Why Do Murderers & Serial Killers Have Their Own IMDb Pages?

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America's true crime obsession means that so many of today's TV shows and films center on murderers — and that means that many of the most notorious criminals and killers have their very own IMDb pages.
IMDb — the Internet Movie Database, though it extends far beyond that these days — provides pages for most real-life people that appear across all kinds of content, including news programs and documentaries. That's why the most terrifying names — who aren't in scripted content — appear on the site. Ted Bundy, Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and many more all have their own pages on the database, complete with credits, bios, and, weirdest of all, "trivia."
The ability to add to IMDb is open to the public but a registration is needed in order to do so. Like Wikipedia, the content is created by voluntary users.
There's something quite eerie and weird about the pages for the murders who once wished for fame in the entertainment world (most notably Charles Manson and Wayne Williams, who we'll talk more about below) being found on an industry website opposite small-time TV players and huge A-listers like Brad Pitt.
Charles Manson — a subject in many recent films and TV shows, including Mindhunter and Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — once aspired to be a folk rock musician. Before he orchestrated multiple murders via his "Manson Family" cult, he had a brief brush with celebrity. He briefly hung the Beach Boys and was reportedly furious when the Beach Boys allegedly reworked "Lie," a song he sold to them and then released it as "Never Learn Not To Love." His trademark is a swastika tattoo, according to the site's "Did You Know?" section, which usually boasts facts like "Known for the 'Rachel' haircut."
Manson's credits are extensive, not just in the "Self" section (where he would appear in documentary footage) but also in the "Soundtrack" section. Manson's music has appeared in 14 movies, TV shows, and specials about his crimes, including the recent "Manson girls" film Charlie Says (in which Matt Smith plays the cult leader) and in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
"A failed folksinger and songwriter, several recordings of his works are commercially available, most of which were recorded in prison. As a convicted felon, he receives no money from the sale of these recordings. Any royalties are paid into a victims-rights fund." reads IMDb's trivia section.
Another subject of Mindhunter season 2 is the convicted killer of two adults in the Atlanta murders of 1979 to 1981, Wayne Williams. Like Manson, Williams also had aspirations to be in the music industry. He was a self-described music producer and media consultant. Unlike Manson, though, Williams work does not include any "Soundtrack" credits.
Williams first IMDb credit is from the 1981 TV documentary Showtime Looks at 1981. He is credited as a suspect in the Atlanta child murderers. His nickname on the site is listed as "Atlanta child murderer."
For those true crime fanatics who can't wait until Mindhunter season 2 drops on Netflix and are in between podcasts — IMDb might be one creepy way to kill time.
Refinery29 has reached out to IMDb for comment.

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