I have watched a lot of true crime lately. To cut down on expenses, we got rid of cable and started using Hulu live. It’s about $70 a month less, which is nice and we still have DVR capabilities. And since I can watch it on my phone or tablet, I’ve had a few days where I ran shows like Unusual Suspects as background noise while working.
One of the things that surprises me every time, is when they have cold cases. Not the solving of cold cases, but the shock to the family of the killer. Several cases I’ve watched recently took decades to solve and the killer was young at the time (sometimes a mere teenager).
To some degree, I’m used to serial killers having full lives after killing people, but it still surprises me when it’s just an average run of the mill killer. I know that sounds weird, but people who only kill once, really aren’t psychologically built for the long game. They aren’t sociopaths or psychopaths.
These crimes are often crimes of passion; violent, rage filled killings. Not plotted or planned, like in the case of serial killings. Yet, these killers even though they only killed once, go on to have families.
Then suddenly 20 or 30 years after the crimes, the police show up and arrest them thanks to advances in forensics. How shocking for the spouse or any children.
And then the awkward explanations… and the gut wrenching decisions. Can you stand by a husband who raped and murdered his neighbor when he was 17 or 20? But he’s never even yelled at you? Honestly, you’ve never met that man that did that terrible thing. The man you know has always been the perfect husband and father.
I feel sorry for these people; the spouses and children. It must feel like stepping into the Twilight Zone. In one moment, everything you thought you knew changed and your life became nightmarish. And the questions: How could they be married to a murderer and not know it?