What Do We Take Away from All This Talk About Ted Bundy?

It’s no secret that Ted Bundy was a horrifying man. With Netflix recently releasing its documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and Zac Efron starring in the new film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile it’s hard not to notice the buzz.

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s here! Link to full teaser in bio #ExtremelyWickedShockinglyEvilAndVile

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Some believe the murders are being glorified, given the new media attention. Others think Ted Bundy will become some kind of twisted female fantasy now that Zac Efron is portraying him. The truth is, you can glorify Efron without glorifying Bundy.

Don’t forget that the documentary and movie are based off of fact. Ted Bundy was known for his charm. There is a lot of controversy about the film “romanticizing” Bundy, but this is an accurate portrayal of his character. He was known to be charming enough for police to leave him alone and give him the ability to escape not once, but twice. He knew how to get people on his side, which is why some watching Efron charming people on screen will think the movie is making him out to be a good guy. Filmmakers are not trying to change Bundy’s story. They are sharing the shocking and horrifying truth.  

Ted Bundy is famous not only because of his evil crimes, but also how charismatic he was. Bundy was one of the first serial murderers shown in the news to seem like “everyone else” and that was a terrifying thought in the 70s. In those days it was all about stranger danger and keeping away from creeps on the street. It was never about avoiding your peers or neighbors. Today as a society we know to be constantly wary as statistics show that offenders are often the people we know. As women we are always questioning who is around the corner. What are the intentions of that cute guy in the bar? We are always on edge that we could be the subject of the next crime. Back then, however, this was not the case. Bundy became one of the huge factors in changing this mindset.

Of course we all love Zac Efron. We grew up watching High School Musical and Troy Bolton was pretty much every girl’s first crush (honestly mine was Chad Danforth, but that’s for a different story). Zac is an actor. And that is a really important fact to keep in mind. Zac didn’t actually commit these crimes; he’s portraying the man that did. If you can make that differentiation, then you’re on the right track and mindset to watch the film.  While you’re watching the movie and find yourself thinking about how attractive Zac is, that’s okay and you’re definitely not alone! However, if you want to go home with a new-found love for Ted Bundy, I’ve got to stop you there.  You cannot love or fantasize over Bundy. He brutally murdered over 30 women and you cannot forget that.

There is a tendency in the crime media world to forget the victims. We all want to know why and how someone could do such awful things. Sometimes that curiosity makes us blind to who was really affected by these crimes. Most of the time we hear the name of the offender over and over, but can you even remember the name of a single Bundy victim? There were at least 30 women that he killed and yet we don’t know their names or who they were. That’s the case in most crimes.

If you really want to learn about the full story of Ted Bundy, you cannot do that without learning about the victims.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t feel bad if you’re curious and want to watch these films. Don’t feel guilt when it comes to thinking Zac Efron is attractive while he plays a serial killer. Take the time to educate yourself and get in the right mindset before watching. Most importantly, be respectful. Don’t make jokes or blame the victims. Show their families support as all of this is resurfacing. It might be interesting to us, but it’s one of the worst things that has ever happened to them.