Why do I write romance novels by day, but watch murder shows by night?
Recently my grown children got very upset with me because I couldn’t stop watching the true-crime T.V. series, Forensic Files. Whatever my fixation with the psychology of killers is, it goes back a long way.
I can remember as a child wanting to see The Bad Seed when it came out and not being allowed to (It was about a very bad little girl, and I felt morbidly curious.). The son of a former employee was murdered. Then a longtime friend confided that her daughter had been murdered years before and how it had affected her entire family. A close relative’s cousin was murdered in such a weird and grisly way, it inspired a Forensic Files episode. Then several years ago a close relative was the victim of violence.
After watching quite a few shows, certain patterns of how people get murdered will immerge. Of course, many victims in these shows were into risky behaviors like drinking or drugging in bars with members of the opposite sex who were strangers until all hours of the night or women getting into cars with strange men with various motivations in the wee hours.
Other dangers are new spouses, cheating mates, untrustworthy caregivers, insurance policies, separating boyfriends and girlfriends, divorcing spouses, exes, repair people who enter your home, handymen, and construction workers in your neighborhood…
I began to wonder if I felt I was too trusting by nature and was using these shows as wake-up-calls to be more aware of how innocent people can get into trouble.
Although, my most recent e-book, Secret Child, does have elements of suspense and a murder or two in it (Ah, and the killer is a family member.), I don’t usually write about murder. So, I can’t really justify watching these shows as research. Nevertheless, I can’t seem to stop watching shows like this.
Yesterday I was delighted to come across an article on this subject that said perhaps women watch these shows to learn about dangers so they can avoid them and thereby better protect themselves.