True crime series has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years, with podcasts like ‘Serial’ amassing over 300 million downloads across its three seasons and Netflix documentaries captivating audiences worldwide. This article delves into the societal impact of these true crime series and explores how they shape our understanding of the legal system and criminal justice.

The popularity of True Crime Series and Podcasts

With the rise of streaming platforms and podcasts, true crime series like ‘Crime Junkie’ and ‘My Favorite Murder’ have gained immense popularity. These shows often shed light on tragic cases and situations, sometimes even becoming national sensations. Netflix documentaries, in particular, have garnered attention for their in-depth coverage of infamous serial killers, cold cases, murders, kidnappings, and cults.

The Serial Effect: New Research on True Crime’s Impact

Recent research called “The Serial Effect” aims to explore how crime dramas and podcasts influence people’s understanding of the legal system. This study features an interview with Kat Albrecht, an assistant professor in the Department of Criminal Justice and
Criminology at Georgia State University. The research investigates the potential consequences of true crime series on public perception and the criminal justice system.

True Crime Series Exposing Failures of the American Justice System

Many true crime documentaries, including some Oscar-nominated and award-winning ones, have exposed the failures of the American justice system. These series often reveal the dark side of sports, as seen in shows like “Bad Sport.” The case of Adnan Syed, who was released from prison after his case was the focus of ‘Serial,’ highlights the power of true crime series in bringing attention to potential miscarriages of justice.

White-Female Criminality and Media Circus: The Case of Love & Death

True crime series like the HBO Max show ‘Love & Death,’ developed by David E. Kelley and starring Elizabeth Olsen as Candy Montgomery, delve into themes of white-female criminality and the media circus surrounding high-profile cases. The series, based on the Candy Montgomery axe murder case, explores the complexities of criminal behavior and the societal fascination with true crime stories.