cover image Dark Tide: Growing Up with Ted Bundy

Dark Tide: Growing Up with Ted Bundy

Edna Cowell Martin, with Megan Atkinson. Permuted, $30 (272p) ISBN 979-8-88845-060-4

Martin delivers a wrenching account of her relationship with her cousin, Ted Bundy, both before and after she learned he was a serial killer. In 1975, Martin was in the middle of her shift at a seafood processing plant in Seattle when her brother called to tell her that Bundy had been arrested in Utah. From there, the narrative flashes back to Martin’s childhood in 1950s Seattle, where she grew up with Bundy’s family (Bundy’s mother moved in with her sister, Martin’s mother, shortly after Bundy was born). Martin and Bundy were fast friends and hung out together well into their teenage years, prompting Martin to wonder how “he could be the cool Ted with me and my girlfriends, and then turn around and abduct and violently murder girls who looked just like us.” The author’s search for answers led her to have some tough conversations with her family, who privately hoped Bundy had been wrongly arrested. She also communicated with Bundy, whose chillingly chipper post-arrest letters to Martin are included. Martin imbues this well-covered story with fresh emotional urgency, pointing out that “Ted could be anyone. Even those we’d never suspect.” For fans of true crime, this is a must-read. Photos. (July)