Obsessed With True Crime? The Dark Truth Why…

Hey Thoughty2 here Let me tell you about a beautiful and very real 19th century love story involving a spellbound couple in love, a quaint little barn in the English countryside and a bunch of body parts sold at auction

Well I never said it was a love story with a happy ending In 1827 at 22 years of age William Corder of Polstead, a sleepy English village in Suffolk planned to elope to that most classic of elopement locations, Ipswich, with Maria Marten, the daughter of a local mole catcher They had planned to meet in the middle of the night, at the local Red Barn, so named because of its red roof And so Maria met Corder in the Red Barn that night and she was never seen alive again Corder fled Polstead without talking to anyone

I know, he didn’t even leave a note saying I’ve just slaughtered my girlfriend in that creepy looking barn, the cheek of it! Maria’s remains were later discovered buried in a grain storage bin at the Red Barn So I think the elopement went really well Corder evaded capture for some time but he was eventually tracked down 90 miles away in Brentford, London, where he had managed to find a new lucky wife and was running a ladies boarding house, the natural career progression for any aspiring young psychopath After his capture the local newspapers reported that he was found “…in parlour with 4 ladies at breakfast, in dressing gown & had a watch before him by which he was 'minuting' the boiling of some eggs” Let the man finish boiling his goddamn eggs before slapping the cuffs on him, that’s just downright rude

But something about this murder and boiled egg fanatic caught the public’s attention and in a big way The media all over Britain were reporting of William Corder’s story of elopement, betrayal, murder, red barns and eggs, those poor overcooked eggs The public went wild for it, they wrote songs and performed plays of the infamous red barn murder, as it has come to be known Well I guess we all needed something to occupy our days with before Jeremy Kyle brought a daily dose of inbreeding and social disfigurement into our homes Now when I say the public went wild for this unfortunate tale, I mean to say they behaved like a pack of wild priests in a boarding school

The red barn itself was raided and completely emptied by the public in search of souvenirs from the crime scene Even the wooden panels from the floor and walls were prised off and sold You can imagine it now “murder planks, get your murder planks, only a shilling a piece, the blood’s still warm folks” A novel was published about the case which quickly became a best-seller Corder was hanged and immediately afterwards, bits of the rope used to hang him were sold to the public and most gruesome of all, his body parts were chopped up and auctioned to the highest bidders, not for medical purposes, nope, just disturbing souvenirs

Corder’s skin was even used to bind a book, as can be seen here Some say afterwards the book grew hair All throughout the 18th and 19th centuries plays were frequently performed detailing the red barn murder Why? Am I crazy for thinking that’s crazy? Why did the public get so deeply enthralled with this case? Overnight William Corder had been raised to celebrity or even rockstar status, yet Corder was by all accounts a manipulative, lying, cheating, abusive, meglomanic psychopath who enjoyed chopping up women and hiding them inside piles of grain His only redeeming feature was he cared deeply about the doneness of a boiled egg

In a perfect society should we not forget about such an evil character, confining them to the annals of history and not give the case so much attention, thereby only glorifying the horrible act that the killer performed? Yet we do quite the opposite, we all do, we are all obsessed with the sinister and macabre, stop trying to hide it, you are too I’m just as guilty as the next man of cracking open a beer and enjoying a Netflix documentary about the next serial killer who may or may not be guilty Why are novels, films and TV shows about killers so much more popular than your average romcom? Even in a world where romantic filmmakers could actually write, I still believe this would hold true Face it the sick general public absolutely loves a good gruesome murder story and the more kills the perpetrator has to their name the more we lap it up like a sadistic, mentally ill kitten And this has been the case for as long as man with long beard and stubby nose hit man with beady eyes over the head with big rock, spilling red goo that man can’t drink all over the cave floor

Less than 150 years ago Jack the Ripper murdered and disemboweled anywhere from five to eleven prostitutes in Whitechapel, London Yet today he is much as a household name as Jesus or Cillit Bang There are many Jack the Ripper fan clubs out there, hundreds of books, plays, songs, TV shows and films All because a crazy man down a back alley, once sliced open some women to see what was inside The ironic thing is Jack the Ripper knew how sick the general public were and how famous he would inevitably become, because he branded himself

In a letter that may have been written by the man himself he administered himself the moniker of “Jack the Ripper” I would have gone for Slicy Pete myself, but I guess it’s a personal preference The stories of these professional psychopaths are endless Such as Dr Harold Shipman, nicknamed Dr

Death, the doctor who murdered over 250 of his own patients HH Holmes, the American serial killer who designed and constructed a purpose built hotel including hidden rooms and passageways in the walls, for the sole purpose of torturing and murdering his victims, of which there were an estimated 200 Luis Garavito, nicknamed The Beast, a Colombian rapist and serial killer who sexually abused, tortured and killed over 138 children

And those are just the tip of a very large and deeply evil iceberg The Yorkshire Ripper, Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, Ted Bundy, Gary Ridgway, I could go on and on all day In fact the United States has produced 2,743 serial killers, and the UK is hot on its heels with 145 psycho murderers on its list But have you ever noticed how we glorify these monsters by giving them cool sounding nicknames Jack the Ripper, Dr Death, The Beast, The Grim Sleeper, Son of Sam, The Green River Killer, The Lady Killer, BTK

It’s like Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson had a lovechild and it made a film about serial killers You can just picture the beautifully pastel coloured introductory title cards But don’t you think it's a bit strange how we are quicker to give awesome sounding monikers to mass murdering psychopaths than to our favourite sports players It’s almost like the moment someone disposes of a few people they automatically have a god-given right to a cool nickname And the general public lap it up

Swiss Psychiatrist Carl Jung believes it's because we all need to feed our “shadow self” Our shadow self is our dark side, that part of you secretly wants to punch a nun in the face, even though we know it's wrong We all have it and psychiatrists believe that by watching serial killers on TV carrying out heinous acts and learning how they performed said acts, we are scratching that itch we all have to explore our dark side, all from the safe comfort of our couch Research shows we find indulging our dark side, from afar, therapeutic Greek philosopher Aristotle was curious why his fellow humans were obsessed with plays about horrific things like murder

Everyone loved a good tragedy Aristotle concluded that by experiencing what he called “dark emotions” such as disgust, fear and depravity we can cleanse ourselves of such emotions It’s a kind of self healing, he called this process catharsis So according to Aristotle, the next time you’re lying in bed with your wife and that thought pops into your head again “go on, just put the pillow over her face, it will only take a minute and I’ll be free” You should instead pop on a gory horror film or true crime documentary and experience some good old catharsis to cleanse that evil little person from your mind

And if that doesn’t work for you, them I’m afraid you’re just going to have to start planning where to hide the body Another reason why we find serial killers absolutely fascinating is because of how perplexing, difficult and alien the concept of committing and getting away with multiple murders is to us I’ve never tried it myself but I can imagine it’s really difficult to murder someone and not get caught, after all the majority of murders are solved, approximately two thirds of killers are eventually caught In today’s world of advanced forensics, ballistics, criminal psychology, CCTV everywhere and internet and phone tracking, no matter how smart you think you are, only one tiny mistake needs to be made before you’re found out and cuffs have been slapped on your wrists faster than you can say “the voices made me do it” So naturally we find someone who can avoid being caught for many years whilst committing more than one murder, sometimes many many murders, absolutely fascinating

After all, that takes some skill On some level we find it impressive In the same way we find highly skilled acrobatic skydivers doing twists and turns whilst plummeting at terminal velocity towards a six-thousand kilometre rock quite impressive We feel exhilarated when watching skydivers because it’s a terrifying experience that most of us would never dream of doing, yet we all secretly want to know how it would feel, so we can live that experience through watching and learning about somebody else doing it on our behalf In this regard, our fascination with serial killers is no different

Maybe this psychology also explains why so many people watch horrendously trashy TV shows, like Keeping up With The Kardashians and Honey Boo Boo, just so we can experience through others what it would feel like to be that stupid There’s another deep-rooted evolutionary, psychological reason for our love of serial killers Uncertainty Humans hate the unknown, we always have, the same fear of the unknown can be seen in other intelligent creatures It’s why apes at the zoo always seem so curious of new objects, they’re only interested because they’re trying to discover if this new object will hurt them or not

And so too are humans afraid of what may be around the corner, what is beyond the forest or across the ocean During our 200,000 year span as modern homo sapiens we have found a way to deal with our fear of the unknown, we dominate it We can’t predict what a wild animal will do when we meet it, it’s actions are unknown, so we invented weapons to kill them We were afraid of what dangers may lie across the ocean, so we invented boats and we took our weapons and we dominated the oceans and everything beyond them Simply because on a deeply psychological level it terrified us, not knowing what may be out there

It has been suggested by many a psychologist that serial killers kill for the exact same reason Because they are afraid, so they feel the need to dominate their environment Many have trouble speaking to and becoming romantically entangled with women, so they instead choose to dominate them through rape and murder, it’s no coincidence that an overwhelming amount of serial killers throughout history have chosen prostitutes as their targets Some may have been beaten and abused as a child so they fear what other humans may do to them, thus they decide to dominate them Serial killers often practice this domination on animals before humans, just as the human race first practiced dominating cattle and sheep, before using the exact same techniques to enslave humans during times of war and famine

As observers we find people dominating others absolutely fascinating, because it teaches us how to conquer the unknown, we learn what we might do if we were put into the same situation of either the killer or the victim It’s the same macabre reason why horrific car crash videos are so popular online, and fail videos where people have horrendous, bone-breaking accidents, even if sometimes they did have it coming We aren’t all psychopaths, and although it makes us feel guilty watching these videos, all we are doing is feeding a primal urge to dominate the unknown, deep down, we just want to answer the question, what if? What would happen if I was in that situation And by studying serial killers and enjoying true crime documentaries, we find out what happens if we were to go on a satanic killing spree, and hopefully watching the story of others unfold before us can dissuade us from following a similar path, because others are conquering the unknown for us, whilst we stuff our faces with popcorn So thank you serial killers, you are providing a vital service for all of humanity

No wait, I can’t say that, I can’t actually thank them, there are victims after all Okay how about, serial killers, you are very, very naughty, but from your naughtiness may we all learn to be better people, that’s better, I think Thanks for watching

About Thoughty2

Thoughty2 (Arran) is a British YouTuber and gatekeeper of useless facts. Thoughty2 creates mind-blowing factual videos, on the weirdest, wackiest and most interesting topics. Combining fascinating lists with answers to life's biggest questions.

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