What happened to Ted Bundy's wife, Carole Ann Boone?

The 2019 releases of both the Netflix documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and the Zac Efron-starring Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile are a testament to how fascinated America is with one of its most sinister citizens. Ted Bundy was no doubt an evil man, but as many people who found themselves in his orbit have detailed, he was also an incredibly charismatic person who used his charms to manipulate those around him. It's no shock, then, that not only did Bundy get married to a woman named Carole Ann Boone while he was behind bars, he also had a daughter with her. 

How Carole Ann Boone became Mrs. Bundy

Carole Ann Boone had worked with and was friends with Bundy long before his troubles with the law began, and she remained an ardent supporter of his while he stood trial in Florida for the grisly sorority house murders that would eventually send him to death row. In a scene that would be shocking even on a soap opera, Bundy proposed marriage to Boone in 1980 after calling her to the witness stand in his trial where he was acting as his own defense attorney. As a result, thanks to Bundy's scheming and knowledge of Florida law, the two were married right there in the court. And during one of their regular conjugal visits, Boone conceived a daughter, Rose, who's believed to be Bundy's only child.

The strange marriage ended in divorce in 1986. Although many thought Boone was depraved for marrying a serial killer, Bundy didn't confess to his crimes until the last few years of his life. He'd used his charms to manipulate Boone (along with many others) into thinking he was innocent. When he finally did confirm the horrifying accusations against him, Boone left the marriage. In her book Defending the Devil: My Story as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer, author and attorney Polly Nelson said that Boone was "devastated by his sudden wholesale confessions in his last days."

So what happened to Ted Bundy's wife?

According to a People magazine article from 1989, Boone didn't visit or have any communication with Bundy in the last two years of his life. After his execution, Boone and her daughter vanished from the public eye. To this day, nobody is sure what happened to either woman. Internet sleuths have proposed many theories, including that Boone changed her name and moved to Oklahoma, or that she died either in 2005 or 2014.

Given how shocked Boone was at Bundy's manipulations and crimes — and what a public role she ended up playing in his trial — it's no wonder that she chose to retreat from the spotlight after his death. Ann Rule, whose friendship with Bundy was the subject of her 1980 book The Stranger Beside Me, wrote in a 2008 reprint of her tale that she'd heard Rose had grown up to be "a kind and intelligent young woman." However, she specified that she didn't know or want to know the whereabouts of either woman as they'd both "been through enough pain."