True crime, My Favorite Murder live, and feeling like I belong
We were heading to one of the museums (British, or Natural History) and, what with it being a coach journey (on one of those depart-for-the-day trips that you ache-over for as teens, because a day away from school, no matter where you ended up, was a day away from school), I stocked up on sweets, no doubt, and a copy of Shout Magazine - a young-teen staple that was never far from my hands. I remember turning the pages and pausing upon a true crime piece about the murder of 6 year old JonBenét Ramsey, that now-famous photo of her dressed up in her Pageant Queen best, big eyes framed by heavily-mascara’d lashes stopping me in inquisitive, 'what's this about?' tracks. Too young to digest the story properly, I returned to the words several times over the following months, and then years, the arrival of the interwebs in my world (yes, for I am of the dial-up, couldn’t-use-it-when-someone-was-on-the-phone generation) offering vast opportunity to secretly speed-type her name into Bing, afraid to be caught in case questions came and with them the need to explain my obsession.
Whizz forward a decade (slash nearly two) and said obsession lead me to seeking out the ‘might it be one?’ genre on my nearly-new podcast app. A chance finding of The Last Podcast On The Left’s Ramsey two-part-er had me further consuming make-your-chest-tighten tales of alien abduction, mass-suicide, serial-killer-ing and a whole host of other stories of the morbid curiosity persuasion in brief succession, mind peeled back with heightened awareness of not-so easy listening. Pressing play on TLPOTL’s ‘A Conversation with My Favorite Murder’, the episode lead me to Karen and Georgia (who covered the Ramsey case, and that of the recently-solved Golden State Killer in their ‘My Firstest Murder’ episode), their chat about how they bonded over a mutual appreciation at a party for ‘The Staircase’ finding me head-nodding my way into a neck ache of speed-whipped proportions after I high-tailed self to the podcast, their frank, humour-dotted conversations about mental health and addiction peppering the murder-y proceedings in a way most 'they're just like you and I' embracing…
”and never again was she the same, for she found in their lounging-on-the-sofa natters a comfort that lead her to the realisation that no, she wasn’t alone in her being drawn to that which others found terrifying, her want to ‘know it all’ grasping their outstretched hands close as she toe-tapped down quiet streets lined with the secrets of everyday monsters that hid behind pulled-tight skin that rarely-hinted at the dark that lies beneath”.
Face ‘but what about your European murderinos?!’ falling with every US tour announcement, happiness appeared wrapped up in the hinting at an across-the-seas trip, a solo ticket booked as a much-beloved birthday present that lead to my (for-the-first-time) arrival at Albert Hall one Sunday in May. Entering the once-was-a-church room with a gasp of delight at my stained-glass surroundings, along I was swept on an SSDGM-sea of love-and-appreciation for Karen and Georgia’s appearance, lungs full of laughter that breathed in and out as stories were told in ways most familiar, self seat-swooning in enchantment over the pair’s ‘we can’t believe this is our job now’ gushings, mind body and ‘there once was a 13 year old who read a story of a murder’ soul connected to their music-to-my-ears storytelling by a sense of we’re-here-together, ‘let’s sit crooked and talk straight’ belonging.
Have you had a hobby that you were able to successfully transition from child to adulthood?