Just about everyone knows who Ted Bundy is, though most people would rather not. The infamous American serial killer was also a kidnapper, rapist, burglar, and necrophile who terrorized the country in the 1970s. He’s known for decapitating a dozen victims and keeping their heads as trophies. In other words, he was a sad, sick, deeply disturbed psychopathic individual. But he didn’t think so.
Ted Bundy was executed via the electric chair in 1989, but his frightening legacy lives on even now. That’s why Netflix came out with a new series that reveals disturbing new facts about Bundy and the nature of his crimes. Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes exposes the darkest parts of Bundy’s inner self and sheds light on pure evil, in his own words.
Ted Bundy began hurting people when he was a child
They say that serial killers often begin their lifelong pursuit of murder and torture by experimenting on animals or even their peers. These individuals test the limits of their depravity sometimes while they’re still in elementary school.
While Ted Bundy insisted during interviews that he, “never lacked playmates,” a former childhood acquaintance has a different tale to tell. Sandi Holt confirms that Bundy didn’t fit in with the other kids and was often teased for having a severe speech impediment. In retaliation, he would set so-called “tiger traps” that were filled with pointed, dangerous objects and disguised by leaves or branches. Holt recalls the time a little girl cut her leg badly after literally falling into Bundy’s trap.
Things didn’t improve much in high school. As Bundy explained, “It wasn’t that I disliked women or were afraid of them, it was just that I didn’t seem to have an inkling as to what to do about them.” His lack of confidence with females meant he spent a lot of time alone and never dated.
He almost committed suicide before he was executed
Bundy’s confession to FBI Agent Bill Hagmaier was shocking in nature. The truth came out one day before his scheduled execution as crowds gathered to support his imminent death. But it turns out Bundy almost didn’t make it to the electric chair.
As Hagmaier explains, “…He was sitting across from me, and he had a pen. He said, ‘I can stick this so far up my artery it’ll squirt in your face. And I’ll be drained before anybody even gets here.’ And, I said, ‘Is that what you want to do?’ And he says, ‘I’m not gonna let them kill me.’”
Ultimately, the special agent was able to appeal to Bundy’s newfound faith and fear of eternal damnation. The two men wound up praying together instead.
Bundy thought murder would bring him peace
In the tapes, Ted Bundy admits that he suffered intense emotional turmoil and that his murdering spree was a direct result of this. In his twisted mind, only through murdering women could he finally find personal fulfillment.
When asked how he could possibly commit these acts, he replied in the third person in an attempt to distance himself. He said, “Perhaps this person hoped that through violence, through this violent series of acts, if with every murder leaving a person of this type hungry… Unfulfilled. Would also leave him with the obviously irrational belief that if the next time he did it he would be fulfilled. And the next time he did it he would be fulfilled. Or the next time he did it he would be fulfilled.”
Bundy also blamed pornography for fueling his desires and giving him a twisted sense of self.
He didn’t feel guilty for killing people
Probably the most shocking confession of all? Bundy never felt guilty for his crimes. Bundy made his feelings on the matter abundantly clear when he made these statements:
“I don’t feel guilty for any of it. I feel less guilty now than I’ve felt at any time in my whole life. About anything. I mean really.”
“And it’s not that I’ve forgotten anything or I’ve closed down part of my mind or compartmentalized,” he said. “I believe I understand everything that I’ve done.”
“I am in the enviable position of not having to feel any guilt. And that’s it. Guilt is this mechanism we use to control people. It’s an illusion. It’s this kind of social control mechanism and it’s very unhealthy.”
In other words, Ted Bundy didn’t think anything was wrong with him. Murder was just part of who he was as a person, as inescapable as any other characteristic.