Uprising of Ted Bundy and the Media

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There are many words to describe the awful Ted Bundy, including sadistic, narcissistic, charismatic, deranged, and psychotic. He is a psychopathic serial killer. For those of you who may not know much about him, here is a quick biography: Theodore Robert Bundy was a violent American serial killer. He was most active during the 1970s, but the beginning of his killing tendencies are unknown. He confessed to assaulting and killing 30 young women but that number is not concrete. There could have been many more murders committed that he was never connected to as he was killed on death row before he was able to reveal all that he had done. Bundy was able to commit numerous murders before being caught because of his handsome features and extremely charismatic personality. None of his victims, or friends, expected a man like him to be capable of such awful things. Following two escapes from prison and many trials, he received the death penalty and was killed via the electric chair in 1989, at age 42.

Bundy has been in the news the past month due to Netflix’s newest docu-series, Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, on the 30th anniversary of his execution. Just after the show released, everybody suddenly became obsessed with him. Because of this new fascination, word got out that a new movie was just premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 26, with Zac Efron playing the role of the infamous serial killer. Netflix has recently shown interest in buying rights to the film and is closing in on a deal worth roughly $8 million. Hopefully, we will see this new drama on our favorite streaming service by the end of 2019.

Cover Photo for new docuseries on Netflix

This new movie is called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which are the exact post-sentencing words that Judge Edward Cowart of Florida used to describe the acts of Bundy. The media and many people on social media sites were outraged by the fact such an attractive man was playing such an evil man. They were claiming that our generation is romanticizing a sick and wicked serial killer, which might be true to a certain degree but is far from the truth. Critics of the new film are accusing Efron and the director of failing to provide “insight into Bundy and his psyche aside from his narcissistic desire for attention, and talent for grabbing it”. At the same time, people are wondering where all this criticism and fame was when “My Friend Dahmer” came out, outlining the teenage years of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. Dahmer was played by Ross Lynch, another former Disney star who transitioned to a serial-killer role. Lynch, however, did not receive the same type of criticism that Efron has.

Zac Efron and Ted Bundy side by side

In terms of my opinion, I think the directors chose the cast list wisely, especially when it comes to Zac Efron. The entire reason they cast him is to show how compelling and eye-catching Bundy was. The picture to the left shows the obvious similarities in their appearance. I don’t particularly agree with the individuals that believe the media is romanticizing him. Yes, I think our generation may be slightly too obsessed with him, and while doing so, we may not giving enough respect to his victims, but I do not think he is being romanticized. The whole point of the new movie is to show how not all serial killers look or act like serial killers, and anybody could be a sadist behind the scenes. The movie was made to show how easily Bundy reeled in his victims. However, it also shows how the FBI began formulating a term for killers like Bundy and because of their work with him after he was caught, they were able to start profiling and capturing other individuals who were hiding in plain sight. One thing is certain, Bundy liked being in the spotlight and even after his death he continues to capture the media and attention of the public.

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