By Alexa Dumas
Spooky, scary, dark and disturbing. Stories of serial killers, cults, disappearances and murder victims may turn people away from the true crime genre. Could learning about these crimes be used for good, or even for a laugh?
“You’re in a cult; call your dad,” is a popular quote from the popular true-crime comedy podcast, “My Favorite Murder.”
Created in 2016, hosts Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark dive into some of the toughest cases in the world of true crime.
Every Monday and Thursday, listeners from all around the world tune into the podcast to hear hometown stories sent in via email and the two weekly cases chosen by Kilgariff and Hardstark.
Kilgariff and Hardstark do the impossible; they make listeners laugh. How can true crime be funny? Simply, it’s not. With their wit, spunk and the ability to hold nothing back, these two ladies denounce the most prolific killers in a hilarious manner that would wreck the ego of any psychopath.
The zero tolerance for the male killer stereotype coined Kilgariff the phrase: “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again!”
Since “My Favorite Murder,” or MFM for short, was started around the start of the #MeToo movement, the dynamic-duo developed an emphasis on feminist issues in true crime such as ending victim-blaming in cases of rape, advocating for sex workers and strategies of keeping women, and even men, safe in dangerous situations.
“Pepper spray first, apologize later,” a phrase said by Hardstark, helped launch their #F*ckPoliteness mantra. As mentioned numerous times in the podcast, Kilgariff and Hardstark emphasize that if a person is uncomfortable in any situation, there is no obligation to a person that gives off bad vibes. As stated in the podcast: “If you meet a person, you get a weird feeling in your gut, absolutely trust yourself and get out of there.”
Definitely words to live by.
Listeners of the podcast have associated the mantra with the epic survival story of Mary Vincent, who was brutally attacked by Lawrence Singleton in 1978. Vincent, who had her arms chopped off by an ax, escaped and lived to testify against Singleton in his trial. She eventually told her story on an episode of the TV show, “I Survived.”
She’s the definition of badass.
Kilgariff and Hardstark are also open about their mental health struggles with anxiety, depression and addiction, as well as seeking out professional help for these issues. Listeners have written in during the “My F*cking Hooray!” segment of the show to share triumphs with other listeners who may be in rough patches in their mental health, especially during the pandemic.
So who are these listeners exactly?
The average listener of MFM can be described in one term, “murderino.” This fan-created term can be defined as a person interested in true crime and murder up to the point of obsession. These people not only are active listeners to the podcast, but also consumers of various forms of true crime.
The community surrounding “My Favorite Murder” makes one thing clear: a true-crime obsession isn’t weird. Actually, it’s celebrated.
“My Favorite Murder” is perfect for anyone desperately looking for a laugh, especially right now when the world seems to be upside down. This podcast is a great place to get started in the true crime genre and is an easy listen. The hour to two hours spent with Kilgariff and Hardstark will certainly cheer anyone up, even when the case may be super dark.
“My Favorite Murder” allows listeners to assess their surroundings and create a space for good, even when these times may be bad. So, as they say at the end of each episode, “Stay sexy, and don’t get murdered. Goodbye!”
Email Alexa Dumas at firstname.lastname@example.org