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Six personality traits of true crime fans

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Six personality traits of true crime fans

After meeting with hundreds of true crime fans at CrimeCon 2024 in Nashville, I came away with a list of six traits that most seem to share.  

1. They like solving puzzles

Solving a criminal case requires piecing together bits of information into a solution. True crime fans like this process – it’s fascinating and mentally challenging. Example: In the Idaho college murders, people who follow crime have learned that Bryan Kohberger’s DNA was found on a knife sheath left at the scene, and that a white Hyundai Elantra cruised by the house in the hours before the murders. As the puzzle pieces fall into place, there’s a sense of satisfaction.   

2. They have an instinct for truth

After watching videos of police interrogations and courtroom testimony, true crime fans have a feel for what’s real and what’s not. When Brian Laundrie wrote in his notebook that Gabby Petito’s death was “an unexpected tragedy,” they didn’t need a coroner’s report to know this was a lie. Put another way: If you’re a kid and your mom is a true crime fan, don’t spin a story – it’s better to come clean. 

3. They prefer fact over fiction

Science fiction and fantasy can be fun, but true crime fans lean toward real life. They may not have seen all the Marvel movies, but you can bet they’ve watched every episode of the Murdaugh Murders. Knowing that the stories involve real people, and that the events depicted actually occurred, makes true crime more gripping than even the best CGI.

4. They care about the victims

If you come across a GoFundMe page for a crime victim, chances are that true crime fans will be among the donors. They want to help crime victims, not exploit them. That’s why so many victim advocacy groups attended CrimeCon 2024: National Center for Victims of Crime, A Voice for the Voiceless, Black and Missing Foundation, and more. 

5. They support law enforcement

When mass shooter Audrey Hale killed three children and three adults at a private school in Nashville, police officers were called to stop the carnage. True crime fans watched the bodycam video of Officer Rex Englebert as he went room to room through the school, not knowing if his own death lurked behind the next door. This illustrated what true crime fans know: The vast majority of law enforcement professionals are goodhearted people who risk their lives to keep us safe. 

6. They want justice to prevail

When innocent people are victimized, people who follow true crime feel genuine outrage. They want to see justice served, but they also don’t want a rush to judgment. Even when there’s a conviction, as in case of the Menendez brothers, they’re willing to consider whether mitigating circumstances should have been considered – such as evidence that the father was a child molester.

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