Ted Bundy's Biographer Reveals How He Bonded With The Serial Killer
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The biographer of Ted Bundy - one of the most notorious serial killers ever known - has spoken out on how he managed to bond with the murderer.
Stephen Michaud, 71, spent six months interviewing Bundy in 1976, who was suspected over killing over 30 women.
Despite his horrific crimes, Bundy was known for his charming attitude and persona - something which is reiterated in Netflix docuseries The Ted Bundy Tapes and Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which is set for release next week.
Michaud managed to get Bundy to confess to assaulting and murdering at least 30 women in the 1970s.
Writing for the Mirror, the biographer explained: "Theodore Robert Bundy was a serial killer, kidnapper, rapist, burglar, and necrophile from Vermont."
He recalled: "What emerged from reports was a confused, enigmatic, good-looking, articulate, law student who came from a loving Methodist family.
"He'd been accused of attacking and murdering girls, tearing them apart, burying them only to dig them up and abuse them again.
"He was a wild animal. So it was hard to connect those two Teds in my head. But both of those characters lived inside him."
A master manipulator, Bundy only agreed to be interviewed by Stephen for his book if leading American investigator, Hugh Aynseworth, would take a look into his case.
"Why? Bundy wasn't going to say no to the best in the business making his story hot news again," Michaud penned for the tabloid. "Plus, he was so narcissistic, he felt I'd consider myself lucky to be in the same room as him."
After spending weeks talking to Bundy about his childhood and upbringing, Michaud changed his tactics to get him to talk about his crimes.
"What cements just how crazy Bundy was is he thought I was there to write a celebrity biography about him," noted the writer.
Michaud asked Bundy to talk about his crimes in the third person, flattering him by telling him that because he was a law student, he would be able to give insight into the murders that no one else would.
"I explained that, because he'd been taken to the crime scenes and interrogated, he knew more than anyone else," explained the biographer. "I also praised him, calling him reflective and articulate.
"He stared at me for a minute before saying, 'Well, all I could do is speculate.'
"I said, 'Speculate away.'
"He grabbed the recorder and curled up with it on the table. He started talking and he spoke for six months."
Because Bundy wasn't confessing to the crimes as he was speaking in third person, none of what Bundy said could stand up in court so he was happy to talk.
"Still, he realised he couldn't make a mistake and say something only the killer would have known," added Michaud. "He'd say things like, 'And then he killed her.'
"I'd ask how and he'd reply, 'I believe the police report said strangulation.'
"I'd ask how long it took her to die and he'd say, 'How would I know?' He was eerily calm and matter-of-fact when relaying gory details."
But Michaud said that the look in Bundy's eyes gave him away, and he would sometimes accidentally slip into the first person.
"His eyes were piercing blue, but when he got excited or agitated his pupils enlarged so they looked jet black," recalled Stephen.
He added: "I'd ask what the killer was feeling as the victim took her last breath.
"He'd say, 'We speculate that there was a great feeling of power and sexual tension'."
Michaud said he was careful not to glorify Bundy in his book because of his barbaric crimes.
"Instead, I wrote about how, because he had zero reason to kill these women, he was hard to trace," he explained.
And while there were "lighthearted moments" between them, Michaud also recalled chilling moments, like when Bundy said the biographer would be a good murderer.
"I did often find it hard going home at the end of the day because I didn't want to switch it off for fear I wouldn't be able to turn it on again," Stephen said.
"I had to be fully immersed in the horror of it.
"But he was opening up to me so I started to see it as a game - one I was winning."
Stephen added that he didn't believe in the death penalty and didn't attend Bundy's execution by electric chair, although: " I didn't lose a moment's sleep over whether Ted should be executed."