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“In 1979, the American discourse on serial killers was irrevocably changed. Ted Bundy’s serial-murder-and-rape trial, which was nationally televised, ushered in a new era of live entertainment. Fifteen years later, O. J. Simpson’s trial became the next national obsession. Today, the true-crime genre reached new heights with the podcast Serial. The proliferation of successful murder-centric content that followed is indicative of a public obsession.
Why do serial killers inspire such fervent intrigue among Americans? A new video from The Atlantic investigates.
“Serial killers are in many ways a uniquely American phenomenon,” says Joe Berlinger, the acclaimed true-crime documentarian behind the Paradise Lost trilogy and the director of the popular Netflix series The Ted Bundy Tapes. In the video, Berlinger explains why this dark subject maintains its enduring grip on the American psyche. The Atlantic Senior Editor Julie Beck also describes the process by which serial-killer lore is inducted into Americana, and why women are more likely than men to be interested in true crime.”
JJ Editor's Daily Picks
"My fellow progressives actually doubt if I'm still a Democrat just because I won't accept Nicolas Maduro's tyrannic regime in my home of Venezuela."
"One of the particular characteristics of the Trump presidency is the way Trump consistently creates drama – some by design, some not – that makes it hard to see the broader outline of events."
"Israel’s Eurovision entry barely made a dent on the scoreboard but there’s no doubt that the Jewish State was the real winner of the Eurovision Song Content 2019."
"The Saturday Night Live Finale Was a Mishmash of Everything It Needs to Fix: The send-off to Season 44 might end up functioning as a send-off to a particularly toothless era for the show."
"The biggest challenge in measuring real compensation and Americans’ well-being is the extraordinary growth in new products that have brought new benefits not captured in any government consumer price metric."
"...we’ve grown wary of the so-called attention economy, which, in the name of corporate profits, exploits our psychological vulnerabilities in ways that corrode social life, diminish privacy, weaken civic cohesion..."
"Regardless of how healthfully we live or how much medical care we receive, we will all die. Yet, understanding this intellectually is vastly different from truly feeling it; raw confrontation with our own mortality is frightening."
"Power, although hard to handle, is greatly desired. There is no person or group or sect or party or mob that doesn’t want power, convinced that it would know how to use it as no one ever has before."
"It turns out that feminism and faith both have high expectations of husbands and fathers, if for very different ideological reasons, and that both result in higher-quality marriages for women."
"We live in an age of radical diets: Paleo, vegan, low-glycemic, low-carb, low-fat, high fat (keto). Which one’s best for maintaining a healthy weight?"
"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "
"The Germans, the Jews and the Poles Are on the Battlefield Again: The Poles see themselves as the ultimate victims, the Germans repent and pass anti-BDS resolutions, and Israel speaks in two voices..."