October 23, 2021

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How notorious crimes are featured on podcasts

We live in a society that, for better or for worse, finds true crime fascinating.

You might be listening to a podcast detailing a notoriously cold-blooded, decades-old murder while smiling at a stranger on your daily walk in the park.

It sounds spooky, but experts have said this fascination with true crime is complex. The atrocities are so bad we can’t look away, according to Scott Bonn, author of “Why We Love Serial Killers.” True crime also can cause euphoria, triggering “the most basic and powerful emotion in all of us — fear,” Bonn wrote in a 2016 TIME essay. And thanks to the advent of podcasts and streaming services, we’re able to experience that emotion “in a controlled environment where the threat is exciting but not real,” he wrote.

Retro Indy:Most notorious crimes in Indianapolis-area history

The intrigue can be educational, too.

“By learning about murders — who is more likely to be a murderer, how do these crimes happen, who are the victims, etc. — people are also learning about ways to prevent becoming a victim themselves,” Amanda Vicary, a professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, previously told Huffington Post.

Retro Indy:Heinous crimes of serial killers in Indiana

Hoosier history has its fair share of gory crimes and nefarious criminals and they’re all well-documented by various forms of media.

Here’s where you can get your fix of true crime podcasts, set a little closer to home:

Unpopular Culture

On this podcast hosted by psychotherapist Michael Drane, a 2020 episode takes a look back at the serial killer responsible for burying the bodies of his victims on his 18-acre Westfield property, Fox Hollow Farm.

Though Herbert Baumeister appeared to live a quaint, suburban life as a husband and father, the world eventually learned that was not the case. In 1996, investigators found more than 5,000 human bone fragments buried on his property, leading them to believe he was responsible for as many as 16 deaths. Along with bodies found in Westfield, investigators believe he was responsible for several other deaths between 1980 and 1990 after bodies were discovered in shallow streams along I-70 across Central Indiana and western Ohio.