Is True Crime Bad For You?

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“Bingeing true crime is not that much different from people watching a 24-hour news cycle covering a killing spree, invasion, or terrorist attack.”

Jooyoung Lee, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto

The above quote comes from Jooyoung Lee, a professor of sociology at the University of Toronto. He is absolutely spot-on, however some people consider 24-hour news channels bad for your health. But as with news channels and true crime, you can simply switch off or close the book. The question still remains…

Is true crime bad for you?

No, true crime is not bad for you unless you are the perpetrator of crime itself! Human beings, in general, are drawn to extreme cases of violence or darkness. It’s not to say that someone might read something and then emulate a violent act. It means we have a fascination with the dark side of the human soul, something we rarely come in contact with but actively seek to learn more about.

True crime brings out the detective in you

We are curious creatures, especially when it comes to out-of-the-ordinary events. If you were to witness a car crash, then a curiosity arises within you to find out what happened. Even though you know in all likelihood it could be a really tragic story, where real people have been hurt, or worse.

Consuming real life horror often makes people feel like they’re part of the story. You could be looking for clues in a true crime show, consuming information in books like this one, or delving into cold case forums. It might make someone feel more comfortable with their own environment, in that they learn what to look out for.

Many of us have a visceral reaction to violence, which is why we are so captivated by the nature of true crime stories and facts. Your heart rate quickens but you feel compelled to keep reading or watching.

Does consuming true crime turn you into a killer?

No. Can there be instances when someone may be influenced by true crime books and shows? Yes, but they will most likely have a predisposition of already being a violent person or already considering the things they are watching or reading about.

There is a proven link between the availability of the tools of murder and the number of murders that take place. In America alone in the past two decades, an average of 19,000 people are murdered every year. If you have access to weapons that can cause death then you have put the tools of murder into the hands of someone who might already be considering an act of crime.

Almost all of us will never commit a crime the likes of which you will read about here. Take safe knowledge in the fact you are more likely to be killed by lightning than you are by a serial killer.

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