Thanks to the wonders of modern Search Engine Optimization, you’ve found yourself here, on what appears to be your typical, run-of-the-mill true crime passion project. There’s hundreds, if not thousands, of these: blogs, forums, Reddit threads, Facebook groups, all dedicated to discussing the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of movies, television shows, podcasts, and books created to satisfy our society’s growing true crime appetite. The reality is that the demand for true crime is there, and, fortunately or unfortunately, so is the supply.
Why? I’m sure the appeal is different for everyone. Maybe you like true crime because your own life is peaceful and average and you crave danger and excitement. Maybe you love horror movies and gore, and you’ve slowly made your way out of fictional stories and into real life ones. Maybe you tune in to learn about the victims—or, maybe you want to know about the killers. At the core of anyone’s true crime obsession is an eons-old concept: the simultaneous fear and fascination with human evil. How far can someone go? How do they get there? And can they be stopped?
I’ve spent years as a dedicated true crime junkie, getting my fix through podcasts, discussion boards, and amateur sleuth sites. It was a fun hobby, something that brought me joy and, weirdly, relaxation. But eventually, I started to realize the consequences of using a human being’s horrific experience as something for me to distract myself with. I started asking myself: is this media entertainment, or exploitation?
Crime doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Crime media, though, can. For every Casey Anthony and Jon Benet-Ramsey, stories that the media latches on to with no end in sight, there are hundreds on hundreds of cases that get nothing more than a newspaper column. Black, brown, Hispanic and Latinx victims. Sex worker victims. Runaways, transients, transgender and gender-non-conforming individuals. The homeless. The elderly. Not every victim grabs the attention and imagination of the public. Their cases get cold, and then closed.
At its best, true crime media solves cases. It brings awareness to injustices, reopens cold cases, and inspires the public to demand accountability and transparency from law enforcement. At its worst, true crime makes life miserable for survivors and victims’ families. It turns grotesque acts of violence into for-profit media, the spoils of which are rarely shared or donated to those who deserve it. It makes it easier for us to forget the “true” aspect of true crime, easier to imagine that victims and murderers alike are just characters.
This blog will strive to be the best of true crime, a genre that I believe can give us entertainment as well as an opportunity to help. Its mission is to raise awareness, spread information, and keep public interest engaged in cases that didn’t get the chance to be the subjects of podcasts and movies. It will serve as a reminder to those victims that someone cares. We care. And we might even be able to do something about it.