It's hard to explain the bizarre psychological appeal of true crime, but the proliferation of media dealing with murder and other misdeeds has been notable in the past decade. Now, beloved satire website The Onion is jumping into the fray with a new crime-themed podcast titled A Very Fatal Murder.
A “very inquisitive and Pulitzer-hungry podcast host” will follow the clues in the hopes of solving a murder in the fictional town of Bluff Springs.
Here's the official description from iTunes:
"A Very Fatal Murder sends Onion Public Radio (OPR) correspondent David Pascall from New York City to the sleepy town of Bluff Springs, Nebraska to investigate the mysterious death of a 17-year-old girl, Hayley Price. Hayley was a popular, smart animal lover, with a bright future ahead of her. Everyone in town knew her name, and now everyone in town is a suspect. Join David as he works to understand why the initial investigation of Hayley’s death failed, and how a very inquisitive and Pulitzer-hungry podcast host might shed new light on the case."
Despite the deadly serious nature of most true crime, a few have tried their hands at skewering the tropes and motifs of the increasingly popular genre. Netflix's American Vandal explored a graffiti epidemic at a local high school. Early trailers of the series were almost unrecognizeable as satire, showing the creators knew the format well. Reviews of the series were also positive, with the Rotten Tomatoes consensus reading, "American Vandal pays satirical dividends while also working as a genuinely absorbing mystery that offers thought-provoking commentary on modern entertainment."
The amount of podcasts exploring criminality have exploded in the past few years. "My Favorite Murder," "True Crime Garage" and "Sword and Scale" use an anthology format to explore real life crimes, while "S-Town," "Up and Vanished" and "In the Dark" feature one-off episodes. Exploring the industry of true crime, "Crime Writers On," hosted by Rebecca Lavoie, reviews other true crime podcasts. Of course, Oxygen has its own true crime podcast, Martinis & Murder.