The Women’s Resource Center Talks About Women and True-Crime

Photo by Women’s Resource Center

On February 27th, the Women’s Resource Center held a women and true crime event in their office on the third floor in the SU. The event was hosted by junior, Bella Ferran, who said the Women’s Center hosts events like this every term. Ferran wanted to host this event because of the relationship between women and true crime and because more women, including herself, are interested in true crime. At the beginning of the event everyone stated their favorite true-crime podcast, within the group there were many overlaps with favorites. You could see the trend of the missing person or the getting justice for a victim as the subject for many of the podcasts the group had mention.

As the conversion progressed, it shifted to Netflix. The company seems to have an increase of true crime movies and series. Including three mini-series and a movie about Ted Bundy, the famous serial killer who murdered over 30+ young college girls in the mid to late ’70s. 

With the discussion of Ted Bundy, there were some points that stuck out. The first being the major film “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile” (2019), staring Zac Efron, had caused a new wave of young girls to fall in love with Ted Bundy. The second being the true-crime side of the popular website Tumblr and how its users romanticize serial-killers, with young girls having accounts for people live Ted Bundy or the Columbine shooters, with young white male shooters being the main focus.

Within minutes of talking about this, the group brought up the issue of how women who have been convicted murders do not receive the same media attention. Famous trials of “killer women” are met with even more negative press, describing these women as cold-blooded killers and how they threw their life away because of this. The group also discussed how the media love to give attention to women who kill their young children while running stories about how these women hated motherhood, their children were imposing on their party lifestyle, and killing them was the only option. For example, the case of Casey Anthony and the disappearance and murder of her 3-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Near the end of the event, we talked about the Netflix show “YOU” (2018) and victim-shaming. In the first season of “YOU”, we see the main character, Joe (Penn Badgley), falling in love with a college graduate named Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Joe starts stalking the young woman, following Beck throughout the day, watching her outside her window at night, and even breaking into her house to steal her phone and get data from her laptop to see who she’s texting. It escalates to the point where he kills her boyfriend and closet friend. With “YOU”, we victim-shame Beck, saying how she should have seen the red flags, but in many real-life situations, we often don’t see signs at all, until something serious happens. When women often do report crimes of stalking, police can’t really do anything because they don’t have physical evidence yet and when something even more serious happens the woman ends up dead. 

Women and the relationship with true-crime is lengthy and deep. As a fan of listening and watching true crime myself, this event inspired me to look at my relationship with true-crime and how it has affected me. Thank you to the women’s resource center for putting this event on!

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