Thrilling to Some, Inspiring to Others

Julie Fleming, Reporter

How come the best people die young? Why don’t serial killers ever die in tragic plane crashes or by shootings? Why don’t terrorists die from drug overdoses or STD’s? Why don’t the kind, giving people with caring families, good values and charitable personalities live to be 100? Why are their lives cut so short? George Michael, Prince, Whitney Huston, Paul Walker, Christina Grimmie, Robin Williams, Michael Jackson, Joan Rivers, David Bowie, Steve Irwin, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and more, all of these people who brought so many others so much joy have been taken. I don’t know the answer to that, but I might have the answer to why rates for the amount of criminals and crime rates increasing.

Based on my own opinion I believe the more violence and shootings that news channels broadcast, the more inspired people who are unstable get. The media posts pictures of these people’s faces everywhere, idolizing them, making them famous, putting them on this pedestal and I think it makes future criminals almost compete to do an even more horrendous and damaging crime.

TV shows from Criminal Minds to CSI to all of the upsetting things on channels like Investigation Discovery, Movies like SAW, Split, Sinister, The Call and The Collection make me wonder if they are encouraging this outlandish behavior. All of the violence, kidnapping, torture and things like pornographic violence seem like motivators for potential predators to be created, like Ted Bundy.

A YouTube video shows an interview of Bundy before he was executed and he said the same thing, “I can only hope that those who I have harmed, those who I have caused so much grief, even if they don’t believe my expression of sorrow and remorse, will believe what I’m saying now. That there is loose in their towns and their communities, people like me today, whose dangerous impulses are being fueled, day in, say out, by violence in the media, and it’s various forms, particularly in sexualized violence. And what scares me and lets come into the present now because what I’m talking about happened 30… years ago.. and what scares and appalls me… is what I see what’s on cable TV, [laughs], some of the movies, I mean some of the violence in the movies that come into homes today was stuff that they wouldn’t show in X-rated adult theaters 30 years ago… this stuff I’m telling you, from personal experience, the most that is graphic violence on screen, particularly as it gets into the home to children who may be unattended or unaware that they may be a Ted Bundy… that vulnerability to that predisposition, to be influenced by that kind of behavior, that kind of movie, that kind of violence, kids sitting out there switching the TV dial around and coming upon these movies late at night, or I don’t know when they’re on, but they’re on, any kid can watch them, it’s scary when I think what would’ve happened to me if I had seen, it was scary enough… I just ran into stuff outside the home, but to know that children are watching that kind of thing today, or can pick up their phone and dial a way for it or send a way for it, but I’ll tell you there are a lot of younger kids playing in the streets in this country today who are going to be dead tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the next month, because other young people are reading the kind of things and seeing the kinds of things that are unveiled in the media today,”

Bundy talks about how in his experience in prison a common characteristic of the people he has met has been their addiction to pornography.

“I’ve met a lot of men who are motivated to commit violence just like me. And without exception every one of them was deeply involved in pornography, without question, without exception, deeply influenced and consumed by it; addiction to pornography. There’s no question about it. The FBI’s own study, on serial homicide shows that the most common interest among serial killers is pornography.”

Bundy speaks about being exposed to pornography particularly being damaging to his mental health, not exactly about crime shows, but I have a feeling that they have a similar effect on people, if not the exact same effect. Though Bundy was mostly talking about his dealings with pornographic images, I believe that intense crime shows and horror movies can have the same effect.

Bundy was executed in 1989, long before smart phones tablets and laptops were created, which now make violent and disturbing images that much easier to see, whether kids are watching violent movies without their parent’s permission online, they don’t have to buy a ticket and see it in person, they can just find it on a pirated movie site. Bundy was talking about how much more violent the world has gotten from 1989 to when he was born, I can only image what he would have said if he saw what is now on tv.

Parents can try to use parental controls on the computer, but there comes an age when the student will need more access for a project and the parental controls will be disabled and not turned back on.

I was just at the gym the other day and looked up from the treadmill to one of the five TVs playing a show that I don’t want to watch, Law and Order SVU was on. I watch as two men walk into an office where there seems to have been an altercation, there is blood on the floor, papers crumpled and tossed around and chairs knocked over. Come to find out there is a women in the office closet who is naked, has a gash on her head, she is tied up and has duct tape on her mouth. Imagine if there is someone out there watching this thinking about doing this, too. Maybe they’ve wanted to do something like this for a while and now they will act on those actions. Imagine if you were taking a shower and your child was alone with the TV on and found this and started watching it.

Children are vulnerable, their minds are being shaped, their values being created, so much is occurring in their head. If we continue to broadcast violence, we could be creating more and more psychotics. These shows are not the norm, they shouldn’t be the norm, but if we continue to see them constantly, we may start to think that they aren’t a big deal, which is a horrific thought.