The real crime behind true crime podcasts

Mackenzie Zent, Opinion editor

If there is anything that millennials and gen z are going to agree on, it is that true crime has them hooked.

I am not quite sure what it is about true crime that fascinates people, but a lot of people watch and listen to true crime, myself included. These types of reports are available on TV streaming services, podcasts, YouTube and more.

What I have found through tuning into them myself is that I prefer the true crime videos on YouTube more than podcasts because the creators on YouTube seem to have more compassion for the victims.

Usually, I will just watch true crime on YouTube because sometimes creators will put in pictures of the places the crime

took place, or the suspects so it keeps my attention more. However, about two years ago I was on a plane and decided to download some podcasts to listen to and I chose Crime Junkies, one of the most popular true crime podcasts out there.

Once I started listening, I found myself getting upset by the way the two creators were speaking.

One of the girls would report on the crime and the other would listen, adding her input on the story as they were talking and then they would discuss.

The girl who was listening would say things like “no way that did not happen,” “oh what happened next?” or “how did no one go looking for them?” in a super upbeat and excited tone.

This really rubbed me the wrong way because there is nothing wrong with being interested, but it crosses a line when it sounds like someone is excited about the story.

I feel like these creators almost forget that they are reporting on a victim of a brutal crime.

Someone had to die in a really horrific way in order for them to be making this content, and I do not feel that they are respectful enough of that.

Not only that, but these creators make money off of their podcasts. I know everyone has to work in order to make a living, but it just seems unfair to me that they are making money, gaining popularity and advancing their careers off of terrible events that actually happened to someone. The YouTubers that make true crime content are a lot better in my opinion because they have a lot more compassion for the victims, even just in the way they speak about them. I do not think that watching and listening to true crime is bad, there is something about it that gives people that “cannot look away” feeling.

I think some people, such as the ones who make different podcasts, become desensitized to these crimes and that makes it easier for them to talk about it in an upbeat way. I am not really sure if that is a good thing because I hope they are not viewing it as a made-up story or gossip, considering it was a tragic event.

Personally, I have watched a lot of true crime and it has made me more aware of my surroundings and now I take different precautions in order to stay safe.