I’d like to ask some of the older folks if they remember watching Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack. Do you remember the tip line? Or the famous phrase “You may be able to help solve a mystery.” For many people who have grown up in the late 80’s and 90’s, this show was one of the more popular broadcasts around this time. In fact, according to their official website, Unsolved Mysteries helped solved over half of all fugitive cases as well as hundreds of loved ones being united. These success stories were due in large part to viewers like you and I. Every day Joe’s who cared about their community enough to submit a tip in hopes of apprehending a fugitive or giving closure to a child who was missing their loved ones.
Now look at the modern day true crime scene. Dozens of E-Girls flaunting their make-up ridden faces over the missing and dead persons across this country. Don’t believe me, search the famous abduction case of “Jennifer Kesse” on Youtube and you should see exactly what I’m talking about. Sure, it’s easy to like a few Facebook pages and donate a couple bucks here and there, but look at how many people attended her conference. Anyone in the dating scene knows that most women now enjoy listening to crime podcasts as one of their main hobbies. One of the most popular podcasts being My Favorite Murder, a self-described “comedy” podcast about murders hosted by two Gen-X women. South Park was correct by describing this new trend as informative murder porn. What was once a genre to help out community issues has become a platform for grifters and trendies.
I can tell you that this trend is no mere coincidence. Despite women being impressionable to the latest fads, these mockeries on crime and tragedies stem from a decay of community and social cohesion. The deaths of our sons and daughters are being exploited for clicks and money. Cat ladies are making comedies, and loads of cash, on what could be you or I someday. People, especially women, have promoted a genre based on being “different” to other men. It is a selfish desire in which they seek only entertainment and upcummies when informing themselves on these matters.
You may ask yourselves “Well, I like a good mystery but I also sympathize with the victims. What can I possibly do to help as someone who isn’t a detective?” The answer is very easy and straightforward. First, check out Parents of Murdered Children (POMC) in your community. You will be disturbingly surprised by how many families are involved in your state. Then, all you have to do is maybe send a letter to the group, donate, or see if you can do some involvement. Nothing extraordinary is required.
To go on a side note I would like to share a story of my own experience. I was touched by the mysterious case of missing person Jacob Boyd. He was a 36 year old father from Ohio who struggled with alcohol addiction. One day in 2017, Jacob disappeared leaving behind most of his possessions including a car, phone, and tablet. The saddest aspect of this case is seeing the sister write out her sadness and heartfelt letters addressing how much she misses him. Despite knowing full well that no one would cover an older white man who struggled with booze, I reached out to his sister anyways. I took her request and sent letters to places like Dateline, Dr. Phil, and Nancy Grace. Keep in mind this man (who lost both parents at a young age) was just a few tragedies and mistakes from either you or I.
The idea of all of this is to not be the hero that solves these cases. It is not to derive entertainment or to look good in front of your peers. The idea of reaching out is to share in the loss and pain within your community. To tell a loved one of a crime that they are not alone in this struggle we call life. It’s time to take back our mysteries and true crime; and in doing so we help slowly build back our communities. In a country where one-third of homicides go unsolved and where tragedies are used to make a quick buck, a simple yet heartfelt extend of the hand can mean the world to those less fortunate in our community. Lastly, at the bare minimum I ask you and your spouses to not fall victim to this nihilistic concept of getting entertainment over the misfortunes of real individuals. Together, we can reject these macabre grifters and work on pursuing mysteries that creates substance in our communities.