Stop romanticizing murderers

Photo of Charles Manson via the California Department of Corrections

Photo of Charles Manson via the California Department of Corrections

There is nothing cute about murder

By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor


Being interested in murderers is nothing new. A lot of people are interested in true crime documentaries and serial killers’ biographies, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Most murderers may have tragic backgrounds or a history of mental illness that they could never cope or get help with, so it’s normal to try to understand why they did it or even feel bad for them in some instances—but still condemn them for their crimes.

It’s in human nature to try to understand why someone would do what they did, especially when it comes to something so violent and aggressive as murder. However, there is a very fine line between being interested and being obsessed with the people who commit such atrocities. Sometimes, these obsessions toe in the waters of romanticizing, or even fetishizing, murderers and serial killers, which is, quite frankly, fucked up.

With the recent death of Charles Manson, I’ve noticed an influx of people posting about his death with “R.I.P.” and “what a tragic life he lived.” Yes, it was tragic, up until the point where he ordered his followers to murder people—namely, a pregnant Sharon Tate and her unborn baby. That’s when his tragic backstory stops becoming an excuse. There are plenty of people who have a troubled past and don’t murder people, why don’t we acknowledge their deaths in the same regard?

It’s a weird phenomenon when murderers are caught and gain a celebrity-like status in the media, but such is the case with many killers. The fact that we remember the names of the people who commit these crimes and not the names of the victims speaks volumes about how our society regards murderers. What’s even weirder is when people perpetuate this status, going as far as sending fan-mail to the murderers in jail, dedicating their social media blogs to them, or even calling them “hot,” or “cute.”

There is nothing cute about posting videos or photos of the crime scenes, or the murderers out of some sort of fascination or obsession. It’s disrespectful to the victim’s families and friends to romanticize these people. How do you think they would feel if the person who murdered a member of their family was being called “hot,” or “misunderstood?” They are not misunderstood or tragic figures, they are killers.

The Other Press

The Other Press, Douglas College's student newspaper since 1976. Articles, insight and updates from the New West and Coquitlam campuses.

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