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Our Fascination with True Crime & Making Use of Online Therapy Pay-Per-Session Options

online therapy pay-per-session

The True Crime industry is massive, with its growth showing no signs of stopping soon. YouTubers rack up millions of views. And documentaries claim the top spot on streaming platforms (between 6-35 days at a time!) Those who use our online therapy pay-per-session options will also often reference these shows.

So, are we supposed to be scared? Why would so many people (according to stats, it’s more than half the global population) be so fascinated by the most terrible people and the most horrendous acts? Are we surrounded by “undercover” psychopaths and killers just licking their lips while precariously living through these shows? In this article, we look at why True Crime content is being consumed at the speed of light and what it really means for those watching it. The answers may surprise you.

Why Do People Like True Crime?

Whether it’s a show, a podcast, an article, you name it – there will always be people who can’t get enough of it. But the actual reasons for True Crime’s popularity may not be what you think. Here’s why people like True Crime so much:

They’re Playing Poirot

If you ask children what they want to become one day, many will say policeman or policewoman. Some children grow up to do just that, while others can’t due to circumstances or simply because they like the idea of playing detective more than actually doing it. That’s why so many cyber sleuth groups exist. They consume every article, breaking news segment, etc., to try and piece it all together and solve the crime themselves.

While some of these amateur groups and individuals have had some success, the majority actually cause more harm than good. They do not have all the pieces of the puzzle since law enforcement has to keep many cards close to their chest to prosecute successfully, and end up phoning with tip offs (with the emphasis on off) and all sorts of bizarre conspiracy theories.

These can have very real-life consequences. Just ask TikToker Ashley Guillard, who got sued for defamation after accusing a local Professor of the Idaho Four murders. Those using our online therapy pay-per-session options often hear us say there is nothing wrong with playing Poirot with True Crime cases as long as your investigation is kept behind closed doors as a hobby and some mental gymnastic exercises.   

They Find True Crime Podcasts & Shows Soothing

This sounds much worse than it really is and was discovered when people started using these shows and podcasts to fall asleep. Naturally, this raised a lot of curiosity and concern, and research was done. Turns out that it’s the narrators and not necessarily the stories that make the difference.

True Crime narrators tend to have very calm and comforting voices working with complex and sensitive subjects. Their tone of voice has a similar effect to ASMR, hence a good night’s rest. There is also the narration aspect of it. Most of us grew up being read stories, and this nostalgic throwback adds to the secure and comforting feeling. This combination makes most sleep-time listeners pass out before the first murder in the story even gets committed.

They’re Trying to Stay Alive

Self-preservation is one of the biggest reasons why people consume True Crime stories. Without necessarily realising it, we’re diving into all these harrowing situations to understand why they happened and how to avoid/survive them. So, in a sense, True Crime allows us to go through these experiences safely, giving us a sense of control.

They’re Trying to Define Evil

We live in a pretty black-and-white world where we prefer solid answers to all our questions. We attempt to place everything in clearly defined boxes. And we like to live in a world with a distinct boundary between good and evil (just like the fairy tales taught us). The fact that the friendly neighbour, the loving grandma, or the favourite clown can commit unspeakable acts doesn’t align with this belief system.

So, we listen, watch, and read about these True Crime stories repeatedly to distinguish where the human and the monster begin and end. Because ultimately, it’s easy to identify and avoid monsters. But if the monsters are merely other humans amongst us, it means that the illusion of safety our belief system gives us is shattered.    

They’re Analysing Their Community

We are all part of a bigger global community. For this community to function, there are set rules and consequences for breaking these rules. In a certain way, True Crime tells us whether our community is actually working or not. That’s why we find it so shocking that someone could get away with murder for so long without being caught.

Or get such a light sentencing after being caught. The same goes for the innocent individual found guilty of a crime. This makes us question and redefine how we as a community must operate. Some of the issues that the True Crime genre has highlighted have actually translated to the amendments of laws and the creation of new ones.

They Need Renewed Gratitude

This is an odd one and one not many would like to admit. Still, the suffering of others can bring a sense of relief to our lives. Not in a sadistic sense, where one derives pleasure from others’ pain and misfortune. But rather as a way for us to look at our own lives differently and with new-found gratitude. It’s easy for each of us in our own bubble to start feeling overwhelmed by challenges, tough times, etc.

But hearing about or seeing how badly things have gone or are going for someone else brings a great sense of relief that it wasn’t us and allows us to look at our own lives with a fresh set of lenses. This brings a measure of renewed gratitude and maybe even a renewed sense of motivation; “If they could survive all of that, then surely I can get through this…”.

They’re in Need of Validation

Most of us don’t want to be bad people. We don’t want to end up the villain in anyone’s stories. Listening to, watching, or reading about “bad” people helps us validate that we aren’t one of them. So, whilst one of our ways to cope with the world is to put everything in neatly defined and labelled boxes, another is to exclude ourselves from certain boxes. True Crime allows us to do just that.  

They Have a Morbid Curiosity

Morbid curiosity doesn’t always have a negative connotation. To be a coroner or a doctor, you need to have a certain morbid curiosity (not everyone wants to do a deep dive into and go prodding around the body’s internal cavities). The same type of morbid curiosity carries through to True Crime. Some people have the same medically-inclined curiosity; “what makes a wound fatal?, etc.”

Others come from a more psychological standpoint; “in what frame of mind must you be to commit such an act?, etc.” And others analyse social structures; “what happened in this person’s environment and life that led to the crime?, etc.” This type of morbid curiosity is actually an attempt at understanding and learning and is essential for a community or society to grow and develop.

When Does a Healthy Fascination Become Concerning?

Whilst it’s clear that there are various reasons why people can be fascinated with True Crime without having the urge to commit them themselves, there is a big difference between a healthy fascination and an unhealthy obsession. So, where do we draw the line? If any of the following rings true for you or a loved one, it might be time to rope in a professional and go the online therapy pay-per-session route:

It Has Completely Taken Over Your Thoughts.

This means that irrespective of where you are or what you’re busy with, you can’t help but think about something True Crime related.

It Has Begun to Interfere with Your Daily Routines.

You miss meals, don’t sleep, and are late for appointments/work because you’re too busy with everything True Crime related.

Your Personal Relationships are Suffering.

You say no to social events because a new True Crime documentary is launching. Or you’d rather listen to a True Crime podcast than have a conversation with your partner.

You are Unable to Stop.

This might sound strange to some, but an obsession can become very much like an addiction that’s nearly impossible to quit. If you wonder whether your True Crime has developed into an unhealthy obsession, try to cut it out of your life for a while.

If you start feeling inexplicable cravings for it (whether it’s Googling certain things, reading the newspaper, or listening to podcasts, you name it), then you should probably reevaluate your relationship with True Crime.

When it Starts to Translate to Real Life.  

We have to make it clear that this is something that happens to very few people. But there are those amongst us with undiagnosed sadism, sociopathy or psychopathy. If consuming True Crime content brings you pleasure or even sexual arousal, you need to reach out to a professional.

If you are in a vulnerable emotional state, such as a terrible divorce and custody battle, and True Crime stories start looking like possible solutions, you need to reach out to someone. Once again, we wish to make it very clear that sociopathy or psychopathy works on a scale, and a diagnosis doesn’t immediately make you a serial killer waiting to happen. Please read our in-depth article on this subject. And although fantasising about axing your ex doesn’t mean you’re scouring Craigslist for potential hitmen, it may simply signal a person in crisis who needs the guidance of a professional.

Why Online Therapy Pay-Per-Session Options are Great for True Crime Enthusiasts

You may wonder whether your or a loved one’s True Crime hobby has crossed the threshold of being an unhealthy pastime. Online therapy pay-per-session options allow you to get the advice of a professional and their recommendations on the way forward. Others might just want to gain insight into things True Crime related.

Online therapy pay-per-session options are also a great way to connect with a professional and pick their brains for answers to some of your psychological True Crime questions. If you would like to take advantage of one of our online therapy pay-per-session options, you can send us an email at or reach out via our Contact Us page on the Personal Online Therapy website. Alternatively, you can simply complete the form below, and we’ll reach out to you as soon as possible:

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