• Ashley Flores

Why People Should Stop Romanticizing Serial Killers

Ted Bundy. One of America’s most notorious serial killers, was guilty of killing 30 women. His last and youngest victim, who happened to be a 12-year-old by the name of Kimberly Leech, was abducted and later murdered by Bundy. It’s important to mention that Bundy was not only seen as an incredibly smart and knowledgeable individual, but he was also seen as charming and charismatic to many. In many documentaries that have to do with Bundy, as well as Netflix's 2019 film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil”, shows how Bundy was highly romanticised during his time in prison. Many women sent Bundy letters with pictures of themselves, love confessions, and even marriage proposals during his time in prison.

Another notorious serial killer who has the tendency to be romanticized is Richard Ramirez, who is famously known as “The Night Stalker.” Ramirez killed a total of 15 people throughout California. In January of this year, Netflix came out with a docuseries that focuses on Ramirez and his every step (it’s a very good docuseries by the way, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in true crime). Upon the release of this docuseries, many users across various popular social media platforms such as TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram began to say that Ramirez was hot. They would even make fan pages about him, praising him, making edits about him and wishing him a happy birthday. In the docuseries, it is shown that many women would show up to Ramirez’s court hearings, write him countless letters and would simply ignore everything he ever did just because they found him attractive.

I find that so insane. I mean he killed many people who happened to have families. They were someone’s daughter, son, grandfather, grandmother, brother, sister, boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s disturbing that people will just push all that these serial killers did aside just because they find them hot. Society has really conditioned humans to think that a pretty face automatically equals a nice personality and life. It’s just so unrealistic and we truly never know someone’s true intentions. According to psychologists, when we see a person who is attractive we tend to think that they’re nice. In comparison to when we see an unattractive person, we think they’re rude and or mean.

Another thing that I would like to add is that while documentaries and movies about serial killers are interesting and informative to watch, I feel as though they bring too much attention to the serial killer instead of the victims, which could be damaging for the victims to see. I’ve seen many documentaries and movies focus on the charm of the serial killer rather than the crimes they committed. This gives them too much attention and fame, and I can’t even imagine what the victims may feel when seeing criminals being put in the spotlight.

The term “hybristophilia” is when an individual is sexually interested in a person who has committed a crime. Many psychologists say that this occurs because people want to understand the serial killer and why they did what they did. A huge example of this could be seen in yet another Netflix original series called “You.” The show is about main character Joe Goldberg, who happens to be a stalker who falls in love with what seems like every woman he encounters. He soon becomes a serial killer and kills almost every person who is relevant in the life of his victims. The whole series is in his point of view, which kind of makes the viewer hope he doesn’t get caught, even sympathizing with him.

With all of this being said, the romanticizing of serial killers should definitely never be encouraged. It doesn’t matter if the serial killer is seen as “hot” or “very attractive”, it doesn’t excuse the fact that they murdered innocent people, including children. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to remember that a pretty face does not equal a pretty soul. We never know a person’s genuine intentions. We only show people what we want them to see.

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