Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes episode 3 recap: Not My Turn to Watch Him


Episode 3 of Netflix series Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes looks at Ted’s dramatic escapes, Florida murders, and mounting evidence.

The title of this episode, “Not My Turn to Watch Him” comes from Defense Attorney Charle Leidner, who said it wasn’t his turn to watch Bundy when he escaped from the Pitkin County Courthouse’s law library window on June 7, 1977. Due to his charm, and because he acted as his own attorney, Bundy was left alone inside without handcuffs or leg shackles. In retrospect, Sheriff Dick Kienast doesn’t understand how it happened. However, it happened, and
Bundy eluded roadblocks as people hunted for him. He eventually found a cabin around Aspen Mountain but was eventually recaptured.

Bundy confessed that the cold and high altitude affected him, making him quite weak in 4 days. He walked back to Aspen and was soon arrested by Officer Gene Flatt. He had lost 25 pounds and was disappointed in himself. Still, the narcissist liked all the press coverage. Psychologist Al Carlisle had talked with Bundy about it and says Bundy treated it like he was living his ultimate dream, and was proud of himself. In fact, Carlisle likens it to a kid telling his dad he hit a home run! In some creepy tapes, Bundy related that he felt almost like he could walk through doors, possessed supernatural powers, and nothing could go wrong for him. Ironically, these feelings would be his ultimate downfall.

Dec. 30, 1977

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Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes also looks at his 2nd escape, when Bundy was approaching trial for the Caryn Campbell murder. The strange thing is, the evidence, in this case, was said to not have been strong. Had Bundy stayed put, he may have even been acquitted! However, on Dec. 30th, 1977, Bundy was missing from his cell. There was a pile of books where he should have been in bed, and he had lost additional weight, escaping through a hole in the ceiling into a jailer’s apartment, threw on some new clothes and simply walked out the front door!

The FBI’s Kathleen McChesney says he was creative, and Officer/author Robert D. Keppel says it was a nightmare. Similarly, Carol DaRonch, the Bundy survivor, was understandably concerned. Bundy earned his place on the FBI’s most wanted list, which inspired him to create a new identity in Florida.

January 1978

Conversations with a Killer also examines the infamous Chi Omega sorority murders, which occurred only one week after Bundy arrived in Tallahassee, Florida. Rather than staying out of trouble, Bundy committed one of his most infamous (and, frankly, boldest crimes). In the early a.m. hours, and in a span of about 15 minutes, he attacked four women, killing two of them. The scene shocked even those who saw brutalization before.

At least one woman was saved by the sight of approaching headlights. Incredibly, on that same day, Bundy attacked another woman, Cheryl Thomas, only 6 blocks away. She survived, but damage to her brain permanently halted her dancing career. Also of note, Bundy left bite marks on one of the victims, which was a key piece of incriminating forensic evidence. Understandably, the sorority was abandoned for a little while.

Feb. 9, 1978

On this date, 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach disappeared after a “mystery man” abducted her from school in Jacksonville, Florida. The search was a big effort. When her body was found in a deserted hog pen, Officer George Dekle broke down and cried, even though he had never cried before in his adult life. Bundy was finally recaptured by Officer David Lee in Pensacola on February 15, for driving a stolen VW bug (apparently he was too stubborn to change his taste in cars, too). He was also arrested for resisting arrest. In addition, he had stolen credit cards, while calling himself “Kenneth Misner.” However, the real Misner debunked that. It was also suspicious that the vehicle was stolen from near the Chi Omega house. Still, he was referred to as “mystery man” by the press.

It wasn’t until he called his girlfriend Liz that he identified himself. He admitted he was preoccupied with murder. Indeed, there are signs that he was literally addicted to it. Had he kept a low profile, he could have conceivably remained a drifter. Still, he was such a deviant that even his own safety wasn’t enough to curb his murderous appetite.  Later he told Michaud that, after he had escaped, he took a bus to Denver, a flight to Chicago, an Amtrak to Ann Arbor, and even saw the Rose Bowl game. Then he stole a car to Atlanta and greyhounded to Tallahassee. Now, however, Bundy could not con his way out of the trouble he was in, and it seemed even he was recognizing it.

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Extra locks

Recognizing his “escape risk” status, Conversations with a Killer shows how Tallahassee authorities put him in an extra secure portion of their jail, with 3 locks on doors. Soon Bundy’s dental impressions were taken, to see if they matched the bite mark from the Chi Omega crime scene. Officer Ken Katsaris read the indictment during a press conference, prompting Bundy to say, “I’m gagged, you’re not,” while vowing to be heard. Bundy would soon refuse a plea deal to spare the death penalty because he refused to admit his guilt!

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