True crime has fascinated me since I was around 8 or 9, I don’t remember exactly what drew me to it; I just know that around then, I started to look into criminal cases, watch documentaries when I could and slowly my true crime obsession was formed. It came into it’s own when I moved into my own place when I was 18, I bought loads of books (it helped that I started going out with a police officer) and started reading up on famous UK murderers and once i’d devoured those, I started on lesser known but still shocking murders and criminals.
I realised early on, I wasn’t fascinated by their crimes, a lot of the time I couldn’t actually read what they’d done, I was interested to learn of their psychology. What made them tick, what happened to them to make them a murderer and how they got caught. There are some murders that I know far more than I would like to (little Jamie Bulger springs to mind straight away) and there are others where just not enough information is available (Jack the Ripper).
As a big fan of history, I’d like to believe that looking into murders is somehow related to that and how murderers have evolved and changed over the centuries. I enjoy reading about murders that happened hundreds of years ago, where it seemed suspicious deaths were a far more regular occurrence than they are now. If you read about 15th and 16th Century Italy for instance, you’d innocently believe that half of Rome died within a couple of years it seems so many bodies were found in the tiny, dank alleyways and thrown in to the Tiber. It was the same with France and the Seine. It’s not very accurate obviously; but murders of rivals, politically, financially and romantically were more common I’m sure (if I’d finished my history module, I’d have more of an idea!)
Then, all of a sudden, my obsession petered out. I left my ex-husband (the police officer) and moved on. I thought I’d grown up and true crime and murder was a thing of the past but it didn’t last long. I still wanted to read about it, I just didn’t need to find out every little detail anymore until a podcast came along just after I started studying which flipped that back on its head…My Favorite Murder is one of my favourite podcasts. I binged listened to every episode in about 3 months. It’s funny, and witty and the two women who host; Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff are top notch. They have made true crime fun for me again (if that’s not the weirdest sentence ever) and made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. The podcast for me is easier than reading about it as I can stop the podcast and do something else and I haven’t seen words in a book that would inevitably have seared themselves onto my brain. If I want to research something in more detail I can do and I don’t have to see pictures and I can skip past the truly horrifying episodes if I wish to.
Everyone should listen to it, it’s brought families and friends together and whole sub-communities have spawned on facebook and twitter and murderinos, the name for fans of the podcast, are literally everywhere! There are also other great true crime podcasts out there, Slaughter and Crime and Wine are another two of my favourites but it will always come back to Georgia and Karen for me.