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Our inaugural true crime festival, Death Becomes Us, is this weekend. To get in the mood for the shows, 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?”

Read our interviews and we’ll see you this weekend!

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.”

Read the entire interview and see Wine & Crime Saturday, November 3 at 6:15 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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

Read the entire interview and see BuzzFeed Unsolved Saturday, November 3 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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

Read the entire interview and see Wine & Crime Saturday, November 3 at 6:15 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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.”

Read the entire interview and see Criminal Sunday, November 4 at 3:30 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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.”

Read the entire interview and see The Last Podcast On The Left with Special Guest Harold Schechter Sunday, November 4 at 6:15 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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.””

Read the entire interview and see The Last Podcast On The Left with Special Guest Harold Schechter Sunday, November 4 at 6:15 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

Why True Crime? with Small Town Dicks

“I think the bigger thing for me was I was always, this is gonna sound so bad, I was always fascinated by evil. I was such a good kid that I thought “What is it that’s different about you, from me?” And there but go the grace of God go all of this. Because I was such a good kid I didn’t understand people who would willfully do horrible things, anything from robbery to murder. I didn’t understand how you could do that and then sleep at night. And so I was absolutely 100% invested in the good guys winning and even though in true crime the good guys don’t always win I still always want them to.” -Yeardley Smith

Read the entire interview and see Cold Case Files: Paul Holes In conversation with Yeardley Smith & Zibby Allen of Small Town Dicks Sunday, November 4 at 9 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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.”

Read the entire interview and see Cold Case Files: Paul Holes In conversation with Yeardley Smith & Zibby Allen of Small Town Dicks Sunday, November 4 at 9 p.m. at the Lisner Auditorium

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