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Published on Mar 17, 2011
Decades ago, ( beginning with True Detective in 1924 ) and before the advent of flashy, quick cut, and consequently head-ache inspiring MTV video style crime dramas like CSI, murder mystery fans had to use their cognitive skills to discover crime stories. In the 70's there were some entertaining cop shows like Police Story, The Rookies, Kojak, and others, but they didn't quite compensate for a real life detective story.
The detective magazines generally advocated a pro-death penalty, get tough on crime stance, and abounded with often lurid European or local crimes of passion, murder conspiracies, serial killers, heist jobs, and so on.
By the mid-80's these magazines were in a period of steady decline, with fewer pages, too many ads, covers with 80's big hair chicks toting AK-47's, fewer photographs, and way too much filler. Once True Detective ended circulation in 1995, the era of the true crime magazine in the USA was largely over. Taking its place were even more sensational, often semi-fictionalized, somewhat overdone, true crime paperbacks.
The British have since revived True Detective overseas, with the newest covers looking a little like that of the National Inquirer.