(NewsNation) — The Idaho home where four college students were killed has been the site of so-called “dark tourism” since the incident.
Jeffrey Podoshen, a leading scholar on the subject, told NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield that visiting crime scenes is a way for people to “experience death from a safe distance.”
NewsNation captured video of a woman who wanted to pay her respects to the victims and drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio to the murder home to drop off a poinsettia.
“These kinds of experiences allow people to get closer to death and crime without being in real danger,” Podoshen said Thursday on “Banfield.”
Podoshen compared “dark tourism” to consuming a gripping TV show, except it’s real.
“In some cases, there are people who seek sensations that they do not feel in other aspects of their lives. Or, in some cases, they want to feel closer to these people with whom, in their minds, they have forged a relationship, either through media consumption or simply by talking about it with other people. So this is something that’s been going on for a long time, although it’s certainly increased in recent years.”
How do the police tell the difference between a “crime tourist” and a murderer?
Former direct assistant to the FBI criminal investigations unit, Chris Swecker, who also intervened in “Banfield,” urged authorities in Moscow to install surveillance cameras outside the Idaho crime house.