Well, it’s been a month since I’ve posted and, while I haven’t done much writing, I’ve done quite a bit of reading. A few things have struck me during this time; one, the various hypotheses I’ve come across about why women overwhelmingly favor true crime in comparison to their male counterparts. One of the most prevalent theories is that women’s penchant for true blood and gore is in part a way to glean survival strategies should we ever find ourselves face to face with Ted Bundy or the Son of Sam.
Frankly, I don’t believe this. I’ve been addicted to true crime ever since I picked up Helter Skelter as a fourteen year old bored out of her mind during a two week family vacation. I’ve read hundreds of true crime books since then, and I’ve yet to find myself scouring the pages for tips on how to evade capture or talk a serial killer out of murdering me. In fact, the stories that most captivate me are the ones with main characters I’m least likely to encounter – the serial killer, the pathological cult leader, or the mass murderer.
In fact, it’s my inability to understand the journey one takes from innocent child to psychopathic murderer that enslaves me time and time again. I can find bits and pieces of the puzzle – childhood abuse, social isolation, an aberrant fantasy life – that are often present, but I can find these same pieces in thousands of lives that have created an existence that doesn’t require the sacrifice of others. I want to know why a person would decide to kill a perfect stranger, how a human being can take pleasure from another person’s suffering, and what it takes to moves this person from fantasy to action.
Perhaps I should write a true crime book.