What’s With The Serial Killers?

I’ve been doing a deep dive into the histories various serial killers lately, and I know that I’m not alone. There are a lot of recent documentaries on various streaming platforms focusing on one killer or another. The number of true crime podcasts and YouTube channels if astounding. I’ve been pulling in this information from all over.1

This is not a new fascination for me. I’ve
written recently about my pursuit of a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justicelink. I taken online courses on forensics and forensic psychology. I’ve even attended true crime conventions.2 Some of the documentaries I’ve been watching a rehashes of material I already know, some provide new information, some crimes that I am not familiar with.

I suspect that some of this recent watching is due to my desire to put some semblance of control in a world that has been increasingly difficult and out of control. It’s a bit of a relief to learn about crimes where the criminals are uncovered, caught, and punished. For other historical crimes, it feels good to exercise my mental muscles and follow the most recent theories.

Some people might see this as dark or even disturbing. A panel I was on a few weeks ago discussed similar thoughts and feelings regarding the consumption of material in the horror genre during times of trial. The ability to encapsulate the anxiety I’ve been dealing with and project it on to fictional characters or people from the past has been helpful. There is a degree of control knowing that if things get too bad, I can always stop watching, listening, or reading.

I’m not saying that this will work for everyone, but it has definitely worked for me.

1 With the exception of books. So far, I have been ignoring the titles in my TBR pile.

2 Including a trip across the pond for the Jack the Ripper Conference where The Mrs and I stayed in Whitechapel. I took a midnight tour where we visited the sites of the double event in real time.