OPINION: The Trojan Horse of True Crime

True Crime media has been both present and popular in our society for quite some time. It consists of retellings of the actions taken by serial killers for the purpose of entertainment. But is it morally right to showcase a serial killer and popularize them for their actions?
As for me, I do not believe it is right to give serial killers publicity and fame for their actions. It is not worth the entertainment value if the cost is making those who commit heinous crimes famous.

First of all, making documentaries or other forms of media about a serial killer is giving them exactly what they want, the spotlight. Often serial killers have a heightened ego, they want to be remembered. They want to live on in infamy, and they’ll be granted that wish with the creation of that sort of content. A killer’s punishment should take priority over a killer’s wish.

It might be argued that these kinds of documentaries serve an informative purpose to the public, to teach them about early warning signs in killers. While I agree these documentaries are informative, they’re not informative for the public, but for other future killers. From these documentaries, a future killer can learn what will get them caught and know what not to do. The more you popularize true crime, the less the chance serial killers will make those same mistakes in the future, and in turn will make catching serial killers a harder task.

Finally, if a person or group wants to create a documentary on a serial killer, they do not need to have consent from the families of the victims in order to make it. This is just wrong. To make it worse, they often make them against the consent of those parties. Making those documentaries actively brings up past trauma in those affected by a serial killer. It’s not right to popularize a killer against the consent of those the killer has hurt, and yet many of the people who make these documentaries don’t care.

Overall, true crime media does more harm than good. It gives the criminals what they want, can make future killers harder to catch, and cause further harm to past victims of the serial killer. True crime is a heavily profitable source of entertainment, and that often comes at the expense of others. Creators of this content sometimes care more about profiting on the popular genre than respecting the wishes of those with connections to the crime.

Popularizing serial killers is something that should never be done. They are people who have committed heinous atrocities, and deserve to be forgotten. They don’t deserve a place in our memories, yet despite our best wishes, they make their home there regardless.