Last fall I became addicted to the Serial Podcast, this series now in its second season examined a murder case from 1999. I won’t rehash the entire season here but the details of the case were rather interesting. It painted a picture of how easy it would be for the wrong set of circumstances can upend one’s life.
The series grabbed my imagination and in it’s wake were other podcasts that have continued to look at the details of this case. Who really killed Hae May and did Sayeed do it? Did he have help or is he wholly innocent? At this time Sayeed is preparing for his appeal trial.
True crime stories have always captured the public’s imagination. My first brush with this genre with In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. This book propelled Truman into fame and continues to be examined.
Then there is OJ Simpson case, which spelled the beginning of the end for daytime soap operas. The Memphis Three whose story was chronicled in documentaries and books. Eventually leading to the young men being released.
But what is it about these kinds of stories that fascinates us? Is it that from our vantage point that we feel safe to look into the lurid truth if some lives?
Perhaps it is this permission that is given in these cases to examine lives under a microscope. Those juicy secrets of the private lives of others. The twists and turns of our justice system that can occur.
In these stories, as with any great story, we see ourselves in them. Our lives turned upside down. Fighting to be heard or dealing with the consequences of being pushed too far. Story encompasses so much in our daily lives. True crime stories capture our imagination for many reasons.