Netflix releases Ted Bundy documentary

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Netflix dropped “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” Thursday, Jan. 24, the day following the 30th anniversary of the execution of serial killer, Ted Bundy. The series is a collection of interviews and footage from those who knew Bundy, journalists who covered his trial, law enforcers and the only girl to ever get away. The five-part docuseries gained the attention of millennials overnight despite the fact that we were not a part of this pivotal time in history. Twitter was instantly flooded with memes, videos and pictures within days of its release.

The reactions taking place on social media made it seem as though people were more taken aback by how attractive he was rather than how dark his inner demons had to be in order to possess the capability of hurting so many women. Twitter user @MySweeterLight was one of many that missed the mark completely when she tweeted, “Jeffery Dahmer is more attractive than Ted Bundy. Don’t @ me,” adding to Twitter’s viral discussion board.  

The physical aspects of Bundy were the biggest contributing factors in his ability to successfully get away with such heinous acts for so long. Bundy was ugly, and he didn’t come off as mentally disturbed. He was an attractive, confident, educated master of manipulation. That was the biggest driving factor that investigators and civilians overlooked back then and a factor that is still managing to go right over viewers’ heads today.

The series highlights his ability to manipulate serval officers of law by simply changing the part in his hair or shaving his mustache to give him a softer appeal. User @hannaheroberts_ said, “The police not recognizing Ted Bundy when he shaved and cut his hair is the equivalent to Lily not knowing that Miley was Hannah Montana”.

I could not have agreed more. Bundy’s ability to manipulate the law so easily with his physical appearance allowed the darkness of his nature to be doubted by many, which was mind-boggling to watch. It fills you with a sense of fear knowing that it took nothing but the caress of a brush against his hair to allow him to walk the streets time and time again. Even though investigators are better equipped in today’s world when catching these types of psychopaths, the series still leaves you with a sense of unsettling fear.

Netflix included clips of footage from news stations that reported that Bundy might be the man responsible for over 30 slayings of young women across seven states. While reporters were in utter disbelief, his story continued to spread like wildfire across popular and local news networks. The story picked up so quickly not simply because of his vile acts but because he didn’t “look” like a serial killer.

In that time, crazy was supposed to have a “look”; you were supposed to be able to spot it a mile away based on a person’s physical attributions. It was hard for the nation to wrap their minds around a young, educated, charming white man being responsible for abducting, killing, raping and disposing of a mass number of women.

When attempting to tell a story that’s already been told time and time again, you want to make sure that your version is going to be different from the rest. Bundy’s story had already been told from the eyes of several filmmakers and the voices of writers for decades. However, Netflix managed to set themselves apart with their version of the infamous serial killer’s story by including never-before-heard audio clips of Bundy talking with journalist Stephen Michaud about his brutal slayings. Hearing Bundy’s voice describe the murders and seeing what type of person he really was from a third-person point of view, adds to the eeriness of the docuseries.

The chilling docuseries triggered the SVU detective inside of me. Netflix perfectly timed the chronologically-imperative bombs of never-before-seen footage of Bundy. The docuseries drew me in from the first episode to the final due to the fact that just when I thought I’d heard the worst of his wrongdoings, I’d realize I was sorely mistaken.

Upon finishing the series, my initial thoughts were that the timing of this series was impeccable. The large population of people living vicariously through television’s true crime investigators knows about Bundy but not his full story. The depths the documentary goes to when portraying Bundy was at times unfathomable. From the clips that showed the glow in his eyes when discussing the murders, to his chilling last wishes of his ashes to be spread over the cascade mountain where he had “some of the best times of his life” took me on a ride of unimaginable horrors while simultaneously satisfying my inner Olivia Benson.  

photo courtesy Exclaim!