Twisted Tales in True Crime: The Harm True Crime Has on Society

Hailey Reyes

Captivity truly tends to be the essence of True Crime, with its enticing tales of grief, loss, and disturbing nature. A bullet that can’t be dodged in today’s pop-culture platforms, True Crime has made impressive waves among the public as the genre has found a way to conform to everything and anything the people want in a good murder story. However, that’s all viewers, readers, and fanatics might interpret the genre as, a tragic story, one that’s meant to spike adrenaline and nothing more. With True Crime, it’s significant to notice its rise in popularity and although the genre has brought great awareness to hot button issues, it is not in any way flawless nor is it acceptable in all circumstances. 


According to MentalFloss, major psychological factors play a key role in how people respond to True Crime and what is generally found is that people are captivated by True Crime due to a sense of security and because they simply can’t look away from the peculiar. It’s human to not want to tear one’s eyes away from something tragic and to want to be prepared for the worst, but at what point does it become insensitive? 


According to an article on BBC, “Is Our Growing Obsession with True Crime a Problem?” victims of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer were quickly overlooked when a bar called Shakers, a location in which Dahmer lured his victims from in Milwaukee, became a hot spot for True Crime fanatics who were interested in knowing Dahmer’s approach to his killings. Protests ignited shortly after the bar became popular, locals from the community claiming that the profit made off of Dahmer’s narrative was hurtful to the victim’s families who still resided in the area. 


The bar is still open for reservations today, clearly indicating no plans for a shutdown. True Crime fanatics will claim that these types of tourist attractions are significant moments of history filled with educational lessons on the past. While this is true and extremely valid, at what point will it become okay to completely drown out victim’s voices and disregard their intimate ties to a crime? 


Time and time again, it is proven evident that serial killers are becoming more reminiscent of what many movie buffs might deem, Hollywood stars. Zac Efron’s portrayal of  Ted Bundy in Netflix’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” is one example. Shortly after its release, the movie caused a bundle of controversy because of the romanticization of Bundy’s character. 


To many moviegoers, perhaps the movie wasn’t in any way mentally effective,  to victims of these crimes, however, some misconceptions could be too much to bear. It’s extremely significant to take victims into consideration with any True Crime project. A line needs to be drawn between protecting the people who realistically suffered under these crimes, and manipulating a serial killer’s caliber to look more dramatic for views. True Crime is an exceptional genre that has no doubt introduced many people to prominent incidents in history. However, when these incidents are misportrayed in the most damaging way, it has the potential of poisoning the minds of those who choose to indulge in the genre rather than informing them.