As humans, we’ve always had a fascination with the gory thrill of crime and murder.
Even more so if it’s real.
From public gatherings to watch hangings to the police pages of the newspapers in the Victorian era, we’ve lapped up every single detail – the more horrifying, the better.
It’s never been so accessible as it is now, with podcasts, books, documentaries and Netflix specials dedicated to retelling the ‘stories’ both older and recent for entertainment’s sake.
So why are we so hooked?
True crime writer Emily Webb on Australia’s most chilling murders. Post continues after audio.
According to New York associate professor of psychiatry Gail Saltz, this fascination partly stems from a small but subconscious inclination to hurt others and ourselves and be “a little sadomasochistic”.
“People want to go see car races not just because they love the racing of cars, but because a car might hit the wall and blow up. There is a fascination with seeing disasters, horrific things,” she told The Atlantic.
Fortunately most of us don’t put these “urges to do something terrible” into practise.
And the best kind of true crime to devour? The mysterious cases that remain unsolved, allowing us to put on our own detective hats and solve them from the comfort of our couch.