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  • Writer's pictureLynn Bohart

THE POPULARITY OF CRIME




According to a study by the PEW Research Center, true crime is the most common topic for the highest rated podcasts in the country right now. Of those listening, women are twice as likely to listen than men, along with people with lower formal education. While I fit half of that statistic, I guess I’m an outlier because I earned a master’s degree back at the dawn of time.

The point is that stories about crime are popular. Just look at the soaring popularity of fictional murder mysteries in books, games, TV shows, and movies. Murder, it seems, engages our minds. We are motivated to find not only 'who dunnit,' but why. And we like to see a bit of justice at the end. That makes catching the killer an adrenaline inducing thrill ride without having to leave the safety of your recliner.


Why do I write murder mysteries? I never actually liked board puzzles that much, but I do love the built-in puzzle of a murder investigation. The whole story arc from finding the body to determining how the person died to following the clues that lead to the killer—with a couple of plot twists thrown in for good measure.


But consider this: murder mysteries and true crime are popular genres because, well, they involve murder—the ultimate crime. While there are other types of mysteries offered up by the entertainment industry—how to stop a deadly disease from wiping out an entire population to popular heist movies franchises like “Ocean’s Eleven,” to finding hidden treasure ala the “National Treasure’ movies—murder mysteries reign supreme. Why? Because murder ratchets up the risk, which ratchets up the suspense, which ratchets up our adrenaline rush. And we love it!


This is why I’ve redesigned my website to serve as a kind of ‘murder central’ in the online community. I’ve become fascinated in my old age not only with the tales of murder, but the people behind the scenes. The detectives who often risk their own lives to catch the killers, and their ‘profession’ of crime investigation. The forensic people who deal with the aftermath of the crime, using their knowledge and skill to analyze everything from blood spatter to insect infestation to reveal clues about how and when a person died. The people who report on crime and how they are forced to find ways to the inside of an investigation when they’re relegated to the outside. And the people who entertain us with murder mysteries: the authors, actors, true crime podcasters, and more.


So, buckle up.


I’ve already launched a monthly online newsletter called “Let’s Talk About Murder,” in which I interview retired professionals and professionals in the field to get personal insights into the crime of murder. This blog will also now offer up a monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) blog post covering some fascinating topics, such as the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, how cadaver dogs sniff out decomposing bodies, the body farm (where scientists study those decomposing bodies), female serial killers, and first up—is there really such as thing as a serial killer gene in our DNA? I’m also in the process of filling out a comprehensive glossary of terms on the website that will help clarify many of the investigative and legal terms used in investigations.


If you’re fascinated with the genres of true crime and/or fictional murder mysteries, I hope you’ll join me. I’ll soon be adding a subscription option for those who want more content. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for topics and ideas. Go to the contact page on my website at www.lynnbohart-author.com to leave a message


Thanks so much, and here’s to happy sleuthing!

 

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