There was no white wedding gown or walk down an aisle for Ted Bundy’s wife, Carole Ann Boone, who married the notorious serial killer while testifying on the stand in his 1980 trial for killing a 12-year-old girl.
The nuptials came as a surprise to those in the courtroom, who had been hearing the gruesome details of how Bundy abducted Kimberly Leach from her junior high school in Florida, just before the declaration of love between the two began.
Jurors would recommend he be sentenced to death for the crime just a few hours later.
It was a calculated move by Bundy to exploit a loophole in the legal system, after a request to wed at the jail had been denied by Orange County jail officials.
Bundy was able to orchestrate the vows because he was serving as his own attorney in the trial and was able to call Boone as a witness, making their vows legal because they said them before a judge and a notary, who had been hired by Boone to sit in the courtroom during the testimony.
Before the vows were said, Bundy asked Boone whether she had ever seen him to be violent, according to a 1986 article in the Orlando Sentinel.
“I’ve never seen anything in Ted that indicates any destructiveness toward people,” she said.
Bundy then asked her, “Do you want to marry me?”
After she confirmed that she did, he also professed his desire to marry, before saying “I do hereby marry you.”
Footage from the unorthodox wedding vows was included in Netflix’s new documentary series, "Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes."
But just who is Carole Ann Boone, Bundy’s one-time wife and mother of his daughter Rose (who was also known as Rosa).
Little is known about Boone’s life in the years before she crossed paths with the prolific serial killer or after she later divorced him while he was awaiting execution.
But there are a few public details about the woman who seemingly won Bundy’s heart.
The pair first met in the summer of 1974 while working together for the Washington State Department of Emergency Services, according to “The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy.”
Boone is described in the book as a “lusty-tempered free spirit” who was going through a divorce from her second husband and was raising her son Jamey when she met Bundy.
“I liked Ted immediately. We hit it off well," she said according to the book. "He struck me as being a rather shy person with a lot more going on under the surface than what was on the surface. He certainly was more dignified and restrained than the more certifiable types around the office. He would participate in the silliness partway. But remember, he was a Republican.”
She said Bundy expressed a desire to date her, but instead the two developed a deep sense of friendship with one another at the time.
“I guess I was closer to him than other people at the agency,” she said.
After he was arrested in Florida and was facing two murder trials—first for the brutal slayings of two college sorority girls and then for Leach’s death—Boone would travel to Florida to support Bundy who she called her “buddy” according to the docuseries.
“Let me put it this way, I don’t think that Ted belongs in jail. The things in Florida don’t concern me any more than the things out west do,” Boone said in a news clip played in the Netflix series.
When asked whether she thought the murder charges against him were “trumped up” she smiled before telling the reporter, “I don’t think they have reason to charge Ted Bundy with murder in either Leon county or Columbia county.”
Boone was just one of many female groupies who showed up at the courthouse to get a glimpse of the charismatic killer, some of whom even dressed up like his victims.
"There was an assumption about Ted's victims: that they all wore their hair long, parted in the middle, and wore hoop earrings," Stephen Michaud, co-author of "Ted Bundy: Conversations With A Killer," once told "E! True Hollywood Story." "So, women would come to court with their hair parted in the middle, wearing hoop earrings. A couple of them even dyed their hair the right kind of brown. [...] They wanted to appeal to Ted."
Boone and Bundy’s relationship apparently blossomed during the trials, eventually leading to the courtroom wedding.
In court, Bundy said their relationship had developed into a “more serious, romantic thing” several years before the 1980 nuptials, the Orlando Sentinel reported in 1986.
After Bundy’s conviction, Boone moved to a home in Gainesville about forty miles from the prison and began making weekly visits to the prison with her son, Jamey, according to "The Only Living Witness."
“Touching was permitted, and from time to time, intercourse was possible behind a water cooler, in the restroom, or sometimes at the table,” authors Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth wrote.
Boone also allegedly took Bundy drugs vaginally, Michaud said in the Netflix documentary, where many of his taped recordings with Bundy over the years were played.
“They were crazy together. Carol loved him. She told him that she wanted a child and somehow they had sex in the prison,” he said in the Netflix series.
Boone herself is also heard in the series saying there was a guard at the prison who was “real nice” and often looked the other way.
“After the first day they just, they didn’t care,” she said in the taped recording. “They walked in on us a couple of times.”
In 1982, the couple’s daughter Rose was born and Boone began bringing the child to meet her father in prison.
Several photos in the documentary show a smiling Bundy surrounded by Boone, his daughter, and stepson Jayme in happy family portraits set amidst the prison backdrop.
Boone would later divorce Bundy before his execution and once again slip into anonymity.
Little is known about what happened to Boone or Rose, who would now be 37, in the years after Bundy’s death.
Crime writer Ann Rule, who once worked with Bundy and wrote the book “The Stranger Beside Me,” apparently maintained some contact with the pair and described Rose as a “kind and intelligent young woman.
[Photo: Associated Press]
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