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  • Writer's pictureAlanna Grayce

Episode 24: Why are we soooo obsessed with true crime?

I've been thinking a lot about this, y'all, for quite a while. I'm literally obsessed with true crime- I'm constantly listening to Crime Junkie, to Morbid, to their affiliates- it's an illness. Adam is overwhelmed. My mother is worried. I'm not even scared of scary movies anymore.

So, naturally, considering I'm a reformed scardey cat this got me thinking. Why do I constantly crave this stuff? Why can't I get enough? So, I did a little research. Just a smidge, ya know. And I put together an episode for you. But... if you don't feel like listening, here's your highlights:

We have a natural fascination with disasters. Just like when you have to rubberneck a wreck on the interstate or when you can't look away from a drunk guy making a fool of himself- we have a natural fixation on chaos and violence and that's fulfilled by true crime.

There's a deeper psychological/philosophical theory for this, too: that violence is not an enigma to society, but that it is integral to our understanding of social constructs and our need to see that there is retribution for crime.

Further, there is a need to understand why these things happened- what drove a person to commit a horrible act? "Am I capable of that???" Or- do I put myself in positions for those things to happen to me?

Historically, this was important even at mankind's earliest- we see someone get mauled by a direwolf or stepped on by a mammoth and we go "oh no better not do what he did!". So we pay attention to these things, in a hope that we can learn from them and be more careful with our lives.

Finally- the 24/7 NEWS CYCLE. The devil incarnate. They sensationalize everything... I mean there's a saying, that if it bleeds, it leads. Views make them money and the crazier the story, the more gore, the more confusing, the more outlandish the better. So in a way, we've been socialized to want to hear these things and to know every little detail. We are inherently curious beings, after all.

Pod and Blog source:

Important ideas with this topic:

Macabre fascination is natural

Learning tool

Evolutionary mechanism

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