The obsession with true crime and serial killers is prevalent, especially amongst women. I mean who doesn’t want to watch Zac Effron portray Ted Bundy as a “smoldering and scheming” murderer and rapist of, at the very least, 30 people?
That is certainly one question you can ask about this topic, but I prefer a different one. Namely, does the recent infatuation with true crime and serial killers promote a more flippant view on violent behaviors and enable future perpetrators?
In Why is true crime bad for society? (published by the Week), Laura Bogart discusses true crime, and the current culture focused on the violence primarily from the perspective of the culprit. She argues that this view on violent crimes leaves people with little sympathy for the victims and their families.
The focus is on the murderer, the rapist, and their methodology; not to mention their unfortunate backstory and what tragic/ sick event or family member from their past caused them to be this way, become this monster. This results in the casual dismissal of the casualties, usually women, minorities, children, the poor, and members of the LGBT+ community.
By glorifying these murders, we, all at once skirt the issues that cause this initial violence (primarily mental health ones) while promoting the disposable nature of our fellow human beings. Bringing these problems into the limelight while not offering solutions or condemning their actions only serves to make these ideas and people popular, wrongfully idolized, and more likely to be emulated.