My husband thinks I’m trying to kill him.
When he first started saying that, I thought he meant my cooking was killing him. However, the reason Larry thinks I am out to get him is because I enjoy watching Dateline, 48 Hours and 20/20 when they delve into stories about murder. It’s fascinating learning how law enforcement discovers who committed the evil deed. In many cases, the victim was murdered by someone they knew, often a spouse or ex.
These and other popular true-crime programs investigate shocking cases that often have numerous twists and turns. So why do Americans watch the sick actions of perpetrators who have committed murder? Among the reasons, criminologist and author Dr. Scott Bonn told InsideEdition.com in an interview –
“We’re driven to try to understand their mentality, understand their motivations, understand what drove them to do this. Because if we’re able to do that, then somehow our fear has been resolved.”
Episodes usually start with family and friends sharing memories about the deceased. How he/she was a wonderful person, lit up the room with their smiling personality and was loved by everyone who ever met them.
(Just once I would like family and friends to say, “I am sorry she was murdered, but if you want to know the truth, she was a real bitch. Always complaining, rarely smiling and had lousy taste in clothes.”)
What makes episodes interesting is learning how the perpetrator spent weeks or months concocting the vicious crime, but after the murder gives their guilt away with numerous gaffs:
- Only cries in front of the police – The spouse or ex becomes emotional only when talking to the police. As soon as they are left alone in the squad car or interview room, they fix their hair, surf the internet or leisurely sip water.
- OnlyGreat relationship – If married, they insist the marriage was rock solid. If divorced, they maintain that the separation was amiable.
- Denies extra-marital affair – They repeatedly deny there was ever any infidelity even when Facebook posts show them in amorous poses with other people.
- Planned Alibi – Although they never shop at convenience stores, on the day of the murder surveillance cameras catch them at several 7-Elevens.
- Life insurance policies – Months before the murder, they took out a $10 million life insurance policy on their spouse/ex.
- Couldn’t afford the premiums – With credit cards maxed to pay for food and rent, the “person of interest” still found the money to make the high monthly payments on the life insurance policy.
- Cashes in insurance policy – While at the police station, calls the insurance company asking how long it takes to receive the payout.
Death was suicide – The victim never displayed suicidal tendencies, but the spouse/ex insists the death was a suicide.
- Typed suicide note – To further prove the victim killed him/herself, the spouse/ex discovers a typed suicide note that somehow the police overlooked when conducting an in-depth search of the crime scene.
- Contacts medical examiner
- Spends money – Even before the victim is buried, buys an expensive new sports car.
- Funeral antics – Sits near the coffin and bursts into tears whenever anyone is looking. Immediately following the funeral, takes their new lover on a lavish vacation.
- Relocates – While the victim’s family and friends holds frequent news conferences urging the police not to let the murder morph into a cold case, they relocate to another state to get away from the “painful memories.”
- Search for the killer – From luxurious cruise ships, tropical sandy beaches and lush golf courses, they regularly post videos urging the police to keep looking for the person who murdered their spouse/ex.
- “I did NOT commit the murder!” – They tell the local media that their loved one’s murderer is still out there.
- “He did NOT commit the murder!” – Their attorney staunchly defends them in multiple interviews.
- Cold Case Opened – A new detective is assigned to the case and discovers evidence that shows the spouse/ex is guilty.
- “I DID commit the murder!” – With evidence linking them to the murder and he/she admits what they did.
Family and friends share relief that the murderer is found guilty and now sits on death row awaiting execution. Episodes often close with the reporter holding a jailhouse interview with the guilty spouse or ex.
Reporter – After all these years, you were found guilty. Do you have anything to say?
Guilty – Thank goodness California’s liberal Gov. Gavin Newsom put a moratorium on executions! Gov. Newsom understands that vicious murderers like me deserve to have California taxpayers pay the $81,000 a year per prisoner that it costs to incarcerate us. More than three-quarters of that amount is for security and inmate health care. In fact, I will probably have better health care than many law-abiding California citizens. Plus I will enjoy an exercise gym, basketball court, obtain useless college degrees, have elective medical procedures and file appeals with my court-appointed attorney, making the annual cost to incarcerate me much more than $81,000.
As a convicted killer, I am happy that liberals like Gov. Gavin Newsom are more concerned about brutal murderers rather than law-abiding citizens! Ain’t California great?!