More Than 1 In 4 True Crime Fans Root For The Criminal

by : Julia Banim on : 20 Dec 2019 14:52
True CrimeNetflix

Like many people, I love a good mystery and can often be found downloading a gory true crime podcast before bedtime.

Perhaps this isn’t exactly ideal listening for a peaceful night’s sleep, but I simply can’t help but hold out until the very end of each episode; guessing and speculating away over a nice cup of tea.


Similarly, I’m a sucker for a riveting true crime doc, feeling almost as if I’m working alongside the detectives as they attempt to untangle the mind of a monster in human form.

Hannibal LectorOrion Pictures

I must say I’m relieved to know I’m definitely not alone in my consumption of darkly enthralling content, with plenty of other perfectly law-abiding people gripped by blood, guts and frighteningly clever criminals.

According to a new survey of 1,000 Americans – conducted by SuperSummary.com – 58% of respondents admitted to regularly enjoying true crime content and over a quarter root for the bad guy.


In one year, your average armchair sleuth will consume 84 episodes of true crime telly, 44.4 chapters of true crime books, 33.6 episodes of true crime podcasts and 20.4 true crime movies.

Now, that’s a hell of a lot of knowledge for anyone to be armed with, ensuring a thorough education in everything from crime scene investigations to the psychology of a homicidal maniac.


But surely it’s fine, right? I mean, that nice girl listening to My Favourite Murder beside you on the bus probably isn’t studying up to snuff you out and dissolve your body in a vat of acid. Right?


Still, I wouldn’t get too comfy as this survey has thrown up a few rather disquieting facts about the legions of true crime fans who populate our offices, flat shares and commuter trains.

Almost 50% of true crime buffs have a favourite criminal, compared with just 40% who have a favourite law enforcement professional. Furthermore, over one in five fans have ended up rooting for the perpetrator on at least one occasion.

Indeed, more than one in 10 participants admitted feeling attracted to a criminal (11%), while 12% expressed admiration. A nerve-wrackingly high 29% empathised with the wrong ‘un, while 30% felt sympathy.

Steven AveryNetflix

And if you weren’t already glancing around anxiously at your Serial obsessed housemate, then I have bad news for you.

Almost 30% of those surveyed have considered where they would hide a body, with a further one in four having thought about how they would go about committing a murder.

Incidentally, a colleague of mine has cheerfully informed me she would use an icicle to dispatch of her victim. So if my blooded corpse is ever discovered in a chilly pool of water, detectives should first turn their magnifying glasses towards the UNILAD editorial desk…

If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Film and TV, Documentaries, Netflix, Podcasts, True crime


  1. SuperSummary

    True Crime Obsession