Trust. We tend to give it freely to the people around us. We give it to our parents–we hope they don’t kick us out of the house even though we sometimes (intentionally) forget to do our chores. We give it to our friends–that they don’t turn their backs on us when we tell them our not-so-pleasant secrets. We give it to our schoolmates and hope they don’t take the credit when we contribute wonderful ideas to a project.
We trust all the time because we kind of need to, and we even give it to people we don’t really know. When we’re craving for a decent cup of coffee, we go to a shop and trust that the barista will blend it the way we like it, that he will not spit on it because he’s annoyed that he had to wake up 5am to do his job. When we let other people open doors for us, we trust that they will hold said door until we finish passing by, that they won’t slam it on our faces midway.
The Beardict: We assume that every person we encounter is normal by default, but should we? Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes documentary definitely reminds us that we shouldn’t, as we get to see a glimpse of how a seemingly-harmless man manages to murder more than 30 young women in the 1970s. What are the lessons to be learned here?
#1 Monsters abound in this world, and they are flesh and blood just like us. We often scare ourselves silly with supernatural stories and movies, but the ones we should fear the most are fellow human beings with ill intentions. No boogeyman in our closet is going to harm us the way a person can. During Bundy’s reign of terror across different states in America, he did unspeakable things—kidnapping, rape , mutilation, and murder. The term serial killer was coined because of him. However, at the end of it all, he was only a man (and he died like any man would), but the fact remains that he did so many bad things while he was still alive.
#2 There are simply people without any guilt and remorse. They say that serial killers such as Ted Bundy have psychopathic and narcissistic tendencies, and they have no sense of empathy or remorse. Guilt is an alien concept to them, which means they could literally do the worst things imaginable and not feel bad about it. During his jail time, Bundy admitted to have engaged in necrophilia. He also decapitated some of his victims and spread their body parts across his favorite forest and mountain spots. On top of all of this, his youngest kill is an innocent 12-year-old school girl from Florida. These acts scream a total disregard for human life.
#3 Trust with caution. Ted Bundy had the intellect to change the world for the better, but he didn’t. A wasted genius, he gained the trust of the people around him through his charm and good looks, and was able to hide the fact that he was, all things considered, barely a human being. When the murder accusations came pouring in, his family and friends were in disbelief. Later on in his life, he said that there was this compulsion, this voice in his head that made him do the horrible things he did, but can you really trust a proven liar? Anyway, we don’t know what people are capable of, so we should never ever put ourselves in such a helpless position. Constant vigilance, as Mad-Eye Moody from the Harry Potter franchise loved saying.
#4 We should continue to be disturbed. I was talking to a friend about this documentary and she said she’s not drawn to watch it because she’s seen so much disturbing stuff in her life already. Be that as it may, Ted Bundys can be born at any moment, or they may even be in our midst already–we just don’t know. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in, and if watching serial killer documentaries will give us a slight edge in life, we should take it.
Realistically-speaking, with technological advances and added securities, can a Ted Bundy wannabe go on a killing spree in 2019? Well, anything’s possible. Better to be safe than sorry! Feel disturbed, get angry, be prepared. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Photos courtesy of Netflix