True Crime has Gone Too Far

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True crime has been popular among many age ranges. Whether you are consuming it through a podcast, TV show, or YouTube video, it is important to remember the nature of the story you are hearing or seeing. 

While it is used as entertainment, the actual matter being covered is usually horrific and gruesome. It is enjoyed as though it is a horror movie that raises your adrenaline. However, true crime is different from a fictional shape shifting clown going after a group of friends as we see in “It.” True crime focuses on real events and real people. Many fans forget this fact as they get wrapped up in the story. Recent cases where victims’ family is still alive must be covered with extra care and respect.  

There is a significant difference between discussing Guilia Tofana and her part in the killing of over 600 men in the 1600s compared to the more recent events of Dahmer. Because it happened so long ago, it is impossible for the people who were directly impacted to be alive. So, the countless theories about the events and people in it do not have a substantial emotional influence on anyone at all at all. It has also become controversial whether people should be able to profit from others’ traumatic experiences. 

Telling someone else’s story should be handled meticulously regardless of the context. For murder cases, reaching out to the victims’ family as well as survivors is necessary. Seemingly the bare minimum is difficult even for big production companies. Netflix’s show Dahmer has been said to retraumatize those involved with the actual events that took place. Netflix legally did not need to inform those involved of the production due to Jeffery Dahmer’s case being public record. However, telling people that were associated with the case that they would have an actor portraying them seems like the more morally correct thing to do.  

While big companies are making millions from telling well known cases, people are being constantly reminded of the trauma they experienced. It is inevitable for the people making this content to make a profit but there is a less harmful way to do it.  

A good example of this matter being done well is true crime YouTuber Kendall Rae. Rae reaches out and tries to work with the families of the case. She also donates money to several organizations that are involved with true crime. For example, if she covers a cold case some of the proceeds goes to the Cold Case Foundation. She is meticulous in her research and tells the story without any dramatizations.  

The Dahmer show has had some mixed reviews on the representation of the case, having some prevalent inaccuracies that cannot be ignored. Many of the victims’ lives were improperly portrayed. The family of these people have been continuously interviewed about events from decades ago. This raises anger as well as many other complicated emotions.  

Due to this many involved have come forward and are allegedly coming forward to sue Netflix. While entertaining, those who make true crime have a responsibility to those impacted to take care of such sensitive material. The reckless, irresponsible glorification of mass murder has simply gone too far in a world that has become increasingly desensitized to the human side of loss. Dahmer is a show that exhibits little to no recognition of human life, but instead profits off the gruesome acts of sociopathic maniacs as well as the innocent bystanders left in the trail of destruction.