The chilling times of Ted Bundy

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Brunswick OH – The Ted Bundy Tapes, Netflix’s most recent documentary on the infamous serial killer, Ted Bundy, has sparked an uproar between viewers. The documentary is a four-part series that goes into depth about the case. One of the most interesting parts for viewers is when they dive into Bundy’s psychology. Although it is interesting, it is very disturbing and troubling. This is one of the most chilling true crime documentaries to be out in quite some time. Netflix even warned viewers to not watch alone. Reviews for the four-part documentary mostly stated that it didn’t shed light on anything new from the case. With the case being concluded for 30 years now, it’s very possible that there is nothing new to bring to light.

The way they had this documentary play out was brilliant. The makers of the documentary dug through archive footage and weaved it within the four-part series. They had interviews with Ted Bundy himself, police interviews, testimonies from survivors and accounts from those that actually knew him. This showed tons of different angles and shed light on different parts of Ted Bundy and the notorious crimes he committed.  

Ted Bundy denied his involvement with the crimes he committed for decades. When offered access to visit Ted Bundy, who was on death row at the time, journalists Stephen Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth were to determined to gather new information. The journalists came up with a plan to strategically get Bundy to explain himself. By talking in third person, viewers are able to see the thought process of Ted Bundy.

With the documentary being very informative and chilling, it raised tons of controversy. Viewers were stating how they were showing Bundy off as a handsome, intelligent, man. With the first episode of the series being called “Handsome Devil,” Netflix was being naive when they thought people wouldn’t pick up on that element. It wasn’t only with the documentary though, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, a feature film starring Zac Efron, sparked an uproar of controversy on social media. Viewers were saying how the film portrayed Bundy in a positive note rather than the negative one he should be under. People have expressed that as though the film and documentary are trying to romanticize Bundy in a strange way. It’s not just people of Twitter in 2019 that are romanticizing Bundy. During Bundy’s trial, people would send fan mail and girls would show up for him. It was the first trial that was aired on TV, which gave him some sort of celebrity status.

Romanticizing Ted Bundy isn’t what the Netflix was trying to do, they even came out with a statement stating that people shouldn’t be romanticizing him. On the other hand, the feature film, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, wanted to portray Bundy that way because that was the way he was. Before people found out who he really was, they described Bundy as articulate, handsome, and clean cut. They wanted to portray him the way he really was for the movie. In a sense it does raise lots of controversy, but you must see that one is a movie and one is a documentary. They didn’t want to change up the way he was seen back then to fit into the social norms of today. It makes total sense for a filmmaker to want that, they want the film to be raw and portray him the way he was, it makes everything more real.