Why You Should Stop Romanticizing Serial Killers

With Zac Efron’s new movie “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” it’s no wonder that fans are developing a bit of a crush on one of the most notorious serial killers in all of history. It is true that Efron is one of the most handsome men that walked the planet. His new role as Ted Bundy has its viewers calling Bundy hot.

This kind of romanticization of actual serial killers should be a warning for most people. However, fans and viewers have their judgment clouded by the fact that the actors who play such menacing roles are Hollywood heartthrobs.

According to Cosmopolitan, the attraction to the real Bundy started long before the biopics. Back in the day when he was still undergoing trials for his crime, women sent him love letters up until his very last breath. When these women were asked as to why they were attracted to a criminal, their answers fell into two categories: they couldn’t explain why they were so enamored with Bundy, or they couldn’t believe the fact that someone as handsome as Bundy can commit such outrageous crimes.

With that in mind, women feel the need to change serial killers through love. Psychologists have explained this phenomenon as hybristophilia. Since society has taught women to fix men as well as to provide rehabilitation, this tendency goes out to all types of men, including serial killers.

This is an unsettling phenomenon that could put the lives of these women at risk. In fact, Efron’s Bundy portrayal is not the only mania that you should look out for. Penn Badgley’s role as Joe Goldberg in the Netflix series “You” has also made women fall head over heels.

What’s even worse is that young girls are labeling Goldberg as #bae that actor Badgley is on a mission to help his fans get their acts together. “In a more just society, we would all see Joe as problematic and not be interested in the show, but that’s not the society we live in,” Badgley told the New York Times.

Romanticizing a serial killer or a psychopath is unhealthy. It is important to not feed into the cult of this type of personality and not get carried away with their charm and charisma.

Ted Bundy Ted Bundy's image on a television screen on the lawn of the Florida State Prison. Bettmann / Contributor