Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a new Netflix documentary series. If you have the time, you will probably go through the 4 episodes of Season 1 in a single sitting. It’s simply breathtaking!
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is out on Netflix now and this documentary series is destined to be a smash hit. Both true crime documentaries and serial killers are notoriously popular choices on Netflix.
Netflix already created an original series focused on how FBI began profiling serial killers. It was the show Mindhunter which had season 1 released in October 2017 and season 2 will be out later in 2019. Here’s our review of Mindhunter Season 1 >
Just last week, the very disturbing and true story in Abducted in Plain Sight left its viewers stunned. Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is bound to leave its viewers breathless as well but in a somewhat different way.
After all, most people know about Ted Bundy and his crimes. Admittedly, I didn’t know how sick and twisted the man clearly was during his trials as well. This documentary series is just four episodes and you will want to keep watching once you begin.
Netflix documentary by Joe Berlinger
Joe Berlinger is the creator of this documentary series. He’s an Academy Award-nominated documentary filmmaker who made the Paradise Lost trilogy (along with the late Bruce Sinofsky), which I highly recommend.
This trilogy directly helped lead to the release of three wrongfully convicted men.
The third and final movie earned them their Oscar nomination. Also, Joe Berlinger made the rockumentary Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. One of his trademarks is to show you as many facts as possible and let you decide what to think. Obviously, this should be the trademark of any documentary filmmaker. But I do hope we all recognize this isn’t always the case.
Honestly, just the fact that Joe Berlinger is the creator of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is enough reason to watch it. Trust me!
Also, we do get to hear a lot more about Ted Bundy from himself. This happens through the actual Ted Bundy tapes, which are over 100 hours across 75-80 tapes. How this all happens and what gets him talking, is explained in the very first episode.
True Crime and Serial Killer documentaries on Netflix
Netflix has already given us true crime documentaries where there is no definitive answer. Documentaries Making a Murderer or The Keepers along with The Staircase.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is different because we do know for a fact that Ted Bundy was a serial killer. In that sense, this Netflix documentary is more along the lines of Amanda Knox or the aforementioned Abduction in Plain Sight. It is so infuriating, but also very honest and true in telling the story.
Recommended: Read our review of Abducted in Plain Sight here >
Honestly, if you haven’t watched Abducted in Plain Sight yet, then you absolutely should. It’s a documentary movie and not series, so it’s a quick watch with a runtime around 90 minutes. The same goes for Amanda Knox so be sure to check those out.
Getting back to Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes it feels like the right choice to make this a series and not a movie. There is simply too much crazy to fit into a movie. He doesn’t “deserve” a documentary series, but we all need to see this psychopath rather than just the more glorified bitesize bits we often get when it comes to serial killers.
Psychotic serial killer, Ted Bundy
Ted Bundy, in particular, has often had his story told in a pretty flattering light. He killed women and maybe that’s part of it, whereas Jeffrey Dahmer killed men and has always been labeled as more of a psychopath.
As if any homosexual tendencies somehow make the serial killer part of a person sicker. Admittedly, Jeffrey Dahmer did do some very weird and twisted stuff to his victims, but so did Ted Bundy!
Again, this is something that has often been overlooked. But not in Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Jeffrey Dahmer, then there’s a movie focusing on the younger years of his life – including his first murder. It’s a pretty interesting and very well made movie called My Friend Dahmer.
In general, hearing Ted Bundy talking and watching all clips of him is a very creepy and eerily familiar experience. According to himself, he was practically the best at everything. Sound familiar?
He was also involved with politics and volunteered on a campaign for a Republican governor candidate. During this time, he was accused of spying on the competition. Not any kind of Russian collusion though. Now that would have been scary.
People who grew up with him, however, do tell a very different story. And even his academic results show him as a “mediocre” student. The story about the “Tiger Traps” alone should have been a huge red flag.
The Ted Bundy Tapes – Episode 1: “Handsome Devil”
The first episode of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is really about the first murders. And also, it explains how the tapes came to be.
We don’t get too much into what Ted Bundy has to say about everything until the very end. Episode one of the Netflix documentary series does an excellent job of setting the scene for the next three episodes.
The Ted Bundy Tapes – Episode 2: “One of Us”
The second episode of this documentary has a lot more of Ted Bundy’s own explanation of the events. He talks about things in the third person, which feels a bit like when O.J. Simpson wrote that book about how he would have done it.
We also keep hearing people describe him as a good guy. He was a college graduate and went to church. As one person explains it: “He was one of us!” Apparently, you don’t have to do much to be perceived as a good guy.
However, more and more people do also step forward with stories that paint a very different picture of Ted Bundy. Including the girl who got away – which eventually resulted in him being sent to prison.
The Ted Bundy Tapes – Episode 3: “Not My Turn to Watch Him”
With the third episode, we’re moving into the escapes (and attempted escapes), Ted Bundy also managed to get away with. He ends up in Florida but still has the need to perform vicious and brutal crimes.
Once again, Ted Bundy lands in jail by coincidence. Now, I’m not a religious person, but it does almost feel like someone tries to intervene. Clearly, it was way too easy to get away and stay away from prison. Even though he was a convicted kidnapper, accused of murder and suspected of many more crimes.
The Ted Bundy Tapes – Episode 4: “Burn Bundy Burn”
The fourth and final episode of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is where the story ends. In every way!
For those who don’t know, Ted Bundy died back in 1989 at the age of 42. He was executed by electrocution in a Florida State Prison, and this is also where Ted Bundy’s story ends on Netflix. Or rather, it’s still going strong here in 2019 after decades of movies and documentaries about him.
But this Netflix documentary series might be the first time I feel like we’ve gotten to know the criminal instead of a focus on him being charismatic and charming. The man was a serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, burglar, and necrophile.
The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix will hopefully be defining of what people think of him in the future.
Conversations with a Killer is an ideal Netflix concept
The title Conversations with a Killer followed by The Ted Bundy Tapes would indicate that more seasons are ready to be made. In that sense, it really is the perfect concept for Netflix.
Maybe the next one will be about Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer or Aileen Wuornos. Whoever it is, there will be an audience waiting and ready to watch the second it’s released. For now, enjoy the story of Ted Bundy in Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
It often seems like it can be difficult for documentarists to keep from admiring their subject. This is (fortunately) not the case in this Netflix documentary series. Ted Bundy could be very charming, but this is the first time I feel like we’ve really been given the chance to see him for the creep he was.
For many years, we’ve known of Ted Bundy’s crimes and charm – which are always mentioned in the same breath. But the charm disappears pretty quickly when you watch The Ted Bundy Tapes. Finally, we get to see the side of him that his victims must have experienced. It’s scary and breathtaking, but also a very important look at this “charming serial killer”.
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is out on Netflix from January 24, 2019.
Get a unique look inside the mind of an infamous serial killer with this cinematic self-portrait crafted from statements made by Ted Bundy.