Serial killer Theodore Robert Bundy has fascinated and horrified the American public for more than 40 years since he was convicted and later put to death for the murder of 30 women in the 1970s. Now, Netflix is feeding the true crime appetite of its viewers with its new Ted Bundy documentary series premiering on January 24. And here's everything we know about Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes to prepare you for your next marathon watch.
The Ted Bundy Tapes will tell the story of America's most notorious serial killer. And the most anticipatory element of the docuseries, of course, is the tapes its named after. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the series will feature previously unheard audio of interviews with Bundy, recorded while he was on death row in Florida before he was put to death by electric chair in 1989. The film borrows its title from the book Conversations With A Killer written by journalists Hugh Aynesworth and Stephen G. Michaud, who created the more than 100 hours of audio tapes used in the docuseries. The pair interviewed Bundy on death row, and got a chilling, first person account of his twisted psyche from the "Jack the Ripper of the United States" himself.
Netflix dropped the first trailer for Conversations with a Killer on Wednesday Jan. 16. In the clip, true crime fans can hear the chilling voice of Bundy himself, insisting that he's "a normal human individual." But the series won't just consist of these never-before-heard Bundy tapes.
Conversations with a Killer will also have new interviews, and in addition to the story of the grisly murders, will spotlight the media frenzy that came with Bundy's trial and the shocking number of women who adored him, including his in-court marriage to Carol Boone. In the trailer, we see that many of the people who attended Bundy's trial were women, and footage of interviews with them shows exactly how he got away with it: "He just doesn't look like the type to kill somebody," one of the women says.
And if you think it’s a coincidence that the Netflix docuseries is premiering in the same year as the Ted Bundy feature film starring Zac Efron, think again. Both the docuseries and the movie, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, are from Joe Berlinger, a decorated veteran of the true crime drama. Berlinger has won to Emmys — one for Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and another for Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America (2006) — for his true crime documentary work.
Berlinger also has a long resumé bringing true crime to the big screen. His first film was Brother’s Keeper, co-directed with Bruce Sinofsky, and told the story of the 1990 murder of a man in Munnsville, New York. Berlinger and Sinofsky continued their collaboration with the Paradise Lost Trilogy, three documentaries that told the story of the wrongful conviction and later release of the West Memphis Three. The last of which, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory (2012) was nominated for an Academy Award. Needless to say, the story of Ted Bundy is in more than capable hands with Berlinger, who directed and produced the four-part docuseries.
You can also see from the trailer for Conversations with a Killer that Zac Efron really was the perfect choice to play Bundy; they bear a striking and unsettling resemblance. Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile will debut at Cannes on Jan. 26, two days after the docuseries premieres on Netflix. That means it's coming to theaters soon, so brush up on your Bundy knowledge with Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy tapes, and lock your door when you're sleeping, just for good measure.