*content warning: contains violence*
For whatever reason, I’ve always been interested in true crime documentaries. Don’t get me wrong, the stories they cover and the killers they talk about are terrifying. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to do the things they do or to be a victim of something so horrific. It’s all so wild to me and I can’t wrap my brain around it.
I didn’t really know what to expect when I watched Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Case on Netflix. I knew Ted Bundy was a notorious serial killer but I didn’t really know the details of it all. But let me tell you, it’s sickening.
1. Ted Bundy started hurting women at a young age.
According to the people who knew him at a young age, he liked to scare people.
When he was a child and went to camp, he didn’t do things with the rest of the kids. He wasn’t good at tying knots, swimming, making friends, etc., but he was good at making tiger traps. A girl had been captured in it and the whole side of her leg slit open with the sharp part of the trap.
2. He wasn’t really good with people.
He enjoyed lying to people.
He didn’t have a lot of friends in high school. I guess you could say he was shy or introverted or socially awkward, but he also enjoyed lying, so maybe that’s why he couldn’t make friends or have a girlfriend. No one ever really got close to him.
Nearly everything he talked about in the taped interviews in this docuseries were lies. Twisted versions of the truth, if you will. He said whatever he thought would benefit him and keep him out of trouble.
3. But at the same time…he was really good with people.
He was the king of manipulation. All of his victims fell for his charm.
Even when he was first arrested and had been serving time in jail until his trial, he managed to ~finesse~ his way into the library of the prison to spend time reading. No other inmate at the prison had access to the library.
You can see in the footage of this docuseries that even during his trial, he joked and charmed the court, the jury, and the judge. He was a smooth talker. Honestly? It’s sickening. He was just so charismatic. Everyone fell for it.
4. He became obsessed with his first girlfriend.
Somehow, he managed to get a girlfriend and Diane Edwards was her name.
They were completely different people so how they managed to have a relationship was something Ted couldn’t fully believe. For whatever reason, he became so obsessed with her (mostly physical) and their relationship (mostly surface level attributes) that it led to his own self-doubt and insecurities that ultimately ruined their relationship. He feared losing her, so he claimed.
Years after their breakup (she dumped him!), he was still obsessed with her…but not in the way he had been before. She had rejected and embarrassed him and he had been hurt. But they rekindled their relationship; to her, that meant something more (marriage!) and to him, it was a manipulative tactic. He became very cold and mean towards her. Part 2 of their relationship was just him wanting revenge.
5. He escaped from prison twice.
Thanks to the prison guards who gave him access to the library, he was able to go there to jump from the second story window and escape.
Some time had passed and his whereabouts were unknown. When they finally caught him and put him back in prison, he managed to escape again. This time, with the help of the books he had taken from the library. He set up the books in his bed to look like he was under the covers and also used them as leverage to climb into the vent above his bed in his cell.
6. He couldn’t feel empathy or love.
Are we surprised by this? He murdered over 30 women. Clearly he had no feelings.
7. Just a day or so before his execution, he confessed to everything.
He admitted to killing over 30 women an he did The Most: bludgeoned, stabbed, strangled, sexually assaulted, mutilated genitals, burned, decapitated.
He also revealed his gruesome secret: necrophilia. Yeah, he had sex with the corpses.
In one of the tapes, he whispered into the microphone the details of where a body or two was probably buried. It’s chilling. Unfortunately, more than half of the bodies have never been found.
Everything about him was unnerving: his looks, his personality, his character. What scared me the most about this true crime docuseries was the footage of Ted Bundy being himself. It was the way he would stand in the courtroom with dead eyes. It was the way he would look into the camera and just smile.