Louise Bundy, the mother and loyal defender of serial killer Ted Bundy, died last month at the age of 88.

Bundy, who remained faithful to her son right up to the day of his execution and afterward, passed in her hometown of Tacoma after a long illness, the News Tribune reported on Wednesday. Her death was confirmed to the Associated Press by the Rev. Melvin Woodworth, pastor of Tacoma's First United Methodist Church, which she attended from 1951 until a few years ago, when her health prevented her from attending services.

Ted Bundy was arrested and charged with 30 homicides committed in seven states between 1974 and 1978. For years, Bundy’s mother refused to believe the charges, even making public statements defending her son's innocence.

"Ted Bundy does not go around killing women and little children!" she told the News Tribune in 1980 after her son was convicted in the Florida killings. "And I know this, too, that our never-ending faith in Ted -- our faith that he is innocent -- has never wavered. And it never will."

Ted Bundy’s mother soon retreated from her son’s defense after he confessed to murdering more than two dozen women. Bundy, who was regarded as handsome and charismatic, was executed in 1989 following his conviction of killing two Florida State University sorority members and a 12-year-old girl.

Criminal lawyer John Henry Browne, who defended the serial killer, recalled Ted Bundy's mother as "very quiet, very much concerned about her son," the Associated Press reported.

In a telephone interview with the AP, Browne said he hadn't spoken with Louise Bundy in several decades, but he had flown to Florida with her several times after Bundy was arrested there.

"I do know her insistence on Ted's innocence actually waned even before he started confessing, but her love for him certainly didn't," he told the newswire.

Louise Bundy’s last words to her son came on his execution day when she yelled at him at the end of the second call, "You'll always be my precious son."

She remained in Tacoma following her son's execution and was an active member of her local church, the Clarion Ledger said in an article. In addition, the newspaper reported that Louise Bundy and her husband, John Bundy, endured jokes and dirty looks over the years and often changed their telephone number to avoid angry calls.

Biographer Ann Rule described Ted Bundy as "a sadistic sociopath who took pleasure from another human's pain and the control he had over his victims, to the point of death, and even after."

Attorney Polly Nelson, a member of Bundy's last defense team, wrote that her client "was the very definition of heartless evil."