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True Crime Media Consumption During COVID

Since the dawn of media: radio, books, T.V., humans have been intrigued by true crime stories. Whether they be about serial killers, cults, unsolved disappearances, or even bank heists there is a significant portion of the population that flocks to these stories and consumes them with great interest. Many also have observed that there seems to be more women who follow true crime stories compared to men. Many tend to ask, what it is that intrigues so many of us about these stories? Since the lockdown in March of this year, many people have had more time to dive fully into the true crime mediasphere.

“I will have it on while doing projects when I ordinarily would have been out with friends or family.” Says 25 year old Caroline Schuler.

And she is not alone. Many others responded similarly when asked if COVID increased their true crime consumption. 

In terms of what specifically draws one to true crime, many different answers were given.

“There are so many interesting cases that give us insight into the insanity that is human nature and just how awful humans can be.” Said 22 year old female, Emma Kiefer. She continued, “I’m also interested in how someone’s own life becomes a story – many true crime podcasts tend to forget the real people behind the stories and it almost turns into folklore.” 

“My high school friend and I began sharing an interest in true crime in the 70’s, especially due to Charles Manson and Ted Bundy.” Said Kim Wilson, 63. “Mostly women I know have an interest in true crime.”

Kim Wilson brought up a very interesting point. When surveying the community although a wide variety of ages answered that they were interested in the true crime genre, however, 83% of those into true crime were female. 

Caroline Schuler explained, “I think more women than men enjoy true crime because it’s more applicable to their lives and easier to relate to.” She went into detail by saying, “Firstly, in general, women are socialized to have higher emotional and interpersonal intelligence which lends itself to the social-emotional problem solving and detailed evaluation of true crime. Secondly, women are more likely to be murdered by a loved one or someone they know and in general more likely to be victims of violence.”

Cassidy McCarty, 20, had a different take, “Yes, it seems to be more women (to me at least), I have no idea as to what this may be, but it could do with the fact that some true crime fans (who are women) may “fantasize” about known killers and be attracted to them. I have heard a little bit about that so that may be the case.”

Whether or not there is one definitive reason for this media phenomenon and its largely female audience, one thing is certain. There is plenty of it to be read, watched, listened to, etc. during the lonely holidays we may be having this year. 

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