Why Do We Like True Crime So Much?
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Why Do We Like True Crime So Much?

It's so scary, but for whatever reason, we love hearing about it.

Why Do We Like True Crime So Much?

I've recently started listening to a podcast at my mom's suggestion called "My Favorite Murder." It's an awesome show of the true crime genre with witty female hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. It's made me freak out and laugh a lot, but it makes me wonder about the whole true crime genre in general.

In case you don't know, there is a flood of different podcasts, TV shows, books and movies pertaining to true crime, which quite literally means the retelling of actual crimes. Usually, the focus is on very elaborate, drawn-out cases from the last hundred years or so. True crime is becoming really popular, and it's really creepy in the best way.

Many of the cases that are covered are chock full of gory, horrifying details that the audience doesn't want to know but can't help but to be curious about. But what makes us as humans want to know such horrible things that other humans do?

The psychology of serial killers, psychopaths and sociopaths has been a hot topic since the large rise in awareness about mental health, but people have been interested in criminology and the happenings in the brains of horrible humans for a long time. Journalists in the early 20th century became famous because of their interest in writing about crime in their cities. During large-scale murder trials, the whole country tunes in on TV to watch for the latest details and updates.

There is something fascinating about the way the human mind works in general, but especially when it works in a way that is demented and obviously concerning. People want to know all about the awful things that others can do, and they want to understand why. Maybe it's just human nature to be curious, but why do we want to know so many awful stories about some of the worst things that happen to people?

I think part of the obsession with true crime comes from the "true" part of it all. Some stories are about people who have been creepy and messed up since they were children, but some of the most bone-chilling stories have the average Joe as the antagonist, murderer, kidnapper, etc. This fascinates people and scares them at the same time because it's hard to tell if your weird neighbor is actually just a weird person or if they are the next criminal you will hear about on the news. It makes us question our safety, and sometimes, that can be good.

The world is a dangerous place, and understanding just how dangerous it is can help us to protect ourselves from perilous situations that otherwise wouldn't alarm us if we were placed in them. By hearing what others have done, we understand better that we are just as average as the victims of these horrible crimes and that we need to make sure we are being safe even in a seemingly harmless situation.

Another part of the obsession with true crime media could be about the pure shock value of the stories. We as a culture have been desensitized to so many things through the internet and media that nearly nothing shocks us anymore, but that is typically not the case with true crime. It's wild to think about how things we see in horror movies can and do happen in real life. There is no longer the comfort of "it's just a movie/video game/book, it's not real," to settle our nerves.

It is real life, and it is real crime. It's scary in a way that's more than someone jumping out at you when you aren't expecting it. It's a kind of shock value that fictional stories simply can't achieve because someone can think incredibly messed up things and put those ideas on a screen or a page, but someone actually doing these things is something completely different. It's rare today to find something that really deeply bothers us, but true crime can make us so uncomfortable that we like it.

The psychology of true crime is incredibly interesting, and I don't fully understand why I am so interested in these stories. For now, I am going to listen to my podcast, watch my "Criminal Minds" and enjoy it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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