As a grown woman, I completely understand why my mom found it quite disturbing to find middle-school me reading The I-5 Killer by Ann Rule. My true crime fascination began early, and I’ve read probably hundreds of novels about the grisly crimes humans can commit.
While in San Francisco, I lived with a beautiful woman who wanted nothing more than to work as an attorney for The California Innocence Project and their current cases. Anita (Alibi) took the time to share her thoughts on many of these cases with me. I never passed up a chance to let her teach me about the men and women in our criminal justice system who might need additional representation and research to prove their innocence. I read dozens of books about exonerations and I was outraged to learn there were hundreds of these books I didn’t have time to read.
Last year I found the Serial podcast and was thrilled to see how eyes were opened to the true crime genre; this was another topic I had been fascinated with for years before it was “cool.” (As much as true crime can be cool, yanno?)
I ravenously listened to Serial season one (and Criminal, and Slate’s Spoiler Specials, and Crime Writers On and and and you get the point) and though season two of Serial is very different than season one, I’m just as captured by the Bergdahl case as I was the Syed case. Crime stories intrigue me; especially when they’re complicated.
This interest in true crime has made me rethink the American criminal justice system – from police brutality to wrongful convictions – and how much I actually trust those who are in charge. I don’t quite know what I’m going to do with these feelings, but they need to be addressed and this is how I’ll begin.
What are your feelings on the subject*?
*subjects? Any and all of the thoughts you have about this stuff are welcome; I’m looking to educate myself on all sides, thoughts, feelings, and opinions before I try to sort out my own!