I have zero clue when/where my obsession of true crime started. Growing up, I had a severe case of Stranger Danger. But actually. I’d duck and cover every time a car rolled down my sleepy rural road. Now I realize that stop, drop, and roll is more of a defensive mechanism against fire, not evil humans, but I digress.
Instead of doing my homework I would spend hours binge watching CSI: Las Vegas (because it was the best city.) Now that I spend half of my waking hours commuting, I spend a lot of time listening to true crime podcasts. Because ya’ know, you might as well learn something while you drive. Criminal makes me think, Casefile helps me sleep, and My Favorite Murder has me crying with laughter. Each podcast puts their own special spin on something so gruesome, but they all do the same thing: teach you life lessons. Which is ironic because they’re most often talking about murder. But what better way to learn that the unfortunate death of someone else?
Unlike Georgia and Karen, my words of wisdom aren’t fit for cross stitching. There are so many reasons to stay out of the forest besides ax murderers. Like creepy crawlies. Yuck. Moving on…but not into a vehicle that isn’t yours. I’m not sure why people even though hitchhiking was okay, but then again Uber wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar company. If you want to make your million dollar idea a reality, here are some lessons from true crime podcasts that may help you live longer.
Lesson #1: Stay single and don’t get murdered.
It’s always the husband. Or boyfriend. Roughly one third of all female murder victims are killed by their significant others. The rest are murdered by butlers. Whose butler? I’m not sure. Probably not yours because if you’re rich, you’ll most likely fall victim to the following life lesson.
Domestic violence is nothing to be laughed about. It’s sad that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with decides to choose your expiration date. But after watching a mini-marathon of Forensic Files, have you ever caught yourself wondering if you’re better off single? Sure you’d miss out on some excellent tax benefits, but there are a lot of perks of flying solo. For one thing, you could get as many cats as you wanted. Sure, you’d get disapproving looks from everyone on the planet, but this is your life to live. And you’ll be doing it much longer now that you don’t have a S/O. Please note that this plan only works if you stayed single your entire life. No awkward high school boyfriend who keeps reaching you or a creepy coworker.
Lesson #2: Naming someone as your life insurance beneficiary is a formal way of asking them to kill you.
Ladies, if he likes it, then he’s putting a ring on it for the insurance policy. Yeah, you may have a wonderful personality, but you also come with a pretty good price tag. Why can’t insurance be like the warranty you were conned into buying but doesn’t actually cover anything when you need it? So someone can’t be like, “Oh no, I dropped my wife in water and now she won’t turn back on. Can I get a refund?” No, Carl. Insurance doesn’t cover water damage or murder.
People do crazy things for love, and even crazier things for money.
Lesson #3: There’s an exception to everything.
Loopholes don’t just apply to rules. Nothing ever good comes from, “just this once.” The phrase that once allowed you to stay up past your bedtime to watch America’s Most Wanted now makes you a star of the show. All jokes aside, how many times do you hear stories of mothers letting their children walk down the street by themselves for the first time? What about a young woman going home with a cute stranger at the bar because her friends keep telling her to live a little?
People never think anything bad will ever to them. You’ll never get cancer from smoking a pack a day because you’re a good person. You won’t get murdered when a stranger offers you a ride in the rain. Remember there’s an exception to everything. Even if it’s your first time taking a walk on the wild side (or even a different route home), you are not invincible.
Lesson #4: Never be afraid to ask questions.
We are Generation Why. Yeah I’m borrowing that pun from a podcast but they get free press, so we’re going to roll with it. The internet is always at our fingertips so we never have to wonder about anything for more than a few minutes. We’re nosy AF and stalk old acquaintances on social media. You never have to wonder what happened to the girl you used to sit next to in biology (she’s having twins btw.)
Our generation is wired to ask so many questions, yet we don’t always use it to our advantage. Sure, the whole class doesn’t agree with a professor anymore, but a great college lecture won’t save a life. But asking to see a badge or calling 911 to see if cops were actually dispatched to your house might. We’ve all heard stories of imposters in uniform taking advantage of average citizens. Do your homework. If cable people come knocking at your door, call your cable company to confirm that your wiring actually needs updating. If a cop tries to pull you over on a deserted road, don’t stop your vehicle until you’re in a bright parking lot. Stand up for yourself and ask questions. You don’t want your 15 minutes of fame to be another name on the news.
Lesson #5: Always tell someone where you’re going.
Being paranoid is not a sign of weakness. Congratulations for paying attention to your surroundings. As my mom would say, “There are a lot of crazy people out there.” And while she’d finish the sentence raving about them drinking and being on drugs, I’ll conclude that things can (and will) go wrong. Whether you’re going on a Tinder date or a jog in your neighborhood, tell someone. Leave a note on the fridge, call your best friend, or text your boyfriend (unless you’re going on a Tinder date.) Don’t have any friends? Get a fitness tracker with GPS and run, don’t walk to a place where you can find your tribe.
Lesson #6: You’re as good as gone if you get a head injury.
Children are treasures. They’re a gift to this world. And if that’s the case, you should have the right to give them back. I’m biased because while most people my age are having children, I’m convinced that they secrete some kind of goo. Seriously, how are they always sticky?
Imagine that you’re at the grocery store with your special someone. You’ve been trying and trying and finally, you’re in the can aisle. You’ve been waiting for this day your entire life. You take that can of chicken noodle soup home with you like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Which it isn’t, because condensed soup with invented in 1897 and sliced bread became a thing between 1912 and 1928 (Google it, it’s riveting.) So it’s like every other canned thing in the world but you love it anyways, because it’s yours. One day however, it rolls out of the pantry and smacks the kitchen floor, leaving a noticeable dent. You rush over, laugh about the whole accident and put it back in the pantry with care. Much later you decide that it’s time to enjoy the fruits (read: soup) of your labor, and eat the soup. You notice that it tastes a little off but that’s just Cambell being Cambell. Until Cambell kills you with Clostridium botulinum aka poison.
That might have been a poorly thought out analogy, but the point is that head injuries make good people do bad things. There are many studies out there that link head injuries with violence. Some sources claim that 70% of serial killers had head injuries while growing up. So yeah, while kissing a bruised knee is cute, return the thing if it bumps its head.
Lesson #7: You’re not weird for enjoying true crime podcasts or TV shows.
Science disproved the theory that you are what you eat, so why aren’t we investing in a study about how your hobbies don’t define you? Just because you like learning about horrific acts doesn’t mean that you want to commit them or want them to actually happen. Everyone has their thing. Like doomsday preppers. I’m going to assume that none of them actually wants a zombie apocalypse to happen. But they learn as much as they can so just in case something bad happens, they know how to survive that situation. I’m not an end-of-the-world type of gal, but I often think of Hunger Games-like scenarios while I’m running. I run because I’m scared of zombies, but I also accepted the fact I’m never going to survive more than a few hours.
Do you ever feel like you’re as alone as that doomsday prepper holed up in his multistory death fort? You’d be surprised how many people out there are low-key obsessed with murder as you. Not the stabby, DIY stuff…but hearing about it second hand from the safety of your own living room. True crime lovers come in all shapes and sizes, from the perfect preppy housewife to someone who looks like a staple in a dark alley. And unlike most things you’re into (sports, baking, eating for sport, etc.) these people are actually nice. They’re the strangers who compliment your outfit when you can’t make up your mind in the dressing room. They’re also the kind of people who see something weird and say something.
- What’s the #1 lesson you’ve learned from true crime podcasts or TV shows?
- Do you listen to podcasts? If so, what are some of your current favs?