What is it about criminals that grabs our attention and intrigues us? For most of us, the extent of our ‘less-than-legal’ activities is that we possibly downloaded a song for free, J-walked across the street or trespassed on someone’s property when looking for a shortcut home. Maybe you even removed those tags off your couch – you know, the ones that say there could be legal repercussions if you do that. In all seriousness, people are fascinated with the criminal world because the acts of those who break the law are taboo and so different from anything we do in our daily lives.
Yes, we are fascinated with criminals. Just look around the news or entertainment television and see how much space is dedicated to crime and criminals. When not discussing politics and the world climate, the news is almost always covering a trial or reporting on some sort of illegal activity. Throw in a celebrity or sports star being arrested for anything and you are guaranteed to attract millions of viewers fascinated to know what bad deed the person in question has committed. Over the last decades there have been countless shows on television which look at the legal system and criminal elements. From the Sopranos to Orange is the New Black to the long-running documentary style show Cops, our interest in the criminal element remains as strong as ever.
Of course, there are certain criminals that seem to catch our interest a lot more than others. These are criminals who stand out, for a variety of reasons, from the rest of the pack. Think back to what stories had you glued to the tv or computer screen. Extremely violent criminals, parents who killed their children, bank robbers who used body armor and assault guns, mob bosses who were tracked down by the feds and sports stars who got arrested for more than a misdemeanor – these crimes and the people who commit them are so interesting because they are so ‘out there.’ If it’s a crime which is fit for a Hollywood script then it is likely to attract our attention even further.