The Phantom Prince

My Life with Ted Bundy
Length: 6 hrs and 18 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (213 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The inspiration for the five-part Amazon Original docuseries Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer

This updated, expanded edition of The Phantom Prince, Elizabeth Kendall’s 1981 memoir detailing her six-year relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy, includes a new introduction and a new afterword by the author and a startling new chapter from the author’s daughter, Molly, who has not previously shared her story. 

Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in American history and one of the most publicized to this day. However, very rarely do we hear from the women he left behind - the ones forgotten as mere footnotes in this tragedy. 

The Phantom Prince chronicles Elizabeth Kendall’s intimate relationship with Ted Bundy and its eventual unraveling. As much as has been written about Bundy, it’s remarkable to hear the perspective of people who shared their daily lives with him for years. This gripping account presents a remarkable examination of a charismatic personality that masked unimaginable darkness.

©2020 Elizabeth Kendall Molly’s Story copyright 2020 Molly Kendall (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

Editor's Pick

It’s Complicated
"My relationship with true crime can be summed up as #itscomplicated, but I can't deny my recent obsession with true crime memoirs like Blood and A Serial Killer's Daughter. I'm fascinated by these firsthand accounts of what it's like to find out someone close to you is capable of unthinkable darkness, in all its messy strangeness. What's the roadmap after you find out someone you've shared a roof with is a murderer?! While Elizabeth Kendall's memoir The Phantom Prince isn't new, it's new to me—and an updated edition of the once-impossible-to-find memoir is brand new to audio, just in time for the new documentary series Falling for a Killer. Kendall talks about her relationship with Ted Bundy with mesmerizing vulnerability and openness, describing what it was like to be a young, single mother in the 1960s and '70s and why it left her so unguarded to Bundy's manipulations. By taking back her power and sharing experiences that she once kept secret for fear of being judged, she's contributed a fascinating and moving entry in the growing #metoo canon. I couldn't stop listening."—Rachel S., Audible Editor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    170
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    158
  • 4 Stars
    25
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Same Planet, Different Worlds

If you have lived and been on the planet for 50 or so years, you probably know about Ted Bundy. I would guess that there would not be any spoilers in the review. I would say this, I listened to the entire story and had trouble being sympathetic to the author. I could easily tell the turmoil in her life. I wondered often how she did not die at the hands of this killer.

Throughout the book, I thought of returning it and getting my money back. But, I really did want answers on why this woman stayed with this monster and exposed her child to him.

Chapter after chapter, I was disgusted with the author **and** myself for looking into her life. But, I kept going because I truly felt that some point there would be clarity.

Why did I give this story I hated, the entire way, four and five stars? Because, a few things. the performance was good. It was engaging. I found it hard to stop listening, even though, I was angered by the author's retelling. Why did I give this story five stars even though I hated it. Honestly, it was well-written.

There is only one change I would make. I would put the last three chapters in the beginning. If you do not want to listen to the book out of order, I understand. BUT, if you think like I do and fight to finish it because it angers you, and you fight with yourself to return it, then please, by all means, listen to the last three chapters first.

The author has clearly never healed. But, she has come to a place of acceptance and has courageously tried to pull her life together. That is how I can recommend a book I hated.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Moving, Unsettling and Thought Provoking

I wanted to hear Ms Kendall’s story for YEARS. It appeared that this book was no longer published and now I get a treat...kindle AND audible versions! Her narration is relaxing, she was honest and forthcoming.

At the end of this book I wanted to cry, then hug both she and her daughter because she did do her best. As far as I was concerned, the only thing anyone COULD have done is execute this horrific man because he had NO INTENTION to stop. My prayers go to Liz and Molly, the murdered and attacked victims, and even the Bundy family for having to relive this experience again and again.

Thank you, Ms Kendall for sharing your world with us.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

fascinating

great narration and I really appreciated the new foreword, afterward and molly's story. my prayers for liz and molly and all of the victims and their families.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So Interesting

It was so interesting hearing Elizabeth Kendall’s experience of living with such a crazy, violent person the world knows as the killer, Ted Bundy. I have always wondered what she knew, and thought, about Bundy. I can’t imagine living with someone you love and then realizing he is a sick, monster killer. The book was incredibly well written. The new parts of the book offer an interesting perspective from Elizabeth after years of distance from that time period. And, hearing her daughter’s perspective, from her now adult view, was amazing to me. I feel for the pain they both went through.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So many words..

I have been waiting to read (or listen to) this book for a year, it was worth the wait. Elizabeth and Molly's updates to how they are doing now answered my questions, after watching Extremely wicked, shockingly evil and vile with Lilly Collins and Zac Efron. It hurts my heart all the pain Ted caused to these two beautiful women by taking advantage of Liz's love and kindness. My heart hurts for all of the victims of Ted Bundy. I hate that people had to live being around such a terrible person. in order for the women today to have a story to listen to, so we are cautious about who we let into our own lives. Liz and Molly you two are so brave and I am so glad that you are both doing well in life. Thank you so much for sharing your incredibly painful stories ❤️

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A tragic story, respectfully told

The Ted Bundy story has always been portrayed as just that...his story. And while his life and psychopathy are indeed fascinating, there are other pertinent tales to tell in this horrifying tragedy. One of those stories is that of Elizabeth Kendall, his long time girlfriend.

Kendall was a Utah native, a very young single mom, who was a recent transplant to Seattle when she met Bundy in a bar. She had dreamed of marrying young and being a stay-home mom of lots of kids, a not uncommon aspiration in 1969. Instead, she was already divorced with a 3 year old daughter, and looking for a new start. Painfully shy around strangers and with (my opinion) perhaps an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, drinking was becoming her coping mechanism.

Bundy clearly keyed in on her subservient tendancies, insecurities, and intense shyness, and spent the next several years manipulating her eight ways from Sunday. She fell in love, and he claimed he loved her in return. She wanted to get married and put him through law school, and he said he wanted that too, but he danced away from letting it happen each time. He'd disappear and come back, they'd fight, she'd drink, he'd play mind games, but he looked the part of the dream guy on the surface, and Kendall was never able to let go of that. It seems to me that she still struggles with that, even today.

Along the way, she began to suspect Bundy of the murders happening in Seattle and later in Utah when he moved there. But each time she went to the cops she was told he'd been checked out and appeared clean. It wasn't until she began talking to a female detective that she was taken seriously. She was so full of self-doubt, was convinced Ted wasn't capable of these crimes, but there were so many coincidences that she just couldn't explain. It tore her apart, and her drinking continued to escalate.

This experience has clearly traumatized her terribly, and altered the course of her life. But, she has kept the same job for decades, raised her daughter, owns her own home, and is sober. She has profound grief for Bundy's victims, respect for their families, and tries to invest her time in positive pursuits. She is a success story if for no other reason than she lived to tell the tale. I was impressed with how well-written and brutally honest this memoir is, and I truly applaud Elizabeth Kendall for coming so many miles on what had to be a treacherously hard road.

If you like true crime told from a different POV, or if you - like me - have been interested in Kendall's story for decades, I highly recommend this book. The Amazon Prime documentary it inspired, Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer is likewise worthwhile and covers things about the victims and the era that are not brought up in this book. The afterword by her daughter is also fascinating, and offers yet more aspects of Bundy's depravity.

The narration was ok, nothing outstanding, but no issues either. But this story shines with frankness, is important, and I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

INCREDIBLE Writing by Strong Women

The Phantom Prince by Elizabeth Kendall is an emotionally moving story. I have always been intrigued by Ted Bundy, and Liz gave great detail about the horrible man the he was. This story was beautifully written and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. A definite must read!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • nm
  • 03-11-20

start to finish: never stopped listening!!

couldn't put it down & did not put it down. read the entire book from start to finish. couldnt even pause.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

riveting

such a touching story! I was puzzled throughout part of the book wondering how the writer was not able to break free, but in the end all was resolved.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

I have been obsessed with serial killers since I was about 12. The human brain is fascinating, & hearing about deviant behavior, & how these people feel compelled to kill is very interesting to me.
Anyway, hearing about this man from the perspective of someone that seemingly knew him so well was intriguing to me....& this book did not disappoint. The story was told so well that I felt I could picture the moments, & feel what Liz was feeling. Many of us have loved passionately, & those people are difficult to break away from. I’m happy for you, Liz. You & your daughter are amazing.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Carol
  • Carol
  • 04-01-20

A tragic Romance

A interesting and emotional story that doesn't fixate on the murders themselves. I cannot begin to imagine the turmoil Elizabeth must have felt in many ways Bundy was Emotionally manipulative and by many accounts charming so it's easy to see how she would find it hard to believe her charming sophisticated boyfriend would be a serial killer. My heart goes out to Elizabeth and anyone else who has been in a similar situation they are the forgotten victims but nevertheless victims. I think the moral of the story is you never truly know someone completely even your partner many serial killers have long term relationships and in most cases the partner would never have suspected a thing. the book was enjoyable and not long and drawn out , the narrator had a nice enough voice and Elizabeths daughter Molly narrates her own chapter at the End.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jacqueline Gilmore
  • Jacqueline Gilmore
  • 03-28-20

Revealing and Courageous

Thsnk you Liz snd Molly for your honesty and courage in writing this book.