‘Dark tourism’: True crime fans visit Moscow, Idaho


(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 one woman who wanted to pay her respects to the victims and drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio to the murder house to drop off a poinsettia.

“These types 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 television show, except that it’s real.

“In some cases, you have some people who are looking for sensations that they don’t feel in other aspects of their life. Or in some cases, they want to feel closer to these people that they have, in their minds, forged a relationship with, be it through media consumption, or just talking about it with other people. So this is something that’s been going on for a long time, although it has certainly increased in the past number of years.”

How do police tell the difference between a “crime tourist” and a killer?

Former FBI criminal investigations unit assistant direct Chris Swecker, who also weighed in on “Banfield,” urged Moscow authorities to set up surveillance cameras outside the Idaho murder house.

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