TV Review: Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

I quite enjoy a bit of true crime and when people started talking about the Ted Bundy tapes on Netflix I found it irresistibly intriguing. For those who don’t know, Ted Bundy is an American serial killer who was executed in 1989 after being convicted of the murder of over 30 women.

Throughout his trial Bundy maintained he was innocent and refused to entertain discussing the crimes with anyone until a journalist eventually convinced him to give a theoretical account of what the murder might have been thinking. The result is hours of tape of Bundy surmising what would have driven someone to commit a series of brutal, sexual attacks.

This series shares not only content from the tapes but also looks at our fascination with serial killers and also white male privilege. Although Bundy was arrested and held for various crimes he also escaped incarceration more than once because no one was watching him properly… him being a fairly mild-mannered, inoffensive looking white man. This also allowed him to fly under the radar and gain the trust of some of his victims.

It’s a very interesting account that uses members of the legal teams that fought the case, law enforcement who worked on it and even a kidnap victim who escaped Bundy to share their views. I particularly liked the fact that there was an attempt to dispel the assumption that Bundy was a smooth talking, ladies man of unusual intelligence as a sensationalist media fantasy.

It’s gruesome, dark viewing, particularly the part where Bundy, acting as part of his own legal team, cross examines crime scene witnesses and appears to revel in the gory details of his own actions.

I did flag a little in the end and I am glad it wrapped up after four episodes. With this kind of thing one has to be very careful of becoming too interested in the perpetrator and forgetting the victims.

3.5/5

4 Comments

  1. I have seen the 2002 film, ‘Ted Bundy’, and saw that Netflix are releasing a new version this year, with Zac Efron as Bundy. I can also remember the real murders of course, which were reported on the news here.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    1. I only really knew of Ted Bundy in popular culture prior to watching this. I’m interested to see the fictionalised view.

  2. I might check this out. Your last line nails it especially too.

    1. It’s really quite chilling and I reminder that monsters are real.

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