Romanticizing Murder is not New and It’s Not Going Anywhere

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Frightened boy gasping

Masterfile (Royalty-Free Div.)

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With the recent Jeffrey Dahmer Netflix show, there has been a rise in TikToks downplaying serial murder and cannibalism. The classic “I’m so quirky” videos, with a touch of psychopathy. “I wish the Dahmer show was more violent.” “That show didn’t bother me at all.” “Acting like Dahmer for a day.”

And, like any other of the questionable trends, there have been countless response, stitch, and duet videos explaining how disgusting this thought process is. It’s not just a gory TV show. These were real victims, real people, with real lives. They had names, dreams, and people who loved them. And their families are still out there, which makes these trends even more horrible.

But still, this is not new. Popular songs have revolved around murder and cannibalism for decades…

  • I Shot the Sheriff – Bob Marley (1974) [I think the title is self explanatory.]
  • Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1975) [If you don’t know this song, I’m concerned for you.]
  • Maneater – Hall & Oates (1982) [Again, the title.]
  • Cannibal – Ke$ha (2010) [“Be too sweet and you’ll be a goner. Yeah, I’ll pull a Jeffrey Dahmer.”]
  • Dark Horse – Katy Perry (2013) [“She eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer (woo)”]

Not to mention the countless Emo, Rock, and Indie songs about murder… and arson…

  • I Never Told You What I Do for a Living – My Chemical Romance (2003) [definitely something]
  • There’s a Good Reason these Tables are Numbered Honey You just Haven’t Thought of it Yet – Panic! at the Disco (2005) [poison]
  • Hayloft – Mother Mother (2008) [murder]
  • Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing – Set It Off (2014) [murder]
  • Crazy = Genius – Panic! at the Disco (2016) [arson]
  • Hayloft II – Mother Mother (2021) [murder 2.0]

If you know most of these songs, you’ll know that very few of them frame the murder/murders in a bad light. Often they are being perpetrated by the singers. The murders are “justified” and the songs are upbeat. Two of these songs are TikTok songs, and have their own dances/trends. Trends that have lived and died before the Dahmer show came out. There are other TikTok trends that reflect this attitude towards murder. There are countless videos on the app making light of school shootings, sa, pedophilia, etc.

There are so many duet/stitch videos discussing how wrong this trend is. That’s only making it worse by giving more attention to the trend. For years now, people have romanticized the true crime genre. “I’m such a nerd, I fall asleep to true crime.” True crime, horrifying news stories. They remind us how insignificant we are in the grand scheme of things. That doesn’t mean its not awful. Of course it is. But it’s not new and it’s not a passing trend.