and you'll discover how he was able to escape from jail-not once, but twice-to continue his killing ways. Most chilling of all, Bundy himself ruminates on the nature of serial murder, "speculate" on the details of some of his own crimes, and offers his opinion on fellow monsters John Wayne Gacy and David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz. The Only Living Witness explores the complex psychology of a deeply troubled, emotionally stunted young man whose gruesome crimes belied his pleasing façade and forever changed our idea of what the face of evil looks like. (0-7607-7429-3)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451127528, Mass Market Paperback)


(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:10 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Michaud and Aynesworth are a reporter and an investigator team who interviewed serial killer Ted Bundy while he was on death row in Florida. This volume chronicles his activities throughout several states but is at its best in a long section of transcripts from the interview in which, while he never admits his quilt, Bundy offers vivid details of the crimes and commentary on the mindset of a serial killer. This revised edition includes some additional information. --publisher.… (more)

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