Divine Calm: Dirty little secret

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10.20.2005

Dirty little secret

I have a confession to make.

I am completely addicted to Court TV's Crime Library. I have spent many hours reading gruesome murder cases and trials. I have a million other things to do, but I CANNOT turn away. It's like slowing down for a car crash. Why do we feel the need to screech our brakes to look at mere fender-benders in hopes to see some real gore and destruction? Why did we, as kids, gather around school yard fighting? Why is Jerry Springer still on air? One might guess the reason for this phenomenon is that most of us lead boring and safe lives and become voyeurs for a little excitement. I think the real answer may be more complicated.

As a Crime Library voyeur, I am more intrigued by what differentiates a murderer from the everyday Mo Shmo. Serial killers are the most fascinating to me, and by the airplay they receive on the news, I am not alone in this fascination. Where is the disconnect that makes a cute little chubby baby become an animal head-popping teenager and, later, a mass murderer of twenty blond hair little girls? I think describing a mass murderer as a spawn of the devil is too simplistic. There are several theories, but I am leaning towards a combination of both biological and environmental factors. For example, a little kid develops a brain injury from a bike incident and is also being severely sexually abused by an uncle. Later in life, this kid is more likely to become a social deviant than you or I.

Another reason Crime Library lures me into reading its murderous tails is that it reminds me how fleeting life can be and to appreciate my time on earth. I may be bored to tears, but I am lucky to be sitting in a comfy chair, sipping coffee, and enjoying my daily dose of murder. What more could you ask out of life?