Picks and Pans Review: The Only Living Witness

updated 04/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/04/1983 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth

Among the books written so far on convicted mass murderer Ted Bundy, the handsome, intelligent law student who "shatters the comfortable preconceptions" about homicidal maniacs, this is by far the best. Bundy is currently on Florida's Death Row for the 1978 murders of two sorority sisters and a 12-year-old girl, and he is suspected of killing as many as 40 young women around the country in the mid-1970s. Though he never explicitly confessed to his crimes during numerous interviews with Michaud and Aynesworth, Bundy stunned them by "speculating" in horrifying detail on how the slayings occurred. Using this bizarre device, Bundy vividly reconstructed the gruesome deeds step by step and supplied facts that, it would seem, only an eyewitness or the killer himself could possibly know. Veteran magazine editor Michaud and investigative reporter Aynesworth devoted four years to retracing Bundy's path. The psychological profile that emerges, much of it coyly confirmed by Bundy, reveals what the authors call "a depravity off the scale of human understanding." This book is as riveting as a top-notch thriller and devastatingly unsettling. It is not for the faint of heart. (Linden Press/Simon & Schuster, $15.95)

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