Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Miniseries (2019)


Miniseries
Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Critics Consensus

Laced with troubling irony, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes skirts introspection, making it just as illusive as its subject.

56%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 25

72%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 129
User image

Episodes

1
Air date: Jan 24, 2019
2
Air date: Jan 24, 2019
3
Air date: Jan 24, 2019
4
Air date: Jan 24, 2019

Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Miniseries Videos

Tv Season Info

On the 30th anniversary of his Florida execution, CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER: THE TED BUNDY TAPES brings the infamously twisted mind of serial killer Ted Bundy into the light for the very first time and invades our psyche in a fresh yet terrifying way through exclusive, never-before-heard interviews from the "Jack the Ripper of the United States," himself. This unique and gripping doc series, directed and executive produced by true crime pioneer Joe Berlinger, focuses on the man whose personality, good looks and social graces defied the serial-killer stereotype, allowing him to hide in plain sight as he committed the brutal sex-crime slayings of more than 30 women before being caught in 1978. While on trial, Bundy received extraordinary adoration from American women, which made his gruesome crimes doubly haunting, even in an era of anything-goes mayhem. Inspired the book of the same name written by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, the series utilizes over 100 hours of exclusive audio interviews that the two journalists conducted with Bundy on death row in 1980, giving the unique perspective of hearing the killer analyze his own life and motives.

Critic Reviews for Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes Miniseries

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (6)

Joe Berlinger's four-hour Netflix series about Ted Bundy is called Conversations with a Killer, but its dialogues tend to only run one way.

Feb 4, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Berlinger plays with the myth of Bundy as a split personality, cutting bewildered testimonials from those who thought the law student was "the kind of man you wanted your sister to marry".

Jan 25, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Fascinating true-crime fanatics all over social media, but the new docuseries makes me want to look over my shoulder like I did during Bundy's reign of terror.

May 30, 2019 | Full Review…

The series draws its strength precisely from what many have misunderstood as an error that serial killers are perfectly capable of integrating as the neighbor next door. [Full Review in Spanish]

Feb 28, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Ultimately, The Ted Bundy Tapes is like a scientific experiment, resolved on adding to an existing body of knowledge but failing to achieve such an objective. In science, this would be called a negative result, but a result nonetheless.

Feb 4, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

[It] somehow manages to be almost as cruel as it is boring.

Jan 31, 2019 | Full Review…

When your first thought is how much the murderer would have loved to see this day, you know you've got a problem.

Feb 4, 2019 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Conversations with a Killer seems largely unaware of its own obliviousness.

Jan 31, 2019 | Full Review…

Contains audio interviews with the killer, which have been leaving viewers "terrified". I wouldn't go that far, but it is a fascinating look into the killer's mind as well as the societal factors which drove him to commit such evil.

Jan 31, 2019 | Full Review…

The experience of watching Conversations With a Killer is characterized by prurience, self-obsession, and, ultimately, a failure to hold to account the men who should have investigated these crimes properly.

Jan 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes: Miniseries

  • Mar 14, 2019
    The film doesn't seem to care enough about how fragile the whole case against Bundy in Florida was, but it does an excellent job bringing together all pieces of the story into a well-structured and well-edited examination of his twisted mind and crimes, according also to himself.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 24, 2019
    This is a case I hold dear to my heart i'v spent many hours researching this case & learning about these unfortunate women and children from his first confirmed murder LYNDA (I think she liked to spell it that way) ANN HEALY to the two women he lets say charmed well actually asked for a favour & they obliged DENISE LASLUND & JANICE OTT who disappeared at that huge festival at lake sammarish park to his final murder victim KIMBERLEY LEACH who was only 12 years old (he killed two 12 year old girls) This documentary covers alot he admitted to 30 murders (eventually) in this documentary they believe he murdered 36 girls/women, I don't think it could be done much better this doc. Ted Bundy an absolute soulless evil piece of f***ing s**t is fried, THANK HEAVENS GOD BLESS THE VICTIMS & THEIR FAMILY'S. Oh yeah and Carol Da Ronch you rock so glad you got away from that monster and testified against him. PEACE.
  • Jul 16, 2019
    More of a conventional documentary than advertised, but it provides a good overview In many ways, Ted Bundy is the archetypal serial killer, embodying many of the characteristics we associate with such criminals. Most significantly he was the first celebrity serial killer, and remains the best-known example (Charles Manson wasn't a serial killer). He also embodies media and cultural fixation with killers, almost always at the expense of their victims. And although Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes certainly has merit, and is well-made, it's also guilty of focusing on the killer whilst giving little time over to the victims. Written and directed by Joe Berlinger, one gets the distinct impression that Bundy himself would have been immensely happy with it. Conversations is derived from over 100 hours of audio recordings of Bundy being interviewed by Stephen G. Michaud, the transcripts of which have been available online for years, but which have never actually been heard before. One of the most important aspects of the series, is that Bundy would not discuss the murders, and so, to trick him into talking about them, Michaud asked him to act as a kind of consultant and to speculate as to the killer's motives. Not recognising that Michaud was exploiting his narcissism, Bundy immediately began to talk about the murderer in the third person. However, Conversations is more of a conventional documentary than you might expect. This is not necessarily a criticism, as the biographical material, whilst never original, is interesting and well put together; his involvement with the Vietnam Anti-war Movement, his work for a Suicide Hotline, his work as Assistant Director of the Seattle Crime Prevention Advisory Commission (where he wrote a pamphlet for women on rape prevention). An equally fascinating aspect of the series, but one which is under-explored, is how Bundy's white privilege factored into his murders. As a well-educated, well-dressed, humorous, respectable middle-class white man, obviously intelligent, and seemingly charming, he was able to hide in plain sight, because no one could conceive of a man like him being a sadistic murderer. The problem, however, is that the show falls into the same trap; Bundy's wit and charm appears to win Berlinger over, as he seems to be just as fascinated with Bundy's antics as the media and public were. To be fair, the show doesn't glorify him; Berlinger ensures the audience knows he was a monster. However, the question is raised of when does documenting a violent narcissist transition into giving them a platform? With this in mind, the victims receive relatively little attention. Some, like his youngest victim, 12-year-old Kimberly Leach, are focuses upon,, but others are lumped together, and Berlinger makes no real effort to characterise them. Instead of giving us a vivid illustration of who they were by interviewing family and friends, Berlinger gives us a rough pencil sketch made up of contemporary news reports. Aside from the side-lining of victims, the most obvious issue with Conversations is that it's a far more conventional piece than a deep dive into previously untapped reservoirs of Bundy's psyche. Part of the reason for this is the dearth of actual audio material, as from the 100 hours available, Berlinger uses about 20 minutes all told. Pretty much everything else is standard bio material, nothing that anyone familiar with the case won't already know. There are also some very strange aesthetic choices. For example, as Bundy discusses his relationship with Elizabeth Kloepfer, a montage of contemporaneous footage depicts exactly what he's talking about (when me mentions eating dinner, there's a shot of a family sitting around the dinner table; when he mentions being nervous, we see someone biting their nails). It's a spectacularly on-the-nose montage that accomplishes nothing. A similar moment sees Bundy discussing sexuality, and Berlinger shows us a rapid montage of hardcore S&M porn, which is not only distasteful, it's ideologically reductionist. The worst example is when Carol DaRonch, one of five victims to survive Bundy, mentions that her life flashed before her, Berlinger inserts a montage of quaint home movie footage. If all that sounds very negative, however, let me be clear, I did enjoy Conversations, I was just a little disappointed in it. People already familiar with the case won't learn anything new, and those looking for a unique entry-point into the mind of a killer will be left wanting. Nevertheless, this is the story of a sociopathic narcissist that comments not just on societal privilege, but which also interrogates our own ghoulish fascination with such monsters. And yes, Berlinger seems unaware of the glaring irony here, but that doesn't change the fact that he has fashioned the ramblings of a mad man into a fascinating piece of work.
  • Jul 03, 2019
    I think after watching this movie more than anything that Bundy was a Narcissistic Sociopath. I believe that this type of disorder is incurable and should be studied more to identify these types of personality disorders.
  • Jun 27, 2019
    While Ted Bundy remains a mystery, this four-hour documentary entertained even if it didn't answer all the questions you want answered.
  • May 15, 2019
    Is so goddamn slow, I literally fall asleep in the first episode!! I know that they have to explain everything of the life of Ted to see everything clear, but cmon, don't do it do slow and bored. I don't wanna see it again unless I'm energetic asf because otherwise I'm gonna fall asleep again.
  • Apr 22, 2019
    "Great murderers, like great men in other walks of activity, have blue eyes." Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile - describes Bundy very well, yet what remains a mystery is his mind set. 'Conversations with a Killer' is a raw and disturbing insight on American's most charming killer. The use of audio tapes and archive footage gives us some sense of Ted's personality, which triggered so much interest in serial killers. Interesting and grim - never dramatizing the truth.
  • Apr 15, 2019
    This documentary series does an excellent job giving background information into Ted Bundy's biography. The recordings of the interviews with Ted are very interesting to listen to for people to see how charismatic and manipulative he was. The series does a poor job in the last episode explaining the legalities of his self-representation and the steps taken to provide him effective co-counsel. The documentary does explain how his over-inflated ego made it difficult for his defense team to litigate successfully on his behalf.
  • Mar 17, 2019
    I think if you find the subject matter interesting, "Conversations with a Killer" is a solid documentary series. I found myself consistently creeped out yet always intrigued by Ted Bundy's disturbing story. I do feel that the series advertised itself as showing actual recordings of Bundy himself, and there really wasn't a whole lot of that in the actual series. Nonetheless, the documentary works as a chronological retelling of this story of one of the most notorious serial killers. The show can be a bit slow at times and it isn't exactly what it promises, but all in all, it's not a bad way to spend a few hours because it is still effective and interesting.
  • Feb 27, 2019
    justice system as disfunctional

News & Features