People don’t understand my obsession with true crime TV shows, especially since I’m scared of weapons, squeamish about blood, and petrified of horror/suspense movies.
It all started on JetBlue. That’s right—JetBlue. They have those cute little DirecTV screens on the back of seats. I don’t dig sports channels or news channels. I’m not as into the Food Network as my wife is, and TVLand is not my cup of tea. So I ended up switching back and forth between VH1 “Behind the Music” and A&E “American Justice.” The stories of true crime are riveting, disturbing, moving, and sad. While there are the occasional flubs on the part of law enforcement, I have to say they can be pretty good at catching the guilty parties, even if it does take 20 years for DNA testing to be usable in convicting the killer.
My favorite shows are on Tru TV (which now has the tagline Not reality. Actuality), formerly known as Court TV: “Forensic Files” and “Cold Case Files.” In it, you learn a lot about twisted human nature and you also pick up some tips on life. Here’s what I’ve learned from Tru TV:
- If your spouse is having money problems (gambling debt, for example), make sure your life insurance policy is less than $1,000,000 (less than $100,000 is even better).
- If your spouse knows you’re terrified of guns and decides to take you out to the range to practice shooting, don’t go.
- If you think your spouse is trying to kill you, don’t tell your best friend about it—just run!
- If your husband’s last two wives died in “accidental” falls down the stairs, don’t marry him, and stay away from staircases in the meantime.
- If you are, unfortunately, the victim of a murder, fight back like all hell. Put up a lot of struggle, get as much of that person’s DNA under your fingertips as you can.
- If you are a murderer and think you’ve gotten away with it, you may have only for now; forensic science just keeps getting better and better, and they can yank you away from your cushy life at any time with some DNA evidence.
- Forensic evidence goes way beyond fingerprints and DNA. The garbage bag or brand of car tire you have can also incriminate murderers.
I don’t know how representative the “Forensic Files” and “Cold Case Files” episodes are of real life, but it appears that a lot of murders occur over money instead of passion or revenge. One person murdered his wife over a $200,000 life insurance policy. He thought killing someone was worth $200,000. How sad.
Well, I tip my figurative hat to the detectives and forensic scientists who work hard, sometimes over decades, trying to track down and convict these sick individuals. You have my utmost respect, even though you do mess up sometimes.