Why I Am Glad I Watched Criminal Minds, and Why You Should Too.
A great quarantine binge watch
Serial killers. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Peter Sutcliffe....men who have captured the interest of America. In the last few years, Americans have planted themselves on their couches, popcorn in hand, and turned on the television to watch the Ted Bundy Tapes and The York Ripper.
What is so captivating about serial killers? Well, that's simple: we want to understand their minds. There is something unbelievable about a human being who is capable of cold, hard murder. We can't even begin to fathom committing the pettiest crime against another person.
Watching Criminal Minds has taught me a lot about what goes on in all sorts of different serial killers' minds. Yes--there are all kinds. There are sociopaths, psychopaths, and other people who are acting out against a trauma that was inflicted upon them by another person. Other killers don't understand the value of human life. They genuinely are messed up in the head, and are considered clinically insane.
The popular television series Criminal Minds captured the Nation's attention by feeding us facts and statistics in an entertaining manner, as well as presenting us with a colorful, diverse, and genius cast whose performances are stirring and convincing. Aside from reaping the entertaining benefits of Criminal Minds, I have learned a multitude of things that I can apply to my everyday life to keep myself and those around me safer. Here are just a couple:
- If you ever have reason to suspect someone who might try to break in through your windows, find glasses or glass objects and place them on the top of the window so that, if someone tries to open it, the glass will break, alarming you of an intruder.
- We all already know to always stay alert when you are in a public place, especially walking towards your car in a parking lot. But, once you get in your car, don't let your guard down. Be sure to frequently check behind you to see if someone is following you. They may not follow you directly out of the parking lot you were in, either. They could leave from a different location close by and follow your from there.
- Do you have a schedule? A daily schedule? A weekly schedule? A monthly schedule? Of course you do. It would be impossible to not have some sort of routine. Hate to break it to you, but there a lot of people who know your exact routine. People you know, and maybe converse with every day, who might be dangerous. If you know you go into work and come out of work at the same times every week, same with college classes, make sure you take notice of any lingerers, and try your best not to end up in an isolated area. There could be a security guard or janitor that you become friendly with. You could know them for a long time, and begin to feel safe and comfortable. These are the people you should suspect the most. Even if it's a distant relative, don't give anyone an opportunity to harm you.
- Your car keys may be an effective self-defense tool, but it also means that you have to be in close range with the person attempting to assault you. If you can, find something that gives more distance between you. An umbrella is one idea, but maize/pepper spray should always be on you. (I also highly recommend keeping a knife in your car).
- The odds of a woman being raped/molested are higher when she knows the person. Be careful and, if your gut tells you something is wrong, even though you think it's absurd, listen to your gut. Human intuition is real, and it can be strong.
- If you are ever abducted, try your best to take note of what kind of person your abductor is. Look around the room, the car, shed, etc. You have a slightly greater shot at escaping/living if you learn to fake cooperation with the person--to a certain degree. There are a number of reasons people will hold others captive. Maybe they want you to be someone they used to know, or they want some emotional contribution. Weird, I know.
Criminal Minds shows us the darkest and best sides of humanity. There are many heart wrenching episodes that are difficult to watch, not because they are violent, but because it's amazing what cruelty inflicted towards another person can make of them. It is important that we treat others with respect and kindness, because people who hurt others, tend to be those who were hurt, too.
It also shows what happens when others care, and understand. Often times I wondered how I could sit through and watch these brutal and disturbing episodes. And only recently I realized, it's because of the good in others, the compassion, helpfulness, trust, hope, love...all of these things...that keeps me coming back.
One more thing that I admire about this show: It really feels like one of a kind. There are many televisions series that focus on crime and the law, but none of them quite add up to fresh feel of Criminal Minds.