Murders, mysteries and more: App State’s true crime club

Torri Marshall, Reporter

When two roommates realized their shared love for true crime but didn’t have an outlet to express their interest, they decided to create a club on campus where they could involve others in heated debates and theorizing discussions.

Club president and psychology major Haley Yost and vice president and criminal justice major Olivia Coutinho said they figured there must be other students as interested in true crime as they are, and the club began from there.

“She basically moved in, and then we kept talking about true crime,” Yost said.

Their hunch that more students might be interested in true crime was correct. The club, established in late October, has grown to 20-25 active members and 33 members total, Yost said. 

Club member and criminal justice major Macey Gaines said she found out about the club from her roommate who heard about it on Facebook. Gaines said she felt compelled to become more involved with student life and meet new people. 

“I think my favorite part is the discussion we have,” Gaines wrote in an email. “It is cool to see people’s different opinions on cases and to just talk with people that think the same things as you.”  

The club meetings are structured to allow members to learn about specific crime cases and discuss it with the club as a whole. Yost and Coutinho said they begin the weekly meetings by presenting a slideshow highlighting the current crime case being discussed for that week, which was picked via voting the week before by the club as a whole. In the slideshow, there are facts about the crime, evidence that has been found, potential suspects or any other relevant information. After the presentation, Yost and Coutinho explain their theories or thoughts, then open the discussion to the rest of the club members. 

The club covers serial killers, cults, missing persons cases and individual solved or unsolved cases. While a different case is covered every week, club members share a common interest — learning about infamous or underground cases and getting to debate with other students. 

“Being a part of this club has made me feel more connected. Every week, Wednesday is the day I look forward to because I can be with people who relate to me in a setting I feel comfortable in,” Gaines said. “I feel a connection to the club and the people I have met through it, and that makes me really happy.”

While most members are majoring in criminal justice and psychology, Yost said all majors are welcome. 

“Anyone who wants to join, reach out. I know true crime isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, we would love to add even more people to our group,” Gaines said.

The True Crime Club meets Wednesdays from 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. at Plemmons Student Union in Tater Hill Room 155.

“Our club is hoppin’, it’s jumpin’, it’s fun,” Yost said.