Does true crime romanticize serial killers? 


Ava Nicholas, Staff Writer

   It is no secret that some people find true crime interesting. The concept has inspired documentaries, movies, and general social media gossip. Many people tend to glamorize their favorite celebrity and their lives, and it is usually harmless; however, the revival of serial killer documentaries and fictional shows depicting real life murderers has caused some to take it too far. While the idea of true crime can be captivating with the terrifying thoughts and actions of sickening serial killers, there is a line that some have crossed with these terrible individuals, some going as far as glorifying killers like Jeffery Dahmer and Ted Bundy. 

   The repulsive romanticization of these serial killers inflict immense amounts of harm on the victims and denies the true horrors of their actions. The best way to consume true crime content is to focus more on the victims and their perspectives rather than idolizing the killer. The sufferers of these homicides have had their lives taken away from them suddenly and too soon. The fans of these serial killers do not truly understand that by supporting these people, they are disrespecting the life of the victims and their loved ones. Our society tends to prioritize the stories of criminals over the stories of the victims, disregarding their memories and their pain. When we absorb true crime content, we need to take the serial killers’ horrible actions with the weight it deserves; instead of empathizing with the killers, we need to remember the victims whose lives were sadly taken too soon. 

   A main company that has been suspected of romanticizing a serial killer is Netflix. Criticism followed their original series, Dahmer-Monster: The Jeffery Dahmer Story. The show has resulted in viewers claiming that they are fans of Dahmer or that they have sympathy for him. Viewers that are fans of Evan Peters, who plays Jeffery Dahmer, claim that it does not just cause them to have empathy for him, but deem his actions excusable. These responses caused multiple outrages by many people who felt upset on behalf of the victims and their loved ones. Along with this, the families of the victims had no input into how the show and its characters were perceived. They had no choice in accurately portraying the victim, and the events of Dahmer’s life and his victims were left entirely up to the production staff. This issue is reaching the point in which it has almost caused a new wave of fans for the serial killer. 

   It is important to point out these dangerous actions to prevent similar events from happening again; however, the publicity that is being given to Dahmer, Bundy, and many others gives the opportunity for these killers to become glorified and hailed as role models. This problem is very worrying as it has only gotten worse with the introduction of social media. It has inspired a fast spread of praising serial killers. Action needs to be taken to end these dark idolizations before it is too late.