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New docu-series exposes America's obsession with serial killers

by Brianna Bush - lifestyles editor
Tue, Feb 12th 2019 10:00 pm
EVIL FAME Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, who has allegedly taken hundreds of people's lives and escaped prison multiple times. But his life is now amongst the most popular docu-series available. Serial killers like Bundy are followed by media viewers because of society's curiosity and amazement with murder, blood and human insanity.
EVIL FAME Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers of all time, who has allegedly taken hundreds of people's lives and escaped prison multiple times. But his life is now amongst the most popular docu-series available. Serial killers like Bundy are followed by media viewers because of society's curiosity and amazement with murder, blood and human insanity.

Serial killers have always been headlining media, but over the past decade it seems that society is now following their lives more than ever. There are now shows and movies being made highlighting not just the murders that took place, but how the killers lived their lives.

In the more recent years, crime shows have become very popular among millennials and Generation Z, which has raised some concerns with older generations.

Some of the concerns focus on the admiration of killing, as seen in “American Crime Story,” which features well established performers such as Sarah Paulson and Darren Criss. Criss portrays the role of Andrew Cunanan, the notorious killer of Gianni Versace, in the series’ second season: “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.”

The season tells the story of a deranged Cunanan blaming Versace for all of his problems in the name of unrequited love. The season opened to the scene of Cunanan killing Versace in front of his home, but continued with a timeline, that went back in the past to the first murders that he committed.

The show glorifies death. While somber music is played, the deaths of the characters aren’t actually shown. With decor surrounding the body, the scene of death is portrayed to be beautiful regardless of its gruesome nature.

This is in stark contrast to shows like “American Horror Story,” which has never shied away from gore. Despite the amount of blood shown, it does not stop people from watching. Viewers seem to heavily enjoy shows that involve death and murder.

According to rottentomatoes.com, “American Crime Story” season two was rated 4.6/5. Not to say that other shows are not pulling in high ratings as well, but murder-inspired shows are getting a higher viewing percentage than others provide for.

This increase could be due to streaming sites. Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services and offers an array of serial killer focused shows and movies for viewers to choose from.

On January 24, Netflix released a short series titled “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.” It was immediately a very popular documentary. With many Netflix users fawning over Bundy, new generational concerns were brought to light.

“I've seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy’s alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service — almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers,” Netflix tweeted.

Netflix isn’t the only service to provide documentaries about serial killers, but is the first service to feel compelled to remind viewers that Bundy is a convicted criminal with multiple charges for murder and escaping prison.

Many people use Twitter to voice their opinions, making sure the world knows that they think that the serial killer is attractive, according to independent.co.uk.

According to psychologytoday.com, people are obsessed with serial killers. They have been “transformed into larger-than-life celebrity monsters through the combined efforts of law enforcement authorities and the news and entertainment media, that feed the public’s appetite for the macabre.”

There is a blurred combination of fact and fiction when talking about serial killers, especially now, with more publicity than ever, people producing full-budgeted movies centered around murderers. In April 2017, a movie titled “My Friend Dahmer” featured Ross Lynch as Jeffrey Dahmer. In January 2019, a movie titled “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile” starring Zac Efron was released. People believe that, because Efron is playing Bundy, there is not a problem with his character's murders, which is posing many problems.

By this logic, if a serial killer is attractive, it is justified for them to kill, when in actuality, looks should not be a point of discussion when speaking of serial killers.

In “Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes,” the documentrian says that it was different for Bundy because he wasn’t like other serial killers. He was “good looking and charming,” where other killers were socially awkward and had an unappealing appearance to the victims.

What does having killers being portrayed by what society is calling attractive do for the viewers?

Does it change the fact they are serial killers or does attraction create a mask that people can’t see behind until it’s too late?

Societies obsessions with death, murder and gore will probably be around for a long time to come. As long as there are still serial killers, there will still be fans of them.

There will always be people who are obsessed with death and killings, it is just how people are wired.

 

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