Ask Athena: Forensic-Philes

Is there such a thing as a healthy interest in homicide?

Q:  Should I let my 9 year old daughter watch True Crime shows? She remembers every detail of every case, and can talk about forensics like it’s a favorite boy band. When I ask her why murder is so fascinating, she says it’s like a scary movie with real people which doesn’t really explain it for me. Otherwise, though, she’s a sweet, intelligent kid. Still, I’m worried all this gore & death will make her depressed or psychotic. What do you think?  ~ Murderino Mommy

A: True confessions. I spent my childhood watching and reading murder mysteries. I did not end up psycho. So, from my perfectly biased perch, I’d say your daughter is going to be fine.

What I am more excited about, though, is her interest in forensics. You have a budding scientist in the house that can be nurtured. Look around for local museums to see if they have exhibits on forensics. Young people love this stuff. Locally, there is actually an organization dedicated to kids who are interested in science.

They even have a summer institute, the Forensic Sciences Mentoring Institute Summer Science Program, where students get to solve a mystery!  Your daughter is a little young for that program, but they have other hands-on activities during the year she might enjoy – plus she’ll connect with other young Crime Solvers, on find herself on a satisfying career path.

To keep her from being morbid all of the time, talk with her daughter. Engage her about the cases and make sure she keeps a healthy perspective on the lives of the people in the shows.


The Association of Women in Forensic Science (AWIFS) was founded in 2010 by Antoinette Campbell, a forensic scientist, Philly native, Temple grad and role model for kids interested in pursuing a career in forensic science. AWIFS provides opportunities and support for female professionals, youth and college students. Learn more in “Your Roadmap to Becoming a Forensic Scientist,” an online course starting April 2022. Details & registration:

Rock the Look: true crime buffs and STEM geeks will love Street Forensics’ bold, unique t-shirts (and accessories) for kids and adults. Sales support forensic science education for youth/college students.

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About Athena 45 Articles
When she’s not advising mortals, Athena spends her time on earth in NW Philly with her husband, two sons and a day job where she’s paid to tell important people what to do (naturally). Send your questions to

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