Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Present-day interviews, archival footage and audio recordings made on death row form a searing portrait of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy.

Year: 2019
Certificate: 15

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Over recent months I have developed a taste for various “true crime” style shows and when “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” was added to Netflix earlier in the year my interest was piqued. Mainly because the main content was from Ted Bundy himself in the form of audio recordings made while he was on death row. At the time I knew very little about the man who is possibly the world’s most notorious serial killer other than his name and that he was a serial killer. Going back 20+ years or so, had this been of interest, I would have visited my local library or bookstore and researched and read all about him; however, this is 2019 and it’s available on Netflix so I may as well make use of it!

The series consists of 4 episodes with a total length of just under 4 hours so at first glance it seems quite short when compared with something like “Making a Murderer“. However, the series is certainly not short of content and it packs a lot of information into each episode. The series starts off with two journalists, Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, explaining how they got the recordings by planning a book to tell Ted Bundy’s story in his own words. We learn some information about Bundy’s early life along with his early career working at police stations and wanting to train as a lawyer. We are also learn about some missing women from around the University of Washington.

The show makes use of a mixture of sources such as archive footage and recent interviews, as well as the tapes themselves. It makes it interesting to watch as I had initially worried that listening to audio tapes on a Netflix show could be a bit dull. However, the series is put together nicely and without much filler. As the story of Ted Bundy’s life goes on, we learn a lot more about Bundy’s girlfriend who actually reported him to the police after more women went missing. What we don’t learn, however, is why he killed more than 30 women across America – and, if anything, that’s really the only flaw in the show.

Seeing the archival footage of Bundy representing himself in court as well as hearing from those that were on his defence team or prosecution team is all very interesting. Hearing from the families of his victims and seeing crime scene photos is often heartbreaking. Learning about the life of a notorious serial killer in their own words is also fascinating; as is hearing from the psychologists who tried to understand him. But by not really explaining Bundy’s motives it left me feeling a little disheartened with the series. However this does not make it a poor docuseries – if anything, it simply shows us that we can’t always understand how other people think and act. It’s clear from the audio recordings that Bundy was somewhat of an enigma and the show simply confirms that fact along with an interesting story about police procedure in the days before the communication methods that we take for granted now.

If you want to see a dramatisation of the events then take a look at “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” – available on Netflix outside of the UK and on Now TV / Sky Cinema in the UK.

Have you seen this docuseries?? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!

About MaFt

Film and TV fan, creator of New On Netflix (UK, USA, Australia and Canada), dad of two amazing children, code geek and passionate about autism.

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