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For years, Ted Bundy led a double-life, acting as loving boyfriend to his girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall and father figure to her daughter Molly, while stalking the streets at night for his next victim to rape and murder.
But while Bundy’s home life seemed in some ways to be picturesque, there were also disturbing signs of the “deranged monster” he would turn out to be, Molly writes in the re-release of her mother's memoir “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy.”
The book was originally released in 1981, but had been out of print for years before Abrahams Press announced an expanded version of the book, which came out this month. The updated version includes new chapters from Elizabeth Kendall, revealing what she thinks now of the long-term romance, and a special chapter from Molly Kendall, now in her 50s, who recounts the sometimes “magical” and occasionally dark moments she had over the years with the serial killer.
Elizabeth Kendall is a pen name. While she was dating Bundy, Elizabeth used the last name Kloepfer, her former married name. For privacy reasons, she’s opted to change her name and writes under the pen name instead.
Molly met Bundy when she was just 3 years old. He quickly became a “fixture” in their lives, taking Molly and her mother to the zoo –– where he’d playfully pretend he was going to feed her to the crocodiles –– or heading with them to nearby lakes around Seattle to relax.
Bundy even played the role of hero when Molly's cat gave birth to kittens and one appeared to have been stillborn. Bundy quickly picked it up, massaged its chest and the small kitten soon began to breathe.
“Ted brought so much joy into our lives,” Molly writes. “We felt really lucky that he was our guy.”
But other interactions weren’t always so joyful.
Molly recounts a disturbing incident when she was just 7: Bundy had been babysitting her for the night while her mother was out and they were playing hide-and-seek. When she spotted Bundy lying under a blue afghan and pulled the blanket away, she found — to her surprise — Bundy naked.
“You’re naked!” she told him frowning, according to the book.
Bundy allegedly told her that shedding his clothes had just been a part of his strategy in the game.
“I know, but that’s because I can turn invisible, but my clothes can’t, and I didn’t want you to see me!” he playfully said, Molly recounts.
Molly says she was “confused” but also didn’t want to be “it” and the two quickly started to run back to the base they had established for the game.
“I tried to shove him out of the way, and comedically, Ted fell down to the shower mat where he sat cross-legged, covering his penis with his two hands,” she writes.
As the two continued to laugh and wrestle, Molly says she saw that he had an erection—although as a young child she didn’t realize what that was at the time. She just noticed its reddish purple color and thought Bundy was hurt, asking him whether he was okay. Bundy replied that it didn’t hurt, but Molly says there was a noticeable change in his eyes and demeanor.
“The pupils of his eyes had become tiny, almost as small as the point of a pencil,” she writes, adding that she saw “something dangerous” in the eyes staring back at her.
Molly told Bundy she was tired and wanted to go to sleep, but he insisted on reading her a bedtime story and they both climbed up into her top bunk, she writes in the book.
She soon noticed the sheet was “all wet.”
“You peed!” she remembers shouting, not truly understanding what had just happened.
“My next memory is of him leaving my room,” she writes. “I lay awake in fear for a very long time, watching the door. Hoping he would not come back. He did not.”
Molly says she never told her mother about the incident because Bundy had become such a positive and integral part of their family.
“I knew it wasn’t right that he had been naked. I did not, at this point, understand the concept of sexual arousal,” she writes. “It was long after this that I figured out that penises were not always erections. Still, I did not want him to have to go away. I kept Ted’s weird behavior to myself.”
But it wouldn’t be the only troubling incident between the pair.
Molly says she also remembers Bundy being very physical with her—tickling her and carrying her—and that she was often unsettled by the placement of his hands.
She also recalls a time she and her mother were at Green Lake with Bundy. He had brought a yellow raft to the lake and the three were enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
Molly jumped into the water to swim, but when she began to tire and wanted to return to the raft, Bundy kept pulling it just out of her reach.
“Floundering, I gave up and turned to swim the longer distance to the shore,” she says.
She arrived “exhausted, panting and crying” and threw herself on the blanket where her mother had been sunbathing.
Elizabeth confronted Bundy but he said he simply thought Molly was a stronger swimmer and was just joking around.
“She accepted this as the truth. So did I,” Molly writes. “I had been wrong in my perception. Why would Ted try to hurt me? He loved me.”
There were other times over the years that Molly questioned his motives—like when she was hit in the face with a football or knocked to the ground while they were walking—but Bundy always denied any intentional wrongdoing and claimed the incidents had been an accident.
"Each time, I felt he had done it on purpose, but I chose to believe his explanations for why I was wrong," she writes.
Molly adds that Bundy always made it difficult for anyone to question him and often used "gaslighting" to manipulate the women in his life.
“You were always wrong if you thought Mr. Perfect could have had any ill intent whatsoever,” she writes. “You ended up feeling bad for questioning the integrity of such a marvelous person.”
Despite the incidents, Molly says Bundy remained a vibrant part of their lives until he was arrested in 1975. He’d eventually be charged and convicted for the attempted kidnapping of Carol DaRonch in Utah and Molly and Elizabeth had to come to terms with the realization that Bundy had been keeping dark secrets from them.
“I had loved Ted with my entire heart, but when forced to accept the truth of who he really was, I could no longer sustain that love,” she writes. “I cannot love a person who enjoys torturing, raping, maiming and killing women.”
It's believed Bundy killed at least 30 women. He was executed in 1989.
The re-release of “The Phantom Price” coincides with a new Amazon Prime docu-series exploring Bundy’s crimes through the female lens in “Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer” premiering Jan. 31. Both Elizabeth and Molly Kendall will participate in the series.
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