the true crime genre is so popular today that there is an inexhaustible supply of books, documentaries and podcasts. for those who don't enjoy it, the interest is simply macabre and tasteless. it only feeds our anxieties and makes us more paranoid and nervous. for those who do enjoy it, the more horrific the kidnapping, disappearance or murder, the more we get drawn into the story.
as we know, human beings tend to be drawn to the abnormal, to the mysterious, to the taboo. but I don't think that fully explains the appeal. first of all, it is interesting to note that, according to various studies, this audience is mainly women.
one of the studies, by amanda vicary, a social psychologist and professor at illinois wesleyan university, shows that men are more interesed in war stories, while women are more interested in crimes. one possible reason, according to the researcher, is that women identify with the victims of violent crimes, since women are often victims of such crimes themselves (70% of the victims of serial killers are women).
in addition, having information about certain aspects of the killer's psychology or survival skills can be a crucial factor in escaping from a dangerous situation. which, whether justified or not, can help us feel prepared or even safer.
another reason that may help us to understand this female preference is the relationship that we have with the world of online dating. it has never been completely safe to go on a date, but the digital world may have created the right opportunity for predators. setting up a date through an app with someone you don't know and who isn't connected to anyone you know is always risky. as a result, more and more women are using FBI-like techniques to confirm details about their potential dates. so the appeal of "true crime" seems to be less about voyeurism and more about our own survival.
the interest in true crime is not new, in fact in the 19th century there were already a number of pamphlets in the united kingdom that described horrific crimes in detail. however, it was truman capote's 1966 publication of in cold blood that gave birth to the current true crime genre. the author's attempt to reconstruct the investigation of the murder of the clutter family in holcomb, kansas, for which there seemed to be no motive and no clues.
since 1966, true crime has won millions of fans around the world. documentaries like "making a murderer" or the podcast "serial" have stirred our detective instincts and made us question guilt and innocence.
and if you are a fan like we are, you won't want to miss out on these suggestions!
cláudia cavaleiro the editor in chief for CINCO editorial. born in '82 in coimbra, she is graduated in philosophy from the university of coimbra. passionate about books and podcasts in a geek kind of way, she always find something interesting to research. loves to bring awareness to social problems and loves working at CINCO!