Just a silly observation about those TV murder documentaries

Every day when I get home from work, my mother and sometimes my son are watching one of those TV programs about cops finding killers. This one is called “Unusual Suspects” I think, is especially badly produced, and often features the same stories already seen on “Medical Detectives” last year.

This particular program follows a rather tiresome formula: (Disclosure – I’ve never seen it from the beginning.)

  1. Tell us the sad story of somebody who was murdered, and then hark back to it constantly, via interviews with family members.
  2. Go through every suspect they had, in copious detail, no matter how irrelevant.
  3. Tell us how hopeless the case was, and how it almost remained unsolved.
  4. Remind us again that this was a sweet, innocent person whom everybody loved.
  5. And then, years later, there’s an anonymous phone call, leading to the police finding the culprit.

Last night I got told to “Shut up!” when I blurted out, “And then there was a phone call” right before the overly dramatized tringalingaling…

Anyway, it occurred to me that those types of programs would be a heck of a lot less popular with people like my mother, if last night’s episode had been entitled “Pretty girl with three lovers and a cocaine habit stabbed to death”.

Don’t get me wrong… I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with a girl having three lovers. Even those who buy into the sanctity of marriage bullshit seem to miss that in Biblical times, marriage involved men with dozens of wives, and concubines (sex slaves).

Also, not every victim in these shows is female, and sometimes (though rarely) they are innocent. The point is, almost every victim in these shows has connections to hard drugs. Thanks to the poorly produced formula of this particular show, where they go into detail of every failed lead, they do mention investigating drug or gang connections with people such as partners and family members of the victims.

They downplay the victims’ connections to drugs, but if you know anything about drugs and drug users, you should know that if a husband and wife live together and the husband sells (and uses) drugs, his wife is probably a user too. And so on. The more people in the victim’s life are associated with drugs, the more likely that the victim is also associated with drugs.

Nobody deserves to be murdered, of course, but if you associate with crime and criminals, the probability of it happening is going to increase. Those sorts of TV programs look for interesting stories, but they are dishonest in the way they present their victims… I doubt my mother would still find such tripe so interesting if nearly every episode was called some variation of “Another junkie killed”.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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One Response to Just a silly observation about those TV murder documentaries

  1. Now that I work in corrections, I realize how true this is. While regular people, living regular lives sometimes get murdered- it is far less likely than in the drug world. Most of the time the news downplays this as well. There was a double homicide in a nice neighborhood last year around Christmas. Both people in the vehicle were shot and the news articles totally downplayed that drugs were involved. All sort of “she was such a nice girl” which may have been true. But also true that the “nice girl” was involved in some nasty drug shit. People don’t just randomly get shot.

    Like

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