Our obsession with who-done-it programming is off the chain. There is no end to murder in the media — newspapers, news, television, movies, social media, and any and all forms of communication. Shock, horror, and fear are part of the game. Murder is slapping us in the face around-the-clock. The most notable saying, sex sells, is certainly true on many levels; but murder, like the Energizer Bunny, just keeps on going and going and going. Murder doesn’t get older or have plastic surgery or lose its appeal to the consumer. It’s usually free to those who want to watch it. You don’t have to subscribe to a private website or magazine cloaked by a brown paper cover. Murder is right there, accessible to anyone wanting to consume it. It is forever and always available; right out in the open for view and discussion. It’s not necessary to hide it under the mattress. It’s officially crawled out from the dark like a scurrying cockroach.
Just trying to get through a news broadcast without horrific unspeakable atrocities in the world is next to impossible. We’re empathetic about the plight of others; but in the end it doesn’t really affect us. As shocked or disheartened we the viewer may be, we can turn off the talking box and go out to dinner.
Go to a movie and it probably has a murder or two or three or four in it. It can be the portrayal of actual events or fabricated from someone’s imagination. We tend to consume the fictional and reality the same. By the way, what kind of a diabolical mind does it take to make that stuff up anyway? Let’s give him an Academy Award. That guy did murder better this year than any of the other guys. Watch a television show and we’re pretty sure the guest actor playing the bad guy is going to get it, but please please don’t kill off our favorite character. Does anyone remember the whole ‘Who killed JR?’ from Dallas? The show’s ratings were through the roof that year in anticipation of who it could have been. I can tell you this, if Jesssica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote lived in my town, I’d move to another town.
There’s the reality based murder shows winding us through the ups and downs of real murders. Dateline, 48 Hours Mystery, 20/20, or whatever, takes the viewer on a journey of the untimely and often gruesome end to someone’s life. The plot twists and turns every minute. He’s guilty, she’s guilty, the other guy is guilty. Back and forth until I’m completely nuts. I give up. Who really did this thing. It’s no longer about what happened but who made it happen. Murder has become a spectator sport.
I personally have an extremely difficult time wrapping my mind around what drives someone to be so narcissistic as to in their wildest dreams think they have any justification to just kill another being. Justifiable homicide, self-defense, extreme cruelty or abuse, imminent threat to them or theirs. I emphasize, sympathize, and understand circumstances that could result in murder. Premeditated carefully thought out execution is unforgivable, unforgivable, unforgivable. Countless souls perished in the name of sex, jealousy, anger, revenge, hate, power, drugs, notoriety, ideology, and money — none of which is even remotely a cause let alone a good cause for assassination. Where does the mentality of discarding people with no more thought or concern than they are taking out the trash even originate? Time and time again the perpetrator is sorry about being caught, not about having killed somebody. The crying starts when there’s a knock on the door followed by, “Open up! It’s the police!” Righteousness of self and self-beliefs are a dangerous dangerous malady in our society.
Did OJ do it? A circus resulted from the chaos surrounding this famous case. More recently is the case of who framed Steven Avery in the Netflix documentary series Making a Murderer. Backlash of conspiracy theories abound. Blocking out the obvious entertainment aspect of high-profile murders, we should strip away all the BS and realize someone literally slaughtered those people. It’s not about entertainment or public opinion, it’s about brutal unimaginable slaughter. Who the heck is responsible for that? Explain to us who actually did kill those people anyway if not them. A preponderance of the evidence points to the guilty parties.
We can be thankful for advances in criminal science aiding investigation and law with ballistics, forensics, DNA, blood spatter patterns, luminol, and hundreds of ways they can catch a criminal that reaches far beyond eye-witness accounts and confiscated weapons of old. What I am not thankful for is the need to continually evolve our ability to figure out and catch the bad guy.
Why oh why are there so many bad guys? Why so many murders? Why so much evil? I pray our collective humanity can someday solve this mystery. It doesn’t always occur in other countries, towns, neighborhoods, or families. It could be right next door… Sandy