On the 30th anniversary of serial killer Ted Bundy’s execution, Netflix released ‘Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ directed by Emmy-winning and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger.
Berlinger told Rolling Stone, “There’s a lot of serial killing in (America), and yet the name ‘Bundy’ always floats to the top. I wanted to dive into that and understand why. Why is it Bundy with this perverse, almost rock star-like status?”
Netflix warned viewers “Maybe don’t watch it alone” and the 4-part series quickly became a trending topic online. The 4-part docu-series offered its audience a new take on Bundy’s reign of terror – with many shocking revelations even the most die hard true crime fans didn’t know.
8. He Would Avoid A Confession By Speaking In Third Person Only
When journalist Stephen Michaud interviewed Ted Bundy, he became increasingly frustrated with the sociopath’s unwillingness to talk about the murders. Instead, Bundy spoke about his childhood, his family and life in Tacoma where he grew up with the intention to create a ‘celebrity biography’ about himself.
Bundy up until this point had never admitted his crimes, yet Michaud managed to ‘trick’ the serial killer into discussing his crimes in detail without incriminating himself.
Michaud spoke of his technique: “Ted would talk so long as we agreed that he was only ‘speculating,’ in the third person, on the nature of the killer. I could not ask any direct questions. But in fact we weren’t playing ‘let’s pretend’; it was ‘let’s pretend to pretend.’ If I once asked, ‘How did you do it?’ it would spoil the game.”
Although Bundy was only ‘speculating’ his admissions were very specific and accurate.
Bundy detailed, “He parked his car at the curb of this small orchard and walked into it and saw that in fact the body was still in the same position he’d left it. So it was clear that the girl was dead… So he carried the body to his car and put it in and covered it.”
Michaud successfully managed to achieve the next best thing to an actual full confession.
7. He Was Teased For A Speech Impediment
Childhood friend Sandi Holt revealed that Bundy suffered from a serious speech impediment as a child that encouraged ridicule from his peers. “He had a horrible speech impediment, so he was teased a lot, ” Holt said. Adding, “He just did not fit in.”
Holt also revealed that Bundy laid tiger traps – sticks laid across a manmade hole to entrap anything that walks over – which injured one little girl. She recalled, “One little girl went over the top of one of Ted’s tiger traps and got the whole side of her leg slit open with the sharpened point of the stick that she landed on.”
6. He Was Accused Of Political Spying
In 1968, Bundy served on the Nelson Rockefeller presidential campaign and the successful reelection campaign of Washington governor Dan Evans. He excelled in politics and later became an assistant to Ross Davis, the chairman of the Washington State Republican Party.
Likely attracted to a career in politics as it was all about manipulating your own image, Michaud comments, “That was perfect for him because he didn’t have to be real.” His childhood friend Sandi Holt also confirmed, “(Bundy) was going to be president, he was going to show the world.”
Bundy also joked about the other benefits of a career in politics, revealing, “Here was something that allowed me to utilize my natural talent in politics and also my assertiveness. And there I was in a life that had been missing for me. During that campaign I got laid for the first time. I got laid in Walla Walla.”
His key role was to attend events held by Evans’ rival Albert D. Rosellini and write down everything that was said. It wasn’t long before he was found out and accused of political spying which made headlines in Washington.
Speaking with reporters at the time, a then 21-year-old Bundy said, “It’s hard for me to believe that what I did was newsworthy and my part in the campaign is so insignificant that I am embarrassed I should be getting this much publicity from it. Really embarrassed.” All before he breaks out into a joyful laugh.
5. He Had Access To Criminal Files Which Helped Him To Not Get Caught
Rejected by his first serious girlfriend, Bundy turned to serial killing as a means of revenge. In King County, Washington, whilst he was studying law; there was a large number of young brunettes reported missing all over the area and police determined ‘a real sick individual’ was at work.
Bundy worked a brief job with the Seattle Crime Commission that allowed him access to these records. He was also able to find potential loopholes in the police work that would make it easy for him to carry out his horrendous crimes undetected.
Bundy said, “The record keeping of the King county police agencies in general was just horrendous.” Adding, “The discovery I made was that they had well-intentioned people but they didn’t know they should do.”
4. He Had A Distinct Killing Pattern
Looking at the reports of the missing women, investigators discovered that between each date when a girl was last seen alive – exactly either 26 or 36 days had passed. The pattern stood out so boldly that the next step in the investigation was to look into these disappearances as a potential murderous cult at work.
With no hard evidence or description of potential suspects, they turned to a theory of potential witchcraft and human sacrifice out of desperation.
3. He Managed A Second Escape Due To His Drastic Weight Loss
Bundy’s first escape was in June 1977 when he was jailed for assault and kidnapping. Looking at up to 15 years in prison, he made the decision to represent himself and was allowed access to the library at the courthouse in Aspen, Colorado, to research his case. Bundy jumped from the window and hid in the nearby mountains for 6 days before he was recaptured.
His second escape was from behind bars at Glenwood Springs jail in Colorado. In ‘Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes’ the episode appropriately titled ‘Not My Turn To Watch Him’, it was revealed that Bundy’s escape was made possible due to his drastic weight loss from his days running around the mountains. Weighing only 140 pounds, he created a small hole in the ceiling of his cell and slipped away. His disappearance was not discovered till the next day when jail staff pulled back the bed sheets only to find a pile of books in Bundy’s place.
2. He Tried To Take His Own Life Before His Execution
On January 24th, 1989, Theodore Robert Bundy was executed at Florida State Prison during the early hours of the morning. He was aged 42-years-old.
Two days before his execution, Bundy confessed 30 murders to FBI special agent Bill Hagmaier (pictured above). Bundy had always pleaded his innocence and Hagmaier revealed that following the confession, Bundy tried to take his own life with a writing pen.
He recalled, “At some point that day, Ted tells me that he’s not gonna sit in a (electric) chair, and I said, ‘Well, what are you gonna do?’ He said, ‘I’m gonna die right here.’
“And he was sitting across from me, and he had a pen, and he said, ‘I can stick this so far up my artery it’ll squirt in your face. And I’ll be drained before anybody even gets here.’ And, I said, ‘Is that what you want to do?’ And he says, ‘I’m not gonna let them kill me.'”
He continued, “And he just looked at me and said, ‘You got me again.’ And so then he prayed some, and I prayed with him.”
1. He Admitted To Not Feeling Guilt For His Horrendous Crimes
Bundy shared, “I don’t feel guilty for any of it. I feel less guilty now than I’ve felt at any time in my whole life. About anything. I mean really.” Adding, “And it’s not that I’ve forgotten anything or I’ve closed down part of my mind or compartmentalize. I believe I understand everything that I’ve done.”
“I am in the enviable position of not having to feel any guilt. And that’s it. Guilt is this mechanism we use to control people. It’s an illusion. It’s this kind of social control mechanism and it’s very unhealthy.”