True Crime - Why Do We Love It?

Brutal acts of violence and crime have long been paraded in the public eye, even as far back as the 1600s with publishments including ‘the Book of Swindles’. However, in more recent years the genre of true crime has become a global phenomenon. One does not need to dig too deep on Netflix to uncover a plethora of shows catered to the topic. Shows like ‘Don’t F**k With Cats’, ‘Mindhunter’ and ‘West Cork’ explore the ominous details of closed and open cases past and present to feed the hunger people have for experiencing fear from the safety of their own couch. This experience is further fuelled by the wide availability of true crime podcasts so people can listen to the hellish experiences of others on the tram, train, or bike at their own leisure. In spite of all this, the question is repeatedly asked, why do we listen to the harrowing crimes committed that are only made scarier when we remember that they are matters of fact not fiction? Countless theories and reasons have been thrown forward to answer this question. The purpose of this article is to explore some of them.