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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

True Crime’s Criminal Nature

If you indulge even a little bit on Youtube–or any other social media platform–you have most likely gone down the true crime rabbit hole at one point in your life. True crime podcasts, shows, documentaries, and forums are always on an influx in all corners of the internet. 

It is no surprise that true crime is something that catches people’s attention. The morbid curiosity of a deep dive into the worst of humanity is no doubt interesting, but at the same time, it is incredibly unethical in most cases.

An easily digestible example of this–although a critique rather than a genuine example–is Loch Henry, a recent episode released by Black Mirror. 

This episode showcases the exploitative nature of true crime documentaries, following the story of a couple (Davis and Pia) that go to Scotland to film a d-listing documentary, but their plans change after finding out about a gruesome murder that occurred there. Both Davis and Pia are enthusiastic to film it, but Pia finds out that Davis’ mother and father are directly involved in the murders. 

The mother gets Pia killed, and Davis finds the incriminating evidence in the form of tapes, all confirming Davis’ parents’ involvement. The documentary goes through production and becomes a huge hit, much to Davis’ dismay. His newfound fame and wealth are a constant reminder about what his parents did to the original victims and his girlfriend. 

It sort of turns the usual circumstances on its head. Usually the directors and crew of these true crime documentaries aren’t close to being directly involved. But we see in this episode–while not the hardest to connect a few brain cells to figure out the meaning behind–showcases just how hard it is for people directly connected to the tragedy to deal with it. While it does play up the theatrics and shows an extreme side of the industry, it sort of has to. People have been expressing their discomfort around true crime media for years, but do people still listen to them? Of course not. If stopping means giving up on potential profits, they won’t ever stop. 

It’s disgusting, in the nicest way possible. The true crime industry usually focuses most on portraying the killers as these sort of legendary figures, instead of the pathetic losers they really are.

I think that liking true crime in and of itself isn’t bad, but it’s just the way that most influencers go about it that’s unethical.

Focus on the people the victims were, their aspirations, motivations and what they did with their lives before their untimely end.

Focus on anything other than the worst part of their lives. As an influencer–or director in the documentary’s cases–these people have the power and the opportunity to do something actually useful with this macabre interest. But instead of celebrating the fact that the victims were real people with real lives and real achievements, these people choose to focus on the killers, and most often than not, making the killer out to be the cool underdog villain.

Because who doesn’t like a good villain in fiction? 

It’s just that this isn’t fiction. 

Very old news, but the most notable and recent event like this that I can remember is the Dahamer show from Netflix. Even though the families of the actual victims showcased their discomfort with the show, Netflix went ahead and filmed it anyway–directly going against the family’s wishes for the sake of their own monetary gain. 

For some reason, in the industry, people just love to throw away their empathy and replace it with their greediness. When will people learn that you can’t trade someone’s life for a couple bands of cash. 

It’s unbelievably stupid and tone-deaf, the fact that these are real people who had real lives and emotions and real relationships stripped away from them in a single moment, and these true crime influencers just treat these victims as 2D “characters”, all while portraying the killer as cool and mysterious. 

I can’t sit here and rant about my gripes with the true crime industry as if I’m not an avid watcher/listener of it. I personally love true crime, the only difference here is that it may take a little bit more effort to find documentaries and influencers who go about this topic with the much needed level of fragility it needs. 

Make fun of the killers. Pull them off their pedestals. All these killers are just losers who have some sort of power complex over others. There is absolutely no reason for them to be idolized as much as they are. Names like “Jack the ripper” and “Midnight Stalker” are just fuel to the flames of these killer’s inflated ego. 

No one would try their hand at fame by killing another person if the media named them something like “Loser soy boy” or put a good ole’ “Virgin” in front of their name. 

I’m not telling anyone to stop consuming true crime content as a whole, I’m just saying to be more aware and mindful about where you get your information and content from, and to have the respect for these subjects that they deserve. 

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