A Murder Sensation is Sweeping the Nation

As I scroll through the top charts on My Podcasts, I can’t help but notice how much true crime crowds my feed. Out of the top 50 on the list, thirteen (yikes) are true crime podcasts. For years I’ve fueled what I thought was an unhealthy obsession with the subject, never missing a Forensic Files or I Survived — Serial or Sword and Scale. Until recently I thought I was alone in my creepy fixation. Turns out, I’m just one of millions of people who’ve been struck by the true crime craze.

This just leaves me with one question: Why?

Perhaps it’s because people are fascinated by the obscurity of death, by things we can’t comprehend. Maybe we’re curious about violent crimes that are presented as entertainment because the reality of horror is less threatening if it happens to someone else. Or maybe we’re all just a bunch of sickos who find pleasure in other people’s suffering (kidding).

Whatever the reason, true crime is no longer just an obsession. Based on the sheer size of its fanbase, it’s become it a phenomenon, a cult. And it has a name.

Murderinos: People who are interested in, especially obsessed with, murders. Including serial murderers, spree killers and rage/thrill killers.

This term originated from my top true crime fix, My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, a weekly comedy podcast where each host recounts a true crime story, occasionally reading additional “hometown murder” stories submitted by fans.

The podcast has amassed over 133,000 loyal Facebook fans in a private group of which, yes, I am an invested member. The page offers a safe space where people who are interested in murder (not to be confused with murdering) can discuss the subject freely, in depth, and without fear of being judged by others. And with over ten million new downloads each month, this dark intrigue has become an everyday part of life for murderinos.

As an adult who, after all the lights have been turned off, still scurries up the stairs in fear of an insidious demon or the Chuckie doll in close pursuit, people can’t help but wonder why I subject myself to the horrors of real life monsters.

For me, investing in these stories provides a kind of therapy to deal with my own fears around the subject. As someone with chronic anxiety, it helps me realize that my own insecurities, when compared to some of the tragedies faced by others, aren’t as detrimental as they seem.

Everyone has her/his own reasons for interest in the subject. So if you feel ashamed for enjoying true crime entertainment, don’t. And if you haven’t indulged, give it a shot.

If anything, it’s a great way to kill time.