The Reason You’re Obsessed with Serial Killers—And Why it’s Problematic

Hollywood needs to be accountable and thoughtful with projects about serial killers.


As a culture, we’ve been fascinated by all things true crime since the term ‘serial killer’ became widely known and used.

But is this form of entertainment exploitive of the victims’ and their surviving family members?

In today’s Psych Cinema, therapist Jonathan Hetterly breaks down the psychology of true crime, sensationalizing violent acts, and accountability in the creative process when portraying the stories of serial killers.

Comment below or tweet us to let us know your thoughts!

Watch “The Reason You’re Obsessed with Serial Killers—And Why it’s Problematic” here:

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Psych Cinema is our video series where licensed professional counselor Jonathan Hetterly explores the psychology behind the films that he watches and loves.

To hear Jonathan Hetterly discuss the psychology behind other films he watches and loves, visit our YouTube channel.

Click here for more content by Jonathan Hetterly, LPC. 


  1. Sorry for the off-topic comment; however trivial it may sound, I wish instead to bring to attention the author’s bonafides, or perhaps the lax norms that informed the description thereof, above. Yes, it’s the wrong venue, but I’m trying to relax here and am tired of this silliness. Without further adieu: why are counselors being called therapists? Even though I left the psychology track a few years ago, with seemingly endless dismay following, I have yet to be presented with a good reason for using ‘therapist’ so liberally, with the author blurb being just a very simple example. Psychotherapy proper and counseling proper concern distinct problems and modes of resolution – significantly different education and training, leading to distinct knowledge and skillsets. There is certainly overlap, however making light of actual differences diminishes the legitimacy of the psychotherapy community in the public eye by infusing unwitting lay-persons with a watered-down definition of what happens in those quaint rooms.


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