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One female fan of the genre, Bridget -- a self-professed true crime fanatic -- says she became obsessed with crime stories back in 1986, as she followed the headlines on Robert Chambers, who was dubbed "the Preppy Killer." She has continued to follow true crime stories and now considers herself a sort of "armchair detective" and spends time researching other unsolved crimes online.
The Doctors ask whether these dark and often gruesome stories make people feel better about their own lives.
"Absolutely," says clinical psychologist Dr. Judy Ho, explaining fans of the genre -- both women and men -- are drawn to the process of seeing the crime and investigation unfold in front of their eyes and it can often make viewers feel as though they are part of the case.
Dr. Judy also notes watching true crime can provide someone with an adrenaline rush and excitement without the risk of being in danger.
But are there any positive aspects about consuming this dark content? The Doctors note true crime content may teach viewers some important life lessons.
Dr. Judy says true crime can educate people about safety concerns and inform them about "danger cues" to watch for in others and may even lead to someone realizing why past relationships did not work out. For instance, someone might reflect on a failed relationship and realize the reason it ended was the other person's lack of empathy or compassion -- something that is common in the people profiled in true crime content.