La Criminalité

A deep dive into the world of true crime.

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A year after documentaries like “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel”, “Murder Among the Mormons”, and “The Sons of Sam: A Decent Into Darkness” dominated Netflix, true crime is still ranking among the top genres today.


True crime documentaries continue to rank among the top 10 on several popular platforms. As of Jan. 29, five of the top 10 documentaries on Netflix are true crime:

  • “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” ranked No. 3.
  • “Catching Killers” ranked No. 4.
  • “The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman” ranked No. 5.
  • “Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer” ranked No. 6.
  • “Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes” ranked No. 9.


Additionally, the top 10 documentary list on Hulu contained one true crime documentary – “H.H. Holmes: Original Evil” coming in at No. 8.


Documentaries aren’t the only form of true crime media making the charts. True crime podcasts are also ranking highly across multiple platforms. Between the top three platforms for podcasts, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, nine true crime podcasts were among the top 10, as of Jan 29.


On Apple Podcasts, four of the top 10 podcasts were true crime.

  • “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast” ranked No. 1.
  • “Crime Junkie” ranked No. 2.
  • “Dateline NBC” ranked No. 6.
  • “Chameleon: Wild Boys” ranked No. 10.


On Spotify, three of the top 10 podcasts were true crime.

  • “Crime Junkie” ranked No. 8.
  • “Murder, Mystery, and Makeup” ranked No. 9.
  • “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast” ranked No. 10.


Lastly, on Google Podcasts two of the top 10 podcasts were true crime.

  • “Crime Junkie” ranked No. 3.
  • “Morbid: A True Crime Podcast” ranked No. 5.


The current interest in true crime isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, according to JSTOR Daily interest in true crime dates back to the 16th century.


There are many reasons why people are so interested in the genre. For some, it’s a way to unwind, as highlighted in the “Saturday Night Live” skit shown below.

For others, it helps them manage their own fears and is a way to connect with others in the community, as psychotherapist F. Diane Barth discusses. Everyone seems to have their own individual reasons for enjoying the genre.


When asked why she enjoys the true crime genre, Sofia Ray Harris, a first year Cal Poly student, said, “I just think it’s the most interesting thing in the world.”


For first year Cal Poly student Lizbeth Juarez-Gutierrez, the true crime genre provides a sort of catharsis. She relates it the reason she watches scary movies but feels that since true crime is about real life, “it’s a step above scary movies.”


“It’s so scary, but in a controlled sense,” Juarez-Gutierrez said.


Others got interested in the genre because it connects with their future aspirations.


High school senior Suchona Chandi said, “Crime really fascinates me because I want to go into the law enforcement.”


Regardless of the reasons for their interest in true crime, many people agree that the genre will continue to be popular going forward, especially as it continues to evolve.