As season 2 of Homicide: Hours To Kill airs on Crime + Investigation, six experts unpick our fascination with the genre
Charlotte Armitage, film and TV psychologist and MD of the Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting
She says: The producers of these shows use the same strategies they would when creating a fictional TV series. They have a story arc per episode and per series. That’s what keeps the viewer entertained and coming back wanting more. It’s the shock value that compels people, and people are fascinated to understand what drives somebody to commit such a heinous crime. There’s that little bit of armchair detective going on; people wanting to sit at home, watch the TV and try and solve these cases.
We didn’t have this level of awareness about crime 20 years ago, because unless you watched it on the news or read about it in the newspaper, it wasn’t there. Now, crime’s everywhere. There are so many channels and platforms now, people can choose whether they watch true crime or not, and people have chosen to watch it. It becomes a social thing. These things very much spread by word of mouth: “Did you watch this? Watch this, it’s really good. Let’s have a chat about it.”
She recommends: Interview With A Serial Killer: Arthur Shawcross, Making A Murderer, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes