Most individuals who break the law do not want to be identified in an effort to escape criminal charges, however there are and always have been those narcissistic criminals who look for ways to showcase their crimes and boost their fame. With social media platforms available at the touch of a button, those seeking notoriety now have more opportunities than ever to do so.
Rise to infamy
History is full of notorious criminals who are as well-known around the house as some of the best actors, musicians and other celebrities. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock will recognize names of many famous criminals such as:
• Jesse James
• Bonnie and Clyde
• John Wilkes Booth
• Lee Harvey Oswald
• Charles Manson
• James Earl Ray
• Dr. Kevorkian
• Ted Bundy
• Jeffrey Dahmer
• The Menendez brothers
Infamous criminals are often known by a nickname. All to often, these names are coined by the press in order to get ratings. Some of the catchy nicknames include:
• The Unibomber
• The Zodiac Killer
• Billy the Kid
• Jack the Ripper
• Gentleman Johnnie
• The Boston Strangler
• Machine Gun Kelly
Public’s demand for details
Many famous criminals got their fame because of the public demand for information. People feel the need to know every detail about a case, and the press complies by examining the details of all heinous cases involving serial rape and murder and relaying their jaw-dropping findings to their faithful viewers. The more body count or gruesome details, the more publicity the story got. Articles that detail the offender’s personality and even their upbringing are often included as well. This is likely done in an attempt to help the average Joe understand the complexity of the criminal mind. Unfortunately, by constantly being in the public eye, these crimes of the century are romanticized, leaving the convicted person a permanent figure in history. Many famous crimes are portrayed through TV shows and movies, giving even more fame to the offender.
Desire for fame
Not all notorious criminals were seeking the fame the earned, however there are some who wanted to be famous; villains whose crimes would be remembered forever. These narcissistic criminals typically want two things: a crime worthy of attention and a way to showcase that crime to the world. The more dramatic the reaction is by people, the better. In the past, narcissistic criminals would hope their crimes would make it on the cover of the local paper or even on the five o’clock news. To have word of their crimes reach a national news source was an egotistical offender’s dream. Nowadays it doesn’t take a professional news station to help a crime become popular; all it needs is a few likes and shares on social media.
Facebook killing – narcissistic criminals
The new craze among demented narcissistic criminals is posting their crimes on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. Not only are crimes such as murder, rape, and animal abuse posted after the crime has been committed, they are also being done on live feed options, with other social media users watching real time as the crime is taking place. Some recent live feed crimes have included:
• A mentally handicapped man being tormented and brutally beaten live on Facebook by four individuals;
• A 15 year old girl who was raped while the footage was broadcast live on Facebook with nearly four dozen people watching without notifying authorities;
• A 20 year old man from Thailand who posted a live film of him hanging his 11 month old daughter to death before taking his own life off camera. The footage of his daughter’s murder remained on Facebook before it was finally removed 24 hours later.
Facebook executives stated that they will attempt to make changes to reduce the horrific videos and live stream crimes from being broadcast through their platform. Since the videos and live feed can be uploaded immediately it is difficult for the social media platform to regulate the video uploads without the help of user reports or a type of analyzing program that could be seen as a privacy issue. The best thing that can be done to reduce these live crimes from occurring is to stop giving the narcissistic criminals the attention they seek. Even a sad or angry response is attention; report then ignore.