Okay so let me explain this title. I’ve recently really, really, gotten into true crime and the macabre in general. It’s basically consumed my every waking thought and luckily hasn’t crept into my nightmares just yet. My favourite areas of true crime are serial killers and cults – such a fun combination right?! Well anyway, I wanted to explain myself in a way. I wanted to explain why I love true crime and the places I go to find out about it all.
Why I love the macabre:
There are a few reasons why I love this strange facet of history. Well, one of them is the fact that it’s history – it’s very interesting to see how a series of murders has influenced the law & our society in general.
An example would be the impact of the Son of Sam (David Berkowitz) on New York City in 1976-1977. If a woman had long brown hair, she would either hide it, wear it up or some women would even cut it short. There was also a series of laws passed due to this serial killer to prevent criminals or their families to profit off of the story of their crimes. (Also fun fact, David Berkowitz smelled strongly of off-milk. The really weird fun facts are also part of why I love true crime.)
As a self-proclaimed social history lover, being a fan of true crime isn’t really too weird. Without these murderers, we wouldn’t have a lot of important legislation which protects us. Examples of this would be the US’ Amber Alert, partly named after Amber Hagerman, a nine year old who went missing and was later murdered in 1996 but it actually stands for America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response.
It’s also really fucking interesting. Trying to understand why people killed, what their MO was, how they idolised their cult leader, how much influence group thought has on a series of crimes, how their childhoods impacted their lives and possibly caused them to kill, if they had suffered the triad, etc. From the psychology standpoint, its an endless pit of wonder. Macabre and fucked up, sure, but very interesting. The only thing is, this has become all I want to talk about. I want to discuss MOs, the favourite serial killer of others (mine is Richard Chase – that dude was doomed), and just having someone introduce me to another serial killer or death cult.
Some the people I recommend you look up:
Firstly, Leonard Lake and Charles Ng. Those dudes were depraved so just a warning before you look them up. Fun fact, Lake would sew cyanide capsules into his clothes (this was how he committed suicide in prison, by swallowing one of these pills from his collar) and I think he hollowed out one of his teeth to hide a cyanide capsule as well. Which is pretty mental. Plus, he and Ng killed at least 11 people, possibly 25. That’s mental too.
Richard Chase – The dude was doomed from the start really. He wasn’t well and he unfortunately took that illness and turned to crime. Jesus, look up the Vampire of Sacramento, he was not a good dude.
It’s the one everyone mentions but there’s a reason for that: The Family. The reasons behind Helter Skelter were just so fuckin’ odd and the Beatles place in it all is even weirder. I’m currently reading the book all about the Family by Vincent Bugliosi and I couldn’t recommend it enough.
The classically horrifying JonBenét Ramsey. That poor little girl has caused one of the most interesting cold cases to have ever happened. The Netflix documentary Casting JonBenét Ramsey is coming out at the end of the month and to be honest, I’m really excited for it.
Where I get my fix:
My Favourite Murder
This was the podcast that originally made me realise my love for true crime. Karen and Georgia are great and kind of remind me of my and my sister, who I basically forced to listen to this podcast and she now loves it. I’m waiting for my MFM shirts to arrive and I cannot wait. Listen to this podcast. Please. Share your thoughts on Mary Vincent and how much of a badass she is. I want to talk.
Also how much money do I have to raise to get y’all to Edinburgh, or Glasgow even? Damn.
Last Podcast on the Left
The guys at LP are not the most PC and I disagree with some of the shit they say, but Jesus they can be funny. It appeals to the darker side of my sense of humour and there are multiple times I’ve had to stifle my laughter at work from listening to this podcast. Covering all topics from the Occult to aliens to serial killers, I fuckin’ love this podcast. Props to Marcus for researching so well (and being a fan of Irn Bru – even though it definitely does not taste like bubblegum). Hail Satan and Megustalations pals.
I have more podcasts to listen to so I may have to expand on this section soon.
I also bought a few books about the world of true crime which I am yet to read.
Helter Skelter – Vincent Bugliosi with Curt Gentry
All about the Manson Family and the Tate-LaBianca Murders. As it’s written by the prosecuting attorney, the book is a lot about the legal proceedings around the case but that means that in a way you get more/real interesting facts about the killings. I’m half-way through it just now and I’m just growing more fond of it.
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
Supposedly one of the greatest true crime books ever written – about the murders of four people in the same family in 1959. I’m looking forward to reading it, despite the fact that there are some critics who say that a portion of the book differ from real events.
My Friend Dahmer – Derf Backderf
Derf Backderf had a pretty odd childhood; he grew up with Jeffrey Dahmer. WHAT?! This graphic novel is really cool, the art style is very cool and I really love it. The plan is to read this after I’ve finished Helter Skelter.
The Secret Poisoner: A Century of Murder – Linda Strattman
This book is to chronicle the use of poison throughout the Victorian era. Mixing the traditional sense of history with death. Ain’t that cool?! Also written by a lady which is even better.
If you have any podcast, book documentary recommendations, please get in touch with me. I need more true crime stories in my life!
Stay sexy and don’t get murdered, my friends.