Most people start their Thursday morning with coffee and the news. I start mine with a Missoula mauler or a maybe a father who murdered his family in Los Feliz (followed by coffee, of course). After the work day, it’s back to a podcast about a surgeon turned murderer until I click on Law and Order: SVU to decompress while I cook dinner. Falling asleep calls for earbuds and an audiobook about the Golden State Killer. In the morning I’m back at it again.
For all intents and purposes, I’m a normal 28-year-old woman—yet a substantial chunk of the content I consume is horrifically gruesome. What’s stranger is that I find it soothing.
The phenomenon of true crime is not new (looking at you, Jack the Ripper), but content is now more readily accessible than ever thanks to podcasts, TV shows, books and online sleuthing forums.
In the wake of prestige shows like The Jinx and Making a Murderer, seven of the top ten podcasts on iTunes tell tales of brutal serial killers or women who vanished into thin air. There’s an entire channel (Investigation Discovery, for those unfamiliar) solely devoted to true crime and even the Weather Channel is paying homage with a new show called Storm of Suspicion.