Carole Ann Boone

The Story of Carole Ann Boone: Wife of Notorious Serial Killer Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious serial killers in American history. Before his execution in 1989, he confessed to killing 30 women across 7 states from 1974 to 1978. But one woman named Carole Ann Boone believed in his innocence almost to the bitter end. Not only did Boone marry Bundy while he was on trial for murder, but she even gave birth to their daughter while he was on death row. Their relationship perplexed the public and continues to fascinate true crime buffs today.

Boone first met Bundy in 1974 when they both worked at the Washington State Department of Emergency Services in Olympia. According to Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth’s book The Only Living Witness, Boone was “a lusty-tempered free spirit” who had just gone through her second divorce. The divorcee found herself drawn to the clean-cut and charismatic Bundy, later recalling: “I liked Ted immediately. We hit it off well.”

At the time, Boone was unaware that Bundy was already actively kidnapping, raping and killing young women. The serial killer was able to compartmentalize his gruesome nighttime activities from his professional daytime persona. This allowed him to lead an active social life and maintain relationships with women like Boone and his long-time girlfriend Elizabeth Kendall.

In 1975, Bundy was arrested in Utah when police found incriminating items like handcuffs and a ski mask in his Volkswagen Beetle. He was ultimately convicted of kidnapping and assaulting a 12-year-old girl. Nevertheless, Boone’s bond with Bundy grew stronger. They exchanged letters while he was in prison, and Boone even visited him for a week.

After being extradited to Colorado in 1977, Bundy escaped from jail in 1978 and fled to Florida, where he entered the Chi Omega sorority house and bludgeoned two women to death. He also kidnapped and murdered a 12-year-old girl named Kimberly Leach. Now facing murder charges in Florida, Boone loyally attended Bundy’s trial. She had moved to Gainesville to be nearer to Bundy, visiting him weekly with her son.

It was during the trial in 1979 that Boone and Bundy’s relationship took a bizarre turn. Bundy called Boone to the witness stand, where she described him as “kind, warm and patient” and said, “I’ve never seen anything in Ted that indicates any destructiveness towards any other people.”

Then, exploiting an archaic Florida law that allowed people to marry in court if a judge was present, Bundy proposed to Boone, who accepted. Whether this courtroom wedding was a stunt to gain sympathy or a genuine expression of love remains debated. But soon after, Boone became pregnant with Bundy’s child during her visits to see him on death row. She gave birth to a daughter named Rose in 1982.

Boone was convinced of Bundy’s innocence almost until the very end. As late as 1985, Boone told a reporter, “I don’t think Ted belongs in jail. The things in Florida don’t concern me any more than the things out west do.” Boone believed Bundy’s claims that he was being framed, despite mounting evidence against him.

But when Bundy made his last-minute confessions and offered details about his crimes before his 1989 execution, Boone finally saw through his lies. According to Polly Nelson’s book Defending the Devil, Boone felt “deeply betrayed” and was “devastated by his sudden wholesale confessions.” Three years prior in 1986, Boone had divorced Bundy and moved back to Washington State with their daughter Rose and her son from a previous marriage.

Boone deliberately distanced herself from the media circus surrounding Bundy’s crimes. Today, very little is known about her life after Bundy’s execution, as she kept a low profile to avoid attention. Based on sparse details that emerged later, it appears Boone died in obscurity in a Washington nursing home in 2018 at age 69. Her daughter Rose’s whereabouts and identity also remain shrouded in mystery.

Despite only knowing each other for a few years, Boone and Bundy shared one of the most bizarre and unsettling relationships in criminal history. While Boone initially saw Bundy’s earnest charm, she, like the rest of the country, eventually faced the full horror of his darker side. Their unconventional romance and Boone’s unwavering loyalty until the very end continue to both shock and intrigue.

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