Opinion: The Media is NOT Glamorizing Ted Bundy’s Crimes

After spending last night binge-watching the new Netflix documentary series, Conversations with a Serial Killer: The Ted Bundy Series, I think it is safe for me to make my own conclusion about whether or not pop culture and the media is glamorizing this horrific tragedy.  It’s not.

Ted Bundy was responsible for murdering 30 young women (some estimate that number is closer to 100) during the 1970’s.  The documentary series included recordings from Bundy himself talking about his acts of murder in the third person, along with the journalist who met with him and a survivor.  

The documentary series was truthful, raw and reflective.  Some might even say gruesome. I’ve seen tweets about people being too afraid to sleep after watching them.  In no way was the content “glamorizing.”

However, the new movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, starring Zac Efron, may be different in that way.  

In my opinion, the trailer looks like it’s going to be a thriller/romance flick… Which kind of makes me kind of uncomfortable considering what this man has done. 

The trailer just didn’t put the kind of pit in my stomach I think that a movie that’s based off a true story like this should.  However, I do have hope for the movie. Both the movie and the Netflix series was directed by Joe Berlinger. I really hope Berlinger portrays the story accurately and in a way that coincides with the tone of the documentary series.  

Some people might argue the viewers’ responses about the film and series is what’s glamorizing Ted Bundy. There have been tweets about Bundy being “hot” and their attitudes about Efron playing Bundy.  While I agree it’s disturbing that people are calling a serial killer “attractive,” I think it is important to note that many people didn’t believe that Bundy was guilty because of his good-looking nature and his charm.  I don’t think casters were wrong for casting Efron for this reason. However, it’s up to the audience’s discretion to get more out of the story than Bundy being “hot.”

 

But you may be wondering, “Why is all of this just coming out now?” “Why is Ted Bundy back in the spotlight and why is his name back in the headlines?”  Part of the reason: I can’t imagine the amount of money they are probably making off of it. However, I don’t necessarily think the reason is all bad though.  This is popping up again to REMEMBER the crimes he committed all of the beautiful young lives lost.  It’s like remembering other horrific events in U.S. history, like 9/11 or the Boston Marathon bombing.  There were also movies created in light of these events but that doesn’t mean these tragedies are being glamorized.  These movies are hard to watch but serve as a way to continue telling these important stories.

We also need to remember the victims lost to Ted Bundy.  We need to remember his insanity and the reality of these types of crimes, especially as young women.  It raises awareness, as difficult as it can be to watch.