Crime Fascination


Ariana Warner, Author

Have you ever wondered why people find crime so intriguing? There are many theories as to why people find comfort in crime related things, and/or enjoy it so much. There’s crime movies, crime shows, even real world, real time, crime headlines online that are found entertaining. But the question is why? Why do people enjoy crime so much? Well, here’s a couple theories some people believe about this.

The first theory is that crime is entertaining because it’s ‘normal’.  Dr. Michael Mantell, a former chief psychologist of San Diego’s police department, told NPR in 2009,  “it says that we’re normal and healthy.” He says that having a fascination with crime is completely normal. “I think our interest in crime serves a number of different healthy psychological purposes, of course there are limits. If all you do is talk about it, and you have posters of it, and you have newspaper article clippings in your desk drawer, I’d be concerned,” he claimed. Meaning, having a love for crime is completely normal and healthy, but to an extent.

Another theory is that the crime genre gives us a glimpse of the killer’s point of view. It gives us a glimpse into the minds of those who committed a crime. A licensed clinical psychiatrist at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago told AHC health center enjoyment for crime starts when we’re young. Our attention was drawn to good and evil. Like good guys and villains for example.

We also have the theory that crime helps us feel prepared. Studies have shown people focus on threats, even if they aren’t aimed toward them directly, for their own wellbeing. Others say women in particular are more attached to crime for ideas of protecting themselves if they were in that same situation. Women are also more likely to watch, or read something with a female victim, rather than a male victim in order to get a feel for the killer’s motives.

Last but not least, we have trying to solve the mystery. Some people often think of crime shows and/or movies as a puzzle; they want to solve it! “By following an investigation on TV, people can play armchair detective and see if they can figure out ‘whodunit’ before law enforcement catches the real criminal,” Scott Bonn, professor of criminology at Drew University says. When people want to solve crimes like this, it stimulates the brain, which is a fun and good way of doing such.

Crime may not be something everyone enjoys, but it’s always good to find new interests. From crime shows, to movies, or maybe even a book. Not only is it for entertainment, but it can also give you an insight of the criminal’s minds, almost as if you’re in their head. Even if it’s not in your best interest, you should try it out. Maybe you’ll come up with your own theory for why it’s so loved!