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Shortly before prolific serial killer Ted Bundy was executed by electric chair, he reached out one last time to his former longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall.
But Kendall would never see his final words to her.
Kendall’s daughter Molly Kendall has confessed in the new re-issue of her mother’s 1981 memoir “The Phantom Prince: My Life With Ted Bundy” that she intercepted the letter from Bundy after seeing it arrive one day in the mailbox. Molly — by then a student at an area community college — ripped open the letter and read it.
“Somehow over thousands of miles, Ted had been able to seize on just the right things to say to hook my mom into his toxic drama again,” she wrote.
She decided to burn the letter in the fireplace without ever mentioning it to her mother because she was afraid Bundy’s final note would send her mother into a tailspin after years of hard work to try to put the trauma of knowing him behind her.
Elizabeth –– who used to go by the name Elizabeth Kloepfer but changed it for privacy reasons and now writes under the pen name Kendall–– began dating Bundy in 1969 and carried on a romance with him for years, unaware of his dark double life as a serial killer.
Elizabeth herself admits in the book that it was difficult for her to reconcile the loving and compassionate partner she had believed Bundy to be during their time together with the heinous rapes and murders he committed.
“In the beginning, if I let me guard down for a minute, I’d recall the Ted who I thought I loved and had fun with,” she wrote in the book. “My mind could run with that endlessly—he was smart, he made me laugh, our chemistry was good, and on and on.”
After the truth about Bundy’s brutal crimes was revealed and Bundy was sentenced to death, Kendall had to find a way to come to terms with the devastating reality of who he really was—relying on counseling and her spirituality to help her move on.
“In the late 1980s, my mom went through an accelerated period of spiritual growth. She took classes, read books, prayed and meditated,” Molly wrote in the book.
Molly worried that Bundy’s last letter would have undone the progress her mom had made.
“It was all the things my mom would have wanted to hear,” Molly wrote. “I was unwilling to watch her be ripped to shreds again by this ‘love.’ F--- that.”
But Molly’s act would not remain a secret for long.
After Bundy was executed in 1989, his civil rights attorney contacted the Kendalls to report that one of Bundy’s final wishes had been that Elizabeth and Molly knew that he really had loved them.
While on the phone, the attorney also questioned Elizabeth on why she had never responded to Bundy’s last letter. Molly was forced to confess that she had burned it.
She said her mom quietly accepted her reasons for throwing the note into the flames.
“It was her mournful manner that made me see that if you turned the situation another way, I had robbed her of some closure,” Molly wrote in the updated version of the book, released this month.
While Molly said she realized she may have denied her mom the opportunity to put the experience to rest, she doesn’t regret denying Bundy the chance to manipulate her mom one last time.
“I honestly would have taken him out back and shot him myself rather than let him hurt one more person,” she wrote.
Molly and Elizabeth will both also share their story in the upcoming Amazon Prime docuseries “Ted Bundy: Falling for a Killer” premiering Jan. 31.
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