Gripping. Creepy. Intense. Eerie. These are some of the words that critics have used to describe “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” which was released to Netflix on January 24, 30 years after execution of Ted Bundy.
The streaming service warned viewers to not watch the four-part docuseries alone so naturally, I watched all four episodes by myself, in the span of 24 hours.
The docuseries takes viewers into the devious, yet clever mind of serial killer Ted Bundy and includes parts of over 100 hours of interviews that Bundy gave while in prison and on death row.
The first episode contains interviews from childhood friends in the neighborhood who described Bundy as normal, personable, and humorous, however others viewed him as an outcast.
As a child, Bundy learned that he was an illegitimate child and was never certain of the identity of his father.
Bundy had matriculated from the University of Washington, Seattle with a degree in Psychology.
Friends described him as a bright student with aspirations and being on the brink of a seemingly successful career in politics or law.
He volunteered on the 1972 re-election campaign of Republican Governor Daniel J. Evans of the state of Washington. He attended law school at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.
In the winter of 1974, Bundy began his crime spree with the killing of Lynda Ann Healy, an undergraduate student of the University of Washington. Bundy continued to lure young women, kidnap and kill them in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Idaho, and Colorado before he was apprehended in August of 1975.
He managed to escape from jail in Aspen, Colorado in June 1977, only to be apprehended after 7 days on the run.
He escaped again in December of that same year and continued his criminal activity until he was apprehended again in February 1978, after a series of murders in Florida which included a 12 year old girl and the double homicide of two Florida State University students.
Stephen Michaud, who was the primary journalist with Bundy, recorded a series of interviews while Bundy was in custody at the Florida State Prison. After being initially unsuccessful, Michaud encouraged Bundy to speak of the crimes in the third person, to avoid the “stigma of confession.” However, Bundy maintained his innocence and vehemently denied any and all of the new accusations against him.
Bundy was tried in Florida for the murders of Florida State students, Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy, for which he was found guilty on both charges and sentenced to death by the electric chair. While attempting to appeal this sentence, he also stood trial for the murder of 12 year old Kimberly Leach.
Some spectators of the court recalled that Bundy “doesn’t seem like the type of person to do this.”
In 1979, Carol Ann Boone, a character witness who testified on behalf of Bundy, was married to Bundy and together they had a child in October of 1981, while he was on death row.
Through the appeals process, Bundy was able to delay his death sentence multiple times until 1989. Hours before his death sentence was to be carried out, Bundy confessed to over 30 of the murders that he was suspected of and described in graphic detail how he would lure his subjects before kidnapping them.
Polly Nelson, a lawyer from his last defense team, said “Ted was the very definition of heartless evil.” Bundy once called himself “the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you’ll ever meet.”
By: Michael Rauber | Staff Writer