Just as the term “serial killer” was being coined in the 1970’s, men began emerging left and right to fit this title’s definition: a person who commits a series of murders, often with no apparent motive and typically following a characteristic, predictable behavior pattern. Yet none of these men have been as infamous amongst the ranks as Ted Bundy.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a four hour Netflix original documentary that chronicles the life, crimes, trial, and death of serial killer Theodore Robert Bundy. Unlike other documentaries which recap much of the basic knowledge afficionados of true crime are familiar with, The Ted Bundy Tapes delves much deeper, with new information freshly exposed for the first time by the mouth of the man himself.
An extremely eerie part of this four part documentary is when the journalist Stephen Michaud describes Ted physically during the midst of their conversations while Bundy described his crimes. “His (Bundy’s) eyes would go black” he recalled as Bundy spoke of his past.
Bundy was known for having extremely blue eyes; a feature that made him so attractive to his victims, as well as the dozens of women who pined after him following his capture. No, Bundy was not possessed by a demon or evil entity. Scientifically explained, the pupil of the eye dilates when we are stimulated and aroused.
The idea of Bundy being turned on when speaking of his past crimes is an even scarier thought than that of him being taken over by an evil force he could not control. Arguably, this physical reaction shows not only his pleasure in the crimes he was convicted of, but betrays his claims of innocence.
Accompanying the audio tapes include compiled videos from the news that show the many sides of the convicted serial killer. One of the most captivating videos is when Bundy is read his indictment for his crimes in Florida, the killing of two Florida University students.
This is the longest piece of news footage of Bundy outside of the courtroom, and reveals the debonair nature he so strongly wielded. Even under the capture of law enforcement, the serial killer appeared to be in control not just of himself, but of the room. Never has a serial killer been so confident, which overflowed into arrogance.
Hearing Bundy’s voice narrate the story of his past to journalist Michaud, whether accurate or not, is haunting. It leaves the viewer with an awareness that serial killers don’t necessarily stand out in a crowd physically. They can be suave and charming, well-educated and articulate, and perhaps most unsettling appear normal.
Never did anyone ever expect what was lurking behind Bundy’s eyes right up until the end. With the release of The Ted Bundy Tapes we now have the killer’s voice telling us what was lurking in his dark mind.