I have no interest in true crime but @Elle this thread is for you and anyone else who needs the gory and such in their media
First up for me is Jimmy Saville. He is extra gross and I don’t want to go into his crimes, because the whole world was set up to let rich and famous people get away with anything.and everything. But how was he such a creep in his comments to the media and on his shows and got away with it? It’s like how bill cosby basically confessed on stage over and over and over.
Regarding jobs- I do wonder if we’re seeing that violent people choose to be military, police, and medical or if those jobs numb them to humanity. I was listening to Bailey Sarian’s episode on the golden state killer and it very much seems like he chose police work to cover his tracks. Like Dexter. And can we talk about Bailey Sarian being an absolute boss? Her JOB that she invented in 2019 or whenever, is doing murder, mystery and makeup Monday. Also dark history. Love it. And there’s an English girl doing the same, I’ll look her up for you.
I think it’s the former italicized part! I’ve thought about this a lot and my reasoning is this:
Criminal Profiler AllHat
We already know this holds true for pedophiles. They often choose jobs working with children or young people (entertainment industry, athletic coaching), as well as jobs that have instant moral deniability (priest, teacher, scout leader). People who want to steal money often seek out jobs at banks, jewelry stores, etc. People who want to steal drugs often go towards jobs in pharmacies. Arsonists often work for fire departments.
There are other profiles that hold true for other professions, as mentioned above. Why would these be different? There’s also a pretty terrible track record we already know about, I mean the history of mental hospitals, medical experimentation on people during wars/imprisonment, history of places that care for intellectually disabled people, etc. All were total horror shows and were overseen by highly educated professionals.
These jobs (medical, police) have a few attributes that are not common to very many other jobs: first, they have instant moral deniability (she couldn’t do that! she’s a __!). If you tell a lot of people that you are a doctor, nurse, cop, soldier they think you are a literal hero. You save lives. You are a miracle worker. You are serving our country. Very few other jobs get that reaction, like nannies don’t hear that, accountants don’t, sales people don’t, cleaners don’t, fast food workers don’t, etc. Second, they are really high status jobs in many communities, both politically and socially and financially. In many communities those are some of the highest paying jobs you can get. I think people who tend towards narcissism and status-orientation would be really attracted to that. There is also a power dynamic in these jobs that is not common in most jobs. Police have ultimate power, if they pull you over you must stop. They have guns. Ditto for military, people salute you, offer you free things, etc. Doctors and nurses are similar, if a doctor tells you no on a treatment you do not get that treatment. Full stop. They are the ultimate authority, and the same is true for nurses–if they don’t think you need another dose yet you do not get it and there’s nothing you can do. Most people will not question them in the way they would readily question other professionals and I think that’s very attractive to a certain personality type. These jobs are also highly rigid in their hierarchies, which I find interesting but possibly unrelated-- it mostly makes me wonder if there is a secondary personality trait that is common in criminals with this background.
I think people who are violent/sociopaths/psychopaths would have an easier time flying under the radar in these professions than in other professions, specifically because highly sensitive people usually do not work in those fields. Those fields are populated by people who are really good at turning off sensitivities, looking objectively at things most people would find very emotional, etc. I mean even the phrase “nurse humor” right? Like it’s specifically the humor nurses use to cope with their job, and it’s often very dark and at the patient’s expense. I think that people who can fit into that culture probably tend to be people who are generally less emotional/sensitive/intuitive, and I think people who are less emotional/sensitive/intuitive tend to be worse at reading other people. They’re great at studying academically and fitting into a highly structured environment and acting under extreme pressure though. I think this is why you see so much absurd protective bias in policing from even 10-20 years ago. Like, it wasn’t uncommon to dismiss a person of interest because “he’s a church man!” or “she’s a pretty mom!” because in their minds, that meant they were great people. This is a view that I think could only be arrived at if you have a very simplistic understanding of human nature, and aren’t very observant when it comes to people. I think this would make it a lot easier for a sociopath to blend in, for their off comments to be brushed aside “well he doesn’t really mean that!”, etc.
These jobs offer access to high levels of control over other people, and in some cases violence itself. I think being drawn to medicine specifically is really interesting and I wish someone did research on areas of medicine too, like it seems like people with a background in psychology/psychiatry are more likely to be violent towards their own families/children. We know that’s true for cops too, their domestic violence rate is about four times higher than the general population. Nurses who kill seem to often kill their own patients, children, babies, and for financial gain, and I wonder why that is. Doctors seem all over the map in who they kill and why, but surgeons seem to be higher represented, which makes sense because…by default they are the type of people who can cut open another human, take that person’s life in their hands, and then go eat dinner. I mean…yes, it’s usually with the goal of a good, but they are still psychologically capable of doing that.
The other reason I’m convinced it’s because this type of person is just drawn to these jobs even if they don’t do them (not that the jobs make people evil or anything, I really don’t think it’s that, if it were I think the rates of killers would be even higher), is because there are several very high profile serial killers (Ed Kemper, John Wayne Gacy, BTK, come to mind instantly) who desperately wanted to be police officers but simply couldn’t make the cut. I think Ed and BTK even tried multiple times. There are also a lot of serial killers who claim to be decorated military people, even when they never served. Of course the golden state killer, too, he was a cop. The old lady killer, Amelia Dyer, Edson Izidoro, Daniela Poggialio, Jane Toppan, Angel of Death, were all nurses. These are not just killers, they’re serial killers! Like…something is up with that.
Finally, the reason I’m so invested in this idea is that if we could confirm this is a pattern I think more could be done to prevent it. Like, I fundamentally do not understand why police stations don’t get help from the FBI when it comes to profiling potential cadets. But I think…probably those people have a similar disposition, and do not want to think that maybe their job choice is also the job choice of a lot of terrible people? IDK. It just seems like, we should have a higher level of suspicion in terms of the motivation to be in a position of power. Some people, I think it’s because they or someone near them was touched by something and they want to help people like that. For other people they are just genuine givers, they just have that giving and protective kind of heart. But there is totally a contingent that is power hungry and absent of natural compassion/empathy, or even wants to shoot people/racially abuse them/inject people/cut people open/watch people die/etc., and I think it’s bizarre we can’t just…openly acknowledge it?! It doesn’t mean everyone in those jobs is like that but I mean, IDK how you can follow crime stuff and not see repetition in the careers of prolific violent criminals who aren’t just career criminals (i.e. who have normal jobs). Also that so many serial killers want to be in these jobs like…maybe we should think about that?
What do y’all think?!
-Criminal Profiler AllHat
AND OMG I LOVE BAILEY SARIAN. I also really like Kendall Rae.
I actually don’t know this one?! I’ll look it up.
Warning before you do - 40 years + working in entertainment and pedophile. The Netflix documentary only had 2 sections that go graphic I think, but overall eeeew
It’s almost hard for me to believe there is a true crime Netflix series I haven’t seen yet. Thanks for the warning! The R. Kelley one was really rough too, and The Keepers was probably the worst I’ve seen.
I couldn’t finish the R Kelly one. The keepers was rough too
another theory about bias in policing re: sex workers
Another example that supports this idea IMO, is the former view law enforcement had of sex workers. I meant to mention that! People who say sex work was demonized misunderstand, I think, it was demonized later by women who had been sex workers. One of the main reasons sex worker murders were never taken seriously was because police literally thought that people who entered sex work did so:
- Willingly. They almost always mention the women choosing it because they don’t want to do a different job.
- Because they were super horny and just loved guys.
- They loved having sex and were therefor degenerates.
- IF they were male, because they were gay and gay men love lots of sex because they’re perverts.
They literally didn’t even consider that they were forced into it, despite the average age someone becomes a sex worker being age 13. Like…for real? Lots of police notes/recordings about sex worker victims support this. I’d also argue they didn’t “demonize” it because they almost never prosecuted John’s and many of them were themselves John’s-- and pop culture wise pimps have been hugely valorized even though they’re all absuers. Sex work wasn’t “demonized” until actual sex workers, most of whom had no choice in the matter, started getting the microphone.
It’s hard to imagine having this blaming sex workers POV because to most people it’s kind of obvious that selling your body isn’t like, most people’s number one career choice, and that the vast majority of people doing that are highly vulnerable and have few other choices. I think the reason they thought that, though, is at least partly because when they themselves visited sex workers the workers told them they liked it…like because they have to.
I came up with this theory when I was talking to an old drinking regular at a bar I went to who loved strip clubs and was convinced the strippers really liked him, like they were friends. At the time I was living with several girls who stripped and we’d drink together too, and they were like “LOL WE HAVE TO BE NICE THEY DON’T REALLY LIKE YOU” but he was still positive that he was the exception, that they loved their jobs because they were just highly sexual people, and were specifically happy to see him. He was different!
It instantly made me think about how cops, especially in older true crime specials, talked about sex workers. Like saying stuff like, “she ran off because she wanted to party and live on the streets,” like…what?! (Also reminds me of how young black kids who go missing always just “ran away”…like even when they had nothing with them and were seen getting stuffed into a van, they just chose to run away?) But that was the dominant view, it seems. Human trafficking like, wasn’t even on their radar. Ditto with lots of domestic violence stuff. You can’t really condemn people who are guilty of doing stuff you’ve done.
What do you guys think? Haha, I love coming up with random theories about things but I accept I might be 100% incorrect about all of it. I never talk true crime IRL so I’m super excited, lol.
If you start listening to What Happened to Sandy Beale… she was a high school student and part of a ride along program with the local police force. And went missing after seeing her police officer boyfriend. The story is everything wrong about the historic police protecting brothers and social attitudes to young women who have sex
Thanks for the rec! I haven’t heard of this case either and I will check this out. Good timing since I am currently stuck!
UGH, this. So much this. Some of these stories, especially the racist small town ones it’s like so obvious someone is covering for someone. The story of Tamla Horsford for sure comes to mind.
Somewhat related: Have you listened to The Fall Line? I think they do a good job covering stuff that’s clearly a combo of criminal behavior and systemic support of that behavior. The season about the Grady Babies (a bunch of babies were abducted from the same low income mostly black hospital) was shocking. Actually the whole baby stealing thing in general is kind of wild, like the historic case of Georgia Tann the social worker who trafficked thousands of poor kids and then got paid for rich people to adopt them. In some cases they stole them directly from delivery! Like the woman would go into “twilight sleep” the doctor would say the baby died, and instead they would secretly sell the baby. WTF?! She’s technically also a serial killer at least 19 times over, and probably more, let’s be real.
Edited to add links!
Also @ElleP can you give me info on this?! I haven’t heard about it, I mean I’ve heard of his crimes obviously but not him semi-confessing.
Already listening and already infuriated.
Legal question if anyone knows the answer please educate me: why is it that to pin a crime like murder on someone you must prove they did it beyond a reasonable doubt but there isn’t the same standard used for proving someone committed suicide. Is this not a massive loophole in a sense? I feel like there are a lot of really sketchy deaths ruled suicides.
If you listen to his comedy there are a lot of examples like this. I stopped listening after confirming my search was right- but basically jokes about drugging women were as central to his stand up as fat albert
Jeeeeeze, I stopped like 50 second in. The most disturbing part is the audience laughing.
Finally popping in to contribute! What are your preferred forms of true crime media? I like podcasts and the very occasional documentary. I think I could get into audiobooks too, but haven’t found the right ones yet.
Podcasts and documentaries! Did you see frecks suggested scam goddess?
I’m going to watch the ultimatum which should be a crime tbh
I like documentaries and podcasts, for me it’s the type of crime and focus that makes it a yay or nay. Like, sex-driven criminals (Ted Bundy, Golden State Killer, molesters, et al.) are much less interesting to me because…their motivation is super obvious and there’s not really much of a mystery there. There’s no, “why? what was in their head?” to it at all. I like the weird ones, like Pam Hupp who murdered her platonic female friend and set up the husband to look guilty AND ALMOST GOT AWAY WITH IT. Oh or, Evil Genius about the bank heist/murder/scavenger hunt?! I mean the whole thing is so bizarre. Another one was that woman who pushed her husband off a cliff like 8 days after their wedding…like…wut u doing bb???
I also prefer true crime that is less focused on the physical gore and more focused on the human story, the investigation, how we got to this point, theories, etc. I like unsolved cold cases too! Oh and I love the series American Greed, like white collar scams and stuff, totally.
Is anyone else freaking out about Sherri Pappini??? That’s probably the most insane story I’ve heard…maybe ever? Stuff like that fascinates me because it’s such a total WTF.
ETA: OH and I haven’t listened to it yet but I just found out Candace DeLong (a former FBI profiler who I’m pretty much in love with) has a podcast called Killer Psyche and I am SO excited. In my true crime fantasy I’m a criminal profiler (when I’m on the side of the law, haha, if I were a criminal I’d be a con artist all the way).
“Beyond a reasonable doubt” is a judicial standard that applies to a jury’s decision making: they must feel that the prosecution proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Whether a death is ruled a suicide or a murder is not a jury matter – iirc in the US it’s usually a coroner who decides. No one is accused of a crime - rather, it’s a decision of whether a crime occurred at all. Because there’s no defendant and no jury, the “beyond reasonable doubt” standard doesn’t apply.
Ahhhh, ok this makes so much sense.