Netflix released a chilling four-part docuseries focused on serial killer Ted Bundy titled “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” on Jan. 24.
The series revolves around tapes that were recorded by Bundy while on death row after being convicted for killing and raping 30 women.
In 1980, Bundy agreed to talk to a journalist in exchange for a reexamination of his case. Journalist Stephen Michaud was tasked with meeting the killer and discussing his life and crimes on these tapes.
Along with the 100 hours of audio recordings that the docuseries utilizes, there is also interviews from Bundy’s childhood peers, friends from college and police officers involved in his case.
The series follows the timeline Bundy gives in his tapes, starting off with his childhood moving on to his college career, his short stint in politics and the subsequent crimes he committed.
The series also follows this timeline from the perspective of law enforcement officers, showing both the progress they were making as well as the mistakes they made along the way.
The glaring mistakes of law enforcement officers, such as a lack of communication between states, put the audience on their edge of the seat waiting for the police to realize the things that were in the end, so obvious and clear.
Though this is a story that many are familiar with, the inclusion of Bundy’s personal narration of his life adds a haunting new twist.
This is despite the fact that throughout the docuseries Bundy speaks in the third person when talking about himself and never admits to any crime.
Rather, he tells his side of the story without admitting to any crimes, instead saying “the person who may have done this.”
It is absolutely fascinating to hear his twisted justifications for his actions and outlook towards his life contrasted with the truth.
For example, he talks about himself in a very confident, arrogant way and as someone who everyone loved, while testimonies from people in his life and childhood show otherwise.
The docuseries also brings up a very important conversation on the serial killer “type,” something that the Netflix series “You” also touched upon.
This conversation surrounds the idea that murderers and rapists don’t have to look a certain way and that assumptions of character based on looks aren’t always accurate.
You quickly lose count of how many times Bundy gets called “handsome” and “charming” or was described as “not the type of person to hurt people” by others including victims and old friends.
The assumptions made by witnesses and law enforcement because of his good looks, well-mannered attitude and level of education let Bundy get away with his crimes for so long.
This stands in stark contrast to a new movie that is being released in the wake of the Ted Bundy wave, titled “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” that was just bought by Netflix, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The movie stars Zac Efron plays Bundy, but the portrayal of the killer has come under fire for trying to make Bundy a likeable anti-hero, despite being a serial murder and rapist.
Though this particular portrayal of the killer is questionable, “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” portrays Bundy for who he thought he was and who he really was.
Gladi Suero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.