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Why do we love true crime stories?

Everywhere you turn, it seems like there’s a new — and wildly successful book, podcast, or show devoted to a crime. I’m one of those people that can get into crime stories.

My mom is a huge fan of watching shows on the “Discovery ID” channel, which features documentary-style programming dealing with true crime subjects, mostly those of a violent nature.

My dad jokingly says it freaks him out. Recently, I’ve discovered a podcast that I really enjoy called, “True Crime Obsessed.” It’s a really unique podcast that recaps true crime documentaries with the facts and humor.

I think I stumbled across it because I recently saw the trailer for the movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” which stars Zac Efron and Lily Collins.

It tells the story of Ted Bundy. To be honest, I had never heard of him until I saw this trailer. After learning about him, I’m glad I hadn’t heard of him.

So, it piqued my interest and I watched the new Netflix documentary about him called, “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.” The title alone will give you the creeps and the documentary definitely makes your skin crawl. I was excited that my new favorite podcast starting covering the Bundy tapes documentary this week.

This podcast and documentary had me thinking, why do people like following true crime stories? One of the reasons why I like following some of these crime stories is because I wasn’t around when they happened, so I don’t know what they’re about.

In the case of Ted Bundy, I think it eased my mind to hear about his story because I never lived in a world with him in it. The State of Florida dispatched him before I was born.

In the Bundy documentary, one of the police detectives that was interviewed in it said she feels it’s important to share crime stories to help younger generations understand what happened and to bring awareness and prevention for future crime.

I read an interesting article called, “12 Reasons We Love True Crime, According to the Experts,” that explores the question why people really enjoy crime stories. The reasons it lists include: Because it’s normal (to a point); evil fascinates us; the 24/7 news cycle; we can’t look away from a “trainwreck”; it helps us (especially women) feel prepared; there may be an evolutionary benefit; we’re glad we’re not the victim or perpetrator; it gives us an adrenaline rush; we like trying to solve the mystery; we like being scared in a controlled way; and because we like storytelling.

For me personally, I think a lot of those reasons apply to me. I like watching and trying to put the puzzle pieces together and solve the mysteries.

Women in particular seem to enjoy true crime, and psychologists believe it’s because they’re getting tips about how to increase their chances of survival if they find themselves in a dangerous situation.

I never thought of that, but it makes a lot of sense. True crime stories aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and now there are so many different ways to learn about those stories.

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