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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Susqu chapter.

There has been this fascination with all things true crime, whether it be murder or someone vanishing in the middle of the night. There is just something about the mystery and ominous nature that has created a cult following. I can’t deny that I have fallen into the hole myself, especially at the height of Buzzfeed Unsolved, but that changed when I stumbled onto a video discussing the murder of a former teacher of mine. I was thrown off a bit by how they talked about her as if she was a character in a book and not a real person with a family and friends. Then I made the mistake of looking at the comments, thinking people would be heavily critical, but instead these people were talking about how a popular YouTuber caught her last screams on camera (a video that is still up, and the collaborators posted a follow-up clickbait video about) and how they knew who murdered her before the video ended.

I had a pit in my stomach and wanted to throw up while sobbing uncontrollably. A person I knew and loved was turned into a spectacle for the internet, and people were talking about her killer and her last scream more than her. For a while, I stopped consuming the content because I couldn’t imagine that feeling being worse if she had been my family. Until one day, a video by Kendall Rae popped up on my feed talking about Elizabeth Smart. 

Kendall Rae’s video was different from the content I had been consuming prior. She was not just this woman sitting there talking about the case like a high school girl talking about gossip at the lunch table. She talked so much about the victim rather than the killer/kidnapper with such love and care. Her work highlighted how the victim should be the center of these conversations rather the person doing the crime. Instantly I fell into a rabbit hole and noticed this trend continued through her content. Even if the person who was harmed was not the best, she made sure to acknowledge it but also remind her audience that this was a person who meant a lot to someone. Telling her audience anything negative said about the victim would be removed immediately. Even after my binge of all her content, I didn’t feel the guilty pit other channels gave me. 

Unlike many channels and podcasts, she was very centered on victim advocacy and making sure families got to share the story. A recent example is when she covered the case of Raymond Green and made sure she reached out to his mother Donna Green. Kendall Rae offered up her platform to find her son and made sure she was supporting her son. This isn’t the only time she has offered her platforms to family. In the description of her videos, there is a link for people close to a case to ask her to cover it. You have to verify that you are close to the case and how you are related. If there is a GoFundMe or petitions, she links them and encourages her subscribers to donate whatever they can to help the family. Kendall Rae knows the power her platform has and encourages her subscribers to be ‘active true crime consumers’ by donating and calling for police stations to demand cases be reexamined. 

I think one of her best qualities though is her work with organizations and fundraising for groups like the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). Most, if not all, of her merch drops have been in collaboration with these organizations to create t-shirts that 100% of the profit goes to that organization. On the NCMEC website, it says that $125,000 has been collected through their most recent campaign to assist in locating missing children. In another fundraiser for NCMEC, she has raised $435,106 towards her $500,000 goal. She matches the donations that her subscribers make to these organizations. She is using the money she is making off people’s family traumas to help make sure that the cycle is not repeated for other families. 

As someone who understands what it is like to watch the murder of someone you care about get exploited and used for views and likes, Kendall Rae’s structure is going to be the thing that saves this “community.” In a world of “Who’s your favorite serial killer?” and “My favorite true crime case is…,” Kendall Rae has used her platform to break this and start real conversations on the systemic issues that make it impossible for these people to get real justice. She puts her money where her mouth is and helps families financially get the justice they deserve.

Haley Lynch is a junior at Susquehanna University and acts as the Director of social media/Marketing and Vice President for HerCampus at Susquehanna. She covers topics ranging from pop culture to more serious topics that affect everyday students. Her work uses pop culture to understand deeper-rooted issues in society. Originally from Maryland, this is her first year at Susquehanna and she previously attended a different university in South Carolina. Since being at Susquehanna, Haley has done many things in varying roles and levels besides HerCampus. From executive roles with the Sex Ed club on campus to editor at Her Campus, she has kept herself very busy and on the go. All this is on top of creating her own art on the side. In her free time, you can catch Haley either watching Dance Moms (Team Chloe!) or writing short films. You might catch her dancing around her room listening to Fleetwood Mac or Boy Genius with her cat, Atlas, or sitting outside writing poems or stories. If you want to make a fast friend, simply reference Taylor Swift or ask her how the kids she babysits are doing and you will have won her heart.