After a slew of serial killings gripped the U.S. during the 1970s, no other name was as prolific as Ted Bundy. Leaving behind an unprecedented trail of dead bodies, Ted’s pleasant facade hid a very ugly truth that’s explored in more detail during Netflix’s four episode documentary. Combining archival footage, interviews and never-before-heard audio, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a shocking, absorbing true crime series. It’s one that’s likely to get a lot of people talking too as it sheds light on the man who orchestrated these heinous crimes to such a cold, calculated and efficient degree.
Split across four episodes, The Ted Bundy Tapes begins its first episode with a brief overview of the case and how the audio tapes came to be. From here, the documentary takes on a much more conventional style, beginning the incredulous story of Ted Bundy and his string of murders. The show then goes on to discuss Ted’s past, his long list of murders and how the police tried to piece these together before his eventual arrest. Of course, this was then followed up by an escape from prison and eventually sentencing and given the death sentence. Throughout the episodes we learn more about Ted’s successful career and school life whilst never shying away from the seriousness of the incidents and despicable acts he was involved in. The final episode then closes out this infamous story, bringing an end to a tale of murder, violence and nausea-inducing disgust.
Given the gravitas of the story being told, the production of the series is suitably simple with little in the way of surprises. Those going into this expecting a flashy documentary full of fancy graphics and slick camera work may be left wanting. For those looking for an engrossing story told through overly familiar true-crime tropes are sure to take more kindly to this documentary. It’s a minor point in the grand scheme of things and The Ted Bundy Tapes is one of the best true crime efforts Netflix has put together. Refining all the skills put into their previous ventures, this exploration of the man, myth and legend that is Ted Bundy manages to inject each episode with enough shock and tension to keep you watching. All the while presenting the information in an unbiased and cohesive manner.
Netflix have always had a knack for putting out absorbing true crime documentaries and The Ted Bundy Tapes is no exception. Instead of dwelling on the charismatic, charming man he so obviously managed to convince people he was, this documentary is much more interested in showing the gritty, ugly realism around the entire story. The four hour run time makes this an easily digestible show too, one that mixes a complicated string of murders with a simple production style to great effect. In doing so, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is a fascinating, shocking and incredibly endearing documentary, one well worth checking out this weekend.
Verdict - 8.5/10