What does our fascination with true crime say about us?

Scott A. Weiss
3 min readJan 3, 2023

If you subscribe to any of the popular streaming video platforms you’d have to have your eyes closed to have missed the almost pervasive presence of true crime related content. True crime is definitely having its moment, and is seemingly everywhere! From podcasts like “Serial” and “My Favorite Murder” to TV shows like “Forensic Files” and “The First 48,” there is no question true crime as a genre of storytelling has exploded in popularity.

But why?

Well, I asked an AI bot this very question, and here’s what it told me:

The trend (in true crime) has been fueled by the rise of streaming platforms and the ability to access a wide variety of content on demand. In addition, the internet has made it easier for people to share information and connect with others who have a similar interest in true crime. As a result, true crime has become a mainstream genre, with new books, podcasts, and TV shows being produced on a regular basis.

So don’t take it from me.

But what does our interest in such dark subject matter say about us?

Well, for one thing, we may be drawn to this material because we’re curious and want to understand the motivations behind criminal behavior. Exploring these kinds of stories can help us try to make sense of events that seem inexplicable or bizarre.

Or maybe it’s because we’re inherently fearful, and want to be informed about potential dangers in our environment. Reading about these cases may help us feel more prepared to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm.

We all love a good story, and true crime has that in spades. With dramatic, suspenseful narratives, and heartbreaking, disturbing, sometimes downright hilarious characters and storylines that can keep us engaged for hours, true crime tales can be captivating to read or watch and may even be, for some, a particularly obsessive form of entertainment or escapism.

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Scott A. Weiss

Author, freelance writer and self-employed recruiter. Bylines in the Daily Beast, Seattle Times, Classic Rock Magazine, LouderSound.