Thriller shows teach crimes

I love crime shows; I always have. I’m a fan of “CSI,” “Bones,” “Criminal Minds,” “Cold Case” and even “NCIS.” Anything with crime scenes or forensics has always interested me. For the longest time I wanted to go into that field of study, and part of me still does.

As much as I love those shows though, I still have to wonder if all the violence and hellish scenarios they come up with have influenced criminals. I often wonder if it is possible bad guys are watching these shows and just getting ideas from them.

I grew up in a suburban home. I have a fantastic family that is full of love and support. I will admit I was a sheltered kid and really didn’t know anything about the real world.

My world didn’t involve crime or abuse or scary situations, and I’m thankful for that. Sure, I watched the news on TV with my parents on occasion, but all the horrible things reported just seemed so far away from me and my world.

Growing up I would watch these crime shows with my family. I always was a huge fan of “CSI Miami” and “CSI NY,” and as I grew up I started really liking “Criminal Minds” and “Bones.” My mom got really into “Blue Bloods,” and my dad enjoys watching “Person of Interest.”

We’ve all found the shows we like watching, but as I’ve experienced more of the real world I wonder if there are people who aren’t just watching these shows like my family and I, but actually playing them out.

The most heinous crime I’ve ever committed is jaywalking, going five miles over the speed limit or stealing a glass from a restaurant.

I can’t really understand the motives of true criminal acts. I find it an interesting subject to learn about, but I have little knowledge about the so-called “inner workings” of the criminal mind.

It’s just as possible that the criminals who would actually commit the gory crimes portrayed in “Criminal Minds” don’t even know what the show is, let alone bother to watch it. There’s a chance that these folks concoct enough sadistic thoughts and scenarios without scouring television’s top thriller shows for new ideas.

As interesting as these shows may be, they are unrealistic. There are hordes of forensic clues, which normally doesn’t happen in real life situations. Everything seems to line up perfectly, not to mention they get test results back within hours and manage to solve a murder in a 40 minute air time.

With so much detail about the law enforcement’s workings and procedures revealed in the shows, it’s possible that criminals can view the shows and learn more about how to avoid getting caught and get away with certain things. It’s a long shot to prove that this is happening, but it’s entirely possible.

Over the years, the producers and creators of these shows have been slammed for promoting these violent scenes to the public. They always rebuke and say the shows are factually accurate and appropriately rated.

This may be true, but there have also been cases where criminals use these television shows as their scapegoat.

There was a kid who was charged with killing his neo-Nazi father and blamed it on an episode of “Criminal Minds” he had seen. He claimed the show gave him the idea and made it seem like he could get away with it.

While it is absurd and irrational that someone can fault a TV show for the cause of committed crimes rather than their own choices, I do see how it could influence or even teach them.

Some also argue that video games like “Grand Theft Auto” are promoting crime in our youth because they are based around committing violent and criminal acts.

However, it’s possible that crime shows are doing as much damage. I love these shows and they really interest me, but I would never even consider taking up a life of crime, and it is scary to see how it may actually influence and affect those that would.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].