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Why True Crime?

March 10, 2023

If you’re like me, you love anything true crime based. Whether it’s a documentary, TV series, podcast, or even a book- if there’s a crime or a mystery involved- I’m probably interested. But it’s not just me. Studies show that one in three people watch, listen to, or read true crime at least once a week, with women being more interested than men (happy late International Women’s Day!). They also revealed that 73% of consumers believe that true crime is more fascinating than fiction. We even just had a Student Activities Murder Mystery event!

But what makes us so interested in the darker side of humanity? Being entertained by the gruesome and intrigued by the mystery of it? I think there’s something to say about true crime being a nonfiction genre of entertainment (hence the true in true crime). There’s an aspect within it that’s educational (and a little morbid). It allows us to dive into the dark side of the human psyche and examine how humans could do such awful things while also trying to solve the mystery of who did it. We get to study the psychology behind the crime and examine what led up to it while also solving a sort of puzzle (I love a good puzzle).

While the true crime fascination seems morbid and even slightly disturbing at times, it inherently fuels our innate desire to survive. In today’s society, we don’t exactly have to fight for our lives on a daily basis (although classes make me feel like it sometimes). But humans were constantly in danger at one point, assessing where they would get their next meal and how they would survive throughout the night. While we (at least I don’t) currently live through anything like that, there are dangers in everyday life that it can benefit from being aware of. Unfortunately, the world is not made up of rainbows and butterflies (as much as I know I would like it to be). The fall of man opened all kinds of sin, and we see that on a magnified scale when we look at true crime. Everything we see in true crime was not God’s design for humanity and therefore there’s a certain level of interest in it.

With all that being said, I do think we have to be careful of what we consume and how much. It’s fun to peek into the darker side of the psyche, but when it becomes all we watch, it begins to take a stronger hold on our brains. (Almost) everything is better in moderation, which is very true for true crime (word play ha). I know, at least for me, if I let myself watch or listen to too much true crime-based entertainment and don’t balance it with something, especially with any other stressors like school, my anxiety rises, and I feel more on edge than at other times. So while I am the first to say I love a true crime doc, please remember to listen to your body and take care of yourselves with lighter things also.


Written by Carly West

Carly is a first semester senior studying Graphic Design at Liberty. She is passionate about creating, getting out of her comfort zone, and trying new things, which led her to join the blog team.