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March 14, 2021

Pretty much everywhere you look, whether you’re searching for a new podcast, a series to settle into, or a new book, you will find tonnes of murder mystery and true crime options. So, it’s no surprise that Netflix, a platform with over 200 million customers, has hundreds of murder mystery and true crime shows.

From “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” and “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” to “The Keepers” and “I Am A Killer”, Netflix hosts some of the most popular murder mystery series of all time. 


Pretty much everywhere you look, whether you’re searching for a new podcast, a series to settle into, or a new book, you will find tonnes of murder mystery and true crime options. So, it’s no surprise that Netflix, a platform with over 200 million customers, has hundreds of murder mystery and true crime shows.


From “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” and “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” to “The Keepers” and “I Am A Killer”, Netflix hosts some of the most popular murder mystery series of all time. 



Of course, these murder mystery shows aren’t just on there because Netflix decided they would be fun to add - there is a huge market for these kinds of shows because people are super interested in them! For example, just one month after Netflix released “Making a Murderer”, each episode gained 19.3 million viewers, an incredibly high number of viewers in comparison to other shows on the streaming platform. 


So, the real question is, why are we so addicted to murder mystery shows? Is it normal to want to experience the crimes, pain, and utter insanity of others from the comfort of your own home, or is there something wrong with us?



  1. Evil Acts Intrigue Us.


All things that are unknown to us intrigue us, especially evil. Ever since the dawn of man, there’s been talk of the battle of good and evil, and there’s something that intrinsically seems to draw us to the evil (hopefully because most of us are good and we’re merely intrigued by what we’re up against!). 


So, we watch murder mysteries and true crime documentaries to try to analyse and understand evil acts and the people behind them. We like to try and figure out how those people’s brains actually work, and why those people have turned out the way that they have - we want to deconstruct their minds and psychoanalyse them.


  1. We Like To Be Scared, Safely.


Adrenaline makes us feel alive, even if it makes our heart beat faster, turns our palms sweaty, and causes us to have mini palpations - how joyous! Fear is one of the main things that causes adrenaline to surge, and therefore, we try to scare ourselves to feel it.


Murder mysteries and true crime documentaries scare us psychologically, but also safely. They allow us to control how scared we want to be by giving us the ability to switch on or switch off whenever we feel like it, yet they still give us the opportunity to be scared and raise our adrenaline levels. Hence, they act like a scary kind of high.


  1. It Can Make Us Feel Prepared.


Sometimes people, especially those that may be extra worried about physical assault and violence, watch murder mysteries and true crime documentaries to prepare themselves, just in case anything similar ever happened to them.


Research shows that more women than men, in particular, watch murder mysteries, especially ones that contain information about the killer’s motivates and how to defend against attackers. This may prove that people want to know how to handle themselves if they were ever in a similar situation.



  1. It Reassures Us That We’re Not Evil.


Watching and learning about people doing such evil, cruel, sadistic things actually reassures us that we’re ‘normal’ people and that we’d never do such things.


When we flick onto a true-crime documentary and feel sickened or disturbed, it makes us feel grateful that we don’t understand the killer and that our minds don’t work like that. Reassurance, especially for those that aren’t too sure of themselves, is one of the main reasons people watch these types of programmes.



  1. They Show Us That Good Still Exists


Although murder mysteries are full of terror, fright, and ghastliness, they still show us the good vs evil fight, and the good side of that fight reminds us that there are still good people in the world!  All of the people that help to solve the crime and the friends and family left behind that fight for justice prove that the world is still a good place and it makes us feel strangely wholesome.


Typically, these types of shows take us from a tragic incident to an ending with justice and clarity, literally telling us “it’ll be alright in the end” and supporting the backbone of most societal systems that make us feel safe - justice.


  1. It Can Make Us Feel Grateful.


When we watch a murder mystery, regardless of the specific details of the murder, the victim, and the killer, it shows us not only how quickly life can be taken away from us, but it also shows us someone’s life being cut short.


Therefore, murder mysteries actually poignantly make us feel grateful and appreciative of the life that we have. Even if just for a split second after we switch the episode off, it makes us feel grateful for our safe and happy environment, the people around us, and the breath in our lungs!



The Bottom Line - Feel Free To Keep Watching Them, But Appreciate Life Without Them Too!


Watching and enjoying murder mystery shows and true crime documentaries doesn’t make you a sick and twisted person. In fact, almost the opposite is true!


These types of shows can reassure us, play on our intrigues, make us feel prepared and more confident, remind us that there are good people in the world, and ultimately make us feel grateful for the life that we’re gifted with.


So, keeping watching if you want, but also make sure you try and feel adrenaline, get intrigued, experience confidence, and get gratitude from other areas of your life too!

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