Ted Bundy docuseries accurately depicts his life


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The Ted Bundy Netflix docuseries aired January 24. It follows the life of the famous serial killer and his victims. The docuseries explores in depth the many murders that Ted Bundy committed throughout his life.

By Emma Chen, Assistant Observations Editor

A simple guy next door, with striking blue eyes and suave confidence, Ted Bundy often used his natural appeal to his favor. At first sight, nobody would have thought anything about the man except for that he obviously had a bit of an ego.

Netflix’s new “docuseries” exploring the life of Ted Bundy shows both this charming side of him, as well as the side that hunted young girls for sport. The docuseries has been said to be glorifying the actions of a serial killer, but what if the reason he remained undetected for so long was that he really was the walking glorification of a murderer?

The docuseries, entitled “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” follows the timeline of all of Bundy’s murders and trials, including clips from an interview done with him while he was on death row. Netflix has recently been creating and promoting many other shows that dive into serial killers and their lives, such as “Inside the Mind of a Serial Killerand “Mindhunter.” The Ted Bundy series, a four episode season, is just another series that Netflix can add to its “Serial Killer” category.

But unlike others like it, this docuseries has been under much scrutiny from its viewers. As the series has gotten a staggering 52 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s criticized for creating a false image of Bundy.

According to … the docuseries glorifies Bundy by emphasizing his good looks and captivation.

But it is not glorification—it is the truth. And what critics fail to notice is that this “glorification” is teaching us an important lesson: that killers do not fit one set of characteristics. Yes, some may be the stereotypical creepy looking middle-aged men with bulging eyes, but they do not have to be.

This is not glorification. Glorifying people consists of changing their life and making them sound as though they were better people than they were. This series does not make Bundy sound any better than he was. It simply shows how he was able to do what he did for so long, while still focusing on the severity of the crimes.

This is exactly why Bundy’s case was so famous. The sheer fact that he does not seem like the person who would commit such crimes, fascinated people. Even more scandalous, there was even a group of girls that would attend every one of his court cases to show support; one ended up getting engaged to him in the middle of his court hearing.

Additionally, audiences have argued that by including images and videos of Bundy that humanize him, the series is downplaying his horrific acts. But again, the series is only telling the truth.

Upon knowing how good Bundy was with people, it should be of no surprise that the docuseries featured many times when he seemed like a good man who had done a horrible thing. Many wanted him to be portrayed as a horrible man- but this was not his life. And the details upon details of his gruesome murders that are presented in the series paint a picture of him that is far from humanizing.

According to a 2014 Vice article, the film doesn’t make excuses or shy from the crimes committed, but it also builds a narrative of Bundy as a damaged, troubled personality. The series includes very vivid accounts of Bundy capturing women. An interview was even shown of one woman who was the only person to have ever escaped from the man.

Ted Bundy’s name is not only appearing recently on Netflix. A movie titled “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, based on Bundy, released its trailer Jan. 25. It has already been getting the same type of criticism, as Zac Efron is set to play Bundy. Bundy has started to become fetishized because of the casting, which has raised concern in many.

Will this upcoming move glorify the man who should never be glorified? Or will it be similar to the Netflix docuseries and accurately tell the story of Ted Bundy and his horrific acts while including his unmatched charm because it is a vital part of Bundy’s story? Nevertheless, the docuseries should be credited for the truthful telling of his life.