This is an uncomfortable subject for the serious student of true crime. But the unavoidable truth is that for every killer that lurks in the dark, there are many other men who (lacking the je ne sais quoi to commit their own murders) parasitically attach themselves like lampreys to a shark for the vicarious thrill of bloodshed.
True detective magazines explored this junction for too many years. It was a strange devolution for these publications, which began in the '20s and '30s as the leading milieu for earnest examinations of crime and were written by some of the best writers of the genre (i.e., Edmund L. Pearson). Some time in the 1960s, they began to change their focus to more lurid crimes where photos of naked victims were available (a reflection of the general trend in media to focus on illustrations above content; witness CNN at any given moment; but maybe the internet will change that). With the new focus on photos of dead women, gone were the aesthetics of the study of murder. It didn't matter whether the crime was a pedestrian husband-on-wife killing or a genuine unsolved and complicated mystery. I can recall even today picking up a true crime magazine circa 1983--my stepmother liked to read them--and seeing a photo that has haunted me since: a woman photographed from the waist up. She was unclothed, on her back. A knife stuck out of her chest. Her husband killed her, confessed, and was in jail by the time the photo hit newsstands. And where is the interest in that story?
These true crime magazines weathered the storm of being labeled "porn for serial killers" and more or less cleaned up their acts (all of which followed Ted Bundy's revelation that everything he did could be blamed on a single detective magazine he found in the trash as a child).
In any event, as the world wide web has developed, the lampreys have followed. Many true crime bloggers report that their blogs are trawled by creeps looking for weird content, including Steve Huff, who reports that the hope of viewing autopsy photos lures some weirdos to his site. Meanwhile, The Trenchcoat Chronicles crime blog actually attracts fans of Eric and Dylan's murder spree in Colorado. Or mutants, to use Trench's term.
And mine seems to attract men who have a belly-stabbing fetish. It's my fault, I suppose, that searches for she was belly stabbed or stabbed in the stomach bring some strange people here. I wrote a post about a weirdo who roamed Connecticut in the 1920s and stabbed young girls in the belly. It turns out this is a genuine fetish--I should've guessed; isn't there a fetish for anything you can think of (and a few things you never would)?--but seeing people read about the Phantom Fiend of Connecticut and (good Lord) apparently get off is really distasteful.
But what can you do except wag your finger at the weirdos?
Ergo, a note to those with a belly-stabbing fetish: consider consulting an expert. Sex therapists are easily found in the yellow pages. The fantasy is violent and yet at the same time deeply immature. In other words, there is an ugly weed growing in your garden of earthly delights and if you continue to nurture it and let it go to seed then it will take over and no one will want to visit your garden.