25 Things That Suck About the True Crime Community

1. My Concern Would Be Me

Mine is when someone who has been convicted of a murder but maintains their innocence does an interview and talks about how they’re innocent, how being in jail is a nightmare, they want to be free, prosecutors set them up, etc. and the true crime community’s response is:

“Wow, so they didn’t even express they feel sorry for the victim? They’re cruel and heartless.”

Like…if I was convicted and sentenced to 25+ years in jail over something I didn’t do, my first concern would be me. My second concern would be me. And my third concern would be me. With the exception of the death of an immediate family member, I can honestly say that the loss of my own freedom and being pilloried by the justice system would be the greater tragedy to me. And if I got the chance to speak up publicly, I would capitalize every second on the end goal (helping me!)

Just overall I think it’s an annoying response from some of us armchair detectives to what may be genuine injustice and real panic. A lot of it comes from the American puritanical beliefs that are the undertone of the justice system here, which completely removes humanity from convicted felons. There are genuine and innate psychological explanations behind self preservation.


2. Coincidence and So-Called Experts

Two of my problems with many in the true-crime community:

Failure to understand coincidence: the tendency to fixate on a particular suspect and then hunt up things that connect the suspect to a crime or crime victim. While failing to understand that between almost any two people, there will be a surprising number of connections — and that most of those connections are meaningless.

Failure to identify many “experts” as frauds, or at best, as people who are seriously exaggerating their resumes. There are several “profilers” active in the true-crime world whose claimed backgrounds can’t be verified — or can be readily debunked. And yet they are being consulted by documentary film and TV producers, podcasters and families of crime victims, often charging hefty fees for their services. But the services they provide are largely useless, and can even be harmful to a legitimate investigation.


3. Lawyers Don’t Equal Guilt

I think one of my biggest pet peeves (I’m mostly thinking about cold/unsolved cases here) is when people automatically assume that someone getting a lawyer makes them guilty. It doesn’t mean they AREN’T, but everyone is entitled to a lawyer!! There have been so many cases where innocent people were coerced into confessing things they didn’t do because they did not have a lawyer.


4. Decomposed Bodies

Speaking in absolutes without any authority! I’m no forensics expert but I am embalmer so I’ve seen my fair share of dead bodies.

It drives me up the wall when someone says “there’s NO way the body would be that decomposed / not decomposed / disarticulated / not smell etc”. With no actual experience, education or understanding of the causes. There are so many factors involved, which they don’t take into account because they aren’t even aware of them.

Also speaking with authority about environments they have no familiarity with. There are no swamps and marshes where I live so I’m not going to comment on how that ecosystem conceals a body or affects decomposition and odor but that doesn’t stop others.


5. Suicide Myths

There is a disturbing number of people who have no understanding of suicide, so this or that case couldn’t possibly be suicide.

Suicidal people can/will still make plans for the future.

Suicidal people can/will hide their true feelings and appear happy. On this note, some people who have planned suicide cheer up as they know their suffering is nearly done.

Not many suicides leave notes. Just because there is no note, doesn’t mean it isn’t a suicide.

Suicidal people can have a loving family, amazing support network etc. The “they didn’t kill themself because they would neve leave their child/wife/dog/family/alpaca” needs to go. Many suicides are spur of the moment, no amount of love in your life will stop that.

The myths/assumed suicide knowledge is disrespectful at the very least and downright dangerous at its worst!


6. Emotional Reactions

I hate that a lot people in the true crime community believe that they can determine someone’s guilt by the emotional reaction of the person they believe is guilty. They’ll be zero evidence but look at how they’re acting, you know they’re guilty. That’s how a lot of people get convicted in the media. Because everyone reacts to tragedy the same.


7. Reaction Isn’t One Size Fits All

One huge one recently is people doing the whole side by side comparisons of people with offender sketches online, which can be massively damaging to someone wrongly accused and can lead someone to not submit a potentially important tip because they are sure it must be the person shown.

Another is the lack of understanding of how vast and dangerous wilderness and national parks and such are in the United States. And how incredibly easy it would be to walk right past a body when searching. Like there was a experienced hiker who stepped off the Appalachian trail to use the restroom, and could not find the trail again. She survived for a decent while, recording her thoughts in her diary. It was quite a while later when her remains and her tent were located not far off of the trail.

Oh, and judging people based on how they “should” be acting or reacting in a certain situation. People are diverse and complex and there is rarely one “right” way to act in a crisis.


8. Polygraph Avoidance

People who suggest refusing a polygraph is suspicious.


9. Connection to the Missing or Dead

Similar to a lot of the comments on here: but people who feel the need to interject themselves into a case. When the Gabby Petito case was all over Tik Tok there were people who were convinced they knew where she was because they had seen ‘signs’. One woman, a self proclaimed medium, was convinced that Gabby was contacting her through signs and was trying to tell this woman where she was.

I think it’s so insensitive and creepy to actually think you have any connection to a missing/dead girl who you’ve never met in your life.

My other pet peeve are the people who just can’t handle a case that’s been solved in a boring way. Like other people have said, some people just can’t let things go. I saw a post on the woman whose daughter was taken by a dingo, and all the people in the comments were saying “she definitely killed her daughter and covered it up. I know this because I have inside info from Indigenous elders”. Do you really? Or is it just impossible for you to think that a wild animal might take a small child? People are just too bored imo.


10. Far Fetched Conspiracies

People who think that talking to a lawyer implies guilt. It doesn’t. Always get a lawyer.

People who believe and perpetuate far fetched conspiracies. Do crazy, unexpected things happen? Sure. But people seem to try to find convoluted, complicated, and unlikely explanations for no reason.

People not understanding what sex trafficking and generalized human trafficking looks like. No one is leaving an item in a Target parking lot to lure in a rich suburban woman for sex trafficking (saw that one recently). It’s people being taken advantage of by those around them in nearly all cases, for economic reasons or due to addiction or other situational factors.


11. Searching the Woods

One thing that bugs me is people refusing to believe a body can’t be in a wilderness area because it’s already been searched. Wilderness is wild, it is messy, actual search and rescue trained people admit they can easily miss things in areas like that. You get a group of volunteers the likelihood of missing something just goes up.

We are not as observant as a species as we think. Our brain is constantly filtering out white noise and the visual equivalent of that because our brains lack the capacity to actually process 100% of what we are hearing and seeing 100% of the time. There was a case posted a while back a guy was found after months hanging high in a tree with all the physical injuries matched with someone hanging themselves, but people could believe no one saw him in that time, so he must have been killed somewhere else, coincidentally in a way that caused hanging injuries and then moved months later and dragged his body like 10 foot up a tree and hung it. It was a frustrating thread to read.


12. Human Trafficking

The human trafficking thing really drives me up a wall. Human trafficking is VERY real, but it very, very rarely affects the ones that people always think it does (middle- and upper-middle-class white girls and women). I used to work with kids who were involved in multiple service systems (most often juvenile justice, child welfare, and mental health) and so many of the girls I worked with were being trafficked by older men they met in their neighborhoods that they thought were their “boyfriends” but were actually pimping them out for sex, drugs, money, etc. A lot of these girls had gone through the foster care system and had little or no parental involvement, whereas others did have parents who were trying their best to do well for their family but were single parents working multiple jobs around the clock and just weren’t able to be at home to keep track of what their kids were doing. You also have people trying to escape from desperate situations in other countries and things like that, but poor girls of color from a bad neighborhood and a family from Honduras trying to escape gang violence just doesn’t conjure up the same sympathy that a pretty blonde woman from a middle class family does.


13. Wild Speculations

Ridiculous wild speculations. I remember years ago on websleuths someone said because Casey Anthony had a small shamrock tattoo she must be involved with ecstacy/mdma because sometimes the pills have little shamrocks imprinted on them.

As someone who went to raves/dabbled in club drugs in the early 2000s I found this straight up ridonkulous.

And the “they hired a lawyer and haven’t been talking to the police they must be guilty” thing.


14. CSI Effect

The “CSI Effect”: A true phenomenon where because someone saw something on CSI or any of these fictional forensics shows that they think it’s possible in real life. For example, the Delphi murders. I keep seeing people frustrated that the case isn’t solved yet despite video one of the victims took. Props to her for trying to record but that video is not clear and neither is the sound. People assume you can just “zoom and enhance” and the alleged suspect would magically become crystal clear. It doesn’t work like that.


15. Cliche Explanation

When someone who clearly hasn’t researched the case at all comes up with an explanation that is extremely cliché but also wrong for this case and swears that their gut is right on this one.

“They were into drugs/alcohol” tends to mean nothing as a statement and often this is just used to blame the victim and “explain” the death.

Drug dealers rarely kill their customers and they don’t usually let them run up big debts for precisely that reason.

OP – I completley agree with you. IF I’m wrongfully convicted then how the fuck is the victim my responsibility?


16. Gut Feelings

Any talk of their “gut” is annoying.

Gut feelings are a real and useful phenomenon – your subconscious working through information that your conscious mind discarded as unimportant – but it only works in real life and maybe a bit from audio-video media.

Most posts on this sub are 100% words, probably ones that were loosely quoted by an overworked and underpaid journalist. Your gut can’t extrapolate shit from that. Stop using it to postulate theories.


17. Suspect Peddling

Suspect peddling. For example, in the DB Cooper case, when people are absolutely, positively certain it was Robert Rackstraw, or Duane Weber, or whatever other pop culture suspect in spite of way more evidence against them than for them. And yet, they will always have some sort of answer worked out to any reasonable doubt that it was their guy.

And perhaps even worse, those few yet incredibly annoying suspect peddlers who assert “my dad/friend/neighbor/uncle was not only DB Cooper, he was ALSO the Zodiac, the Long Island Serial Killer, the Monster of Florence…. Etc.”


18. Past Generations

When people examine crimes from past generations through a present-day lens, and then criticize the victims or investigators based on that. “I can’t BELIEVE they didn’t preserve evidence for DNA analysis!” Umm, it was the 1960’s, DNA analysis was still many years away. Or “what was she thinking, hitchhiking???” Again, it was the 1960’s, everyone did it. It’s not the same as accepting a ride from a stranger in 2021.


19. Witness Protection Program

Disappearances being attributed to joining the Witness Protection Program or joining the CIA. You think the CIA is going to recruit someone to be a James Bond-esque Super Spy when their face is splashed all over the news as a missing person? Come on, now.

Automatically believing anyone who claims to have the solution to a decades old cold case. My dad killed the Black Dahlia! My Dad was the Zodiac! Jack the Ripper was some famous Victorian guy! The Somerton Man was my dead mom’s boyfriend!


20. Millions Looked Like That

I love when someone produces a photo of their dad/grandpa/uncle/whatever from the 1960s and explains they MUST be the Zodiac Killer, because of the sheer similarity between the Zodiac sketch and the photo.

It’s like, “short hair, white, glasses” millions upon millions upon millions of guys looked like that!

Same with Michaela Garecht’s abductor, many people were convinced the abductor must be Speed freak Loren Herzog, cos of the sheer similarity between the sketch of the perpetrator and Herzog. and in 2020 when the case was FINALLY solved, the abductor … was not Herzog!


21. Super Fan of Killers

I’m surprised it hasn’t been mentioned, but super fans of killers. I’m not talking about people who enjoy researching/watching documentaries or having debates on killers. I’m talking about the little teens who are in love with those people. “Oh Ted Bundy was just so hot! He can’t be that bad!!” Or those people who have blogs dedicated to talking about how hot Eric Harris is. It’s sick and so disrespectful to victims. You can make observations without throwing yourselves at their feet.


22. Making It Your Own Trauma

When people act like they personally knew a victim and get really, really caught up and insert themselves like this is a personal loss. It’s just weird to me. I get being empathetic, I get feeling sorry for the family’s loss and for the trauma but making it your own trauma is icky to me.


23. Pet Case

No offense to anyone, but when someone says it’s their “pet case” or something similar. Some of the true crime community seem to be able to distance themselves and it sounds, at least in writing, like these aren’t actual people we’re talking about. It’s like it’s their favorite Nancy Drew book or something. I wouldn’t ever actually voice that because writing is often not representative of who we are, but ya know. You did ask.


24. Web Sleuths

There are so many cases where the true crime community gets mad when the detectives don’t release all of the information to the public about unsolved cases, because they think a little detail might help the web sleuths solve it on their own. Some times it might, but they usually have good reasons for withholding information.

Also disclaimer, I’m sure there have been times where a small detail might have helped get some good tips earlier, but that’s not usually the case.


25. Shocking Twists

Maybe it makes me petty but it puts me off when most of a video thumbnail is taken up by the YouTube user making a “shocked” face and then there’s text like “SHOCKING TWIST IN THE CASE” or something and then the victim is just put in the corner, I get ten times more annoyed by it when the victim involved is a kid/teen.

Also I really don’t like it when a youtuber pauses the video to go “oh, hey, guys sorry if you notice my hair is a mess by the way!” or “oh, hey, my dog just walked into the shot!”. It just rubs me the wrong way somehow.