Romanticization of murderers isn’t cute

Romanticization of murderers isnt cute

Elizabeth Alexander

In the 1970s, notorious serial killer Ted Bundy went on a killing spree in the mountain West, brutally murdering at least 30 women in the span of a few years. In the 2020s, fangirls online are gushing about how hot he is. Something weird happened in the decades between.

As it turned out, that “weird thing” was true crime. That’s a community dedicated to learning about crimes throughout history. I won’t lie and say it’s not interesting, because it is. Whether it’s because people like the adrenaline rush or because they’re morbidly curious, true crime is a guilty pleasure for many people. The community around it is deeply passionate and has even solved a few cases, like the murder of a former lottery winner in 2009.

Unfortunately, a few bad apples can ruin the whole bunch, which is what happened to the true crime community. The idolization of criminals originated on Tumblr but has since spread to TikTok. On both sites, many users make cutesy fan edits featuring clips of killers such as Bundy, decorated with flower crowns and sparkle effects. The worst offense has to be the fanfiction (enough said). Thankfully, because Bundy is the most well-known of the criminals, his fans are mostly criticized.

Un-thankfully, TikTok has latched itself onto other murderers to lust over. Fans of Cameron Herrin, who killed a mother and child while street racing, were not pleased when he was sentenced to 24 years in prison. “He’s too cute to go to jail!” nearly 20,000 cried as they signed a now-deleted petition to lower his sentence.

It’s hard to prove whether or not Herrin killed the 2 purposefully. However, what is easy to prove are the purposeful motives of other killer idols. Take Victoria Mendoza and Isabella Guzman, two women who stabbed their victims dozens of times. It is so blatantly obvious that what they did were no simple accidents. Yet dozens of fancams of the trio are abundant and they don’t get nearly the same amount of criticism the Bundy ones do.

It’s clear the main reason these killers in particular have defenders is because they’re all conventionally attractive–if they were “ugly,” then these fans wouldn’t exist. You would think that murder would be an exception to pretty privilege, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking.

Not only is the romanticization in poor taste, but it’s also incredibly disrespectful to the victim’s loved ones. They’re trying to heal after a horrible tragedy, and they definitely don’t want to hear pleas of innocence for their killer. If a close friend or relative was murdered, would you want someone to compliment their killer? Didn’t think so.

It doesn’t matter whether you think they’re cute; keep that to yourself. They literally murdered people.