My name is Rebecca and I am a Graphic Designer here at The Deciding Factor. I have found that I like to keep my mind busy as I’m drawing and designing lovely things for wonderful clients.
I started with listening to music — but got bored quickly! There are only so many times you can hear the same playlist before it starts haunting your dreams. I moved on to audio books (which are super great, don’t get me wrong, but that habit gets expensive fast), before the world of technology caught up to podcasts.
Now podcasts are readily accessible almost anywhere. I especially love True Crime podcasts. I’d like to tell you about my favorite ones, why I find them so fascinating and what I’ve learned from them.
My Fascination with Darkness
I listen to all kinds of podcasts, but I trend toward darker subject matter — horror, hauntings, unsettling history. But some people are put off when I say my all-time favorite podcasts to listen to are True Crime.
“That’s terrible! Why would you listen to that?!” or “How do you sleep at night?” are the most common questions. I’ve learned that with this admission of my personal interests comes an obligatory explanation of why I find it interesting.
I often start with the fact that I’ve always had a passion for psychology and a fascination with the capabilities of the human mind. If I had the stomach for the actual visuals (and smells) of crime scenes — or if I could find a way to turn off my empathy — I probably would have gotten a degree in forensic psychology. I could’ve lived my life as a sassy female version of the Mindhunter!
However, the reality of crime scenes and grieving family members bars me from that career path. The remedy for this dilemma? I satiate my curiosity with well-cut-together audio storytelling focusing on murder.
This explanation still gets me some incredulous looks of confusion. The second reason I often give is that I suffer from anxiety. The best way I’ve found to calm my nerves is to arm myself with knowledge. With knowledge comes a sense of control in unpredictable situations.
The Discomfort Zone
Here is where I introduce the concept of “The Discomfort Zone.” This is going to sound counterintuitive, but The Discomfort Zone is a psychological concept that basically boils down to if you are a person that generally feels uncomfortable or unsafe (usually beginning in childhood resulting from trauma), that “uncomfortable” existence is what you are accustomed to living with. You are comfortable being uncomfortable.
If a person is used to that disquieting feeling all the time, then finds herself in a completely safe, ideal, blissful space, it will feel wrong to her. In my personal experience, when I find myself in this type of situation, I often feel anxious — waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak.
But what is even easier than creating problems where there are none is listening to other people’s problems. Enter True Crime Podcasts — a way to feel uncomfortable (which is comfortable for me, remember?) in a completely safe and healthy space.
3 of the Best True Crime Podcasts Around
I’m going to give you my top three True Crime Podcasts. I’ll start with the most laid-back and then head into the more intense:
- My Favorite Murder: Karen and Georgia are two women from California with the same issues I have — mostly centering around anxiety. Lucky for those in my boat trying to stay afloat, they resolve their issues by talking about murder! With the tagline and sign-off of each episode being “Stay sexy and don’t get murdered!” it is defined as a “True Crime Comedy Podcast.” Let me be clear here, murder is not funny! What is funny are the conversations surrounding the stories. The podcast even comes with some great life lessons that have been printed on apparel, like “Stay out of the forest” and “F*** politeness.” Better to laugh than cry, right? If you like conversational storytelling that spares you all the cringy details, give this one a listen. Fair warning, though, if you have a problem with foul language, this is not the podcast for you.
- True Crime All the Time: Mike and Gibby are two men from Dayton, Ohio. I have a soft spot for them as our office is located in Mason, just about 40 minutes from Dayton. These guys give the facts of each case in general detail, often accompanied by real audio from police interviews and 911 calls. There’s even some comedic relief in there as these two are long-time friends that have great chemistry on air.
- Sword & Scale: This podcast is not for the faint of heart — it gives the facts of each crime in excruciating detail. If you want to know everything about a case — and I mean everything — this is the podcast for you. There is simply no other True Crime podcast out there with as much complete information. Sword & Scale incorporates audio from 911 calls and police interrogations. Mike also often interviews family members, investigators and sometimes even the criminals themselves in his retelling of the crimes.
6 Ways to Avoid Getting Murdered
What have I gained from listening to these podcasts? A lovely list of ways to combat my general anxiety and need for control in such an out-of-control world — and to avoid being murdered!
- If you are taken, you are blindfolded and the blindfold slips off of your eyes (or maybe the perpetrator kindly removes it for you), close your eyes and do not look at the kidnapper’s face. Criminals don’t want to be caught. The perpetrator will do anything to ensure his own survival, so he is less likely to let you go if you can identify him.
- Once you are taken, immediately start counting off seconds (silently) — distance can be calculated later.
- I’m taking one from Karen and Georgia here — don’t worry about being polite. You don’t owe anyone anything, especially strangers. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.
- Avoid ponytail hairstyles. A ponytail is easy to grab onto. Wearing your hair up and dangling makes it easy for a would-be killer to get ahold of you.
- Alone in a parking lot? Check under your car from a distance as you are walking toward it. Don’t roll down the windows. Lock the doors immediately! Don’t make it easy for someone to climb into the car with you.
- See something weird? If something doesn’t look right, write down any information you can. Even if it’s a car that just looks out of place, write down the make, model, color and license plate.
We’d Love to Hear from You!
This list will continue to grow as I learn more about criminal patterns and psychopathy. There’s a reason there are so many popular True Crime books, movies, television shows and podcasts out there!
Contact The Deciding Factor to learn about our digital marketing services, including vivid and informative graphic design projects. And if you find True Crime shows you love, share them with me! I’m always looking for new podcast recommendations.