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Whole Lot of True Crime

The true crime genre has been around for a long time (around the 15-1700s). In more recent times however, one could probably say the genre as we know it began to really take shape with podcasts like Morbid and Serial and shows such as Dateline and I Almost Got Away With It. Streaming services seem to have fully capitalized on this fact and released a massive influx of True Crime dramas and docu-series covering nearly any crime you can think of. Due to the nature of the content however, a few areas of discussion have popped up.

    First and foremost, when the nature of the documentary is awareness especially in terms of unsolved cases, there is much good that can be done as there have been a few documentaries that have lead to the solving of a cold case or a new court case that brings justice for the victim (The Jinx, Inside Job, Cold Justice, and more). There can also be an educational element to this type of media; someone who actively consumes true crime media can potentially learn how to react in worse case scenarios. But at what point does the good outweigh the bad when it comes to the genre? There has been a decent amount of controversy surrounding the latest Jeffry Dahmer documentary. Eric Perry (cousin of Rita Isabelle, sister to one of Dahmer’s victims) brought attention to the fact that since the case is all public record, Netflix legally does not have to compensate or inform any of the families or people involved in the case. Overall,  modern true crime media is growing and changing rapidly every day and the audience will have major sway over the future of the genre. Do you think true crime dramas bring about more good than harm? Or do you think streaming services are capitalizing on someone’s pain without good reason?

April O'Neil

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