To this day, Ted Bundy remains one of the world’s most infamous serial killers after he took the lives of at least 30 women in the 1970s.
The murderer preyed on unsuspecting women, luring them into his car before assaulting, killing and dismembering them.
And by the time he faced the electric chair in 1989, Bundy had confessed to 30 murders.
A new documentary being aired on discovery+, Ted Bundy: A Faking It Special, sees a number of experts in body language, speech and forensic psychology examine footage from Bundy’s jail cell in 1977 which ‘nail’ his guilt as a murderer.
In one interview, forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes notes how relaxed and confident Bundy appears.
“Bundy is doing everything that he can to project a confident, relaxed persona. It’s a full-on charm offensive,” she says, something that body language expert Dr Cliff Langsley says is Bundy’s attempt at being “likeable” on camera.
“If we can help people to like us then they’ll trust us and believe us, and if we can create that vulnerability and likeability, it’s a powerful influencing tactic.”
At the time the interview was conducted, Bundy was awaiting his murder trial, which he was sure he would be cleared of.
However, Dr Cliff spotted three key clues that contradict Bundy’s innocence.
“Number one, we get an eye closure, which distances ourselves from the words we’re using. Number two, we get a shoulder shrug from one side, and this is a partial expression – leakage – of the full expression of, ‘I have no idea what I’m talking about,”‘ says Dr Cliff.
“But to nail this, we get a little head shake ‘no.’ And when you’re saying something affirmative, but your body is leaking something in the negative, you can trust the body. Because most of these body signals are below consciousness.”
The expert says his undoing is his self-awareness as he stares down the camera lens.
“Now, Bundy’s emotional intelligence, or self-awareness, I judge to be high. What gives me that conclusion is that every time he makes these slips, which are below consciousness, maybe he knows he’s not convincing,” he explains.
“What gives us a clue is a few seconds further on we get this stare right down the camera lens. I think he knows he’s slipped up; this camera check is a semi-conscious check-in of his audience to see if he’s getting away with it.”