The Tale of Bundy

Madina Sobirjonova

Released during January 2019, Joe Berlinger brings his documentary series, The Ted Bundy Tapes, to streaming service Netflix. Some may know Berlinger from his previous works such as Paradise Lost, Brother’s Keep, and Intent to Destroy; but viewers experience a new side of him through his latest four episode series. These episodes document the life of Ted Bundy, a notorious serial killer, from his childhood to some of his last moments. This series includes interviews with people who dealt with Ted Bundy first-hand and also includes people who worked on the investigation. Watching this series, a viewer has the opportunity to learn more about Ted Bundy’s perspective as to why he committed these crimes, while also learning about new details that previous documentaries have not covered. They also advise viewer discretion as they include many images and evidence collected from the actual murder scenes, to which many aren’t comfortable with watching.

      From the first episode, it introduces who the main speakers will be. The speakers range from lawyers to the victims who suffered because of Bundy’s actions. The series follows a chronological timeline of events as it begins with his childhood and family life, and later  documents important events in his life such as; his college years, his marriage, and his first convictions. Along with this, the documentary illustrates the specific days of which Bundy committed the crimes, which are taken from actual police reports during the time. With including the families and the people affected, it adds another layer of depth that previous documentaries don’t have. It makes use of the fact that even many years later, the family’s of the victims still grieve over their lost child, sister, and friend.

Along with the plot, the style in which the series was filmed affect the viewer and create a somber mood. During each frame, the lighting is changed in minimal ways which affect the setting to become more serious. This series’ original soundtrack plays in the background as the events unfold and the story develops. Along with the sound effects used, the soundtrack emphasizes major events that occurred during Bundy’s investigation. The show does an excellent job including facts from Bundy’s case, but doesn’t overload the viewer with so much that it becomes overwhelming.

Overall, this show exceeded my expectations and I highly recommend it to anyone who has free time. Not only does it inform you of a landmark investigation, but it also pays tribute to the victims lost due to Bundy’s crimes.