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We love true crime, which is why we have a true crime festival. In order to dig deeper into the hearts and minds of some of our favorite talent we asked the detectives, authors, hosts and podcasters their motivation behind their passion. The following is a one stop shop of our series, “Why True Crime?”

Why Crime? with Investigation Discovery’s Homicide Hunter Joe Kenda

“We’re there in the zoo and we’re approaching the primate house and there’s a big sign in front of the primate house that said, “Around this corner is the most dangerous animal on Earth,” and everybody including me, adults and children, ran around that corner. On the other side was a mirror from floor to ceiling. Everyone is staring at the mirror angrily but for me it was an epiphany. I thought, “What if these people are the most dangerous animal?” As I got older I thought about that all the time. I thought, “Ya know, animals kill for need. Humans kill for pleasure.” There is no more dangerous thing on this planet than a human being.”

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Why True Crime? with BuzzFeed Unsolved

I just grew up in the midwest where there are a lot of murderers. I grew up near Chicago and my parents and their friends every now and then would say “Oh yeah one of our friends was murdered by John Wayne Gacy.”” -Shane Madej

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Why True Crime? with Wine & Crime

“When I was in 7th grade my mom and I saw this As Seen on TV advertisement where you could order a VHS set of live autopsies. So we ordered it and were all excited about it and when we sat down to watch it we were like “Oh my God this is actually really gross.” -Lucy

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Why True Crime? with Phoebe Judge of Criminal

“I don’t think people are bad. I think people are screwed up, horrible things happen to them that put them on a trajectory they cannot escape.”

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Why True Crime? with True Crime Author Harold Schechter

“When I started writing my books, before the term serial killer even entered the language, I considered that I was writing true horror more than true crime, that is writing stories about real life monsters. To put it another way those rare criminals who become mythologized into monsters. I’ve been interested in why we need stories about monsters and the way in which true crime serves that function. They’re a little bit like fairy tales for grown ups.”

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Why True Crime? with Marcus Parks of Last Podcast on the Left

“When you study these monsters you really learn things about yourself. I’ve read about serial killers and the turns they made and you think, “Oh man, I could have made that turn. I chose a different direction.””

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Why True Crime? with Jake Brennan of Disgraceland

“I wanted to start a music podcast and there were a million music podcasts out there. My obsession had been crime novels growing up, so the story from music history that I was most drawn to and that I most wanted to tell, coincidentally had to do with crime. So putting the finer point of true crime onto a music podcast made a lot of sense” – Jake Brennan

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Why Crime? with Cold Case Investigator Paul Holes

“I think there is that fundamental fascination about real crime. I think different people look at it different ways. Ultimately in one sense it’s that kind of facing your mortality and seeing what has happened to other people. On another front it’s, “Why do these guys do this?” There’s that fascination with the criminal mind. I’ve always been more fascinated by the predator type such as Golden State Killer, your serial killer, your serial rapist….fantasy-motivated types of criminality versus monetary motivated.” – Paul Holes

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Why True Crime? with Billy Jensen

“When my parents finally let me stay home by myself with the cable and a couple of Stouffer’s French Bread pizzas I watched a show on HBO called The Man Who Saw Tomorrow. I was probably about 11 or 12 and it was about Nostradamus and how he…it was narrated by Orson Welles about all these things he predicted. It was all bullshit but I was really into it. Eventually it would show he predicts the end of the world and World War III and it should have freaked me out but it didn’t. What freaked me out was the JFK stuff. So they showed JFK and showed that Nostradamus had a quatrain about him being shot from the front. Then they showed the grassy knoll and I freaked out.” – Billy Jensen

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