Many people think that being as interested in true crime as I am is macabre and makes me a freak. And honestly, some people in the community do take it a little far with their mythologizing of serial killers and over-emphasis on the killer rather than the victims. But for the most part, people interested in true crime are respectful, curious, and simply unafraid to turn away from life’s darkest corners. Here are some of the reasons why I personally am interested in true crime.
It helps me feel more safe or in control
I’m a very nervous person. I get scared easily. I get paranoid about people breaking into my house or hurting me. You might wonder even more why I would purposefully put those things into my brain. The thing is, when I watch or listen to true crime, that’s when I feel most in control and safe. It feels like I’m learning how to protect myself. I can start to understand how these types of violent people think and operate. I can try to prepare for the worst.
Obviously, I know logically that in a situation where I’m being attacked, having hundreds of hours of podcasts under my belt won’t magically make me immune to a knife or bullet. But I’d like to think that before the situation occurs, I’m more aware of my surrounding, cautious with my actions, and paying attention to red flags. That I’ll stand more of a fighting chance against it.
It’s fascinating to try to understand why it happens
We may not like talking about it or thinking about it, but violence is a basic, human thing. As much as we call murderers and rapists monsters, at the end of the day, they’re human beings. They’re of the same species as the rest of us. So why do some people have no regard for others lives or freedoms? Why do some not feel any emotion or only experience anger or pain? What causes someone to gain sexual gratification from the worst deeds possible?
There are some answers already. A poor childhood of abuse and/or neglect can contribute, but of course, there are plenty of people out there who had horrible childhoods and don’t hurt anyone. Things like head injuries can cause a change in personality, increasing aggression or reducing cognitive function. Sometimes there’s a defining moment in the person‘s life that changes them, usually, something traumatic or that calls their outlook on life into question. But can any of these things truly explain everything? Is there a difference between a serial rapist and a greedy husband killing his wife for money? Where is that difference? And how does it differ from a “normal” person?
It’s very interesting to ask these questions about humanity. In fact, I think it’s very important to think about as much as possible. It’s the answer to these questions that will make the world a better, safer place. It’s these questions that prove we can improve ourselves and work to find a solution to senseless violence. It’s empowering to question what it means to be human and what it means to be criminal.
It can happen anytime and anywhere to anyone
This might seem like the opposite of the first one, as it means thinking about how these things could happen to me. But that’s the thing about senseless violent crime like this. It could happen to anybody. No one ever thinks that it will happen to them or someone they love until it does, and then they’re left in complete shock. Not that being more aware of how often violent crime occurs makes you immune to the psychological effects of it, but I think it’s a good thing to be realistic and therefore more cautious.
I love it when they get caught
Oh god is it so satisfying when they get caught and put away. It’s surprisingly rare that they a) get caught and b) get the full sentence they’re able to get. So often it seems that the violent offenders don’t get sentenced fully, or when they do, they get out on parole or good behaviour. But every once in awhile, the stars align, and they send that evil son of a bitch to jail for life. It’s those moments that I live for, the satisfying ending to a horrible, horrible story. It reminds me that good things still happen and justice does still get served.