We must stop glorifying mass murder

Logan Raschke, News Editor

A few days ago, my roommate said something that really took me by surprise.

She doesn’t really watch documentaries that often, so I, being a huge documentary fan, was listing off several films of recommendation.

I could tell she wasn’t that interested, but her demeanor changed when I mentioned a serial killer documentary I had recently watched.

She explained that she’s been on a serial killer documentary break for a while now and really had no intention of going back.

When I asked her why, her response was pretty enlightening.

She basically said that despite the fact that these serial killers are literally doing the most despicable things, documentaries, especially the older documentaries, sometimes unintentionally portray them as evil geniuses, which in turn makes people fascinated by them.

Or they’re portrayed as these mysterious masterminds of crime. Let’s face it; they definitely are not that. Mixing murderers with fanaticism and mysticism is a very dangerous thing.

These people take advantage of those who are most vulnerable: women, children, minorities, the disabled, seniors and others who cannot defend themselves.

Then, they murder them and dispose of their bodies like human garbage. Do these people deserve any recognition whatsoever? Absolutely not.

What my roommate said really got me thinking, and to be honest, I kind of felt temporarily guilty for watching the serial killer documentary I recommended to her even though I knew it wasn’t the kind of film that unintentionally glorified the killer.

We need to stop glorifying and sensationalizing people who mass murder.

I know that we do not mean to do it, but it happens. We over-share and over-hype these killers by pasting their faces and names on mass media.

When we do this to these killers’ identities, we give them more power.

My roommate made a pretty important distinction: serial killers do not want to get caught while mass shooters understand that they’re going to get caught.

Shooters want the publicity. They want the fame. Serial killers are sequential and secretive. They do not want their names in the media (sometimes that changes after they get caught, though).

In conclusion, I’m not saying you can’t still enjoy your crime documentaries.

I’m just saying that we all need to be careful about what we share on mass media.

We need to make sure that citizens are safe, first and foremost, and we cannot sensationalize mass murder.

Logan Raschke is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].