The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

Newsletter Signup

Get our news delivered straight to your inbox every week.

* indicates required

OPINION: Stop glorifying serial killers in the media

OPINION%3A+Stop+glorifying+serial+killers+in+the+media

It has been a strange, recurring trend of the past several years to see people across various platforms openly and happily expressing their attraction to various serial killers including  Ted Bundy and Richard Ramirez. The fact that Bundy and Ramirez are murderers, however, is overlooked on account of their appeal to certain people. This may have been triggered by various “true crime” shows, documentaries and podcasts such as “Dahmer” and “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile.” 

The rise in popularity of true crime shows and podcasts has continued to bring attention to criminal cases from several decades ago, and in some cases has not drawn attention to the legacies of the victims. They have more focus on the lives of the murderers themselves, placing more eyes on killers who do not deserve to be known. 

It is a truly confusing experience to peruse various posts across social media platforms praising these killers for their attractiveness, or watching people happily disregard their foul actions just to get a word in about how “hot” they think they were. Sure, Ted Bundy could have been attractive. Charm was his whole ruse But blatantly pushing aside morality for the sake of making a comment about how gorgeous you thought he was is not OK, has never been OK and will never be OK. He murdered at least 30 women, and those are the ones he admitted to. There is a level of respect that has to be maintained for the victims and for their families, and some people simply do not care to acknowledge the horrors of Bundy’s crimes. 

After the release of Netflix’s “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile,” Netflix themselves ended up having to speak on the issue themselves, statingI’ve seen a lot of talk about Ted Bundy’s alleged hotness and would like to gently remind everyone that there are literally THOUSANDS of hot men on the service – almost all of whom are not convicted serial murderers,” via X on Jan. 28, 2019. If the response from a TV show about a serial killer sparks enough controversy for the network themselves to have to speak up about it, then there is a problem. 

Another issue with the popularity of true crime TV is the lack of recognition by the television network themselves for the lives and legacies of victims of the killers they profit off of. Many viewers of the Netflix series “Dahmer” took issue with the focus placed on Jeffrey Dahmer’s life, as opposed to discussing the lives he stole in depth. The series almost seems to aim to make you feel bad for Dahmer and empathize with the difficulties of his own life, but you cannot give empathy to those who do the unspeakable. Not everything is excusable, and Dahmer is not somebody that deserves to receive pity. 

The families of his victims were not pleased about this development either, as they were not so much as informed about the show. Eric Perry, cousin of Dahmer’s victim Errol Lindsey, posted on X stating, “I’m not telling anyone what to watch, I know true crime media is huge rn, but if you’re actually curious about the victims, my family (the Isbell’s) are pissed about this show. It’s retraumatizing over and over again, and for what? How many movies/shows/documentaries do we need?” 

Referring to never being informed about many Dahmer related documentaries in general, Perry also states via X, “So when they say they’re doing this “with respect to the victims” or “honoring the dignity of the families,” no one contacts them. My cousins wake up every few months at this point with a bunch of calls and messages and they know there’s another Dahmer show. It’s cruel.” 

This situation was not a matter of public response, but of writing by the network that did not fully acknowledge the atrocities of one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. 

Once again following the topic of attractiveness and borderline obsession with these killers, Richard Ramirez, also commonly known as the “Nightstalker,” is certainly a name that will appear in conversation when discussing serial killers. Strangely following the trends of Bundy, one search on X can lead you to fan accounts for the killer committed only to posting about him. One user such as @Snshores stated on Sept. 10, “If Richard Ramirez was my man, I would wake up at 3AM on ANY day to make him a sandwich.. He’s so perfect.” This was followed in the post with two photos of Ramirez. Ramirez was convicted of the murder of at least 13 people, and coming to the defense of a wretched person for your own personal appeals is nothing short of disgusting. 

People need to open their eyes to some kind of humanity and realize there is no personal appeal that trumps wretched acts committed against others. Throwing aside what happened to victims to find personal appeal in a killer is despicable, and somehow far too many people have become blind to the reality of what they say online. Serial killers do not deserve fans. They do not deserve to be praised. Most of them met a well deserved fate, and should never have become anything other than objects of disgust. 

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Appalachian
$1271
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

We hope you appreciate this article! Before you move on, our student staff wanted to ask if you would consider supporting The Appalachian's award-winning journalism. We are celebrating our 90th anniversary of The Appalachian in 2024!

We receive funding from the university, which helps us to compensate our students for the work they do for The Appalachian. However, the bulk of our operational expenses — from printing and website hosting to training and entering our work into competitions — is dependent upon advertising revenue and donations. We cannot exist without the financial and educational support of our fellow departments on campus, our local and regional businesses, and donations of money and time from alumni, parents, subscribers and friends.

Our journalism is produced to serve the public interest, both on campus and within the community. From anywhere in the world, readers can access our paywall-free journalism, through our website, through our email newsletter, and through our social media channels. Our supporters help to keep us editorially independent, user-friendly, and accessible to everyone.

If you can, please consider supporting us with a financial gift from $10. We appreciate your consideration and support of student journalism at Appalachian State University. If you prefer to make a tax-deductible donation, or if you would prefer to make a recurring monthly gift, please give to The Appalachian Student News Fund through the university here: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1727/cg20/form.aspx?sid=1727&gid=2&pgid=392&cid=1011&dids=418.15&bledit=1&sort=1.

About the Contributor
Madison Nance, Opinion Writer
Madison Nance (she/her) is a sophomore English major. This is her second year with The Appalachian
Donate to The Appalachian
$1271
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Appalachian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *