I jump at shadows and tiny noises at night. I’ve never watched a horror movie in my life, and I derive no pleasure from gory descriptions of intestines being ripped out of girls’ abdomens. I think I’ve only ever listened to one true crime podcast, and that was more for background about the Gabby Petito investigation than to service any latent desire to trick my brain into thinking I’m about to be murdered.
While true crime fans are naturally obsessed, that just isn’t the spot that Jim Can’t Swim (JCS) videos hit for me. It’s something else, and I’m trying to figure out just what makes JCS videos on YouTube so addictive to millions of people like me worldwide.
At the time of writing, the channel has uploaded only 19 videos. This limited offering has already clocked up a cumulative 283.2 million views. The channel has 4.43 million followers, and even counts actor Bill Hader as a publicly acknowledged fan.
JCS Criminal Psychology videos are psychological deep-dives into the criminal interrogation process. JCS takes publicly available footage of criminal interrogations and adds their own sober, incisive, sometimes dryly funny or mildly sarcastic explanations of why both the suspects and trained interrogators behaved in certain ways during the interrogation.
They speed up the videos and pause at the good parts, which is also what makes their usually hour-long videos so completely different from the hours-long raw unedited clips you can otherwise access.
The result is an endlessly fascinating look into how people who have recently committed terrible crimes behave at possibly the most high-stakes moment of their lives, and the many subtle and overt ways police are trained to elicit confessions, figure out if a suspect is lying, or obtain enough conflicting information to help strengthen a prosecutor’s case in court.
JCS began their channel in 2017, then dropped off …….