Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is undoubtedly fascinating, with never-heard-before audio, but it’s hardly groundbreaking work.
Every related material that discusses the infamous Ted Bundy always states the general issue: he was too ordinary, charming, and to some, handsome. While delving into Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes it’s easy to be drawn to his body language, his eyes, and his quick-changing facial expressions. Surely it looks evident that he was the killer? Behind those eyes, you can see that something, somewhere is wrong. But that’s the issue, and this Netflix documentary series highlights it’s the people you least expect that do the craziest and, in this case, downright evil things.
I was looking forward to this documentary series and hearing never-heard-before audio is undoubtedly going to be something that is revealing. Depressingly, Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes subjects itself to a run-of-the-mill documentary, sticking to the same style of commentating on a particular event, discussing what happened and stating a conclusion. The unheard audio from Ted Bundy’s tapes in prison are there, but I was expecting the Netflix series to use them more. I thought that was the whole point.
That does not mean it’s not a good documentary series; it is. The four chapters manage to discuss the character of Ted Bundy, and profiles the number of women who went missing, some who were never found, and most that were found murdered in shocking circumstances. Each time the story moves forward, the critical journalist plays more of the tape, and you can hear the frankly normal voice of Ted Bundy, hypothesising his life and his theory on the killer. Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is not groundbreaking, but it is undoubtedly put together well.
Every time I watch a documentary similar to The Ted Bundy Tapes, I’m always reminded of Netflix’s Mindhunter – and how the FBI wanted to figure out the mind of a serial killer. I think the issue with Ted Bundy, and what this documentary series confirms, is that there is no specific theory to land on why this happens – some people are, unfortunately, wired to think and live their life this way. A double life, which if you think about it, is frightening to imagine – you could look at your average, normal neighbor and wonder if that ‘normal’ perspective is a front.
Regardless, if you are a true-crime documentary fan, Conversations with A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes will stimulate your curious mind.
Daniel Hart is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has operated as Editor-in-Chief since 2017.