SNL’s Murder Show Skit Related to True Crime Fans Everywhere. But WHY??

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Our Thoughts
  • by Sarah Wheatley

SNL has done it again, which means we did, too. 

Similar to our #nofilter analysis of the Zillow skit, we used this approach to dig into another recent SNL skit that saw right through people like me – in this case, people who are obsessed with murder shows. (I prefer the title “Murderino,” but I won’t hold that against them.) It was only a matter of time for SNL to catch on and once again use satire to see straight through many viewers' deep, dark secrets. First: browsing Zillow. Now: watching murder shows as self care.

  • “First Zillow, now Murder Show. I’m feeling pretty called out by SNL right now.” -Twitter

  • “I watch murder shows while surfing Zillow and don't appreciate SNL exposing me like this.” -YouTube

  • “I feel called out, but I'm actually okay with it knowing that I'm not the only one.” -YouTube

  • “SNL called [me] out and I’m not mad about it (okay I’m a little mad) but yeah, a martini and a murder show is how I relax🍸🔪” -Twitter

I know it; we all know it: it’s a strange thing to be so interested in crime, murder, and serial killers. For many like myself, this started as an interest I kept quiet and close to the chest. Eventually, Murderinos like myself started to realize they shared this twisted love of true crime with others like us. These bonds led to a boom of podcasts, documentaries and docuseries emerged delving deep into some of the most world-renowned and hidden murder cases over time. 

  • “There's group of women in my little town of 1400 people who meet to discuss murder documentaries and podcasts. I try not to think about it.” -YouTube

Although, I find comfort in knowing the fascination with true crime itself definitely isn’t “new.” Remember Lizzie Borden? Jack The Ripper? These infamous cases were obsessed over far before a boom in true crime shows, films, and podcasts. 

So why? Why are there so many folks like me out there who are fascinated by murder shows, podcasts, documentaries, and more? 

Overall, a lot of us are unable to answer this question. We joke that something is definitely off about us… but what is it, really?

  • “The cultural crisis we just won't talk about. We're not okay, y'all 😂” -YouTube

  • “Why do we do this? Why is this relaxing? I just finished my lecture notes while listening to unsolved crimes... this ain't right.” -YouTube

Similar to the skit, it is echoed by Murderinos how “normal” it is for us to multitask or do other things while listening to or watching a murder show. 

  • "True crime has become a bizarre part of our late night “me-time” ritual where, instead of catching some zzz’s to cancel out some of the sleep-debt we’ve racked up, we watch horrific murder stories on TV or DIY sleuthery on YouTube or podcasts while scrolling on our phones or picking up the house.” -Blog

  • “I was watching a murder doc while filling out my son’s Scholastic book order and realized I am living this song.” -YouTube

Personally, this left me wondering: are we completely desensitized to such a gruesome topic?

The truth of it, though, is not that we are heartless or lack empathy toward such sensitive experiences. In actuality, it’s quite the opposite: it’s that true crime often leads to a captivating story we can fully connect with. It is thrilling to listen to a story with twists and turns, highlighting the unthinkable things that actually happened to people in our lifetime or lifetimes before us. 

  • “My sister literally drives home from college while listening to podcasts on serial killers😂 I can’t say anything though cause she’ll find good ones while at home and we’ll have long talks about them and how interesting they are…” -YouTube

  • “I seriously cannot get enough of murder trials, true crime, and investigations. It makes life so much less boring. I’ve been this way since I was really young.” -Reddit

These are the types of stories that keep us on the edge of our seats, asking questions, wondering why… often needing to know more. 

  • “as soon as i’m done i’ll listen to a podcast about the same guy as the show i just watched cause now i’m fully down the rabbithole. I FEEL ATTACKED but also seen” -YouTube

  • “Every line is SO perfect! but this: "and as soon as I'm done, I listen to a podcast about the same guy as the show I just watched" really hit home....#rabbitholes” -Youtube

    However, even Murderinos reach their limits on how much they can listen to and how far down the rabbit hole they can really go. In those instances, we then find ourselves looking for a “palate cleanser” – i.e., a wholesome, feel-good show.

    • “This is so spot on. Seriously. I think they missed the contrast of flipping between murder shows and the Hallmark Channel though. :D” -YouTube 

    • “If binging true crime in your sweats just to have to cleanse your palette with a feel-good comedy like Schitt’s Creek is part of your self-care, welcome to the True Crime Mom Club where we get [excited] over cold cases and unsolved mysteries.” -Blog

    After using our  #nofilter methodology to dive into how my fellow Murderinos reacted to the SNL skit, I paused to ask myself: 

    Why does true crime interest me so much? What do I find so fascinating about this topic?

    To me, the role of true crime exists on multiple levels. Similar to other viewers’, I am easily sucked into a good story. To listen as narrators (whether they are merely retelling the story or living the story themselves) paint a detailed scene, characters, reveals and surprises has become my favorite way to check out of my own world for a period of time and into someone else’s. 

    In addition to a good story, I am someone who is fascinated by abnormal psychology

    Understanding human behavior is part of what I do for a living; understanding abnormal human behavior involves looking at motivations and past trauma/experiences with a different lens – one that feels like uncharted territory and consistently keeps me asking why. (Any Mindhunter fans have seen the exploration of serial killer’s behaviors in order to catch future serial killers).

    In summary: within fans of true crime lies a constant curiosity. We are not afraid to go deeper, and we are not afraid to stop asking why. But that can be said for a lot of different types of stories that leave us wanting more.

    So whatever rabbit hole you find yourself falling down, we hope you’re out there digging deeper and asking why, too. Feel free to share it with us on LinkedIn; we’d love to know what it is!

    [Photo by Adrian Swancar on Unsplash]