In 1979, the American discourse on serial killers was irrevocably changed. Ted Bundy’s serial-murder-and-rape trial, which was nationally televised, ushered in a new era of live entertainment. Fifteen years later, O. J. Simpson’s trial became the next national obsession. Today, the true-crime genre reached new heights with the podcast Serial. The proliferation of successful murder-centric content that followed is indicative of a public obsession.
Why do serial killers inspire such fervent intrigue among Americans? A new video from The Atlantic investigates.