‘Conversations with murderers: The Ted Bundy tapes’: a chilling immersion in the magnetism of evil

ted bundy tapes
ted bundy tapes

There is a part of me that feels deeply uncomfortable with the undeniable magnetism that the most mythical and publicized serial killers awaken in society (and in myself). ted bundy tapes.

The discomfort is accentuated in cases like that of Ted Bundy, who only killed young and attractive women, and who often abused previously, which gives a chilling timeless layer to crimes that were committed several decades ago. From that magnetism and why he captivates us so much, he talks ‘Conversations with murderers: Ted Bundy’s tapes’.

We live a new revival of documentaries based on real crimes, whose acceptance has never been completely dissipated, but living a new golden age thanks to successes like ‘Making a murderer’, ‘The Williamson project’ or ‘The Keepers’, or fiction series with documentary airs such as ‘Mindhunter’.

It was only a matter of time before the stories of the great myths of serial murder would receive this same treatment: Netflix has started with an authentic superstar, Ted Bundy, is producing one about the crimes of Alcasser and it would not be strange to see how it opens in the future with this same treatment approaching disturbing icons such as Ed Gain, Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy.

The novelty presented by this new documentary is the audition for the first time of a series of tapes that the journalist Stephen G Michaud recorded with Bundy on death row, and that he published in a book in 1989.

Bundy killed some thirty women – the exact number is unknown, possibly higher – between 1974 and 1978, and his search forced the coordination of the police and the FBI between several states, in an unprecedented effort and at a time when the that there was no internet or search and capture databases.

His judgments were televised and followed throughout the country, and were filled with moments that are already part of the greatest hits of American serial killers, like his efforts to defend himself.

ted bundy tapes

The series uses the recordings, full of lies and with a manipulative and egocentric Bundy as the guiding thread, and goes uncovering Bundy’s long history of crimes, detentions, escapes and trials.

Prolija and without dramatic turns, is a real plunge into the darkest side of being human, confronting the viewer with a psychopath unable to experience the slightest empathy and whose motivations – his childhood was moderately happy, he did not suffer traumas known at any time – They are a real mystery, possibly also for himself.

‘Conversations with assassins: Ted Bundy’s tapes’: The hidden star of the show

There is a proper name behind ‘The Ted Bundy tapes’ that can go unnoticed in a quick flight over this small series of four episodes: the producer, director and screenwriter of it, Joe Berlinger.

He is also the director of a couple of pieces of fiction, separated by decades and curiously significant. On the one hand, the new release in Sundance ‘Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile’, which explores the fascinating relationship of Bundy with his partner for years, which in an exercise of disarming self-deception refused to believe the evidence pointing to his vile .

On the other hand, Berlinger co-directed nothing less than the sequel to ‘The Blair Witch Project’, sequel to the brutal found footage classic that just turned 20 and which, despite being clearly inferior to its predecessor, makes interesting reflections about the documentary image and how it contaminates fiction.

But above all, he is responsible for the three documentary feature films ‘Paradise Lost’ on The Three of Memphis, a group of kids accused of ritual murders and whose mediatic trial was plagued by irregularities.

They already saw the intention of Berlinger to reflect on the role of the media in the public perception of criminals, able to prosecute them in advance, demonize them, or in the Bundy aso, help generate an aura of fascination.

A role that, paradoxically, this time has played Netflix itself, which has had to publicly declare something obvious (but not so much), before the lustful words of desire of hundreds of spectators who have been captivated by the Machiavellian look of the murderer: Ted Bundy was not a donjuán, but a dangerous monster.

There are critics who are accusing ‘Ted Bundy tapes’ of not having dramatic turns or not being as intriguing as ‘Making a murderer’, but that is precisely what certifies the attachment to the reality of the Berlinger miniseries.

Unlike the broadside discourse of that recent success of true crime, Berlinger makes his documentary work between the lines, as he did in ‘Paradise Lost’: the banality of the contents of Bundy’s tapes, full of half-truths and manipulation, are the authentic message. Pure evil has no horns and trident. It is embodied vulgarity.

‘Ted Bundy’s tapes’ draws its strength precisely from what many critics have misunderstood as an error. Believing that life is full of dramatic turns and surprise revelations is what gives strength to serial killers, perfectly capable of integrating as the neighbor next door.

“He always said hello,” as they say and as sure Bundy did with his neighbors: a masterful lesson in homicidal chameleonism.

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