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True Crime = Glorification?

Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2022
I love a good true crime podcast, documentaries based around true crime, and occasionally I will read a book about a serial killer. It's not that I idolize them, but I can't turn away from the train wreck of a person that they are. Do I idolize the killers? Absolutely not. But the psychology behind the killer fascinates me. What turned them into the monster that they have become? Recently I started the new Netflix series - Dahmer - featuring Evan Peters as Jeffrey Dahmer. And it is CHILLING. Evan Peters is such an amazing actor and took this role on almost too seriously! But it made me think, as a society, are we glorifying true crime killers a little too much?

From Reddit :
"Lately, I've been noticing a lot of people insulting and shaming people for being interested in true crime subjects. Most of it claiming that the true crime genre glorifies the deaths of other people, however, this generalization doesn't sit right with me. Many people bring up good points about how some people in the community are "fans" of horrible serial killers and some do glorify the acts but I don't feel that everyone does that. I like true crime because, like many others, the psychology aspect of it fascinates me, and it just reminds me to be more aware of my surroundings and other people. It also helps me understand why people end up doing the things they do as well as the flaws in the current criminal justice system. Am I a bit desensitized to hearing some of the violence? Yes, but it doesn't mean I don't feel bad for the victims. And I honestly feel that sometimes following these crimes does some good. Like in true crime shows like Unsolved Mysterious or whatever, people try to call in and help out with some leads and stuff, right? Sorry for this whole thing, it just with hearing people in the community is considered a monster for listening and watching true crime stuff. I do understand the frustration of people glorifying Ted Bundy and stuff. To be honest I wish there was some other label for them to separate them from the rest of us. Then again, I don't know, so is the true crime genre just people glorifying the death of other people like others are saying?" [end]
Read the post and comment thread here. There are alot of good points made.

I also read somewhere that having a cup that reads something like "Blood stains are red - ultraviolet lights are blue - I watch enough murder shows - they'll never find you" glorifies serial killers as well. And as a creator myself, I have made numerous items like this for customers, without ever putting much thought into it. Do I think it's glorifying serial killers, not really, my personal opinion is that it's somewhat funny - especially if you're a true crime sleuth. Where I draw the line personally and would consider it glorification, is idolizing, worshiping, or even sexualizing offenders, killers and people of that nature.

When "Night Stalker" came out on Netflix (maybe it was Prime?) people SWOONED over how "sexy" Richard Ramirez was - GROSS! He murdered 15+ victims... not to mention his whole mouth was rotted and decayed! Some people instantly overlooked the fact of all the horrible things that he did and noticed his cheekbones and labeled him good looking. But my thought is, would those same people stop and talk to him on the street if they had the chance? Probably not because his whole self being was off and weird. So, what has drawn them to him AFTER he is a convicted killer? Or take the Ted Bundy documentary that was released a few years ago on Netflix. In the show, it talked about how good looking he was and how charming he could be. And women were all over the internet and Facebook talking about how good looking he was! I found an article here that goes into a good detail on why that happens: She Knows LINK

I read something interesting from the link posted above:
And finally, there's the fame. "Celebrity is so attractive to so many and has been for so long," Forman explains. "People may not just see the person as evil, but as someone who has cultural significance and offers the chance to escape the routine of everyday living for something better." Hamilton agrees and adds that the notoriety and association with a famous person coupled with the fact that they are in prison and are unlikely to ever be released - and therefore can't be violent to her or her children - can be another draw. This can be particularly true for women with their own traumatic pasts with men, she explains, and the appeal may even be subconscious for them. "He is safe behind bars where he cannot physically hurt her and cannot, at least not sexually in a physical way, cheat on her," she adds.

This stood out the most to me. I think that once a serial killer is caught and convicted, that's when the idolizing starts. I have never heard of someone actively idolizing an active serial killer, maybe because it just doesn't feel "safe" - who knows.

What's your take on true crime and glorification? Do you listen/watch true crime documentaries or purchase (or own) true crime related items that you find funny? Take a step back and look at how you are perceived, do you think people think you glorify true crime?