Why I Love True Crime

Over the past year, I have fully boarded the true-crime bandwagon. At first, I thought nothing of it, but when I mentioned a true-crime podcast to my mom, she questioned why in the world I would want to listen to it. I began to question this myself. I know I just find it really interesting, but could there be a deeper reason I enjoy true crime so much?

Of course, I did some research, and it turns out I’m not alone. In fact, women tend to consume more true-crime media than men, and there are some pretty fair reasons why. According to Kate Tuttle at The New York Times, “when women are connected to crime, we’re much more likely to be victims or survivors. Perhaps our fascination with these stories stems in part from wanting to learn from them. If a woman escaped her attacker in this particular way, we think, ‘perhaps I could too.” I do see a lot of educational value in listening to true-crime podcasts or watching shows and videos of the genre. There’s a power in knowing—almost like if I know it happened to someone else, it won’t happen to me.

Additionally, there is a storytelling aspect to true-crime media. Kate Tuttle mentions that “there’s a quality of the fairy tale or fable: a simple story that reveals powerful, complicated truths.” You may then ask, why not just watch a movie or listen to a fictional story? Well, there’s something more raw and authentic about hearing the retelling of someone’s story. You know it’s real, and it leaves a stronger impact. It can also be exciting to try to figure out whodunnit before it is revealed. Scott Bonn, the author of Why We Love Serial Killers, also points out that “serial killers tantalize people much like traffic accidents, train wrecks or natural disasters.” No matter how terrible a case may be, you can’t help but want to hear who did it or what happens in the end.

Finally, among women who love true crime, many tend to wrestle with anxiety and/or depression. According to Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites, “one common overarching explanation is that true-crime stories allow women to talk about and explore vulnerability. Reading a true-crime story about a stalker who murdered his girlfriend might be a way for a woman to process her own anxieties.” I do find some release in listening to true crime, especially when the case is solved, and the victim receives justice.

If you’re interested in exploring true-crime media, let me recommend a bit of content. My favorite podcast ever is Crime Junkie, where one of the two amazing female hosts shares a true crime story, and the other reacts and asks questions. I also strongly recommend checking out the YouTube channels of Eleanor Neale, Kendall Rae and Danelle Hallan. These three ladies create amazing videos detailing crime cases and often raise awareness and money for many charities and families fighting for the justice of crime victims.

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