Ted Bundy was a serial killer who took the lives of at least 30 women. Over the course of his televised trial, he was the object of international fascination.
But Ted Bundy was also a father. On October 24, 1981, two years after he was sentenced to death, Bundy’s wife, Carole Anne Boone, had a baby girl named Rose (also called “Rosa”). Today, as fixation with Bundy yet again seizes the country, Rose would be 37 years old. Perhaps she is aware of the Netflix documentary series, the documentary feature, and the feature film about her father, all premiering in 2019. Perhaps she isn't. The truth is, not much is known about Rose Bundy — but she remains one of the more fascinating offshoots in the Bundy story.
The birth of Boone and Bundy's daughter was just another progression in their strange relationship. Despite being a vicious killer of women, Bundy also maintained long-term romantic relationships with women. Bundy dated Elizabeth Kloepfer for six years and acted as a father figure to her child.
In 1974, while working at Washington State Department of Emergency Services in Olympia, WA, Bundy met Boone, a twice-divorced mother. They struck up a fast platonic friendship. In 1976, when Bundy was imprisoned in Utah, Bundy and Boone would reconnect via letters, and that's when their relationship became romantic. According to Rolling Stone, Boone assisted in Bundy's December 1977 escape from a Colorado prison, after which he traveled to Florida and went on a final, devastating rampage.
A week after murdering 12-year-old Kimberly Leach in 1978, Bundy was arrested for driving a stolen vehicle. Once again, he was in police custody — but he wouldn't escape this time. In 1979, Bundy was tried for the murder of Leach and two women of Florida State University's Chi Omega sorority. The trial attracted quite a crowd. Among the women "groupies" who flocked to the trial as spectators — often styling themselves with the straight brown hair, parted in the middle, that his victims once sported — sat Boone, a bespectacled and quiet presence.
In 1980, Boone and Bundy's relationship added further spectacle to the trial. Through an arcane loophole in Florida law, Boone and Bundy were able to get married in the courtroom simply by stating their desire to do so in front of a judge. Bundy had already been sentenced to death for the Chi Omega murders, and was about to receive the same sentence for Kimberly Leach's murder. Despite his apparent guilt, Boone stuck by Bundy — and was adamant her husband was not guilty. “Let me put it this way, I don’t think that Ted belongs in jail. The things in Florida don’t concern me any more than the things out west do,” Boone is heard saying in the Netflix series.
Boone would often visit Bundy at Florida State Prison, and bring her son, James, along. Allegedly, she would transport drugs for Bundy, too. But how, in a prison that allowed no conjugal visits, could they conceive a child?
This remained a mystery until Ann Rule, a former friend of Bundy's and the author of the book The Stranger Beside Me, actually interviewed inmates at Florida State Prison. Rule learned that inmates would pool their money, draw lots, and bribe guards for impromptu conjugal sessions in the restroom or behind the water cooler. Likely, Rose was conceived after Bundy won the lot. Other rumours about Rose's conception abound, including Boone passing an empty condom to Bundy via a kiss, which he then filled and returned with a kiss. When the media asked how she became pregnant, Boone replied, "It's nobody's business."
Boone would bring Rose to the prison to spend time with Bundy. There are multiple photos of them taken together. But this picture of twisted domestic bliss didn't last long. In 1986, three years before Bundy was executed on the electric chair, Boone divorced Bundy and left Florida with Rose and James. She never spoke to Bundy again.
Though Boone had been fairly forthcoming with talking to the press during the trial, Boone effectively escaped the media's scrutiny once she went off the map. Likely, Boone changed her and her daughter's names. Of course, curiosity remains. For conspiracy theories, migrate over to the heated conversation on Life on the Row message boards. Some people might know the whereabouts of Boone and her daughter — but those people aren't talking.