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Just a Thought - Do TV shows glorify killers?
Lisa Hobbs, new mugshot.jpg

Does the act of watching horror movies, true crime stories, documentaries on killers, or shows like “Criminal Minds” glorify the crimes/criminals that are depicted in them?

I’ve always thought of those shows and movies as entertainment or educational, depending on what I’m watching at the time. 

“Criminal Minds” is engaging. I like the psychological aspect. The show centers on FBI profilers who analyze the nation’s most dangerous serial killers and individual heinous crimes in an effort to anticipate their next moves before they strike again. My favorite character is Spencer Reid played by Matthew Gray Gubler. He is a genius with an IQ of 187 and can read 20,000 words per minute with an eidetic memory. 

I’ve also been known to watch “Snapped,” “Evil Lives Here,” “Homicide Hunter,” “Forensic Files” and documentaries on serial killers. Horror movies, I've watched more than I can count. 

Recently, I received what I would describe as an ounce of criticism for watching documentaries related to serial killers. I was watching one on Charles Manson. Not my first biography, but sometimes one offers a little something the others did not. Idle chitchat lead to what was on TV. 

Then, came the critical tone: that it’s their belief that such shows glorify the criminal and that they have zero interest in watching those documentaries on people like Charles Manson.

That disapproving tone came from someone who regularly watches horror movies, true crime stories and documentaries on killers. 

Silence, as I mulled over the facts in my head. So, one can watch an unlimited amount of horror movies (usually based on actual crimes/criminals), true crime stories, documentaries on people who kill their loved ones and that’s not wrong, but watching documentaries on serial killers is?

What others think about me matters not to me. Jump onto that high horse and judge away. It does, however, bother me when I feel judged by someone who’s (for lack of better terminology) “sins” mirror those of my own, but they just can’t, or won’t, see it. 

Seemingly, they have has worked out in their own mind the appropriate justification – as flawed as the logic behind it is – that what they are doing is OK. As long as they stay away from documentaries on serial killers, you’re not complicit in any glorification effort. Again, silence to mull that over.

I’ve never thought of watching horror movies, true crime stories, documentaries on killers or shows like “Criminal Minds” as glorifying the crimes/criminals. Maybe it is. Unlike my friend, I refuse to draw an invisible line between them as a justification for watching one over another. If one is wrong, are they not all wrong? 

I guess I’m just tossing this out into the abyss: Are we glorifying crimes/criminals through watching horror movies, true crime stories, documentaries or fictional crime shows?

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.