The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy
While awaiting execution, Ted Bundy confessed to having murdered 12-year-old Kim Leach. But the details of his confession turn out to be false. What were his motivations for lying? And how do investigators get down to the truth? In this case, close attention to details like a handful of sand and a pile of mildewed cigarette butts helped reveal the truth.
The Last Murder: The Investigation, Prosecution, and Execution of Ted Bundy follows the facts and circumstances of Kim Leach's disappearance and the investigation and prosecution of Ted Bundy in rough chronological order, from Bundy's escape from a Colorado jail in 1977 to his execution at Florida State Prison in 1989. It provides an inside look at the intricacies and complications of this historic case that spanned many states and jurisdictions, documenting how unselfishness and dogged determination were key to solving the case.
The story is told from the vantage point of one intimately involved in both the investigation and prosecution of the criminal, clearly showing how friction between agencies can impede the investigation and how cooperation can expedite a solution. The book emphasizes the important role played by circumstantial evidence and forensic science, explores the impact of pervasive publicity upon such an investigation, critiques the investigation and prosecution of Bundy, and offers insight into how-and how not-to deal with "celebrity killers" in the future.
"Bob Dekle has written a true-life murder mystery about the arrest and prosecution of serial killer Ted Bundy that will fascinate both seasoned lawyers and arm-chair detectives. Dekle takes the reader 'behind the scenes' to show that homicide investigations are arduous, unglamorous processes that can be sidetracked by both dead end leads and bureaucratic pettiness and that the resulting trials often experience unexpected legal and evidentiary potholes. Bundy's eventual conviction is a testament to dogged hard work by Dekle, his fellow prosecutors and assisting law enforcement."
–Judge Michael D. Marcus (ret.), Author of Trial Preparation for Prosecutors, Third Edition
"A riveting narrative, Dekle gives the reader a harrowing mystery with layer upon layer of intrigue. Readers gain an introspective view of the desperate search for evidence, diligent trial preparation and manipulations of one of America's most famous sociopaths, Ted Bundy, as law enforcement officers seek to end his reign of terror. Suspense, horror and anticipation lead you through a story that delivers a shocking twist and solves a puzzle that had previously been thought to have already been pieced together. Attention grabbing and scintillating, Dekle has shared a tale of absolute truth that will linger with the reader long after reaching the conclusion."
–D. Shane Read, Law Professor and Author of Winning at Trial
"Bob Dekle has proven not only to be an excellent prosecutor, but a compelling story teller as well. Dekle's insider account provides the reader with never before published details of the investigation and prosecution of Ted Bundy's final homicide. The Last Murder is a fascinating account of how the efforts of dedicated and tenacious police, crime laboratory scientists, and prosecutors combined with just plain good luck to result in the execution of America's most notorious serial murderer."
–Jerry M. Blair, State Attorney (ret.), Third Judicial Circuit of Florida
"The Last Murder provides readers an insider's look at the prosecution of one of America's most infamous serial killers, Ted Bundy. The book also offers a compelling account of the challenges facing a young prosecutor in a high profile murder case. Dekle's book should be of interest to anyone who wants to understand how the criminal justice system really operates."
Rodney J. Uphoff, Elwood Thomas Missouri Endowed, Professor of Law, University of Missouri School of Law
"Dekle relives the investigation and prosecution of Ted Bundy as he takes the reader through the anatomy of the investigation and trial in powerful and dramatic fashion. The book is a ‘page turner' with the reader waiting for the next bomb to drop or obstruction to be placed in the path of the prosecution. The book is a 'must read' for lawyers, law students, law enforcement personnel, and those who read true-crime stories."
–Jack Mallard, Attorney at Law, Georgia Prosecutor (1967-2007, ret.) and Author of The Atlanta Child Murders: the Night Stalker
"The Last Murder is a meticulous and homespun account of the final prosecution of America's most notorious villain. Dekle's wisdom, humility, and humanity shine through an otherwise tragic and horrific chapter in modern criminal justice. The reader learns not only how the investigation and prosecution of a complex circumstantial case is put together, but also the terrifying truth that there is often a gap between what we know and what we can prove."
–Michael L. Seigel, Research Foundation Prof. of Law, University of Florida, editor of Race to Injustice: Lessons Learned from the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case