Opinion: Homicide isn’t hot

“He may have been a murderer, but…” is not a sentence that should be uttered out of your mouth


Via Giampaolo Macorig/Flickr

A 79-year-old woman was sleeping peacefully in her home in Los Angeles before a six-inch hunting knife plunged into her chest and she woke up screaming. She was silenced when her throat was slashed so deeply she was nearly decapitated. After she died from choking on her own blood, her body was assaulted.

Her attacker was Richard Ramirez, the man who is famously known for the terror he caused throughout the Los Angeles area by breaking into homes and murdering at least 14 people. He is known as the Night Stalker and this was the story of Jennie Vincow who had died on June 28, 1984.

Twitter screenshot of someone admitting to having sexual thoughts about the serial killer the Nightstalker.

Despite the unimaginable horrors Ramirez caused, this notorious serial killer has been labeled a “sex symbol” and sexual fantasy and notably received love letters in prison. The phenomenon of serial killers and cold-hearted criminals being romanticized is ongoing and something to be concerned about and ashamed of.

Screenshot of a TikTok edit about how handsome the Nightstalker was.

Indeed, these dynamics are very troubling.

This ongoing issue is one that is credited to women who are considered to be “hybristophiliacs.” These are people, primarily women, who find those who have committed crimes, especially violent crimes, to be sexually attractive. The violence of the acts and thrill of being with someone so dangerous is sexually arousing to such women and such attraction may indicate darker intentions and traits within a woman who is a hybristophiliac.

It is theorized that women who find attraction in heinous crime are actually drawn to them as these criminals have committed acts they could only dream of doing. They see murderers as brave because they act on the impulse of murder that they themselves may have previously contemplated and almost live vicariously through the killer and their crimes.

Even if a woman is not enamored by a criminal because they wish they could commit similar crimes, the issue lies in the fact that there is a perceived novelty in being with a toxic man. The women who are romanticizing these men are simultaneously romanticizing toxic and abusive relationships. They take the trope of the “bad boy” and amplify it to astounding heights.

Now a man who opened fire at his high school with his best friend, killing a total of 13 and injuring 24 and had a history of violent behavior as seen in his diaries, is seen as a boy who’s dark and stunning, a boyfriend with an edge. While this “bad boy” thing may seem exhilarating at first, a rough and violent man is not something that a woman has to fantasize about.

Screenshot of tweet referring to Columbine shooter Eric Harris as “hot.”

According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, about 1 in 4 women will be victims of domestic violence and according to Shelter House Domestic and Sexual Violence Center, around 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by a romantic partner annually.

If murder is really what does it for them, around 4,000 women die from being killed by male partners each year.

TikTok velocity edit of Jeffrey Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal, showing admiration for him.

The ultimate reason as to why romanticizing serial killers is a particularly gross phenomenon is because it is disrespectful and traumatizing to the victims and their families. The aforementioned “Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” has received backlash as relatives of Dahmer’s 17 male victims have spoken out against the film, claiming that contrary to what creator Ryan Murphy and star actor Evan Peters’ claims, they were not notified of the production of the series.

The amount of admiration for Jeffrey Dahmer velocity edits has increased across several different social media platforms, and so it’s not unlikely that the family members of victims will log onto something like Instagram or TikTok and see videos of women pining over the man who brutally murdered their loved one and seeing him be praised for it.

To romanticize a person who committed atrocities and traumatized others is a sadistic act and is something that people should feel ashamed of. This is a gross Bonnie and Clyde type of perversion that lacks awareness and is entirely insensitive to those innocent people who have died senselessly at the hands of severely disturbed mass murderers and serial killers.