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Drawn from more than 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews with Bundy, this collection provides shocking insights into the killer's 11th-hour confessions before his death in a Florida electric chair. A unique, horrifying self-portrait of one of the most savage sex killers in history. This updated edition contains a new foreword by Robert Keppel, president of the I Drawn from more than 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews with Bundy, this collection provides shocking insights into the killer's 11th-hour confessions before his death in a Florida electric chair. A unique, horrifying self-portrait of one of the most savage sex killers in history. This updated edition contains a new foreword by Robert Keppel, president of the Institute for Forensics.


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Drawn from more than 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews with Bundy, this collection provides shocking insights into the killer's 11th-hour confessions before his death in a Florida electric chair. A unique, horrifying self-portrait of one of the most savage sex killers in history. This updated edition contains a new foreword by Robert Keppel, president of the I Drawn from more than 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews with Bundy, this collection provides shocking insights into the killer's 11th-hour confessions before his death in a Florida electric chair. A unique, horrifying self-portrait of one of the most savage sex killers in history. This updated edition contains a new foreword by Robert Keppel, president of the Institute for Forensics.

30 review for Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This is the chilling account of Ted Bundy, notorious serial killer, in his own words. Over 150 hours of interviews were conducted to provide the reader with an insight to the mind of a unapologetic and unfeeling killer. This does not detail his many crimes nor is it set out in an entirely chronological order. Bundy does not allow the 'conversations' conducted with him to continue in an ordered or linear fashion and often gets side-tracked by his own monologues. He fails to provide many of the ans This is the chilling account of Ted Bundy, notorious serial killer, in his own words. Over 150 hours of interviews were conducted to provide the reader with an insight to the mind of a unapologetic and unfeeling killer. This does not detail his many crimes nor is it set out in an entirely chronological order. Bundy does not allow the 'conversations' conducted with him to continue in an ordered or linear fashion and often gets side-tracked by his own monologues. He fails to provide many of the answers expected of him but reveals select stories or theories at whim. This never feels disjointed but it does not tell a complete story, for someone unfamiliar with who this individual is and the crimes that he had committed. To hear him assess the situations he was responsible for with a distanced perspective and a sometimes-nonchalance, chilled me to the core and disturbed me far more than I was prepared for.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I watched the Netflix documentary (Confessions of a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes) and it made me curious about the transcribed conversations in this book. I knew this would be a rough read....but I also knew my curiousity would not be sated until I had this book in my hands. While killing 30 women (including a 12 year old girl) already proves that Bundy was a cold-blooded killer and crazy.....reading through these rambling, delusional, ridiculous conversations with the serial killer just proves i I watched the Netflix documentary (Confessions of a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes) and it made me curious about the transcribed conversations in this book. I knew this would be a rough read....but I also knew my curiousity would not be sated until I had this book in my hands. While killing 30 women (including a 12 year old girl) already proves that Bundy was a cold-blooded killer and crazy.....reading through these rambling, delusional, ridiculous conversations with the serial killer just proves it even further. The man was narcissistic, violent, and completely out of his mind. Michaud and Aynesworth could only get Bundy to talk about the murders by telling him he could speak of the killer in the 3rd person -- letting him pretend some other person did the killing and Bundy had some magical ability to peer into this unknown persons actions, motivations and thoughts. (Reminds me of that bullshit book by OJ Simpson -- If I Did It -- where he recounted exact details from the crime but used 3rd person....like someone else did it. *eyeroll*) The man never admitted what he did, never expressed any remorse, or took any responsibility. Instead, he made strange excuses about pornography, a second personality and things that forced the violent acts. Chilling. Creepy. Disturbing. I read portions of this book and then re-watched the documentary. The documentary includes audio from the tapes and video of Bundy.....pairing that with the book.....wow. Just a powerful display of violence and depravity. Kudos to these men who spent time with Bundy, pretended to believe his BS, and got him to talk.....it really does give an insight into how his mind worked, how he thought nobody could see past his lies and deceptions (he lied to the authors multiple times during interviews) and how in the end the only thing he felt sorry about was his inevitable end in the electric chair. I'm glad I read this book as I did learn a lot about a killer's mindset....but, in the end, I'm not sure it was information I truly wanted. Or needed. Ugh. I seriously need to watch some Disney+ and read a cute middle grade book or two....maybe three....to get this out of my head. I just feel drained and a bit creeped out.... So many lives cut short. So many innocent young girls...their short lives ending in absolute terror. What a piece of shit example of humanity. I have my doubts about the justice of the death penalty most of the time. But, if anyone really deserved capital punishment, Bundy's death in the electric chair in 1989 was as close to justice as the victims were ever going to get. I think I'm going to avoid books on true crime and serial killers for awhile. As Nietzsche said, "If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.'' I need some sunshine. Enough dark.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Erin Clemence

    Told in his own words, through interviews with the writers, the self-proclaimed “most cold-blooded son of a bitch you’ll ever meet”, Ted Bundy reveals his inner most thoughts and outlines his crimes, as he sits on Death Row. “Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer” by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth is just as twisted and dark as you’d expect. Bundy is arrogant, charming and disturbed, claiming his innocence and refusing to talk about his crimes in the first person (in fact, the only way Told in his own words, through interviews with the writers, the self-proclaimed “most cold-blooded son of a bitch you’ll ever meet”, Ted Bundy reveals his inner most thoughts and outlines his crimes, as he sits on Death Row. “Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer” by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth is just as twisted and dark as you’d expect. Bundy is arrogant, charming and disturbed, claiming his innocence and refusing to talk about his crimes in the first person (in fact, the only way the authors can get him to talk about the crimes at all is to discuss them in the third person, encouraging Bundy to describe the murders from “the murderer’s” perspective). Throughout the novel, Bundy contradicts himself several times, claiming to abhor the attention of the public and the media, yet desperately impatient for the book to be published. “Ted Bundy” is written almost entirely as a script, with Bundy telling his story and the writers occasionally throwing in a snippet or two. It is evident that Bundy loves talking about himself, even though he won’t speak in detail about the murders (hence he admit to being guilty, which he insists throughout the novel is wrongly placed on him) . He talks just enough to leave me utterly desperate for the details he is omitting. This novel is not at all gory, as the details of the crimes are often barely discussed (since Bundy denies guilt) , and, since it is written by authors, there is not a lot of legal production, so it makes a great novel for those who love the psychological mind but hate the lengthy legal jargon or bloody descriptions of the crimes. I applaud Michaud and Aynesworth for their “good cop, bad cop” interview style and their honest portrayal of one of the world’s most notorious serial killers. Anyone who has a desperate need to see how the criminal mind works will have to look a little deeper into this novel, as Bundy talks in circles, but the dark and disturbing sociopathology is there if you look hard enough, and it’s both interesting and thought provoking.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Juanita

    I enjoyed gazing into the mind of this maniac. It was a page turner from the very start. The one thing that I began to loathe was the fact that Bundy was lying about a lot of things. Only speaking in the third person, he promised to tell the authors of the book how and why he committed the Chi Omega murders but never did. He pretended that he only killed the girls because he didn’t want to get caught and that he beat and dismembered them only because he’d get enraged ahead of time. It was clear, I enjoyed gazing into the mind of this maniac. It was a page turner from the very start. The one thing that I began to loathe was the fact that Bundy was lying about a lot of things. Only speaking in the third person, he promised to tell the authors of the book how and why he committed the Chi Omega murders but never did. He pretended that he only killed the girls because he didn’t want to get caught and that he beat and dismembered them only because he’d get enraged ahead of time. It was clear, from the murders, that he was a sadistic man. I bought the book thinking that I’d see what his motives were, perhaps in a subconscious attempt to prove that he was inhuman, that he was so far from being human that he was an anomaly. What I found, surprisingly, was that he was, indeed, human; that he had real feelings and even emotions though he often tried throughout the book to pretend that he didn’t. That was the scariest thing about the entire book: he was a man who decided that it would bring him joy to hurt others, and chose to act upon that. Yes, he was disturbed somehow, but really, the only things that made him different from others were his choices. It was worth the read because I gained a greater understanding of the human psyche and helps in my studies of such. It’ll be worth reading for you too!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ingstje

    Conversations with a Killer is not a straightforward reply to all the questions we might want to ask Ted Bundy but it certainly is a good start if you’re curious about his personality. The interview gives an insight how he started and what sort of a person he is. I thought it would go into the crimes in great detail too but that is not the case, there are no big revelations in this novel in that way but I did manage to build some sort of a picture of him in my head and how he looks at himself an Conversations with a Killer is not a straightforward reply to all the questions we might want to ask Ted Bundy but it certainly is a good start if you’re curious about his personality. The interview gives an insight how he started and what sort of a person he is. I thought it would go into the crimes in great detail too but that is not the case, there are no big revelations in this novel in that way but I did manage to build some sort of a picture of him in my head and how he looks at himself and the world. So who is Ted Bundy? After reading this book I have come to the conclusion that he comes across as someone who’s highly intelligent (much more than I had expected from someone who gives in to his impulses so easily), his attitude is quite confident and at times even cocky. He said he had low self-esteem multiple times and he explained that this lack of self-worth coupled with environment’s impulses (he means porn) made him what he is. He’s an expert in avoiding telling something he doesn’t want to, he’s a manipulator and even in his time with the authors I saw him trying to get his way, making false promises, leading them on. He didn’t sound like the devil incarnate when you hear him talk but when he said he didn’t feel remorse, he had nothing to feel sorry for, it pulled me right back to the crimes he committed and into thinking what sort of a monster he really was, a real wolf in sheep’s clothes. And to think he does everything to stay alive yet didn’t value the lives of the innocent people he pursued at all himself! Even if you have to take everything this notorious killer says with more than a pinch of salt, it’s still intriguing. I’m sure he said a lot of BS but there are also other things that ring true and make sense. I’m telling you again, he was anything but stupid. I still can’t grasp how he could kill again and again and again (how many times, nobody knows really, Wikipedia tells me he never admitted a specific number) but it was fascinating to hear him talk, be it in a 3rd person voice about ‘the serial killer’. It did create some distance so I probably would have liked it better if he had just told us in his own POV but it wasn’t really hard to transfer his observations and thoughts onto himself either, everyone knows it was really about him. Confessions of a Killer was a very interesting read and a unique insight in the mind of a killer. It’s a lot of things that it’s not: it’s not a confession, it’s not about the details of his crimes, but if you want to read about the person that is, or I should say was Ted Bundy, then it is certainly worth reading. I’ve certainly enjoyed this short time inside this devil’s mind.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer (CD) by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth. This CD is comprised of the original tapes with the killer during his stay in prison and just prior to his execution. The actors portraying T.B., the author, and the interviewer are Graham Halstead, Keith Sellon-Wright, and Jason Culp. These are the actual words of Ted Bundy. The author(s) begin by reporting that during the interviews the killer started answering questions in the 3rd person. thereby never admit Ted Bundy: Conversations with a Killer (CD) by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth. This CD is comprised of the original tapes with the killer during his stay in prison and just prior to his execution. The actors portraying T.B., the author, and the interviewer are Graham Halstead, Keith Sellon-Wright, and Jason Culp. These are the actual words of Ted Bundy. The author(s) begin by reporting that during the interviews the killer started answering questions in the 3rd person. thereby never admitting that he did the killings but that he (that other person) did them. Ted Bundy was brought up by a loving mother and was her first son (illegitimate). Mrs. Bundy later married and had 4 other children when Ted was 4 years old. Ted grew into an intelligent and handsome young man and presented himself with charm as well as a sense of humor. Upon entering college life did not continue the way it had been planned. His grades started falling and Ted no longer found himself in control as he had been. Ted's coping mechanisms did not come in to play at this time. Ted's mood swings turned into a rage that led to over 30 murders in 7 States during the 1970s. He finally admitted to these heinous crimes shortly before he was executed. However, many believed his murders reached over 100. He attempted to hold out on any information on the murders and their remains trying for a stay of execution. Those attempts ran out and he never would give the rest of the names out in order to give those families some closure for their loved ones. I read/listened to this because I was curious about the motivation behind this monster. What exactly drove him to kill? The answer I arrived at is that it came down to a choice. The failures and rejections in Ted's life may have been more than he could cope with, but there are other choices.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Caidyn (he/him/his)

    This review can also be found on my blog! You have no idea how fucking creepy it was to have this book staring at me, y’all. I have a little pile of true crime books in my room, but they’re out of the way so I don’t have to look at them too closely and sometimes I forget I have them until I really want to read them. But, here we are with this one. It’s been on my TBR for ages. I’ve owned this for ages. I’ve meant to read it for ages. But it wasn’t until Netflix did the series based on it — very loo This review can also be found on my blog! You have no idea how fucking creepy it was to have this book staring at me, y’all. I have a little pile of true crime books in my room, but they’re out of the way so I don’t have to look at them too closely and sometimes I forget I have them until I really want to read them. But, here we are with this one. It’s been on my TBR for ages. I’ve owned this for ages. I’ve meant to read it for ages. But it wasn’t until Netflix did the series based on it — very loosely based on it, to tell the truth — that I decided I had to read it. Because that was a damn good series and you should watch it. This book isn’t an overview of Bundy’s crimes. If you want that, I highly recommend The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule. It’s famous as a great overview of the crimes and Bundy as a person. Having read it, I completely agree. Because, this book doesn’t go over the crimes. It largely focuses on the Florida attacks with mentions of Oregon, Utah, and Colorado. So, it’s a bit hard to get into it without knowing about what happened. I think the most interesting part of this book was just, simply, being able to analyze it. I have a used copy and the person who owned it before me, wrote all over it, so it was fun to read their annotations. But I sincerely wished that I had read this book when I was in my psychopathy class. As an undergrad, my university offered a dual taught class about psychopathy. One teacher was from the psych department (my major) and the other was criminal justice. So, you learned so much about it. What psychopathy is. How you measure it with the PCL-R (Psychopath Checklist Revised). The scoring. The different neurological differences between psychopaths and everyone else. The way the criminal justice system deals with psychopaths. I mean, it was a fascinating class and I still carry a lot of that information with me despite having taken it two years ago. It was that good. But, reading this called a lot of that information back to me, especially the PCL-R’s various measurements and all that. One of my favorite parts of the book was the very last interview that Aynesworth did with Bundy. Aynesworth was the “bad cop” in a sense because he didn’t put up with Bundy’s lies and he would call him out, trying to press him into saying he was the killer. And, Aynesworth lost it in the last interview. It was so interesting to read what he said and the way Bundy handled it. In short, this book was absolutely chilling. Not at all for the faint of heart, but there isn’t a lot of crime scene details in it. I’m just glad this book exists and that someone did it, even if the real details didn’t come out until he was about to die.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philomena Callan Cheekypee

    I feel as if I’ve read this at the right time. I haven’t watched the Ted Bundy series on Netflix and now there’s a movie in the cinema about him. Personally I prefer to read rather than watch. Wow what a story. Anything I imagined about Ted was thrown out the window when I read this. This gives a very good insight into what kind of man he was. I thought he was clever and charming which I didn’t expect. Personally I found this to be a fascinating yet chilling read. This has made me even more inter I feel as if I’ve read this at the right time. I haven’t watched the Ted Bundy series on Netflix and now there’s a movie in the cinema about him. Personally I prefer to read rather than watch. Wow what a story. Anything I imagined about Ted was thrown out the window when I read this. This gives a very good insight into what kind of man he was. I thought he was clever and charming which I didn’t expect. Personally I found this to be a fascinating yet chilling read. This has made me even more interested in reading or even watching more about Ted Bundy. I’ve got to say I rarely read true stories as I like to escape from real life. However I was curious about Ted Bundy and I’m really glad I read this. Well done to the authors on a well written story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Allie

    After reading Ann Rule's book about Ted Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me, I picked this up to learn more. From a journalistic standpoint, it's extremely impressive. The two journalist authors basically got Ted Bundy to confess (without technically confessing) and to explain the inner workings of his mind by allowing him to speak in the third person about a "hypothetical serial killer." The intro to the book states that police learned from this book project how effective the use of third person can After reading Ann Rule's book about Ted Bundy, The Stranger Beside Me, I picked this up to learn more. From a journalistic standpoint, it's extremely impressive. The two journalist authors basically got Ted Bundy to confess (without technically confessing) and to explain the inner workings of his mind by allowing him to speak in the third person about a "hypothetical serial killer." The intro to the book states that police learned from this book project how effective the use of third person can be as an interview technique for certain types of criminals. From a true crime reader's standpoint, this is one of the creepiest books I've ever read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sou

    WOOOOW! The audiobook by Graham Halstead is what makes this book phenomenal! Of course the book is unique in the way it offers an untouched version of the narcissistic nature of Ted Bundy! It’s the best book I’ve read so far about Ted Bundy and I guess nothing will compare to it! As Ted himself mentioned this book offers truth more than any other book about him even though it actually doesn’t offer any facts coz Bundy refused to admit he’s guilty of anything more than a couple of thefts! I was f WOOOOW! The audiobook by Graham Halstead is what makes this book phenomenal! Of course the book is unique in the way it offers an untouched version of the narcissistic nature of Ted Bundy! It’s the best book I’ve read so far about Ted Bundy and I guess nothing will compare to it! As Ted himself mentioned this book offers truth more than any other book about him even though it actually doesn’t offer any facts coz Bundy refused to admit he’s guilty of anything more than a couple of thefts! I was frustrated at times as much as Hugh Aynesworth coz Ted insisted that he was innocent! I read a book that was putting Ted Bundy in the same category with Ed Kemper and I realize that this categorization couldn’t be more wrong! To sum things up this book is definitely an amazing approach that sheds light on the way the mind of a killer who refuses to admit to his killings works! It’s unique and gripping in so many ways! And I definitely recommend the audiobook because for me it’s what made this book an unmatched experience! It made me feel as I was in the room with Ted and Hugh or Stephen during the interviews! It was utterly brilliant!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Omama.

    Of all the serial killers, I have been the most fascinated by Ted Bundy. Besides, preparing a report on him for my course work, I watched the movie starring Zac Efron, and the documentary made on him by Netflix, which is so good I had total goosebumps while watching; because it had video clips from original archives, and Bundy’s original interviews. If you’re reading this review, please watch that documentary which is of the same name as this book; and the book is equally good. Bundy was very sm Of all the serial killers, I have been the most fascinated by Ted Bundy. Besides, preparing a report on him for my course work, I watched the movie starring Zac Efron, and the documentary made on him by Netflix, which is so good I had total goosebumps while watching; because it had video clips from original archives, and Bundy’s original interviews. If you’re reading this review, please watch that documentary which is of the same name as this book; and the book is equally good. Bundy was very smart, and well versed, and having degree in Psychology from University of Washington, he definitely would had given himself a self-assessment. Seemed like a likeable, or interesting person, but that monster that lived in him wasn’t quite clear till the end. Bundy used this discussion to be vague, never truly giving insight or clear accounts of his evil deeds. Stephen and Hugh tried masterfully to get information from him, and succeeded in many ways. However, the sheer number of innocent victims will probably never be known, which are guessed to have been more than 100. Although, Bundy confessed to murdering 30. The judge who was reviewing his case, had the final remarks of: The court finds that these killings were indeed heinous, atrocious and cruel. And that they were extremely wicked, shockingly evil, vile and the product of a design to inflict a high degree of pain and utter indifference to human life.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Janel

    One of the things I always seek out when I read crime fiction is the chilling insight into a killer’s mind. But those killers are fictional, make-believe, and that creates a “safety barrier.” This book is nonfiction, a real killer, a serial killer, and this book gives us “barrier-free” access to his mind. And compared to all the fiction I read, this is truly terrifying. To read how Bundy speaks about his crimes, his twisted, warped views, chilled me to my core. I conclude that there is nothing m One of the things I always seek out when I read crime fiction is the chilling insight into a killer’s mind. But those killers are fictional, make-believe, and that creates a “safety barrier.” This book is nonfiction, a real killer, a serial killer, and this book gives us “barrier-free” access to his mind. And compared to all the fiction I read, this is truly terrifying. To read how Bundy speaks about his crimes, his twisted, warped views, chilled me to my core. I conclude that there is nothing more disturbing than a serial killer talking about himself in third person. Prior to reading this book, I watched the Netflix documentary and I was worried I wouldn’t get much out of this book, that it’d be a repetition of information. But, let me tell you, reading this book was far more chilling than watching it. I thought the chill would come from hearing Bundy speak in the documentary, but when you read this book, your mind is processing what you’re reading, the shock, the horror, you may even reread certain bits because you’re convinced you read it wrong, because it’s so twisted it can’t be true! Most of this book is set out in interview format, it’s raw, it’s real, and most importantly [for me], it doesn’t have the sensationalist aspect the Netflix documentary did. Due to the way this book is formatted, you see the word “uh” used an awful lot, see below for an example. “TB: It wouldn’t. . . uh, change materially.” This makes perfect sense, and it’s how Bundy spoke, so I totally get it, but it did stop the fluidity of the read at times, especially when it was included several times in one paragraph. Yes, it signified times when Bundy was likely thinking about how to say what he wanted to say, or biding time for whatever reason, but sometimes it created a stilted effect. Overall, this is a book that does what the blurb states, so you can be confident that if you choose to read this book, you will get exactly what you are asking for – an insight into the mind of a serial killer, in his own words. The depth of your knowledge into Bundy is irrelevant, this book is accessible to all, while there are many books/studies about Bundy and his crimes, can any account be as powerfully told as the one the killer tells himself? If true crime is your forte, you could say this one is mandatory reading! Side note: I vote ‘no’ to putting serial killers on the cover of books, I had to keep this book facedown whenever I wasn’t reading it, because walking past it and seeing this disturbing cover, Bundy’s ‘half-in-the-dark’ face staring at me was creepy as hell! At least, I can say the content on the pages is as disturbing as the cover! This book, Bundy’s words, really unsettled something in me, but credit to the authors for thinking of a way to get Bundy to speak about his crimes. *My thanks to the publisher (Mirror Books) for providing me with a copy of this book*

  13. 4 out of 5

    Siren

    I saw one review that someone left that said they still didn't understand why he killed people after reading this book. I understand this person doesn't have the mind of a criminal, but to me it is so clear. It was about possession. He even said it, to him it was about possession, so he felt like he owned the girls after he killed them. It excited him to be able to kill so many people, get away with it, and become a celebrity of sorts in the process. Every time he would try to get his life toget I saw one review that someone left that said they still didn't understand why he killed people after reading this book. I understand this person doesn't have the mind of a criminal, but to me it is so clear. It was about possession. He even said it, to him it was about possession, so he felt like he owned the girls after he killed them. It excited him to be able to kill so many people, get away with it, and become a celebrity of sorts in the process. Every time he would try to get his life together and stop killing, it didn't last for long, as the desire to control and posses took hold of him again. Killing people was so exciting, he didn't want to stop. Of course, he also had no form of a conscience, which made things that much easier for him. The fantasies he had that preceded murdering someone he described were always better than the actual murder itself, which left him unsatisfied and only wanting to do if again and to "get it right" next time. The murders became more sexually sadistic as time went on. In this book he tells his life story and it gives us some insights into his personality.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Angus McKeogh

    The back cover of the book has the question: What goes on in the mind of a serial killer? And it turns out exactly what you’d expect. It’s unknowable. This type of person is too much of a narcissistic liar to divulge anything. The entire book reveals nothing. The hope was Bundy would confess to the crimes he was so obviously guilty of since he was already in jail and on death row. However, he was never going to do that. Every answer he gives is cloaked double-talk and generalizations. The interv The back cover of the book has the question: What goes on in the mind of a serial killer? And it turns out exactly what you’d expect. It’s unknowable. This type of person is too much of a narcissistic liar to divulge anything. The entire book reveals nothing. The hope was Bundy would confess to the crimes he was so obviously guilty of since he was already in jail and on death row. However, he was never going to do that. Every answer he gives is cloaked double-talk and generalizations. The interviewer tried to get him to speak in the third-person (to depersonalize himself from the crimes) and then asked him specific questions about the crimes. He’d invariably answer “I don’t know how this person would respond to that”, “It might’ve gone that way or maybe it didn’t”, or “possibly”. Ultimately he gives up no information even when it appears he might; he doubles back and cast doubt on what he just said, ad nauseam. He never admits to anything which makes the book pointless. Not very informative. But I suppose, what else would you expect from a psychopathic serial killer who doesn’t experience feelings like the normal part of the population? Exactly that.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Rowlands

    If you think "ah, I've watched the series on Netflix so I won't bother with the book" then you are missing out. The book goes so much further than the series does and it's fascinating. Given the subject at hand and the way Ted Bundy speaks and phrases things, it's a difficult read but so interesting and chilling. How Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth managed to take control of the situation and the patience they must have had was incredible. The subtle wording they use is so interesting, I f If you think "ah, I've watched the series on Netflix so I won't bother with the book" then you are missing out. The book goes so much further than the series does and it's fascinating. Given the subject at hand and the way Ted Bundy speaks and phrases things, it's a difficult read but so interesting and chilling. How Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth managed to take control of the situation and the patience they must have had was incredible. The subtle wording they use is so interesting, I found myself re-reading sentences a few times just to really get the gist of it. The book itself is arranged in chronological order of when the interviews took place which I really liked and the version I recieved from Netgalley included the foreword written by Robert Keppel which is as interesting as the rest of the book. He writes of the changes made to the forces largely in part to these cases which is a nice reminder that something was at least learnt amid the horror of Ted Bundy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    C.

    Another book that is a total waste of time. Bundy is a lying manipulator who gets a kick out of yanking these author's chains! No more real insight here than in Ann Rule's book. I doubt if any book or anyone can really know why such a monster becomes capable of such inhumanity, what causes such depravity.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bernie Weisz

    Review Written By Bernie Weisz, Historian Pembrone Pines, Fl USA Contact: [email protected] Dec. 24, 2008 Title of Review: "A Twisted Manipulator that Rambles to Save His Life" This book is a very frustrating read to say the least. Expecting a confession, Ted Bundy rambles with his little shenanigan of describing to the two writers, Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in the third person in considerable detail what it "would be like" to be a serial killer. This confession of what he was eventu Review Written By Bernie Weisz, Historian Pembrone Pines, Fl USA Contact: [email protected] Dec. 24, 2008 Title of Review: "A Twisted Manipulator that Rambles to Save His Life" This book is a very frustrating read to say the least. Expecting a confession, Ted Bundy rambles with his little shenanigan of describing to the two writers, Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth in the third person in considerable detail what it "would be like" to be a serial killer. This confession of what he was eventually executed for in the electric chair sadly never comes. Ted Bundy was born on November 24, 1946. Bundy murdered numerous young women across the United States between 1974 and 1978. After a decade of vigorous denials, he eventually confessed (although not in this book) to 30 murders, although the actual total remains unknown. Estimates range from 29 to over 100, with the general estimate being 35. Generally, Bundy would bludgeon his victims, then strangle them to death. He also raped almost all his victims and engaged in necrophilia. On January 23, 1989, the night before Bundy was executed at age 42 at Florida State Prison in Starke, Florida, Bundy gave a television interview to James Dobson, head of the Christian organization "Focus on Family." During the interview, Bundy made repeated claims as to the pornographic "roots" of his crimes. He stated that, while pornography did not cause him to commit murder, the consumption of violent pornography helped "shape and mold" his violence into "behavior too terrible to describe." He alleged that he felt that violence in the media, "particularly sexualized violence" sent boys "down the road to being Ted Bundys." In the same interview, Bundy stated: "You are going to kill me, and that will protect society from me. But there are many, many more people who are addicted to pornography, and you are doing nothing about that." Bundy is interviewed in this book for over 150 hours, and throughout the pages denies that he ever killed anyone. Bundy gives a rambling tale of his early school days, his shoplifting, his drinking and feelings of inadequacy because he was a small man, but he points specifically at pornography as the start of all his problems. Interestingly enough, for a "cold-blooded, savage killer" to point at pornography as the start of his problems is supported in a book written by David E. Caton. Caton supports Bundy's claim by stating: "The moral conscience of man becomes desensitized and seared from the use of pornography. Pictures which at one time were repulsive, obscene and vile become attractive to the porn user as his moral conscious erodes. By viewing soft core pornography, the porn user has opened the door for all wickedness and evil acts to become acceptable to him. The desire for harder porn becomes obsessive as the softer material appears less erotic to the porn user. Most often the porn user escalated his immoral behavior by indulging in hardcore porn, child porn, sadomasochistic porn, Satan worship porn, and snuff (actual killing) films. The damage done through this escalation of immoral behavior is irreversible without Jesus Christ." Furthermore, Caton adds: "The porn user has now become a prisoner to the spirit of bondage. Such bondage often leads the porn user to act out scenes in pornography, thus raping, molesting and even killing innocent people." Aside from detailing his earlier career as a "peeping tom", Bundy has this to say: "In a pornography shop you can find a variety of perversions in sexual conduct, from homosexuality, to abuse, to lesbianism, etc. People who market pornography are dealing with a special-interest group. It offers variety and different kinds of literature, and a certain percentage of it is devoted toward literature that explores situations where a man, in the context of sexual encounter, in one way or another, engages in some sort of violence toward a woman-or the victim." Annoyingly, Bundy gives an example of how, if one was to become a serial killer(in the 3rd person, of course), how the idea would come to him to hurt a woman would be as follows:" On one particular evening, when "he" had been drinking a great deal...and as he was passing a bar, he saw a woman leaving the bar and walk up a fairly dark street. And for no, uh, we'd say that, something seemed to seize him!" Next, Bundy continued with his hypothetical example with the following scenario: "I was going to say something crystallized, but that's another way of looking at it. But the urge to do something to that person seized him-in a way it had never affected him before. And it seized him strongly. And to the point where, uh, without giving it a great deal of thought, he searched around for some instrumentality to uh, uh, attack this woman with. He found a piece of two-by-four in a lot somewhere and proceeded to follow and track this girl". It's obvious to the reader who this "he" is. This gets irritating to the point that both Michaud and Aynesworth constantly remind Bundy of his evasiveness and that he deviates around a question if he doesn't like it. However, there is an important message Bundy sends to the public. Bundy states that the only thing that will stop a budding serial killer is to restrict or eliminate stimuli that could provoke that deadly behavior. Elaborating further on limiting provocative stimulation, Bundy asserted: Bundy explains: "The things that can be done to prevent persons from engaging in homicidal behavior on a massive scale are things which society has to correct on a massive scale. If society were able to restrict or otherwise eliminate the environmental stimuli that provoke or otherwise create this kind of individual, or the mores that contribute to his behavior, then it would go a long way toward eliminating that kind of behavior". This statement of Bundy's is supported in a book written by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, who claims that violent video games hardwire young people for shooting at humans and that the entertainment industry conditions the young in exactly the same way the military does. Grossman writes: "Some would claim that modern, ultraviolet movies and their video-game equivalents examined here serve as a form of sublimation that will make violence and war obsolete." "Sublimation" is a term coined by Sigmund Freud to the turning of unacceptable urges and desires toward something socially desirable:taking the dark, unacceptable drives of the id and diverting them toward the sublime. Thus someone with a desire to slice open bodies may become a surgeon, or someone with an unacceptable urge toward violence may channel it towards sports, the military, or law enforcement. But watching movies is not sublimation. The entertainment industry is not providing a socially acceptable channeling of energy. Indeed, very little energy is generally spent in the passive reception of TV and movies. And this hardly qualifies as a socially acceptable or desirable channel for energies. Unless it has become socially desirable to kill outside the authority of the law, or to murder innocent victims-which, in the twisted world of the entertainment industry, it has. If violence in TV and movies were a form of sublimation, and if it were at all effective, then per capita violence should be going down. Instead it has multiplied nearly seven times in the span of the same generation in which this supposed sublimation has become available". Clearly, Bundy has a point. There are two topics that Bundy explored that truly jump out at me in this book. First, if you didn't know that Ted Bundy had sodomized, decapitated, raped and murdered over 30 innocent women, you would get the sense that he was a very level headed, smart and sophisticated gentleman that couldn't be a savage, serial-killing degenerate. However, when Michaud and Ainsworth confront Bundy about if he had any remorse or guilt for what he had done, Bundy frightfully had this to say:"I don't feel guilty for anything. Guilt? It's this mechanism we use to control people. It's an illusion. it's a kind of social control mechanism-and it's very unhealthy. It does terrible things to our bodies. I feel sorry for people who feel guilt". Obviously, this man is very sick! Even more deranged, is his justification of a serial killer where he asserts: "Well, she or he (once again, Bundy talks in the 3rd person) would of hurt me if I hadn't hurt them. Well, there's so many people, they won't be missed. The victim was luring them or trying to arouse them, uh, in some way. They deserved it, you know, or uh, all sorts of things like that." Finally, this book, while being a let down because Bundy never admits as to his terrifying deeds, does give you a glimpse into how a charming, clean-cut, all-American boy and law student was truly a master manipulator and sadistic monster. This book, despite lacking a confession, was an interesting read worthy of your time. It will give you a glimpse of what made this sociopath tick!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Çağatay Boz

    150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews printed on paper and formed a 300 page book where Ted Bundy speaks about absolute fucking bollocks. What a waste of time, that one. There are serial killers who give it all up when they're caught, because they for all certainty know there's no turning back from the punishment which awaits them. It's either life imprisonment without parole or death row, simple as that. Jeffrey Dahmer for instance; he did all he could when he was caught, confessed eve 150 hours of exclusive tape-recorded interviews printed on paper and formed a 300 page book where Ted Bundy speaks about absolute fucking bollocks. What a waste of time, that one. There are serial killers who give it all up when they're caught, because they for all certainty know there's no turning back from the punishment which awaits them. It's either life imprisonment without parole or death row, simple as that. Jeffrey Dahmer for instance; he did all he could when he was caught, confessed everything to the officials, allowed the psychiatrists to work on him about his unique compulsion and condition. And he never denied shit. "The person to blame is sitting right across from you. It's the only person. Not parents, not society, not pornography. I mean, those are just excuses." Jeffrey Dahmer Apart from this type of serial killers, there are total nutcases, fucking psychos who are beyond any kind of communication, such as Richard Ramirez and Charles Manson. They're the lowest kind of human forms and not even remotely interesting to look into. Ted Bundy is somewhere between. He speaks, looks and acts normal, but none of the things that come out of him make any sense. Pages and pages, he denies his crimes, tries so very hard to look sophisticated and victimized, blames porn and violence on TV and plays the interviewer like a violin. These "conversations" provide absolute zero insight to his actions or psychology, all he does is babbling in the vain hope of postponing his sentence. The mentality of the people who listen or read Ted Bundy and astonishingly think he's actually sane is the reason why he managed to inflict the pains upon people back in his killing spree. A fairly good looking manipulator who's articulate, no more, no less. In short, not even slightly thought-provoking. If you ever wonder what a necrophiliac murderer would sound like when he thinks he's being clever, give it a try.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Read this originally about maybe 15 years ago and found it very dull. This re-read for the book club was more interesting. Maybe I just am more in a place to explore his thoughts and observations. There is some good insights and of course some major minimalizations and avoidances

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cáitín

    This was a chilling first hand account from Ted Bundy himself of what he did but never came clean about until the night before his death sentence was carried out. I found myself been charmed by Ted Bundy and that scared me once I remembered his crimes, I can understand how he was able to make women drop their guard around him. This is a eye opening book and gives you an idea of how his mind work, but it also can be said he was very good at keeping back form the men whom interview him. So you never This was a chilling first hand account from Ted Bundy himself of what he did but never came clean about until the night before his death sentence was carried out. I found myself been charmed by Ted Bundy and that scared me once I remembered his crimes, I can understand how he was able to make women drop their guard around him. This is a eye opening book and gives you an idea of how his mind work, but it also can be said he was very good at keeping back form the men whom interview him. So you never know of what is been told is the whole truth or his way of making the families re-live the horror and feel the lost of the daughters, sisters and girlfriend all over again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    I think my expectations for this book were just different than what I got, or my review might have been higher. Ted Bundy was clearly highly intelligent, so his psychological insights into what "the entity" must have been thinking or feeling were interesting, but it often became repetitive. I also found myself frustrated that we never actually got details of the crimes committed -- at least not really. He is asked a lot of direct questions but refuses to give direct answers, so I feel like I jus I think my expectations for this book were just different than what I got, or my review might have been higher. Ted Bundy was clearly highly intelligent, so his psychological insights into what "the entity" must have been thinking or feeling were interesting, but it often became repetitive. I also found myself frustrated that we never actually got details of the crimes committed -- at least not really. He is asked a lot of direct questions but refuses to give direct answers, so I feel like I just read 300+ pages of BS and never got to what I wanted to know more about. Guess I'll be picking up a different book for that.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bryan Day

    I read this book when it came out.This is Bundy's last interviews before they executed him. It's hard not to see someone inside Ted who is afraid, who is... vulnerable? Who is..... Human? You be the judge. Here it in his own words. Stephen and Hugh are genius the way they trick Bundy into exposing himself. Keep in mind that Ted Bundy never admitted his crimes. He took those secrets to the chair, but you will be left with no doubt that he was the one who committed these crimes. You'll be left wit I read this book when it came out.This is Bundy's last interviews before they executed him. It's hard not to see someone inside Ted who is afraid, who is... vulnerable? Who is..... Human? You be the judge. Here it in his own words. Stephen and Hugh are genius the way they trick Bundy into exposing himself. Keep in mind that Ted Bundy never admitted his crimes. He took those secrets to the chair, but you will be left with no doubt that he was the one who committed these crimes. You'll be left with ambivulous feelings about mankinds greatest anomaly....... The serial killer.

  23. 5 out of 5

    lauren ♡

    no rating because like how do you even rate something like this??? from a psychological aspect this was so fascinating, seeing bundy’s demeanour change when he was speaking to michaud vs when he was speaking to aynesworth, the way he explained things so methodically and the way he tried to justify — or didn’t, really — his crimes was so interesting. being in his head was not fun though (especially when he was making jokes or expressing how he felt no guilt/remorse). he truly was an awful, awful no rating because like how do you even rate something like this??? from a psychological aspect this was so fascinating, seeing bundy’s demeanour change when he was speaking to michaud vs when he was speaking to aynesworth, the way he explained things so methodically and the way he tried to justify — or didn’t, really — his crimes was so interesting. being in his head was not fun though (especially when he was making jokes or expressing how he felt no guilt/remorse). he truly was an awful, awful person. and i’m glad his own arrogance was his undoing.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Like I said, Bundy is interesting. I like this one a bit better, it's more captivating to me, I guess. It's unnerving to read, to be honest. Different than watching things, where you don't process it as much. It's weird, too. Bundy was a real guy. The way this book is written is a little odd to read, because it's pretty journalistic, but it does a fantastic job talking about Bundy. Psychologically informative, I guess?

  25. 5 out of 5

    John

    Not sure why I read this one. It was not morbid curiosity, but it was curiosity. What could motivate this kind of horror? The book is a record of interviews with Bundy in jail. The interviewers got him to talk about his murders in the third person. He was able to talk about "this person" and continue to maintain the fiction of his innocence. Not a very satisfying read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Well I can say of every book I read, this was the longest read! I think I wanted more from it, but it was very boring at parts and frustrating to hear him deny over and over again any involvement with the murders. You do get some insight to his abnormal psychology, but otherwise one of my least favorite books.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mack Little

    Mildly interesting. Repetitive with Bundy rambling and evading questions. Kudos to the interviewers who were able to put up with his BS for so long.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rosie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is one that I first attempted on audiobook and just couldn't continue with it because the narration felt wrong. I truly expected actual audio of Bundy in the audiobook. High hopes, I guess. Since I DNFd the audiobook, I had a niggling feeling that I should give some version of it a go, because I have a book about him from a statistics and figures perspective (The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule) and I have one from his former girlfriend's perspective (The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bun This is one that I first attempted on audiobook and just couldn't continue with it because the narration felt wrong. I truly expected actual audio of Bundy in the audiobook. High hopes, I guess. Since I DNFd the audiobook, I had a niggling feeling that I should give some version of it a go, because I have a book about him from a statistics and figures perspective (The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule) and I have one from his former girlfriend's perspective (The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy by Elizabeth Kendall), and this one gives the 'Ted Perspective', which I guess is the only perspective I was missing. Reading how Bundy speaks about his crimes/victims was definitely something. The interviews are conducted by Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, who both approach Ted differently. Michaud realises quite quickly that Ted is never going to admit outright his involvement in the crimes, so opts to have Ted discuss the crimes in the third person. Which works and Ted's narcissism and showmanship really come to the fore. Aynesworth is less patient with Bundy and is clearly having none of Bundy's crap and takes a more direct approach, while still tolerating Bundy's third person narration. Bundy has a very warped view of 'his' crimes. I'll be completely honest and admit that Bundy fascinates me but this book is the most chilling of the 3 that I have on him. Reading transcripts of a serial killer talking about himself in third person so eloquently is very eerie. I'm quite picky in the books I pick up on Bundy (or any serial killer) because I feel that everyone and their dog likes to churn out a book on a serial killer that has already been done to death, so I went into this one because the format is different to the 2 I have. But, reading this book and seeing Bundy detailing his version of events is surreal! His refusal to incriminate himself (yeah, you read that right) was insane to me but it was clear he was exercising complete control over these interviews. In one breath he seemed to love talking about the attacks but in the next he refused to acknowledge any comment that refers to his guilt. Utterly insane. The other thing that actually stopped me in my tracks was each time he would giggle and refer to 'what's her name?' or when he would say that 'he's not good with names' and laugh at his 'forgetfulness' (or more likely his ignorance) regarding his victims. Just insane! As with most other true crime books, I imagine the format of the book won't work for many people as it is a set of transcripts that have been made into a book, but does stick to the interview format. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love my true crime to just hit me with short sharp facts/stats, and yes there are some lengthy bits in here where Bundy goes off on some tangent because he's clearly a psychiatrist, but the format worked for me. The book (I imagine) stays quite true to the transcripts because, there are a lot of times where you see the word “uh” used when Bundy is talking. This makes total sense and actually maintained the authenticity in my opinion. I liked that that was kept in because it showed there were times when Bundy was having to think (sometimes, really think) about what to say next. Overall, the book does what it says on the tin and gives you an insight into the mind of Bundy, literally in his own words. I feel like this completes my little Bundy book collection. I have Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me (the Bundy bible), I have The Phantom Prince from the perspective of his former girlfriend and now the perspective of Bundy himself.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katie (wife of book)

    First published in 1989 and re-released this year thanks to the Netflix documentary of the same name, this is an eerie book containing crimes discussed by the killer. These sort of books are always tricky to rate and review as it seems tacky to talk about how much "enjoyed" reading about a man who brutally murdered women and dumped their bodies acorss the west coast. The interviewer uses the technique of asking questions in third person, and allowing Bundy to answer in the same way...this means t First published in 1989 and re-released this year thanks to the Netflix documentary of the same name, this is an eerie book containing crimes discussed by the killer. These sort of books are always tricky to rate and review as it seems tacky to talk about how much "enjoyed" reading about a man who brutally murdered women and dumped their bodies acorss the west coast. The interviewer uses the technique of asking questions in third person, and allowing Bundy to answer in the same way...this means that nothing Bundy says can be held against him, which is ironic considering he's on Death Row during the interviews. Bundy is clearly an intelligent man who loves to talk. The difference between the interview at the start of the book where the interviewer is asking direct questions, and the rest of the book is striking because Bundy is reluctant to admit to anything. He is even cagey about saying what type of van he drove at the time of a particular crime. As soon as the interviewer asks Bundy to speculate about the "mysterious" killer's actions and state of mind, he is talkative and open. It's sinister how eager serial killers are to discuss their crimes and talk about how clever they've been. I feel like you need to have some knowledge of his crimes in order to understand this book. I had The Stranger Beside Me by Anne Rule on my TBR but I read this one first, but I kind of wish I'd read Stranger first so I could know more about his crimes. The reader gets a breakdown of some of them, but the timelines aren't linear and sometimes the conversation jumps around or speaks generally and it's hard to fathom what they're referring to. The chapter lengths vary and, due to the fact that it's transcribed conversations, the writing is repetitive and full of stops and starts. It's not that I dislike this book, it was just difficult to read at times because of the literal conversational style of it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

    I am not a big True Crime reader, though it does interest me and I decided that I would rather read then watch the TV series. The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover. It is unsettling in quite a bizarre way. It is not the side of the face in the shadow that un-nerves me, it’s the side in the light. I see a normal quite reasonably good looking I suppose, man! hat for me is it in a nutshell… he looks no different to anyone else… There is such a macabre feeling to this book as I I am not a big True Crime reader, though it does interest me and I decided that I would rather read then watch the TV series. The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover. It is unsettling in quite a bizarre way. It is not the side of the face in the shadow that un-nerves me, it’s the side in the light. I see a normal quite reasonably good looking I suppose, man! hat for me is it in a nutshell… he looks no different to anyone else… There is such a macabre feeling to this book as I read about one of America’s most notorious serial killers. He comes across as just an “average Joe in the street” at least on the face of it. However, the more I read the more disturbed and shocked I became as I learnt more about Ted. Ted Bundy for me epitomises evil. Through the book, I was constantly surprised. I had some thoughts about what he could be like and they were completely blown out of the water. Not only does he have a good level intellect he is also charming, but behind this, he is manipulative and deceitful to the core. He justifies his actions and yet avoids specifics. especially when he speaks in the 3rd person. If you are after a book about all his crimes, then this is not the book for you. This book focuses mainly on Florida and is not full of facts about the case. It is what it says it is, a conversation with Ted. There are his opinions about what “may” have occurred, or that “might” have happened. I was aware while reading this that it felt more like a psychological discussion. Actions and thoughts being analysed by the various parties and being talked over, but Bundy doing the analysing. This is not going to be a book for everyone. It is interesting and insightful as I got a glimpse into the mind of Ted, it is also unbelievably eerie and calculated. It’s one of those books that I enjoyed but at the same time didn’t! I’m hoping you know what I mean! It is one I would recommend.

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