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Why are true crime podcasts, documentaries popular?

Central Indiana experts break it down
Posted at 7:56 PM, Nov 02, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — True crime podcasts are exploding in popularity.

"It’s a phenomenon as old as storytelling," Rick Dunkle, media expert at the University of Indianapolis, said. "People want to engage with the darkness but in a safe way.”

Licensed mental health counselor Kimble Richardson agrees.

"In a way it helps us to feel more secure if we can have a sense of why did someone do this terrible thing," Richardson said.

Nearly ten years ago, Cheryl Owsley Jackson's brother Cary died in their hometown of Columbus.

"The courts are done with my story at this particular time. It’s been blocked in the system by the appellate court right now, so I know I need to take this to a higher level," Jackson said.

She believes her brother was murdered and is now working on a documentary, with true crime podcasters and shows like Dateline to bring more attention to the case.

“The media is a necessary ingredient, especially for populations for don’t get justice. Podcasts [and] documentaries have the long form capability of telling all the evidence," Jackson, who is also a visiting lecturer at Indiana University, said.

Both experts believe the trend is here to stay.

WRTV reached out to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor's Office for comment and are still waiting to hear back.

Sheriff Matthew Myers said "I will not comment on pending litigation," and the police department said they did not investigate the case.