« The structural properties of being human: Ottino & Morson dare to dream a bridge | Main | Draft on tap: Danielle Harris on women and the military draft »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


The prevailing argument that Mash wants the readers to think about is whether or not true crime T.V. show fans can become too obsessed with others lives and trying to uncover "the truth". She attempts to throw light on how insensitive watcher/listeners can be while stoping at nothing to come up with evidence and ask the questions prosectors won't/don't. By using and example of a victims brother who tried to appeal to reddit.
I believe that to a point it is good for fans to be involved. When the fans begin to invade the privacy of others, especially the the privacy of the victims family. Although Marsh leaves the conversation open the the readers, she really shows how destructive fans can be in peoples lives. I would say that overall I believe that it is up to each individual to know when they have gone to far. It's important for individual fans to think about how much grief they are bringing up for the families and how they would feel if it was happening to their family.


I think that these television shows are important but that we sometimes must remember that that is exactly what they are, television. Fake.

mariah vantroostenberghe

Laura Marsh has a very to the point argument. She is telling us we shouldn't watch it or it is bad, she is simply stating that the viewers of this show start doing their own detective work on cases. They start to look down on the jury as if they are the bad people. I completely agree with her argument. People start to become obsessed with these crimes and start doing their own investigating and start to believe they are right and the jury is wrong. They start groups and petitions on certain crimes even after they were found guilty. Laura also states in her argument that ethics rarely come into the case, which I believe is very true. Often do you ever hear about the victims ethics in a murder case. I also agree with the comment about how sometimes fans get too involved and families of the victims are most likely going through a grief stage of their lives because they most likely just lost a family member or even a close friend. At some point fans have to realize it isn't their case to solve. It is the justice systems case.

Ryan Grauel

I agree with Taylr160 that “fans” of such crime shows need to know the limit in finding entertainment out of another’s anguish and suffering. Crime documentaries are quite popular today and seem to become more intimate and gruesome with every new one released. As a whole society, it is saddening that one can find pleasure and excitement out of watching another individual’s tragedy. I feel that it is normal to have a curiosity to know what events occurred but the line is drawn when there is such an over analyzation that the families of victims are left feeling violated and distraught. In the article, Marsh discusses how the podcast series “Serial” has led to extreme to distress of the victim’s brother who remains in constant suffering from the endless bombardment from “fans” of the podcast. This is what I feel is just too far and sickening to see from people.

Cynthia V

Throughout Laura Marsh’s article, Murder, they wrote, she talks about the fascination that has circled around crime related television shows such as: Making a Murderer, Serial, or The Staircase. These are only a few listings amongst many other shows aire on television, netflix, amazon prime, and plenty of other podcasts as well. Laura describes a little about each show and podcast to give a background as to the sequence of the episodes, and their unraveling; she uses examples from real episodes that have aired. Laura begins the article by talking about what information was shown about a real case to make for an episode of Making a Murderer in comparison to the information of the real investigation. The show, for the sake of a more interesting story, kept the information that played against the character to fit his prosecution. In real life, however, there were larger pieces of evidence in the defendant’s favor that was kept out. Laura talks about why that is and how misleading it is for the fans that become heavily invested into these shows. It is explained that bits and pieces of an investigation are used for the sake of an interesting show. However, this has also causes a spike in online forums where people share real information about the cases and question why certain things were not included.
Laura by no means is discouraging anyone for watching crime-shows, or anyone for producing them. She is not saying they are bad, but rather shedding light on the reality of a crime-show production. The whole truth will not always be conveyed and the entire case will not be left out for the public. Why? It is for the purpose of entertainment. Its upon the viewer how invested they get. There are standards to be met in show production and there will not always be the time allotted for the entirety of the stories to be conveyed. There are viewers to attract, and with that in mind, episodes are made to last a general amount of time one can stay focused on one particular thing.
I overall agree with the point she is getting across. Crime shows are not meant to be taken realistically, they’re going to have a biased view. They’re intended to keep the audience’s attention and keep them on edge. The reality of crime is far more harsh than what an audience can handle; hence, why they leave pieces of information out. The faultiness in certain investigations would cause an uproar, as it has in particular instances. It is not to say that people should not watch crime shows, but it is forgotten that they’re meant for entertainment. As intrusive as it can get, it is not the producers in every instance that go too far, it's the audiences.

Ariane Towner

Dissent magazine published an article written by Laura Marsh called Murder, They Wrote. This article highlights the newest craze around serialized crime documentaries and how they allow normal people to get up close with the trails of violent crimes. Marsh discusses “amateur sleuths” and how the rise of popularity of crime documentaries and online forum platforms has enabled these peoples need to add their voice and opinions to these stories. In one area of the article she highlights how these types of television programs or podcasts are invasion of privacy to the families involved in these crimes. Marsh also gives examples of how these types of programs impact the families involved. These programs make the families have to relive horrors from their pasts. Marsh also discusses the difference between several types of crime documentaries. She highlights Serial, a podcast about the murder of a young female, The Jinx a television documentary about an heir to a real-estate fortune who was suspected in multiple murders, and Making a Murderer, a documentary that tries to “capture the profound incompetence of the criminal justice system”. Marsh examines the negative effects these types of documentaries have, especially on the people closely affected by the real stories.
Marsh in this article is arguing that these serial crime documentaries can have negative impacts on the families that were involved with the real cases. She also argues that as a viewer these programs are seen as just another type of entertainment. Viewers get a firsthand look into the behind the scene of a case, and even get to view evidence that was never originally released to the public. This gives them the power to want to play detective. They try and put together the pieces they see and either come up with their own conclusions of what happened or try and see if the justice system was correct in its verdict. Marsh never states these types of programs are bad or that viewers should be shamed for watching them and wanting to become part of the story, but instead she focuses on how the families of the victims are affected by viewers or the programs themselves. I wholly agree with Marsh on her thoughts. These cases are not just another episode of someone’s favorite episode of Criminal Minds, but rather these programs show images and give graphic details of a person’s violent death. That was somebody’s son, daughter, sister, or brother. These shows, while entertaining, are invasive into people’s lives. In the article Marsh discusses the series Making a Murderer and its differences from the typical crime documentaries. Making a Murderer focuses not on the people in the case, but on the faults and failures of the American justice system. It gives viewers a need to learn more about how our justice system works. This series also made people want to get involved in correcting the wrongs our justice system has done and it has created a movement in the American people. I believe series like Serial need to focus less on entertainment. While Americans should not stop watching serial crime documentaries altogether, watching the retelling of a person’s violent ending for entertainment should not be the goal. These shows should focus on showing the injustices that go on in our judicial system and raise awareness to the general public about how they can have a voice to correct them.


And what do you think about this article - http://writemypaper4me.org/blog/what-should-i-write-my-research-paper-on.html . I personally think its also could be useful.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan