true crime

The little-known story of the family Ted Bundy left behind.

No serial killer has captured the world’s attention quite like Ted Bundy.

Clever, charming and with boy-next-door good-looks – the stories, details and tidbits relating to the depraved killer’s fascinating life seem never-ending, as the world desperately attempts to piece together signs to pinpoint where it all went wrong.

Bundy was a shy child, and while his formative years saw him raised predominantly by his grandparents in Vermont, later developing a strained relationship with his step-father, he led a relatively ordinary life in a working-class family. He was bright, he studied psychology and law, and those who remember him from his youth remember him as quiet, pleasant, and unassuming.

Ted Bundy is one of the most well-known American serial killers of the 20th century Source: Getty, 1978

Fast-forward almost three decades since his 1989 electric chair execution, and the world is still wondering how someone who seemed so normal - who was well-liked by former colleagues and classmates, who once volunteered at a suicide-prevention hotline, who had friends and previous girlfriends and who, by all accounts, was instantly likeable by everyone he met, turned out to be a monster.

But while the years of articles, books and TV specials have exposed further details of his early life - a fascination with knives from a young age, his time in prison - including his 1977 escape, as well as gory details of his four-year killing spree of over 30 female victims kidnapped, raped and mutilated, there's one detail that often gets lost in the chilling tales.

Somewhere in the world, he has a 36-year-old daughter.

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Rose Bundy - the cherub-faced toddler documented in eerie family photographs taken during prison visits, was reportedly born in 1982 to Bundy and his wife Carole Ann Boone - whom he proposed to and legally wed in court amid his 1980 trial for the abduction and murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Leach.

The footage below was filmed the very day before he was sentenced to death by electric chair, according to Serial Killer Shop.

It is said that Boone - like many of his victims - was instantly drawn to Bundy's quiet intellect and good looks when they met while working at the Washington State Department of Emergency Services in the early 70s.

According to "The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy," Boone - who had been married once before and had a teenage son named Jamey - said of their initial interactions: “I liked Ted immediately. We hit it off well."

"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."

While the two had merely engaged in a friendship while they were colleagues, after Bundy was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 1976, their relationship intensified in elaborate love letters detailing endless promises and deep professions of love.

According to Rolling Stone, Boone testified as a character witness on Bundy’s behalf on more than one occasion, and allegedly went on to assist Bundy's 1977 escape from prison by smuggling cash into prison during her visits.

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But her devotion deepened as the years went on. After their court room wedding in 1980, it is believed they conceived a child behind a vending machine in the visiting room as a bribed prison guard turned a blind eye. 

As Raiford Prison did not allow conjugal visits at this time - Boone's pregnancy was awash with sensational rumours. One, according to Serial Killer Shop, being that she had smuggled a condom to her husband, who then filled it with necessary genetic material, and passed it back to his wife.

Boone reportedly told the press it was "none of their business" when asked the details of conception. She gave birth to their baby girl in October of 1982 - and so began the story of the family Ted Bundy left behind.

Up until 1986 - Boone and baby Rose continued to visit their husband and father through the glass in prison, but as Bundy was on "death watch", the visits reportedly put a great deal of stress on the family. During this time, Bundy had also confessed to more than 30 gruesome murders, however it is believed he committed many more.

To this day, an accurate victim count remains unknown.

Ted Bundy, his wife Carole Boone, and their daughter Rose. Source: serialkillershop.com
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Eventually, when Rose was about four or five, they decided to cut ties completely. In the novel "The Stranger Beside Me," written by Ann Rule - one of Bundy's colleagues at the suicide-prevention hotline, it details that Boone had divorced Bundy prior to his 1989 execution.

So where is the daughter of the most infamous serial killer in the world now?

These days, not much is known about Rose other than a short description within the pages of Ann Rule's novel, in which she calls the 36-year-old a "kind and intelligent" young woman.

Following Bundy's death at age 42, Boone and her daughter reportedly changed their names in search of privacy away from the world's obsession with the compelling story of Ted Bundy.

However - the speculation surrounding the mysterious Rose Bundy has never faltered.

In a forum on Life on the Row, it is suggested that a mother named Abigail Griffin, who lives in Oklahoma, was the little girl behind the prison glass once known as Rose Bundy.

In 2016, a user on Life on the Row wrote: “I won’t say much to protect their privacy, but Bundy’s daughter DOES use Facebook. Jamey Boone (Carole’s oldest son) has a FB page, which is linked to Carole’s FB page, which you can find her daughter through (her daughter and Jamey aren’t friends on FB) (sic)."

The post continued: "Her name isn’t Sadie or Rosa/Rose and she doesn’t live in Washington. Carole remarried after Ted, and her daughter took her stepfather’s name. She has grown into a loving and intelligent human being who works in special needs, and is a mum to an adorable daughter. Just goes to show that at the end of the day, genetics aren’t worth a penny.”

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