The Real Reason Netflix Warned People About the ‘Ted Bundy Tapes’
Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy was executed 30 years ago while in Florida State Prison. Most of us alive then haven’t forgotten the chilling details of his murders, though it seems we didn’t know everything.
With Netflix’s new The Ted Bundy Tapes, no one thought there was more to tell about his psyche or why he did what he did. Netflix hit people over the heads because the tapes played on this new series are stunning people with graphic details.
Despite controversies over the content, will it end up being one of Netflix’s popular shows of the year? What are the real reasons behind Netflix’s warnings?
The initial warnings from Netflix
for those of us with a PhD in true crime podcasts, Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes is now streaming
maybe don't watch it alone x
— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) January 24, 2019
On January 24, Netflix in U.K. and Ireland promoted this new docu on their Twitter account. In their tweet, they commented, “maybe don’t watch it alone.”
While some might take this facetiously, it turns out they were serious. Reactions from those watching have been either shocked or just morosely entertained. Those in the latter category are more than you might think since true crime stories have turned into a form of entertainment around the globe.
For those with more empathy toward the victims, they undoubtedly bristled seeing the stories from some of Bundy’s women victims. The U.S. Twitter account of Netflix has been posting quick video previews of women who knew Bundy and managed to survive.
The ‘Ted Bundy Tapes’ are truly graphic
Ted Bundy tried to kill this woman. In her words, here’s how she escaped. pic.twitter.com/ck7Y09oLHl
— Netflix US (@netflix) January 24, 2019
As we noted in our recent review of The Ted Bundy Tapes, the details in these tapes are sickening beyond human comprehension. However, it does a deep-dive into the psychological reasons behind Bundy’s actions
We find out doing the murders seemed to give him peace. Plus, we find out he was always a psychotic, even in childhood.
It’s these details that make the show more interesting since it’s always challenging for other documentaries about serial killers to tell us why many of them had such violent behavior.
What’s so eerie with Bundy is how much he was a devoted family man and seemingly sane. His private life seemed so normal; it’s likely how he convinced himself he wasn’t crazy.
Netflix’s clever marketing tactics
Never have we seen a documentary about a serial killer be promoted so heavily on social media. Netflix warned people about the documentary through tweets only, making this a full-fledged viral marketing moment above all else.
Without using Twitter to warn people in advance, it’s possible the show would have taken longer to find an audience. After all, an entire generation has gone by since Bundy was executed.
Was Netflix’s marketing of tweeted warnings a blatant marketing attempt, or did they truly feel like giving out warnings would be to everyone’s benefit? Most likely, it’s both.
The fascination with Ted Bundy will continue into a biopic
Even while The Ted Bundy Tapes was in production, a biopic was being planned with Zac Efron. Latter posted on his Instagram account last November showing a preview pic of him playing Ted Bundy.
His stunning resemblance to the real Bundy was more than a bit unsettling. Nevertheless, it seems a movie exploring the details of Bundy’s psyche was long overdue. Maybe it’s more than just coincidence Netflix would have this documentary available as a lead-in to the upcoming film.
Diving into the mind of this killer will likely help if anyone tries to romanticize this notorious figure of history in the biopic. Our nation’s fascination with serial killers can easily start to become disturbing when we don’t fully grasp the depths of depravity mental illness can go.