This particularl subject is something that I have wondered over for years, in my daily life I get a lot of people that enjoy crime related things and often when you are in someone’s house the CI Channel would be on but strangely enough not a lot of people would admit they love crime shows.
I think people are afraid of saying they like crime shows because they feel people would look at them differently. I also find that many times women seem more interested in crime shows and would sometimes remark: “If something happens the police will come to my house first” as they have many true crime books and DVDs of CSI.
Murder, Rape, abuse is not something that anyone would wish upon someone else, but some positive things can come from such horrible acts. A lot of times it brings a community together, a few examples: The 9/11 attacks the whole world mourned with America about the lives that were lost. I remember when the attacks happened I was still in primary school, they had the whole school put in the school hall while we watched it on TV and prayed for the families of the U.S. In South Africa, there was a school teacher that taught grade four and seven. Her name was Jayde Panayiotou. She was abducted and murdered, people from all over the world suddenly gave their support and felt with the family. The community came together, held vigils, and the the Jayde saga is a very sore subject to the whole community.
This is just two crimes where people showed what they are capable of doing for other people. I do not say that there should be crimes that people can help each other, but it is nice to see one of the positive sides of such brutal crimes. A lot of individuals argue that people who sensationalize serial killers gain fame from innocent victims and although there might be truth in that there is still a rise in people who are interested in true crime.
Here a few reasons I think we are interested in True Crime:
Crime is a part of daily life and spills into our interest
True Crime is part of our lives, and we get bombarded with media and other technologies advertisng crime that it is only natural that some of us might like to read about a murder or rape. You get people that read and like all different crimes and watch everything related to crime. Then you have people who are only interested in crimes that made headlines around the world, they are very selective about what they like and read.
We want someone to blame for crimes
Some people who like crime shows and reality show’s like having someone to blame, and that is exactly what the producers of CSI, NCIS, and series’ like Dexter give. It is also the attraction of a crime and how they craft their stories to answer to our needs.
When we see someone has broken the law, it makes it possible for us to adapt to the demands of normality by acting out our forbidden impulses through their actions.
Interestingly true crime books go back centuries, the first true crime book written and published is in 1635 by John Reynolds, the book is called “The Triumphe Of God’s Revenge Against The Crying and Excerable Sinn of Murder.” The book is based on cold-blooded killers and the different punishment they recieved.
The Thrill the crime provides to the viewer!
When people watched the horrible spectacle of a serial killer on television, you get a jolt of adrenaline which produce a powerful, stimulating and even in some cases addictive effects on the human brain. The euphoric effect of true crime on human emotions is the same as when you are on a rollercoaster or when a natural disaster happens, so it just show’s that people interested in crime are not freaks just normal people with normal emotions.
True Crime on television triggers the most basic and powerful emotion; you experienced fear and horror in a controlled environment where there is no threat. Also, you can sit in your most comfortable chair in your house while you watch CSI and say I know who did it or watch out he is behind you. It puts the viewer in the excitement as they don’t know what comes next and can interact without being in the same situation.
True Crime can even be a guilty pleasure to thrill-seeking adults, although you will not have people that say it out loud they rather keep that to themselves. We do feel guilty to watch the horrors that other people go through, but we still feel compelled to watch.
True Crime lovers watch these shows because they know that most of the times they get the murderer, and therefore feel good for that family, we as humans want to see the good out of the bad.
We always wonder what would happen to us if we are in that situation. I recently read about an average guy. He abducted three women and kept them in his house where he raped and abused them repeatedly for years. I wonder what I would do in that situation and no matter what I think I would do it is not the same ase being in that situation.
Crime shows show the alternate view of the world and how it can be, they strive on suspense, and there is no bigger stake than a human life. It has been recorded that people that watch crime shows on a regular basis see the world in a different perspective and might see the world as a more scary place than it is.
We crave an insight to the world we do not know
In the end, we like to see that justice has been served and it gives us hope for the future and find inspiration on ways to fight crime. You get a sense of awareness as what goes on in the world, and it shifts your perspective to look at the bigger picture.
People’s nature is that we are nosy not in a bad way but we always want to know what is the next good story and the crime world provides us with a lot of new news as the crime rate is through the roof in some countries.
I had this fascination with true crime quite a few years now, and see myself as a hardcore crime addict but, there were times that some stories had me in tears and I could not finish an article. My weakness is children, and I think it is the worst to harm an innocent child. People would sometimes ask me do you enjoy it, how can you enjoy someone’s else’s pain, the answer would be I do not enjoy it but, I am interested in the mind of a serial killer and what a human body and mind can endure.