Item description for Ted Bundy : Conversations with a Killer by Stephen G. Michaud & Hugh Aynesworth...
Conversations With A Killer
The Death Row Interviews
By Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth
Ted Bundy: Conversations With A Killer, the death row interviews that chilled the nation in the 1980's, are again available in an updated paperback edition through major bookstores and online booksellers.
Drawn from more than 150 hours of taped interviews by authors Stephen G. Michaud and Hugh Aynesworth, CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER takes readers inside the mind of an infamous sex criminal (one of the best-known serial killers of the past 100 years). In these timeless and unique interviews, Bundy gives both law enforcement professionals and the general public a close look at how this special breed of criminal thinks and behaves.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Ted Bundy : Conversations with a Killer?
Not bad. Feb 13, 2008
I enjoyed the insight on how Ted Bundy thinks and how manipulative he could be. On a more personal level, some of the things he said are eerily similar to the way I operate. For example, when he said he used to fantasize about having an endless supply of socks and underwear so he never had to worry about a clean pair being available. I impulsively buy a new pack of each every two or three months, long before I've had to throw any out. I could go a month or more without washing laundry and never run out of clean socks or underwear. Many times throughout the book, I found myself thinking, had I been the right age, at the right time, in the right place, I would have gotten along with Ted, and wondered if I'd have made a suitable victim, although he probably wouldn't have "gone there" with someone who was a true friend.
Similarities aside, I was more interested in the details of the crimes, the investigation, trial, and sentencing. In that respect, this book was not what I had hoped for or expected. Any time the interviewers got too close to the topic at hand, Ted would veer in the other direction. At times it got so painfully slow and repetitive, I found myself skipping entire paragraphs, then going back to re-read just in case I missed something interesting or important.
If all you're interested in is Ted Bundy: The Man, this is a great book with plenty to offer, although according to one reviewer, it's nothing new. I wouldn't know, as this is the first book on Bundy that I've read. It just wasn't what I was looking for, and I guess I shouldn't hold that against it.
Can't Recommend It Jun 25, 2007
I found this little number in my local used bookstore. Having been fascinated with Ted Bundy over the last couple of years but yet to read anything in depth about him, I bought it, hoping to learn something new.
Unfortunately, "Conversations With A Killer"'s biggest flaw is Bundy himself. I feel really bad for Michaud and Aynesworth; they honestly try to write a ground-breaking book about the case, and Bundy promises them before the interviews that he will reveal to them "the truth about everything." How could any print journalist say no? Rather than embarking on the horizon of a new look at Ted Bundy, however, the duo are instead treated to interview after interview of Bundy whipping them around this way and that, never once giving them the kind of information they need.
After initially being asked point-blank about his whereabouts during the crimes he is committed of and clamming up immediately, Bundy is instead offered the ability to speak of these crimes in the third-person, freeing him from self-incrimination. Instead of offering any new outlooks, however, Bundy dances about, choosing to "speculate" about the killer's mental workings and treating us to paragraph after paragraph of half-baked, psycho-analytical noodlings. I'm surprised Michaud and Aynesworth didn't fall asleep while interviewing him; when Bundy's not pumping his side of the testimony full of mostly-nonsensical, winding explanations of the "killer's" mindset, he chooses to be very vague about his choice of words, offering a lot of "could be" and "might have been that, also might have been this" and "I don't know". And, of course, he denies absolutely everything about his involvement in these crimes, standing infuriatingly adamant about his innocence all the while. Michaud and Ayneworth ask him numerous times about his whereabouts during crimes or about the testimony of witnesses, and Bundy is rarely ever able to give them an answer, either sidestepping the question and weaseling his way into another subject, or simply refusing to answer at all.
The book does have a few positive marks, as few as they are. The first few chapters of the book do offer a decent, albiet selective, history of Bundy from youth to the (then) present, revealing an education in words passed on by his mother, crippling shyness during high school, and his strange fetish with socks. Also detailed are his struggles with bi-polar disorder, using his escape from jail in Glenwood Springs as a compelling example. Lastly, one can glimpse some truths behind Bundy's words, including the dangerous influences that both "stress" and pornography had on his transformation into a serial killer. However, while these are great tidbits for a newcomer to Bundy's persona, they're not nearly enough to provide one with a fulfilling look at the man and his life & doings.
As for Michaud and Aynesworth, they humble Bundy at the beginning and are eager to try new approaches, but as the book is chronological, it is easy to grasp their growing impatience with Ted's mind games. Aynesworth gets especially agitated, and his multiple outbursts of anger at Bundy (only to be met with smiles, jokes, denial, irritation, and sidestepping on Bundy's end) are by far the most interesting parts of the book. And that's got to be a sad statement: that the anger of one of the authors at the subject of the book is ultimately more interesting than the sum of the book's parts.
I can't really recommend it. Only those truly interested in Ted Bundy or the way his mind works could grasp much enjoyment out of it. Much of the book will just bore you to tears. An interesting first look at Bundy, it proved to be a vastly unfulfilling one for me, and I hope that Ann Rule's "The Stranger Beside Me" will prove to be much better. Good luck next time, Steve and Hugh.
A big let-down May 25, 2006
Pages and pages of verbatim interviews with a megalomaniac, even one as twisted as Ted Bundy, get dull after a while. It would be a necessary reference book for anybody writing a doctoral thesis on Bundy or the psychopathic mind, but really holds little interest for the average reader.
TED BUNDY SPEAKS ABOUT THE PATHOLOGY OF THE KILLER INSTINCT Oct 11, 2005
Ted Bundy murdered over 30 women in the late 70's and has a kind of cult status among people who are obsessed with serial killers and voilence, which is not why I read this book. I read this book because I was hoping it would shed light on a problem which seems to be a product of modern American society. The First half of this book is very interesting. Ted creates a hypothetical psychological model of a killer and in the third person describes how this person developed from a regular guy with deep emotion issues into a full fledged mass murder. That part of the book is very frightening and thought provoking. Ted describes the killer's initial fascination with alcohol and violent pornography. From there he describes the slow progress of the killer instict: how his trips to the pornographic book stores became more frequent and urgent, how he spent a year spying in women's house before almost attacking a woman one night, followed months later by an actual attack, then a rape and killing.He also describes the killer's remorse between killings and his frequent promises that this would be the last one. Toward the middle of the book it gets pretty boring. The second interviewer takes over and keeps trying to get Ted to admit his guilt, which he won't do. Most of the answers in this half of the book are evasive and tiringly repetitive. It is redeemed in the last interview in which Ted makes some rather interesting statements about how it is our society which creates the serial killer. He also talks about how this a problem which manifests itself rather early in the life of these sick men,and what's even more frightening, he states that for every man arrested for multiple homicide there are five or six more that are not caught. With a little money, Ted states, a man can kill indiscriminately for the rest of his life without fear of detection. This book is a must read for anyone interested in Abnormal Psychology.
Blah blah blah Jun 10, 2005
First, I want to say that I love Ted Bundy and reading anything about him. That's why this book got 3 stars instead of maybe 1 or 2. From everything else I've read about him, this is nothing new. And the way it's presented is so BORING. You can see how manipulative Ted is in his monologues which are often verbose. A lot of times he doesn't make much sense.
If you've read a lot about Ted Bundy, I wouldn't recommend this book. The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule is a much better book. I guess if it's your first time reading about him, it might be interesting.