Recently, TikTok was taken by storm after a video of a 21-year-old guy named Cameron Herrin resurfaced on the platform sparking multiple reactions from TikTok users. It was a court hearing of his sentence being read out by the judge in April 2021.
Cameron Herrin was found guilty for speeding along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, Florida that ultimately ended up killing a mother and her baby when he crashed into them in the incident.
He was sentenced to 24 years in prison, three years after the incident occurred because of his crime, but his good looks apparently left people drooling and sparked sympathy among his ‘fans’.
Many called out the disgusting remarks by certain commenters on TikTok that overlook the crime he did, simply because of his good looks.
One Twitter user commented, “People On TikTok are sick. This guy was found guilty for hitting a mother and her baby while they were crossing the road. Mama, I’m in love with a criminal. yeah, right!”
Another netizen on Twitter in her post commented, “I can’t believe that some people are justifying what Cameron Herrin did because he’s ‘handsome’. I don’t understand why are you glamorizing crimes now! Cameron Herrin will return to his family after 24 years but Jessica and Lilia will never come back! So he deserves more time in jail.”
This recent case of ‘Hybristophilia’ or the attraction to those who commit crimes is nothing particularly new. As a human, we all want to understand why certain things happen and why people do the things they do. However, it is quite mortifying to adore and glorify an alleged criminal over mere attraction.
Throughout decades, there have been multiple sickening occurrences in which the wanted criminals were glorified and their actions romanticised.
1. Ted Bundy
- Theodore Robert Bundy was an American serial killer who kidnapped, raped and murdered many young women and girls in the 1970s. He confessed to 30 homicidal acts after more than a decade of denials. Some investigators believed that the number of his victims was higher as the total number of his targets remained unknown.
- Albeit his criminal records, that did not bother his admirers from putting the notorious offender on high pedestals. Ted Bundy had his share of groupies who appeared during his court trial dressed like his victims, even bombarded him with fan mail and marriage proposals. They even sent him their photos of their naked bodies during his time in prison and gathered outside Florida prison the day he died in an electric chair.
2. Richard Ramirez
- Richard Ramirez who dubbed the ‘Night Stalker’ was a notorious serial killer, serial rapist, child abuser, kidnapper and burglar. He was convicted in 1989 with 13 counts of murder, 5 counts of attempted murder, 11 counts of sexual assaults and 14 counts of burglary. Ramirez’s highly publicised home invasion and murder crime spree had terrorised the residents of Los Angeles and San Francisco from June 1984 until August 1985. He never expressed his regret and remorse for his crimes.
- He was not actually a catch, and yet a small group of fangirls seemed drawn to him in the same manner that once drew admirers to fellow serial killer Ted Bundy. Netflix crime docuseries “Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer” highlighted Ramirez’s popularity where he gained affection from certain women who would “smile and wave” at the killer during his court trial. And as shown in the docuseries, Ramirez would smile and wave back to his fans in the courtroom.
- “In all my years of covering trials in Los Angeles, I never saw a defendant with more sex appeal than Richard Ramirez,” Tony Valdez, a KTTV reporter said in the documentary.
3. Jeffrey Dahmer
- The infamous Milwaukee Cannibal or the Milwaukee Monster was a brutal serial killer and sex offender who committed the murder and dismemberment of 17 men and boys during 1978 and 1991. His murder involved necrophilia, a kind of sexual attraction involving corpses and cannibalism. He was convicted and found to be legally sane despite being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder and psychotic disorder.
- Still, there is a tendency to construct Dahmer’s image as a victim and somewhat sympathetic. Dr. Samuel Friedman, a psychologist, spoke fondly of him when asked to testify at his trial. “It was a longing for companionship that caused Dahmer to kill,” he added, “He was amiable, pleasant to be with, courteous, with a sense of humour, conventionally handsome, and charming in manner. He was, and still is, a bright young man.”
- Dr. Palermo, a psychiatrist appointed to provide assessment on Dahmer, states that, “Strange to say, he is not such a bad person.”
4. Charles Manson
- Charles Milles Manson was an American criminal and cult leader called “Manson Family’. He was convicted in 1971 for the deaths of 7 people, including the film actress Sharon Tate. While Manson never directly ordered the murders, the prosecution contended that his ideology had constituted an the apparent act of conspiracy.
- Decades passed and Manson and his followers had formed something of a cult, with multiple websites made dedicated to him by people who were not even born when the Manson Family committed murder. One of these admirers was Star Burton, who corresponded with Charles Manson in 2007 when she was just 17. She later announced her engagement to 82-year-old Manson and proclaimed that Manson should be freed from prison to save the planet.
5. Isabella Guzman
- Isabella Guzman was 18 years old when she brutally killed and stabbed her mother to death in August 2013. Court documents stated that Guzman’s mother, Yun Hi Moy, was stabbed 79 times in the face, neck and torso on the upstairs floor of her home in Aurora. The tragic incident was noticed by Guzman’s stepfather who found her standing over his wife, holding a knife. Doctors testified to the court in 2014 that Guzman was schizophrenic and had suffered disturbing delusions for years.
- In September 2020, her video during her court trial in 2013 went viral as people were curious over the video of a beautiful girl wearing an orange prison uniform entering the court with a smile on her face. The video, which was accompanied by Ava Max’s original song “Sweet But Psycho” have garnered people’s interest to find out her true identity and what caused her to be in prison.