Whats with the recent Ted Bundy craze?
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
As soon as I heard about this new series coming out on Netflix, I was so excited to watch it. If you know me, you know I love reading about the psychology of crime and a variety of cases and trials. I even took my first criminology class in university this semester because I finally had the chance to pick some electives after 4 years! I tried to make this post as short as I could but unfortunately, it was too hard to figure out which parts I should cut out so hope it's worth a read for you :)
Recently, Ted Bundy has been coming back into the light and it seems like news about him is all over social media these days with the release of the Netflix series and an upcoming movie featuring Zac Efron. So what makes Ted Bundy so unique? When Bundy was on his killing spree, the word “serial killer” didn’t exist yet so people were skeptical about what his actions should be labelled as. The show has recordings of journalists, Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, who were able to get interviews of Bundy in hopes of collecting his perspective on the horrendous crimes he had committed.
Throughout the 4 episodes, Bundy is shockingly described as charming, intelligent, and easy going over and over again. This is absolutely terrifying because the viewers learn all the gruesome details of what Ted Bundy was capable of doing to numerous young women. The recordings involve a lot of small talk as Bundy dodges questions about the murders he is accused of which leads to a lot of opportunities for character building and the viewer really gets a feel for what Bundy might have been like as a person.
The most engaging part of the show for me was when a girl who was attempted to be kidnapped by Bundy was interviewed, giving the viewers alarming details of how he lured women in and making our imagination go wild about what he must have done with the people he actually did get his hands on.
The series starts off with information about Ted Bundy growing up. Bundy described his childhood as healthy with active parents and lots of involvement in extracurricular activities but his neighbour said he seemed to have an egoistic and manipulative personality from an early age. It is interesting to note that people who knew Bundy growing up had a very different version of what he was like in comparison to when Bundy was speaking about himself. For example when his childhood friend who lived in his neighbourhood said that he was alone a lot during high school whereas he said he didn’t like to go to social outings but had a group of close friends and described himself as “one of the boys”. This makes it evident that Bundy has always been quite a delusional person and it only gets worse when he is older because he consistently denies all the crimes he has been accused of, even after there is hard evidence against him and he is convicted as guilty.
One thing that everyone who was interviewed could agree on was that Ted Bundy craved the luxury life and idealized a world where he was a public figure that people could look up to. The people who worked with during the time he was aspiring to be a lawyer and was involved with politics all loved Bundy. One man even described him as being “the kind of guy you would want your sister to marry” so one can only imagine the shock that came to everyone when he was listed as a suspect for murders that were making women paranoid across multiple American states.
The viewer follows Bundy through his life from Bundy’s perspective as well as the people he was closely surrounded by all the way from his childhood memories to the day he sat on the electric chair and said his final words. This series definitely makes you question every single person you trust or have trusted, it also makes you keep wanting to look over your shoulder the second the sun sets and you’re out walking on the streets. The uneasy feeling that comes along with watching this- especially as a girl, might convince paranoid people to avoid it altogether.
Overall, I really enjoyed being taken on the frustrating journey with the journalists trying to get information out of Bundy and then seeing the breakdown of how he was finally convicted of the crimes he had been accused of for a very long time. Definitely recommend for curious people who want to get as close as they can into the mind of a notorious and ridiculously evil killer.