Every weird girl has gone through that phase in highschool and middle school where they think edgy is cool and that the “popular kids” don’t understand them. In my middle school, these kids were obsessed with Creepypastas and Screemo. Then of course there were those kids who really like serial killers. Don’t worry, I went through that phase too. But it’s something we all have to get over eventually.
Obsessing over these people doesn’t make us interesting. It doesn’t make us different. In fact, there are plenty of people who fit this niche that takes these “historical” figures and romanticizes and glorifies these murders, rapists and cannibals. There’s an entire market. Why do you think there are television shows and made for TV movies dedicated to this subject? Because they know the teen with the side bangs thinks they’re original because they can’t stop thinking about Jeffrey Dahmer.
Here’s the thing. These people don’t not deserve your obsession or your glorification. They are horrible people. They aren’t enigmatic. They are role models. They are disgusting people who went to prison for committing horrible acts against innocent people. Yet for some reason, teens, me included, think these individuals are somehow these great individuals worth writing an autobiography on.
In fact, a lot of the most notable serial killers people tend to lift up ended up being pedophiles or rapists. They were predators that saw themselves more important than the humanity they robbed. Jeffrey Dahmer specifically targeted underage boys. Ted Bundy specifically targeted college-aged women. John Wayne Gacy specially went after young boys, too. A lot of serial killers are known for going after the homeless or sex workers. Albert Fish specifically went for homeless people and people of color claiming he went for people he didn’t think would be missed.
The thing is, we really shouldn’t glorify these people because they’re awful. They aren’t fascinating, they’re depraved and don’t deserve the media attention. Their victims are minimized to a number, a kill count, while their murderers get a lifetime crime drama.
The obsession of mass murderers isn’t new either. Mainstream media as of late tends to enjoy focusing on the identities of mass shooters. News coverage tries to break down the motive of the killers as if they are psychologists or crime experts understanding why someone would decide to take multiple lives. And you can bet, the mass shooters eat it up. They bask in the glory and fame of what they’ve done. They wanted recognition for something and frankly it’s disgusting. So no, you aren’t quirky for obsessing over serial killers because the media already does it.
If you’ve got this obsession, maybe think about why you are obsessed with them and why you think they’re so great. Maybe consider what type of person would destroy that many lives for their own personal benefit. Maybe consider that their motivation is probably a feeling of being better than their victims, whether it be about sexism or racism, or perhaps being disgusting enough to touch a child. Because chances are, your obsession with that serial killer idol isn’t really a great idea. I had the obsession too, but then I considered these people are disgusting and don’t deserve the recognition. They deserve to be forgotten.