Netflix releases a documentary series about the serial killer on the day that marks thirty years of execution in the electric chair.
Netflix is always aware of anniversaries. This January 24 marks thirty years of execution in the electric chair of Ted Bundy, one of the most macabre criminals in the history of the United States, and that same day the platform premieres the documentary series “Conversations with murderers: The tapes of Ted Bundy”. The documentary maker Joe Berlinger, winner of two Emmy Awards, composed in this series a portrait of the murderer through images of archives, audio recordings made in the corridor of death and interviews with people related to the investigation.
Ted Bundy was condemned to the capital punishment after being proven that he murdered 36 women between 1974 and 1977, but researchers believe that the number could reach the hundred. How is it possible for a human being to reach such high levels of sadism and evil? The case of Ted Bundy shocked the American society, and his trial and subsequent conviction were one of the most mediatic in the history of the country. In fact, Berlinger’s film approach to his figure is not the first: in 1986 the story of Bundy was told in the movie “Deliberately Strange”, in 2002 “Ted Bundy” came to light and a year later “A stranger to my side “, based on the book of an acquaintance of the murderer.
A bright student
Born on November 24, 1946, in Burlington (Vermont, United States), Ted Bundy never had a normal life. His father was a veteran of the American air force who abandoned his mother before he was born. Louise, the baby’s mother, made her believe that she was her older sister and that her maternal grandparents were actually her parents. Until adolescence, he did not discover his mother’s deception, and at that moment he began to incubate a germ of hatred against the world.
Bundy enrolled in law at the University of Washington, where he was regarded by a brilliant student and appreciated by his professors. In 1967, during his university days, he met Stephanie Brooks, a psychology student from a wealthy San Francisco family. The future murderer fell madly in love with her and they started a relationship that would last two years. After that time, she decided to break the romance due to the dark personality of her partner. Bundy spent a season shattered, but after a few months he met Meg Anders and started dating her.
Sometime later, in 1973, she met up with Stephanie and kept with her a fleeting romance that lasted until Bundy abandoned her in the winter of that same year. Soon after he would commit his first crime. The victim was Joni Lenz, 18, a student who assaulted in the room of his residence. Bundy hit her with a blunt object and raped her with the leg of the bed. Lenz managed to survive, but with irreversible neurological damage.
A macabre tour
And once he tried to unleash his Killer fury to and could not stop. Less than a month after trying with Joni Lenz another girl, Lynda Ann Healy, disappears on the same campus. His corpse quartered appears a year later in a forest near the residence. The first crime left him wanting more, and he always chose very similar victims: young, white, beautiful and black-haired students … All similar to Stephanie Brooks.
His modus operandi was very simple, and he knew how to take advantage of his physical attractiveness and his charisma for his evil purposes. Bundy pretended to have a broken arm and asked some girl to help him put some books in his car, always a white Volkswagen. Then he beat them, put them in the car and went with them to some secluded place, where he raped, tortured and murdered them. Thus died, among others, Carol Valenzuela, Nancy Wilcox, Susan Rancourt, Donna Mason, Laura Aimee, Brenda Ball, Georgann Hawkins, Melissa Smith or Caryn Campbell.
In order not to attract the attention of the police, Bundy decided to change the scene of his crimes and began a macabre tour of the United States that took him to Idaho, Utah, Colorado, and Florida, leaving behind a trail of murders. In 1975 he was arrested for reckless driving and the police officers who searched his vehicle found handcuffs, ski masks and iron bars in the trunk. He began to relate to the crimes and was imprisoned, but in 1976 he managed to escape by jumping into the void from the prison library. Six days later he was captured, but on the eve of New Year’s Eve that same year he escaped from prison again.
Before the police found him, he had time to kill two young men and leave two others injured. Bundy would never be free again, and he had eleven years of trials and appeals ahead of him. On July 31, 1979, after seven hours of deliberation, the jury found Bundy guilty of the murders committed during his escape and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Bundy, who practiced as a lawyer himself during the trial, managed to postpone the application of the penalty on three occasions. In a desperate attempt to save his life he confessed where he had hidden the bodies of several of his victims, but nothing saved him from being electrocuted on January 24, 1989.