Our obsession with True crime – 26/02/19

Murderers, rapists and paedophiles are initially introduced to us as a concept of fiction, something written about in books and plays – a figment of the imagination. So when we are introduced to them in True Crime documentaries in films and television series it is hard to comprehend the morals and actions of these criminals.

Recently, the popularity of True Crime has risen dramatically. Making a Murderer has been on Netflix for quite a few years now, and until recently I had never taken the time to watch it. But after watching The Ted Bundy Tapes, Abducted in Plain Sight and Dirty John, I simply cannot get enough of True Crime.

Names like Ted Bundy and Robert ‘B’ Berchtold had never been on my radar. After watching these documentaries, it is hard to comprehend the lengths that some will go to in order to gratify themselves. Necrophilia and paedophilia have always been something that nobody really understood, I was introduced to the terms during games of Cards Against Humanity, so they were nothing more than a joke. The True Crime dramas that I have watching in the last few weeks are disturbing yet enlightening. My pick has to be the Ted Bundy Tapes. I had no idea that a man could kill so many people and he was only caught when pulled over by the police for reckless driving. Bundy’s charisma and charm won a concerning amount of the public over for the majority of his trial. His ability to deceive and manipulate the law enforcement agencies in America during the 1970-80’s is second to none as he was able to escape from custody not once, but twice.

There has been a lot of controversy regarding Ted Bundy and the film starring Zac Efron. I heard of the film mid-way through watching the Netflix documentary and immediately saw the resemblance between Efron and Bundy. The main issue however is that many people find Efron sexually attractive and charming and these feelings are not acceptably associated with serial killers. There is certainly a concern that True Crime romanticises serial killers However, the main reason that Bundy was able to get away with the crimes he committed was because he was charming.

Even after escaping from prison to kill again, commit necrophilia and paedophilia, he was still capable of being admired. The fact that after his convictions, Carole Ann Boone married Bundy and had a daughter with him is something that astounds me. The relationship between Boone is something that makes me incredibly uneasy. It is hard to know if the relationship was something to make the media favour Bundy. Bundy proposed whilst on trial, they conceived a child whilst Bundy was in prison. However surely Boone must have loved Bundy deeply in order to face the public backlash to their relationship. The existence of such a relationship proves the extent of Bundy’s charm, for without it I doubt he would have found someone with such devotion as Carole Ann Boone.

Abducted In Plain Sight is another True Crime documentary, but focusses on the multiple kidnaps of Jan Broberg. Berchtold was involved sexually with both of Jan’s parents, as well as Jan herself (who was only a child at the time). The multiple sexual relationships involved in this Ture Crime documentary has led to an uproar on the internet, especially in regard to the creation of memes. The lack of concern of the Broberg family about the disappearance of Jan is concerning. This concern is probably why the public are so fascinated by True Crime documentaries – as the actions of everyone are so outrageous and troubling.

The actions that both Bundy and Berchtold made are so far removed from society nowadays that the public cannot help but be fascinated with this version of reality. Obviously, now you would not be able to get away with such crimes as technology is far too advanced. The fact that these men were both capable and able to commit such horrific crimes is mind-blowing and concerning. We cannot help but binge watch True Crime and be entertained whilst simultaneously being horrified.

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