When I started writing Murder, We Spoke, I wanted to explore my personal fascination with true crime. What was it about this genre that compelled me to watch, investigate, snoop, dig, research? Over the course of three years, the podcast series developed and evolved into a much larger question, why true crime now?
If you were to do a basic Google search and start typing, “Why is true…” Google search will auto populate the following:
WHY TRUE CRIME ALWAYS
As I continued to workshop and rewrite Murder, We Spoke, the question of, is it nature or nurture, kept popping into my head. We often hear this question when we dive into the psyche of serial killers. But, maybe, we should apply this question to the history of humanity. As Marcus Parks from the popular comedy, true crime podcast, Last Podcast on the Left, likes to remind folks – it’s not, “Why true crime now?” It’s “Why true crime always?”
Of course, there are folks – majority of those that identify as women – that say they consume true crime content to educate themselves. After all, the sad truth is the majority of victims in true crime narratives are often women (as well as people of color and members of the LGBTQ+ community). True crime helps women understand what’s going on inside the mind of a criminal and possibly learn new techniques that will keep them safe.
I know that for myself, there is a soothing component to educating myself to the horrors of violence that surround me. I feel better prepared to spot red flags, defend myself, and avoid becoming a victim. (Yes, I know this last statement is a truly dark, sad reflection of current society, and shouldn’t be something that I NEED to educate myself on, but hey, that’s just the reality we live in right now. Another blog post for another time.)
DECAPITATION, DISEMBOWELMENT, CANNIBALISM, OH MY!
But I would be lying if I said my true crime intrigue ended with education. There is something inside me that is a little darker…a little more insidious. I guess that is really why I started writing Murder, We Spoke – to tap into the darkness inside me that compels me to learn about every gruesome detail of a crime. Decapitation, disembowelment, cannibalism, oh my! I’m grossed out, I’m appalled, I’m…hooked?
Where did this grotesque gremlin inside of me come from? As I poured over the initial question of, “why true crime always,” I didn’t find an exact answer into the psychology of consuming violence (there are a ton of theories out there). But I did discover that throughout human history, true crime and violence has always been a form of entertainment for people around the world. Public executions, the violent spectacles inside of the Roman Colosseum or during the Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, burning people at the stake, beheadings, hangings, on and on and on throughout history. And the one thing all these violent acts had in common (other than pain and death) is the audience. All of these “events” had spectators come from near and far to watch as another human being’s life perished in front of their eyes. Some of these “events” even charged admission!
Now, would I pay to watch someone be publicly executed? HELL NO! But, I do pay for Netflix and my watch history is filled with every true crime documentary imaginable. So, I guess, Murder, We Spoke, isn’t so much about whether true crime is good or bad. It is an exploration into our relationship with violence. Attraction, arousal, curiosity, education? I think it is a very personal answer for everyone. But no matter what the answer is, violence is a part of reality (sadly). Maybe, we are all just trying to find ways we can control it.
About the Blog
I write plays. I tell stories. I create content. I vent. I offer advice. I hope people will learn from my mistakes.