If you looked at my Netflix account, you would think I was disturbed. My suggested visual options range from “The Keepers” (about Sister Catherine Cesnik’s murder in Baltimore) to a newly suggested series with the content clear enough in the name: “I Am a Killer”. If you perused through my Podcast library, you would quickly come across my go-to podcast, “My Favorite Murder”. Behind that is a podcast titled “The No Sleep Podcast”. True to their name, they discuss murder, crime, and things that go bump in the night.
So, what does this have to do with anything?
True crime interests have been bleeding into the general public for quite some time now. The topic of serial killers, coupled with the tv-knowledge of the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit have bred a generation of people obsessed with gruesome and rare crimes. Don’t believe me? Check out what’s written about these more well-known killers:
[The Golden State Killer. Ted Bundy. BTK. The Zodiac. Aileen Wuornos. The Killer Clown. Jeffrey Dahmer.]
Okay, but why are we so obsessed with true crime? Is there something wrong with us or is it just a morbid curiosity? Psychologists claim that people love to explore the vast and dark reaches of their personality. Watching a docuseries about crime helps us to problem solve and puzzle out our innermost fears and anxieties about death, while in the safety of the living room. Does true crime, in the form of entertainment, actually make us feel more “normal” and calm our anxieties about death or does it cause more anxiety and fear towards otherwise decently safe and low-risk tasks?
Let me know your thoughts, especially if you’re also one that loses sleep at night.