A couple of years ago, I began to question what type of person I was when I realized that most of my interests revolve around murderers, thieves, drug dealers, con artists, wife beaters and serial killers. I practice criminal law for a living, two of my favorite authors are John Grisham and Karin Slaughter, my favorite tv shows are The Closer, Law & Order ( I have watched every incarnation of the show at one time or another), Cold Case, CSI and true crime shows like Tru Tv’s Forensic Files and Dominick Dunne’s Power Privilege and Justice, A&E’s American Justice and City Confidential and my absolute favorite, Snapped. One of my favorite movies of all time is Shawshank Redemption. See a pattern here?
Newsweek to the rescue. Last week the issue focused on true crime including an article by the great Walter Mosley. His analysis brought me some comfort and assures me that I’m not crazy. As a country, America has an obsession with crime. As Mosley explains it, we are looking for a way to assuage our guilt. To find sense in a senseless world. The true stories feed our need to know the truth in a world were we feel we are lied to. The fiction stories feed our need to have the good guy win or see the bad guy punished. (read the article for your self at newsweek.com). Oh, as a defense attorney, how I long to have Perry Mason’s record.
So my quest goes on to unlock the key of how the mind of a fiend works and to try to figure out what makes people act in such in humane ways. My writer’s room is filled with books on women gone wrong and men gone mad. The questions about good and evil are nothing new and I certainly don’t have any new answers, I just thank Walter Mosley for letting me know I’m not alone in being obsessed by it.