February 12, 2020
Influxes of true crime movies, tv shows, podcasts, and Youtube channels are being mass produced to fill American’s desire for crime entertainment. True crime is a genre of movies and tv shows that features true stories of murder, serial killers, and abductions. They delve into the minds of the perpetrators and analyze the victims and their families. Why are Americans so obsessed and interested in gruesome stories? Why would anyone want to spend hours watching reenactments of gruesome and strange crimes?
Focus on the bizarre and gruesome is strange. Other than pure entertainment, many people like true crime for the adrenaline rush. After talking with Ms. Jeanne Blakeslee, Mercy’s psychology teacher and principal, I learned that the biggest appeal of true crime and scary movies is the adrenaline associated with them. Adrenaline is a hormone that builds up in the body when experiencing possible dangerous or stressful situation. Activities that cause an adrenaline rush are bungee jumping, sky diving, rollercoasters, and watching true crime. Similar to riding a rollercoaster, true crime has a lot of buildup and anticipation. Many people crave the build up and anticipation of riding a rollercoaster or watching true crime because they like the way that the adrenaline feels. For anyone who has waited in a line to get on a huge, scary rollercoaster, you may know how that pit in your stomach feels and then you feel so good after. That is an adrenaline rush. Many people feel similarly when watching, reading, or listening to true crime stories.
The true crime revolution began with an influx of media. Some popular true crime cases include the OJ Simpson murder case , the death of JonBenét Ramsey, and the recent Watts family murders. All of these have been made into popular documentaries and/or have been heavily featured in the media. Popular TV shows about true crime include Confessions of a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes on Netflix, The Act on Hulu, When they see us on Netflix, Don’t F*** with Cats on Netflix, and You on Netflix. Many true crime cases are dramatized and recreated into movies. Some of my favorites are Zodiac (2007), 13th (2016), Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019). Lastly many people consume their true crime via podcasts. My favorite is Mile Higher, which is not all true crime but has many episodes about true crime cases. Another good podcast is Casefile True Crime; both podcasts can be listened to on Spotify.