January 24th marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Ted Bundy, who was executed in a Florida prison. To celebrate (?), Netflix is releasing Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, a new docu-series from Joe Berlinger, co-director of the acclaimed Paradise Lost trilogy – which put a much-needed spotlight on the West Memphis 3 case. Netflix has released the first official trailer for the Bundy series, which features taped conversations with the charismatic serial killer, responsible for murdering over 30 women before his capture in 1978.
Check it out:
Berlinger, who is also known for the wildly unappreciated Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (don't @ me), used over 100 hours of recorded conversations with Bundy for the series, which was inspired by the non-fiction book written by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth. Bundy became one of America's most infamous serial killers – both for the severity and extent of his crimes, and for the bizarre spell he cast on women. Dozens of female admirers attended Bundy's trials, where they defended him outside the courthouse. There were even specially-designated seats for these female fans to sit behind Bundy in the courtroom. Notably, most of the women resembled Bundy's victims: Long-haired, brunette sorority-types who had come to believe that they could "fix" Bundy, who was merely misunderstood. He was so handsome, after all, that there was no way he could be a killer.
This element of Bundy's life appears to be well-represented in the trailer for Conversations With a Killer, which also boasts archival interview footage with some of the killer's female fans. Bundy ended up marrying Carol Ann Boone in 1980 – the same year he recorded the conversations used in the docu-series. Like Ann Rule, who wrote the non-fiction book The Stranger Beside Me, Boone also worked alongside Bundy at a suicide crisis hotline call center in Washington. Boone moved to Florida to be closer to Bundy throughout his trials and testified on his behalf as a character witness. It was during her third appearance on the stand that Bundy, taking advantage of a legal loophole, asked Boone to marry him. She said yes. Two years later, Boone gave birth to Bundy's daughter – despite the fact that conjugal visits were prohibited on death row. It'll be interesting to see how Boone figures into Berlinger's docu-series, as I imagine she must given the emphasis on the women who loved Bundy.
Here's the official synopsis from Netflix:
On the 30th anniversary of his Florida execution, CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE TED BUNDY TAPES brings the infamously twisted mind of serial killer Ted Bundy into the light for the very first time and invades our psyche in a fresh yet terrifying way through exclusive, never-before-heard interviews from the “Jack the Ripper of the United States,” himself. This unique and gripping doc series, directed and executive produced by true crime pioneer Joe Berlinger, focuses on the man whose personality, good looks and social graces defied the serial-killer stereotype, allowing him to hide in plain sight as he committed the brutal sex-crime slayings of more than 30 women before being caught in 1978. While on trial, Bundy received extraordinary adoration from American women, which made his gruesome crimes doubly haunting, even in an era of anything-goes mayhem. Inspired the book of the same name written by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, the series utilizes over 100 hours of exclusive audio interviews that the two journalists conducted with Bundy on death row in 1980, giving the unique perspective of hearing the killer analyze his own life and motives.
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes premieres on January 24.