While Coccio ultimately left the subreddit, many others stayed. Dawn Cecil, a criminology professor on the University of South Florida and writer of Fear, Justice & Modern True Crime, says that many who interact with true crime boards have “good intentions of wanting to help solve a crime or find a missing person”; some additionally wish to draw consideration to miscarriages of justice and query the effectiveness of the felony justice system.
Still, Cecil warns that true crime boards can change into echo chambers that feed worry or buttress preexisting beliefs. Consuming true crime, as she particulars in her guide, can even skew folks’s notion of crime and reinforce stereotypes.
It can even lead folks to issues they remorse. Marcus is a 42-year-old from Seattle who joined Reddit purely so he might submit on r/serialpodcast. At first he discovered it “fun,” however in his time there he has been verbally attacked in addition to doxed—a stranger from the subreddit as soon as known as him at work. (He requested that WIRED not use his actual identify for privateness functions.) He says he’s seen “some of the most gruesome things I’ve ever seen on the internet” due to his curiosity within the Serial case.
Meghan, a 30-year-old nurse from Washington who requested that WIRED not use her final identify, has spent seven years on the sub out of “habit.” She loved the early “exciting” days when folks recurrently posted new discoveries and says chatting with strangers through the years has been helpful. “At this point some of the other long-term posters feel a bit like old friends, even the ones that I fight with the most,” she says. But private assaults on the sub additionally heighten Meghan’s nervousness, and he or she has additionally come to reevaluate her angle towards true crime.
“I am embarrassed and ashamed of how gleefully I came back to this sub to look at lividity documents, et cetera, without fully considering that the victim was a real person,” she says. “A teenager died; multiple other teenagers’ lives were completely upended … It’s just all sad. And I think that does affect my mental health.”
Two years in the past, Marcus took a step again from r/serialpodcast. “It became really bad for my mental health, arguing the same arguments,” he says. When Syed was launched from jail final month, Marcus returned to r/serialpodcast—however he imagines it received’t be for lengthy. Meghan says she is going to cease consuming Serial commentary if Syed shouldn’t be tried once more. For others, true crime boards stay tantalizing areas—the place neighborhood has been cast and solutions look like simply across the nook.
As of this writing, Dahmer is the highest English-language present on Netflix, which studies that some 56 million households have seen the collection. The streaming service is ready to premiere Conversations With a Killer: The Jeffrey Dahmer Tapes on Friday.