True Crime Taboo: How Far Will our Love of Serial Killers go? | #College. | #Students

From BuzzFeed Unsolved: True Crime to the growing popularity of youtubers like Bailey Sarian and Eleanor Neale, to Hollywood movies like Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile with Zac Efron and Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, and even to Criminal Minds, which bases many of it’s episodes on real stories, “true crime” has become an increasingly popular genre in entertainment media. I would compare it to something like Drunk History, only the narrators are sober and the stories are hardly humorous. 

Some may think of true crime as a subgenre of horror, but that’s not entirely accurate. Sure, hearing stories about psychopathic serial killers on the loose would scare any listener, but is that why we explore true crime? To be scared? Do we listen to crime stories for the same reason we enjoy stories about ghosts, or is there more at play? Is it possible that there’s something sensational in hearing people talk about real murder, the single worst crime imaginable in our society? 

Back in the 1970s, when serial killers first made their debut on national television with Charles Manson, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy, among others, it wasn’t a new season of NCIS — people were terrified. And when the media churned out information on victims and suspects, rather than grabbing a bowl of popcorn and gathering the family in front of the TV, people locked their doors, plotted with their neighbors and for good reason, jumpstarted a feminist movement for women’s self-defense. 

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