I don’t know when it started exactly, but at some point I became fascinated with those true crime stories on shows like “48 Hours Mystery” and “20/20.” I, however, don’t really enjoy reading true crime books or mysteries although you could argue that a lot of sci-fi falls into mystery or heck anything really if there is something to solve.
When the mystery is fiction I tend not to enjoy them because I tend to guess who the killer is pretty early on so unless it is a really well-written story I find myself asking: what’s the point? So, why do I tend to like the shows about real crimes, and disappeared people?
Not sure. Maybe it is because it makes you think about humanity in general. I’m always amazed when people say: I know her, she wouldn’t do that. But, do we ever really know anyone 100%? People, of course, (or most people) want to hide those darkest parts of themselves.
I recently read Lois Duncan’s non-fiction book Who Killed My Daughter? via e-book. I knew Lois Duncan was a Young Adult writer, and I found myself curious to know how she’d deal with talking about her own daughter’s murder. I think I actually picked the book up first because I was confusing Lois Duncan with Lois Lowery whom I read a lot when I was younger. It is a sad, but interesting read about the lengths a family goes to to try and solve a crime; And, about how to heal.
I don’t know what I would do if I was in a similar situation, and wondering what happened to a loved one who was killed. But, books like that, and documentaries do make me wonder about what I would be like in different scenarios – if my life had been different. I watched the really sad movie Winter’s Bone a while back, and while I realize that I was probably fairly poor as a child with a bit of a dysfunctional family, my life could not even compare to how spare and challenging the childhood must have been for the main character in that movie. Good movie, but very bleak.
I also watched a documentary called My Perestroika recently which isn’t about a true crime, but deals with different adults who grew up during the cold war. Do you ever wonder what you’d have been like if you had grown up under communism? When Hitler was in power? During the civil war?
Speaking of Hitler. Another devastating movie to watch is The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. I had not read the book, but found myself watching this slow paced movie. I couldn’t turn away. I wondered, and I’m working on a poem thinking about this as well, what would I have done if I had been in Germany during WWII? We all want to think we would be the hero, that we would have saved our fellow Germans despite religion, but what if you didn’t . ..
Ok, sorry this is kind of a bleak post, but just me thinking a bit lately. Perhaps some of the sad watching or thinking also surrounds knowing my step-mother has more saddness to deal with. Her mother had been in Hospice care for a while, and she passed away on Sunday. So much for one family to bear. Thinking of her and others who have lost loved ones recently.
Hang in there. Be good to one another.