Unspeakable Times
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Why Netflix's Ted Bundy Series Is The Most Disturbing Crime Documentary You'll See This Year

Updated November 5, 2019 12.7k views15 items

Ted Bundy is perhaps the most notorious serial killer of the 20th century. He took the lives of over 30 women and proved incredibly difficult to catch, as he blended easily into his surroundings and exploited the lack of communication between police departments. He appeared to be an average, mild-mannered, conventionally attractive man. Women were drawn to his charm and trusted him based on his apparent education and privilege. But Bundy was leading a double life - he stalked multiple women across the United States during the '70s, terrifying the nation.

Reporter Stephen Michaud sat down and spoke in depth with Bundy after his capital sentence. Michaud got Bundy to describe his life and offenses in the third person. The Netflix documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes details Bundy's perspective of his spree, and the tapes reveal a man who is self-obsessed, misogynistic, and just plain creepy. Seeing life from Bundy's point of view yields deeply disturbing results.

  • It Shows Bundy Talking About Himself In The Third Person

    Getting Bundy to talk about himself wasn't easy. When he spoke to reporter Stephen Michaud, he kept dodging questions in which the answer could implicate him in court. Michaud realized he needed to devise a way to get Bundy to share his story, so he appealed to Bundy's ego. He told Bundy he was aware of Bundy's considerable knowledge about the case given that he has read the paper and was well-educated.

    Thus, he suggested Bundy tell him, as an expert witness, what kind of person he thought could have committed the crimes for which he was on trial. Bundy took the bait and began profiling the offender, though it was clear he was telling a personal story.

    This offers viewers a glimpse of how Bundy perceived women - he called them "possessions" and "merchandise." Bundy explained that the "individual" had aggressive urges in him from a young age, which grew increasingly stronger as he got older, especially as he experienced more rejection and insecurity. Bundy also said that for the "individual," slaying began as a way of removing the evidence of an assault but eventually became the goal in itself.

  • Photo: Netflix

    It Describes His Frenzy At A Sorority House In Florida

    For his second escape in 1977, Bundy lost weight and crawled through a small hole in the ceiling into the apartment of a jailer who lived above his cell. The occupant was away for New Year's Eve, so Bundy simply took some of his clothing and left. 

    Bundy traveled to Florida and entered the Chi Omega sorority house at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He asphyxiated and assaulted Margaret Bowman. He also took the life of Lisa Levy, who was alive when police arrived but never recovered consciousness. Karen Chandler and Kathy Kleiner both survived their encounter with Bundy, but they couldn't clearly see his face. Bundy then moved on to an apartment complex and assaulted a woman named Cheryl Thomas, who sustained a loss of hearing and balance after Bundy broke her jaw and severed a nerve.

    On the 40th day Bundy was missing, he kidnapped 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach from Lake City, approximately an hour away from Tallahassee. Police eventually arrested Bundy for possession of a vehicle and 21 credit cards that did not belong to him. He wouldn't reveal his identity, but they discovered he had taken the car from the Chi Omega house. 

  • Photo: Netflix

    It Relates How His Girlfriend, Elizabeth Kloepfer, Reported Him To The Police

    Elizabeth Kloepfer and Bundy dated around the same time he claimed the lives of multiple women in the Pacific Northwest. She had discovered a bag of women's undergarments, a bowl of house keys, and bandages in his apartment. In addition, she found a knife under the front seat of his car.

    Kloepfer clarified, however, that she only began to suspect him based on coincidences - there was nothing in their day-to-day relationship that "made [her] think he was a violent man capable of doing something like that." Bundy also mentioned to Kloepfer that he followed a sorority girl home one night.

    Though police suspected Bundy and even tailed him for several nights, they lacked sufficient evidence to link him to the disappearances in the Seattle area.

  • It Recounts How He Used A Fake Police Badge To Convince Women To Get Into His Car

    Conversations with a Killer interviews Carol DaRonch, a woman who survived a frightening encounter with Bundy in Utah. She recalls a time he approached her while she was in a bookstore in the mall. He claimed to be a police officer and told her that someone had broken into her car. Bundy then asked if she would come outside with him to see if anything was missing.

    She saw that nothing was gone from her car, so when Bundy asked DaRonch to come to the station, explaining that the alleged thief was in holding, she grew suspicious and asked to see identification. He promptly presented a police badge.

    Even though Bundy drove a Volkswagen Beetle, DaRonch thought he might be undercover, so she got in the car with him to supposedly drive to the police station. A few minutes into their drive, Bundy pulled over and attempted to handcuff DaRonch. She managed to escape from the car.

    Bundy chased after her and attempted to hit her over the head with a crowbar. She recalls glancing into his "beady, lifeless eyes" as she struggled to escape. DaRonch spotted a car coming toward them, got loose, and jumped inside. Hysterical, she asked the driver to take her to the police station.

    Four hours later, angry about DaRonch's escape, Bundy drove to another location and targeted Debra Kent. In the parking lot where he abducted Kent, Bundy left the key to the handcuffs he had used in his attempt to kidnap DaRonch.