It’s a little difficult to know if this is interesting because it’s so morbid and real, or if it’s very reality is the reason why it’s so morbidly interesting and bound to be popular. It does kind of equate to the same thing however, that humanity is interested in the macabre and the horrific because it’s just something we can’t look away from for one reason or another. The Pam Hupp Podcast that Justin Case of TVWeb is talking about is just that kind of messed-up that people will want to see, no matter how morbid it is and no matter that it’s bound to cause a few uneasy nightmares. Real evil doesn’t just live in the darkness after all, it’s all around us no matter how paranoid that might sound. It’s in the smiles of those that we might trust and lives in places that people might never suspect, as Pam Hupp has proven thanks to her killing spree years ago. This was a woman that a lot of people might never have suspected of hurting anyone, but once the tiles started to fall and an innocent man was tried and convicted for her crime it became evident that she wasn’t quite as innocent as anyone would think. The fact that something like this would be made into a limited series isn’t too hard to believe since people tend to watch these things for the entertainment value as well as the need to reaffirm that they’re not really bad people, that the bad people are out there and make them look positively saintly.
Pam Hupp isn’t really the type of person you would look at and believe could do the things she did, though obviously we don’t always get everything from the first impression, otherwise some people might be locked away in a loony bin or at least in jail for a while to come since their inner thoughts would be enough to frighten the most hardened prison psychiatrist. Chris Hayes of Fox2Now had more to say on this a while back. What makes people do these things is still up for debate obviously since those that are bound and determined to figure out why psychopaths roam the earth still have theory after theory to unveil as to why it happens, be it a chemical imbalance in the brain that leads to increased aggression and lack of compassion or something else. A lot of people don’t want to fall back on biology since it means anyone could possibly be susceptible at any given point and to be fair, that’s just way too frightening for a lot of people that want to believe that they have a good handle on the world they live in. Psychopaths make for great TV however as many execs would likely agree since they create the kind of conflict that people want to see, whether they want to admit as much or not, and tend to boost the ratings just enough to make it possible for a network to sit back and enjoy the success. Sounds a bit morbid doesn’t it? Welcome the world and just one of the ways in which it works. If people are being shocked and still paying attention then it’s good business. If they’re shocked and turn it off then they’ll still have contributed to the process by turning it on in the first place.
In a way the story of Pam Hupp is one that is the story of the world itself since human beings are born for a number of reasons, but one is obviously to tear each other down and destroy one another since otherwise the impulse to do harm would make no sense other than to secure resources and insure the survival of oneself. In these terms however a psychopath still doesn’t make sense considering that no one is actively taking anything from them, their survival isn’t being openly threatened a lot of times, and there’s no push to thrive by way of competition for resources, at least not on a level that would elicit their reaction. Psychopathic killers tend to be a little more complex in their reasoning than this, as whatever’s going on in their heads, horrifying as it might be, there isn’t always a lot of thought as to what they can get out of the kill, other than the sense of accomplishing something they’ve set out to do. Trying to figure out the mind of a psychopath is simple or difficult depending on who one talks to, but figuring out why they’re popular when it comes to our culture and to pop culture in general it’s not difficult at all. They represent the shock an awe factor that a lot of execs are looking for when trying to push a story. As an author it’s easy to understand that point, people want a conflict to read about, and the more gruesome it is the better.