With the release of the Netflix 4-part documentary on serial killer Ted Bundy, people have been glued to their screens to catch the original broadcasts, and its no coincidence that the 30th anniversary of Bundy’s execution neatly fell on Netflix’s release date.
What I am wondering is why the world is so interested? The man admitted to raping and killing over 30 women and young girls, although the suspected number was actually closer to 50, with his murderous attacks reportedly including decapitation and necrophilism.
A friend of mine explained his viewing by reminding me that Bundy was long dead, and it wasn’t like Netflix was paying him for his story while he rotted in jail, so he wasn’t doing any harm by watching. You might learn something, he’d continued to encourage me to join him. You’re a woman, Bundy might offer clues about what makes a guy like him tick.
Other than trained psychologists, and psychiatrists, studying his case for medical research, I can’t see how the general public will garner any inside information that might possibly help protect women from other predators. Sounded like an excuse to watch, which he really didn’t need, since it was his own Netflix account, and a broadcast available to any subscriber.
Driving home, I was wondering whether watching the Bundy documentary was no different than slowing down at a car accident, stretching our necks as we tried to catch a glimpse of the possible carnage? We just can’t stop ourselves from looking.
Hate to be a spoiler, but Bundy has always blamed his predilection for murder on his addiction to violent pornography. He’s said that when the images available to him back in the 60’s and 70’s were no longer satisfying, he began wondering what committing rape or murder would feel like? He was looking for some form of fulfillment that could no longer be found through pornography. Bundy explains in great detail that this need is what pushed him to murder women, hoping that the next kill would fulfill some degenerate need he secretly harbored and could no longer satisfy through viewing violent imagery.
Researching available pornography from the 60’s and 70’s, I saw the low quality reel-to-reel black and white movies passed from hand to hand, and although the printed images weren’t as readily available as they are today, there was still plenty of sexual violence if you looked hard enough.
Well fast forward 30 years, and just look at what’s available on the internet now. There is nothing taboo from scat porn to snub films, and it’s all available for your viewing pleasure in the privacy of your home, or anywhere else you choose to watch. I can’t imagine what a man like Bundy would have felt if he’d been exposed to today’s internet pornography.
Then I thought, would the vast array of pornography now available have curbed Bundy’s hunger and stopped him from committing those crimes?
You can find answers on both sides of the aisle when it comes to that very question. Some proponents arguing yes, pornography fills a need and stops people from acting out their deviant urges in public on unsuspecting victims, thereby keeping society safe. Others arguing no. A social deviant will always run out of pornography that stimulates them and will eventually escalate to yearning for the real thing, possibly even acting out those desires.
Either way, I believe that Bundy was sick and twisted, and whether or not he was viewing the violent pornography available today, he’d probably have escalated past the viewing stage and moved toward the murderous actions of a serial killer.
The public’s fascination with the documentary is what intrigues me. I have multiple friends who won’t watch horror movies because of the level of gratuitous violence and nail biting tension, yet I know that a few of them are viewing the Bundy tapes. That amazes me.
Moving to the animal world for a moment, we all know that lions and tigers are two of the most adept killers you will ever encounter. With lightening speed, they can bring down animals twice their body weight with a singular bite to the pulsing jugular. And yet when contained within a zoo’s enclosure, one of the most popular attractions.
Maybe society is only interested in what can hurt us, bored with those things that we consider safe, or nonthreatening. Bundy would be one of those such animals. He was a man who was capable of inflicting unimaginable pain, destroying to fill a deviant urge. His taped story was now something we could easily view without ever having to worry that he might be waiting in the dark to attack us. His subsequent execution by electric chair akin to a zoo enclosure, safely protecting us from any harm.
Everyone has their personal reasons for viewing the Bundy tapes, and nobody needs to justify those reasons to me. I am just a blogger who wonders why they wanted to view them in the first place? What sort of entertainment value could 100 hours of a serial killer’s monologue provide?
As a proud member of THE FIFTY CANDLES CLUB, you know I will continue to ponder and research this phenomenon, aware that serial killer memorabilia, memoirs, and true crime stories are more popular today than they’ve ever been.