Even Just Hearing About Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Is Terrifying

Director Jon Berlinger talks "celebrity serial killer" Ted Bundy and the new Netflix special revisiting his crimes

By Lauren Piester Jan 25, 2019 12:49 AMTags
Watch: "Ted Bundy Tapes" Director Talks "Conversations With a Killer"

Want to never sleep again? Netflix is here for that, as usual!

Today, the 30th anniversary of Ted Bundy's execution, the streaming service released Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes for everyone who's ready to be terrified by one of American history's most terrifying serial killers. 

Netflix UK & Ireland even tweeted a warning to "maybe don't watch it alone," which is a little bit alarming, to be honest. It shouldn't be, because as director Joe Berlinger reminds us, Ted Bundy was basically the first celebrity serial killer, and most people know at least a little bit about his crimes. Plus, we've all seen true crime before and we know how it goes. But something about that warning in this case is particularly chilling. 

"America has only 5% of the world's population and yet we have over 67% of the world's documented serial killers since they started keeping numbers—well over 2700, and that's a chilling statistic," Berlinger tells E! News. "In addition, the FBI estimates that at any given time, there are 25 to 50 serial killers operating in this country, so with all these serial killers, with all this carnage, one name floats to the top, it's Ted Bundy." 

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Berlinger believes this is the case because Bundy represents a pretty universal terror.

"The reason I think is because he taps into our deepest, darkest, primal fear that the person next you is ultimately unknowable, because Bundy defied the stereotype of what is a serial killer," he says. "He was good looking, he was charming, people liked him, women were attracted to him, he could have had a career in politics or law, and yet he had this horrible, vicious, dark side." 

Anybody else shaking a little? Feeling nervous, a little sweaty, just from watching this interview? How are we supposed to watch this show if we can barely get through this description?! 

"Bundy himself said, you'll hear it in the tapes, that killers don't come out of the shadows with long fangs dripping in blood. That means they're not easily identifiable. We want to think serial killers are easy to identify, and then we can avoid them, but the truth is the opposite, particularly with Bundy. He defied all expectations of what a serial killer is." 

Watch: "Ted Bundy Tapes" Director Wants to Reach a New Generation

Sooo wouldn't it actually be better to watch this show alone, with no one who could potentially be a charming attractive serial killer? Wouldn't it be better to never talk to anyone again, maybe? Or is Netflix trying to tell us something more sinister. Is Netflix a serial killer? 

Conversations With a Killer is a "unique look" inside Bundy's mind, crafted from statements made by Bundy, along with present day interviews and archival footage from the time of the crimes and the trial that led to Bundy's execution on January 24, 1989. Sounds like a great night in! With all the lights on! And the pause button on standby! 

Listen, we're going to watch this (obviously) but we're gonna feel sick the whole time. Watch the interview with Berlinger above to just get a taste of what you're in for, or maybe for a more palatable history lesson on Bundy, if you can't stomach those crime scene photos. 

Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is now streaming on Netflix. 

Berlinger is also the director of the upcoming movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, starring Zac Efron as Bundy. 

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