Technology has changed the way we live in an incredible way. The internet has opened up new worlds, helping us meet people both locally and globally. Whatever you’re into, you can pretty much guarantee there’ll be someone – probably a whole bunch of someones – out there online who are into it too; just waiting to connect. If you’ve got a phone, a tablet, a laptop, or a computer then you don’t ever have to be alone. Clementine Starke, my reclusive protagonist in My Little Eye, sees the online world is her way to integrate herself back into society.
With the success of true crime television series like Netflix Making an Murderer and true crime podcasts like Serial, it’s no wonder that the online true crime community has been growing rapidly over the past couple of years, spawning more television shows, more podcasts and an increasing number of true crime websites. After researching how people interact online – on the effect of peer pressure, group think, and how quickly some people shed their everyday identity for another persona all together – I became fascinated with what draws people into online communities. As research for My Little Eye I visited a range of true crime forums. For many people it seems they’re motivated by the desire to be part of something bigger, or to connect with likeminded people, or to take refuge from real life. Some see the Internet as the ultimate tool to fight for justice.
Most of the true crime sites I visited concentrated on cold cases that have gone unsolved, and I found some US sites where there was a collaboration between the Police and the true crime enthusiasts around these cold cases. Other sites focus on cases where they believe there has been a miscarriage of justice – the members working together to try and gather enough evidence to campaign for a retrial.
In My Little Eye I take this further, a lot further. The phenomenon of crowd sourced crime solving is growing. How long will it be before these online groups and armchair detectives decide to tackle a big case in real-time, and what will happen when they do? That was the burning question I wanted to answer. The result was My Little Eye.
My Little Eye is published by Trapeze