Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession
(Grab it through our Amazon affiliate link … thanks!)
Hey, True Crime Afficionadas!
Rachel Monroe, a writer who would consider herself as a true crime fan, recently published a book that sparked some interesting conversations among followers of the genre. Her book, Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession, tackles conventional true crime narratives in a new way:
“A provocative and original investigation of our cultural fascination with crime, linking four archetypes—Detective, Victim, Defender, Killer—to four true stories about women driven by obsession.” (from the publisher)
What is the Women – True Crime Connection?
We’ve actually posted something related to this topic of women and true crime obsession before (Why Women are Fascinated by True Crime: a Psychologist Explains).
It poses an interesting question … what is it in the female mind that sparks such a strong connection with true crime stories?
We like to get in deep in the narrative – we’re detectives, by default, perhaps – that we’d slowly piece together clues to form a bigger picture of a case.
We also want to seek out the motive – even if it’s a bizarre or gruesome case. Think about it: what could drive some madness in a person’s head to commit some of these heinous crimes?
Considering as well that females tend to be the “victim” in these cases, we’d also want to find out the best ways to keep ourselves safe in this chaotic and dangerous world we’re living in. Of course, it’s subjective by nature, but if we do find a resource (such as these true crime documentaries, books, shows, and podcasts), we’d want to maximize the most out of it by placing ourselves in the victim’s shoes.
Also, there’s this sense of camaraderie by getting engaged in this genre. From a true crime podcast transforming into a community of followers that support each other in coping on several problems, to conventions and the like to bond with like-minded people, this community that we belong in suddenly gives us more reasons to enjoy life.
But, then again – is it wrong being obsessed in this rabbit hole of crime? Does it glorify it? Monroe does make a nice point of asking some hard questions. Why does it sometimes feel uneasy being in the same room of true crime fans? Shouldn’t this be the place where people will actually understand who I am? Is CrimeCon this weird, even for me?
True Crime and the Media
The true crime genre, admittedly, is enjoying a nice boom of interest and exposure. Not only for the female demographic, but several media channels have noticed the nice market this genre brings in.
True crime is now woven into popular culture. You can’t channel surf through the evening line up without passing by a parade of unsolved cases and crime scene reenactment shows.
Serial, the popular podcast, that some consider as the gateway channel into this interesting channel, had its story recently revamped in an HBO series. Also, true crime and home renovation have also been melded into one (you’ve read that right)! A soon-to-be released series (Murder House Flip, to be released on Quibi) tackles this weird combination of genres – let’s find out soon if it’s a hit or a miss!
Making Sense of this Crime-focused World We’re In
With these hard questions (and the connections on true crime stories) that Monroe asks in her book, we’d also want to bring in some nice and much-needed positive perspective into the discourse.
More people are talking about it. Through these discussions (even if they do feel uneasy, with some even offended) we as a community can grow. And by identifying issues together, we can all come up with new perspectives on how true crime stories can be narrated … including a shift away from glorifying criminals and moving towards understanding the victim’s stories and experiences.
We’re all getting to know ourselves. Regardless of age, status, label, or classification, this interest in true crime binds us together. And that’s a great thing.
Isn’t that what us women have been known for?
Let’s Read It
You can grab the book here using our Amazon affiliate link (thanks!)
Also, check out one of our latest posts on fetal abductions (take note that it may not be for those faint at heart!).