Netflix’s ‘Ted Bundy Tapes’ romanticizes famed serial killer


The lives of notorious serial killers are making their way to the big screen with movies showing their behavior, mindset and visual of “what happened” in each person’s life.

With movies like “My Friend Dahmer” which focused on Jeffrey Dahmer’s life prior to killing, and the new “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” which is a modernized version of Ted Bundy’s chronicle of crimes he committed,Netflix premiered “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” which go further into depth and detail on the life of Bundy and the heinous crimes he committed.

Releasing two documentary-like films centered around the same individual in the relatively same time frame seems redundant and will without a doubt lose someone’s interest. Watching both films may be a waste of time, despite how serial-killer obsessed one may be.

Throughout the mini-series, clips from journalist Stephen Michaud interviewing Bundy were shown. These clips were from the legitimate tapes that were recorded in the 1970’s, however, the Netflix show questioned key personnel who were involved with Bundy’s case to coincide with the tapes and inform the audience.

FBI agents, witnesses, journalists, old peers and even Bundy’s mother were featured in the mini-series, giving whoever watching a snippet of their opinion on the actions Bundy performed. Each person had varying opinions and views of Bundy. Some wholeheartedly believed he was innocent, while others wanted him to rot and burn in hell.

Despite the modern perception and idea of what people think serial killers look like, Bundy was handsome, charismatic and determined, which was quite different from past renowned serial killers. Because of his physical appearance and dynamic life, he was able to easily acquire the trust of women he would eventually kill, making killing more pleasurable for him. Prior to watching the series or even knowing anything about Bundy, one wouldn’t think he was capable of murder. He looked like a regular man.

Unfortunately, this series was just rehashing information in hopes for a sensational response, ultimately resulting in the romanticization of Ted Bundy and a waste of four hours. While people have every right to romanticize him, for he was physically, mentally and emotionally different from other serial killers, this series informed us of things people already knew.  

Overall, these tapes gave readers an inside look into the mind of Ted Bundy, which is horrifying to begin with, but could have easily been done through research and other documentaries.

One important thing about this mini-series was showing people that some of the craziest and most sadistic people don’t necessarily look like they could act heinously. As Bundy said and showed us all, “we all go a little mad sometimes.”

3 out of 5 stars (3 / 5)