As I’ve mentioned before, I love mysteries. So an article on the front page of yesterday’s Kansas City Star, “Armchair Detectives Go Online to Connect,” naturally caught my eye. Apparently there’s a whole world of amateur detectives out there trying to solve true crimes on their blogs. And according to the article (which was sparked by two recent local crimes: the disappearance and murder of a Kansas college student and the kidnapping and subsequent rescue of the two boys in Missouri), these cybersleuthing blogs generate more web traffic than actual online news sources. They also generate a lot of rumors and wild speculation, as well as—once in a while—real information, so law enforcement authorities do monitor these sites.
Although delving into true crime makes me a bit squeamish (I much prefer my crimes to be fictional), I completely understand the impulse to want to solve these crimes. After all, it’s one of the reasons I read mysteries—just as I’d like to believe I’d have courage and character in the face of great challenge (see MLK post below), I’d also like to believe that if I stumbled across a murder, I’d be clever enough to solve it. And like a fictional murder mystery, cybersleuthing blogs give would-be amateur detectives a way to test their skills from the safe confines of their own home.
Who knew? (Okay, probably all of you knew, but I didn’t have a clue.)