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I don't understand my fixation...

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It's a TV show, and for some reason I feel sick, or crazy for watching it. I've been a victim in the past, so why do I enjoy watching a show full of horrible crime, vivid descriptions and images of other people being hurt in the most horrendous ways imaginable?

Is it normal to be this way? How screwed up are we as a society that shows like this top the charts? How screwed up am I as an individual to watch them religiously, even buy the box set every season? How screwed up are the writers to come up with this crap? Are they potential serial killers? They sure seem to know a lot about these types of people, how and why they do what they do. Am I one? I usually have the killer all figured out within the first 15 or 20 min of the show. I even usually sympathize with the killers, with their pain and what they have been through that led them to make these choices.

It's not like there is anyone in this world I wish dead or want to kill, not even those who have hurt me in the past, so why watch this? Why watch, and point out what the killer did wrong that led to his capture, and think of how I would do it differently?

The only person I've ever wanted to kill was myself, so I know I'm not homicidal, but I'm afraid that there is something wrong with me for watching these shows and feeling more sorry for the killers than the victims. I've even studied real serial killers and felt sorry for them, empathized with them and understood why they felt the need to take their pain out on others.

I suffer from depression with suicidal thoughts, not homicidal. So now that I've noticed my interest in shows like this, real crime stories and the like, I'm starting to wonder if there is something that I don't know about myself. Something crazy and darker than just depression.


Active Member
I have a fascinatoin with real crime stories too, and also suffer with suicidal thoughts. I don't think there's anything wrong with you, it's like back in the middle ages when the townsfolk would gather for a hanging - of course I'm not saying it's right, but there is something intriguing about crimes and murder.
Personally I've never felt more sympathy for the killer than the victim. In some ways I do sympathise with them, like when I watched LockUp Mad Men, certain killers I did feel sorry for in a sense...they had a reason for what they did, that may seem trivial to some, but knowing how things can eat away at a person causing them to eventually lash out, it's understandable.

Sorry I kind of lost focus during that last paragraph, but I don't think there is anything wrong with you.

Growing Pains

Well-Known Member
I can actually relate. I wonder what you'd think of me if you read some of the novels I've written. I like delving into the darker parts of "humanity". There's something fascinating about it. Sometimes, when I'm writing I'll get so lost in the characters mind that it scares me - but I know I would never actually harm anyone. Still, I'm fascinated by such things and I, too, enjoy watching similar crime shows. I can, also, figure the killer out before the plot line explains it.

I don't think there's anything wrong with you, either. Many people are fascinated by such things. Granted, some are more so than others. I cannot say if it's normal or not, but I don't think it's abnormal, either.
It is good to know that I'm not the only one lol. Thanks, to the both of you for slightly easing my mind.

certain killers I did feel sorry for in a sense...they had a reason for what they did, that may seem trivial to some, but knowing how things can eat away at a person causing them to eventually lash out, it's understandable.
That's exactly how I see it. As a person who has been through a ton, I can understand the need to lash out. Even though I wouldn't hurt anyone myself, I get it. And when you mentioned people watching executions, we still do that, but I always thought it was just a means for closure...

SharkDogs; I would likely enjoy your writing. I sit there reading, or watching these shows, cheering for the good guy and empathizing with the bad guy. I love when it's unpredictable though, when I get the profile wrong lol. As I'm writing I'm finding myself wondering if you have ever tried to interview criminals as research for your work. If so, were you scared? If not, is it an idea you have flirted with?

Many people are fascinated by such things. Granted, some are more so than others. I cannot say if it's normal or not, but I don't think it's abnormal, either.

I like the idea of being someplace between normal and abnormal lol, its much better than just abnormal, and who wants to be totally normal anyway?

Growing Pains

Well-Known Member
It makes me feel good that you likely would. ;) But yeah, that's where I am. I cheer for the good guy, sure, but I empathize with the bad guy on some levels, too. Even in my writing. Actually, especially in my writing. I've not tried to interview one, though. But it's an idea I've flirted with, certainly.

I agree with you. I think I'd rather be between normal and abnormal than completely normal. For, normality sounds like it would be boring.
Have you ever read Tim Dorsey? I love his work. His killer IS the hero, and you can't help but love him. Sometimes he's killing for selfish reasons, sometimes not, but he's always lovable. I've wondered from time to time how Dorsey can write books that favor the "bad guy" so much when that's clearly not the norm when it comes to writing crime/serial killer based novels.

Growing Pains

Well-Known Member
I can't say I have but I will definitely be looking him up. It's interesting when the bad guy is the hero. Sometimes straying away from the norm in writing is a good thing. I like to think so, anyway.

Growing Pains

Well-Known Member
lol I'll definitely keep that in mind. I've been looking for something to read, though, because I've read through my entire book collection. So, I'll give him a try.
Haha Niceguy, it's not that hard, those older shows were a bit more predictable than they are now. I guess it takes a crime show addict to see all crime shows as easy to figure out and predictable lol.
I think some of the shows I like are my alter egos...I have an attraction to roller derby, hockey, Criminal Minds and one which I have trouble admitting, Hoarders...I guess I feel more 'normal' either by watching others beat themselves up, or by watching the most bizzare.
I'm a total Criminal Minds junkie, it's my favorite show. That and Fringe (two totally different genres lol) are just about the only shows I care to watch, I'll watch some other crime shows if they're on though. Back when I had cable I was all the time watching the crime channel, I'm very intrigued by criminals; I think I enjoy learning why they do the things they do.
I worked in a State facility in which criminals were residents in the community because they tested sub-normal intelligence...the 'guys' and I got along great,and the aides took good care of me because it was rare for them to get a therapist to work there that truly liked being there...the pdoc was an angel...there were several true sociopaths, and one can tell by looking in their eyes that there was nothing there but the devil...one such resident, Grandpa, scared the pants off of me, because if he did not 'like' you, he tried to kill you...he broke several aides' arms...once he had me around the neck and I could not get him off...luckily, I had several aides who watched me closely and took off my sociopathic necklace before I was really injured...my patients would come to their initial evaluations in shackles and two guards...now I am in private practice...I wonder why (LOL)
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Haha, I think private practice is a good move.
I myself and studying psychology right now. It started because I wanted to understand my own mind, but with the things I have been through I am now turning my focus to addiction and sex offenders. I don't know which side of the fence I'll end up on, either a youth addiction specialist, or something in special victims profiling. I know it sounds dorky and lame, but the shows I watch have gotten me interested in profiling, and I'm already pretty good at it, plus, I want to be the one to put rapists behind bars. I just need to get myself healthy enough for police academy training, and get my depression under control.
I made it through Army basic training, was in the top 5 of my platoon till my knees fractured from running and being a little overweight. Now I'm under weight, so need to find a happy medium and start working out more lol.


Antiquities Friend
The cases portrayed by today's popular crime shows are usually very implausible but the perpetrators are often presented as victims of fate. Very tragic, socially isolated figures.
Indeed. I know that what we see on television shows week after week are made up stories, but I also know that often times people who do commit crimes similar to the ones depicted are usually victims themselves. Not always, sometime they are simply wired differently from you and I, either way though, it is sad to think about what leads a mind that far astray. Even more than that, it's frightening to think that there are people out there like Bundy, Manson and even Jack the Ripper.
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