You have no idea how fucking creepy it was to have this book staring at me, y’all. I have a little pile of true crime books in my room, but they’re out of the way so I don’t have to look at them too closely and sometimes I forget I have them until I really want to read them.
But, here we are with this one.
It’s been on my TBR for ages. I’ve owned this for ages. I’ve meant to read it for ages. But it wasn’t until Netflix did the series based on it — very loosely based on it, to tell the truth — that I decided I had to read it. Because that was a damn good series and you should watch it.
This book isn’t an overview of Bundy’s crimes. If you want that, I highly recommend The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. It’s famous as a great overview of the crimes and Bundy as a person. Having read it, I completely agree. Because, this book doesn’t go over the crimes. It largely focuses on the Florida attacks with mentions of Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. So, it’s a bit hard to get into it without knowing about what happened.
I think the most interesting part of this book was just, simply, being able to analyze it. I have a used copy and the person who owned it before me, wrote all over it, so it was fun to read their annotations. But I sincerely wished that I had read this book when I was in my psychopathy class. As an undergrad, my university offered a dual taught class about psychopathy. One teacher was from the psych department (my major) and the other was criminal justice. So, you learned so much about it. What psychopathy is. How you measure it with the PCL-R (Psychopath Checklist Revised). The scoring. The different neurological differences between psychopaths and everyone else. The way the criminal justice system deals with psychopaths.
I mean, it was a fascinating class and I still carry a lot of that information with me despite having taken it two years ago. It was that good.
But, reading this called a lot of that information back to me, especially the PCL-R’s various measurements and all that.
One of my favorite parts of the book was the very last interview that Aynesworth did with Bundy. Aynesworth was the “bad cop” in a sense because he didn’t put up with Bundy’s lies and he would call him out, trying to press him into saying he was the killer. And, Aynesworth lost it in the last interview. It was so interesting to read what he said and the way Bundy handled it.
In short, this book was absolutely chilling. Not at all for the faint of heart, but there isn’t a lot of crime scene details in it. I’m just glad this book exists and that someone did it, even if the real details didn’t come out until he was about to die.
Have you watched the Netflix documentary? What did you think?
Why do you think that Bundy has captured American minds for decades?