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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Brighton chapter.

With the frosty days of winter setting in, my favorite way to cuddle up is with a nice warm coffee and a bit of true crime… and I’m not alone. Sony Crime Channel reported that their viewers are predominately female and podcasts such as Accused and My Favorite Murder have a 70-80% female audience. Women dominate the audience of the true crime genre in books, films and podcasts.  

So, what is it exactly that makes us adore such murderous media? And what makes these real-life stories so compelling, especially to a female audience? 

We all know that psychopaths have very charming and persuasive personalities. Serial killers such as Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez attracted a female following with some “fans” even sending marriage proposals and exchanging flirty glances in the courtroom. This may be seen as similar to the popularity of the “bad boy” with characters such as Damon Salvatore and Jess Mariano being adored because of their charm and good looks despite being awful people. But there’s a difference between bad boyfriends in a TV series and real-life convicted killers. I think the women flocking to the sides of these murderers are the exception not the rule and it’s shallow to suggest that women only have an interest in true crime purely because of their attraction to killers. 

What then comes to mind is the fascination with psychology. Maybe we have a morbid curiosity about minds that work so differently from our own and wonder why a person would commit such horrible crimes. In some of the worst cases, you start to separate humans from humanity as sometimes the criminal is never even found. Shows like Buzzfeed’s Unsolved never even reach a conclusion and are still very popular. Maybe the insight into the dark side of human psychology is enough entertainment as we can view it from a safe distance and peer into a life so different from our own. 

As women are most likely to be the victims of violent crimes, learning about them is a way being able to identify themselves whether or not they are in a dangerous situation. When the words “violence against women” and “true crime” are so closely linked, it’s clear to see why women would be at the forefront of the conversation. We might see ourselves in the positions of the victims as stories of jealous ex-boyfriends or walking alone to a friend’s house. Even though these are the mundanes routines in everyday life, we see the beginnings of case files where so many women lost their lives replicating the same nature of these routines.

While I think there is some truth to each reason, there are many others, and the answer obviously comes from each individual person. But whatever the reason, it’s safe to say that our obsession is here to stay.  

Keira Leighton

Brighton '25

Hey, I’m Keira and I enjoy writing, travelling and hanging out with friends. You would most likely find me drinking over-priced coffee while reading something pretentious