Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes
|Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes|
|Created by||Joe Berlinger|
|Written by||Joe Berlinger|
|Directed by||Joe Berlinger|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||4 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Original release||January 24, 2019|
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is an American documentary that premiered on Netflix on January 24, 2019, the 30th anniversary of Bundy's execution. Created and directed by Joe Berlinger, the four 60-minute episodes were sourced from over 100 hours of interviews and archival footage of serial killer Ted Bundy, as well as interviews with his family, friends, surviving victims, and the law enforcement members who worked on his case.
The series chronologically traces Bundy's life, crimes, arrests, his escapes and death in detail. Archival footage, police evidence, personal photos, and Stephen Michaud's 1980 death row interviews are all present in the series. People related to the Bundy case include surviving victims, witnesses, his family and former friends, along with officers, officials, and journalists.
|No.||Title||Original air date|
|1||"Handsome Devil"||January 24, 2019|
|The series starts with two journalists, Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, discussing a new project that may attract audiences: Ted Bundy's story from his own perspective. The episode introduces the first couple of girls who went missing around the University of Washington area. Police officials and reporters working on this case are also introduced.|
|2||"One of Us"||January 24, 2019|
|When a call came from a woman who seemed worried about her boyfriend named Ted, the police finally had some suspects. Carol DeRonch, a victim who managed to escape from Bundy, gave the police a leg up in their investigation. He is finally arrested for the abduction of DeRonch.|
|3||"Not My Turn to Watch Him"||January 24, 2019|
|After escaping from jail twice, Bundy changes his appearance to confuse the police. His second escape leads him to Florida, where he committed three murders but left a little bit of evidence behind. A run-in with the Florida police ends Bundy's escape.|
|4||"Burn Bundy Burn"||January 24, 2019|
|The last episode shows Bundy defending himself in trials involving the murder of three women in Florida. With evidence and witnesses against him, the court orders a death penalty and puts Bundy on death watch. A day before his execution, a psychologist who studied the brain activity of violent men concludes that Bundy was manic depressive. The episode shows the events that occurred days before his execution, which include him confessing to the murders of 30 women from six states.|
Chi Omega homicide
After escaping the Garfield County Jail in Colorado Springs, Bundy made his way to Florida, where he attacked the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University. He brutally beat up four women and killed two, Lisa Levy and Margaret Bowman. He also sexually assaulted Levy. Bundy fled the scene, but left a trace evidence which later connected him to the homicides: a double bite mark on the buttocks of Levy. A month later, Bundy was arrested by Pensacola Police when officers became suspicious of his driving. Upon finding several stolen credit cards, Bundy finally revealed his name to police. The murders at the Chi Omega house caught their attention, and they suspected Bundy was connected to the series of murders of young women all over the country. Leon County sheriff W. Kenneth Katsaris decided to try to match the bite marks found on Levy's body to Bundy's teeth. Orthodontists took a mold of Bundy's teeth and called in Dr. Richard Souviron, a forensic odontologist, on the witness stand in court to state whether the bite marks found on Levy matched. After Souviron confirmed the match, the jury spent six hours in deliberation to decide if the defendant was guilty, and ultimately found him guilty of first degree murder.
Abduction and murder of Kimberly Leach
Before he was arrested by the Pensacola police, Bundy abducted another victim – 12-year old Kimberly Leach, who disappeared during the school day on February 9, 1978. Two months after her disappearance, Leach's body was found in a shed. The 12-year-old victim had been assaulted and murdered. In 1980, Bob Dekle, a prosecutor who was fighting the case against Bundy, connected Bundy to Leach's case by evidence found in Bundy's van and on clothes he supposedly wore on the day he killed Leach that matched the clothing fibers from Leach's clothes. Witnesses reported seeing a little girl walk with a man who resembled Bundy towards a white van. With this evidence, a jury found Bundy guilty, and he was again given the death penalty.
Confession and death penalty
On January 22, 1989, two days prior to his execution, Bundy confessed to killing around thirty women.
The series received mixed reviews from critics. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds an approval rating of 54%, with an average rating of 5.88/10 based on 24 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads, "Laced with troubling irony, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes skirts introspection, making it just as illusive as its subject." On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the series has a score of 55 based on reviews from 6 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."
In Vulture, Matt Zoller Seitz wrote that he was a little disappointed in the series. He wrote that though he appreciated the "weaving" of news reports, images and basic interviews, just because Stephen Michaud was not able to figure Bundy's motives does not mean that the series lost its purpose.
- "Ted Bundy Survivor Recalls Her Horrifying Experience In Netflix Clip". UPROXX. 2019-01-24. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- "Why The Ted Bundy Tapes Is Netflix's Scariest True Crime Docu-Series Yet". www.refinery29.com. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- "Netflix's 'Ted Bundy Tapes' Warning Has People Terrified to Watch It Alone". Complex. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- Reilly, Nick (2019-01-24). ""Don't watch it alone": Netflix warns viewers after releasing 'Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes'". NME. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- Mangan, Lucy (2019-01-24). "Conversations With A Killer: the Ted Bundy Tapes review - harrowing, but pointless". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- Schedeen, Jesse (2019-01-24). "Netflix's Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Review". IGN. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
- Yamato, Jen. "'The Ted Bundy Tapes' and 'Shockingly Evil': Why Joe Berlinger doubled down on the serial killer". latimes.com. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- Michaud, Stephen G.; Aynesworth, Hugh (1999). The Only Living Witness: The True Story of Serial Sex Killer Ted Bundy. Authorlink. ISBN 9781928704119.
- "Ted Bundy, notorious serial killer — The Kimberly Leach Trial — Crime Library on truTV.com". 2011-08-07. Archived from the original on 2011-08-07. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
- "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Miniseries". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- "Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- Seitz, Matt Zoller (January 31, 2019). "The Ted Bundy Tapes Examines an Infamous Serial Killer, But Finds Only a Horrifying Void". Vulture. Retrieved 2019-03-09.