Allianna Makowski is an English student with a passion for True Crime. A recent transfer from Middlesex County College, she has recently created a True Crime Interest Group open to all Monmouth University students.
Like many students, Makowski’s interest in True Crime was piqued by pop culture. True Crime television programs, podcasts and books have become popular entertainment forms for Americans, especially throughout the pandemic.
Her time spent listening to these often-horrific stories inspired her to spread awareness on topics such as human sex trafficking. She hopes that with the formation of this interest group, keeping conversations alive about cases can help in the advancement of solving these chilling mysteries. For Makowski, she loves to listen to true crime podcasts, and watch YouTube experts such as Kendall Rae and Buzzfeed Unsolved Talk.
She said, “I think that everyone genuinely has an interest in true crime and unsolved mysteries especially now during a global pandemic…just talking about someone’s case and keeping it [alive] can help find potential leads in finding the victim or giving them the justice that they deserve. The challenges, however, are just knowing which evidence is true or is rumored.”
During these meetings, she aims to discuss true crime cases both old and new. She’s been covering topics like serial killers, cults, asylums and unsolved mysteries. Her personal favorite case? The disappearance of JonBenet Ramsey.
She said, “There are so many things wrong with the case, and the fact how it is still unsolved after 25 years is mind-blowing. In cases like these, they do keep me up at night wondering what happened and if we will ever know the truth and it’s fun to discuss theories.”
Most recently, the interest group had a guest speaker, James Fitzpatrick, an FBI profiler who worked as enforcement on popular cases such as Unabomber, Anthrax and DC Sniper. Having speakers is an interactive way to keep members engaged, something that Makowski is a huge proponent of. She even wants to hold trivia nights for members as a way to relieve the stresses of online learning.
She said that she ultimately plans on using the group’s Instagram page (@mutruecrimeclub) as a way to determine what case they will cover each week.
Despite the challenges of meeting virtually, Makowski has been using the group’s Instagram page to attract new members, and she has already been met with great success. She said, “In our virtual world, it is a little difficult to get the word out there about a new potential club. However, I feel that the more I post, create Instagram stories, do polls, and tag school accounts, I do feel like I’ll have a lot more who are interested in joining.”
In the one week that the page has been live, she has managed to yield over 80 followers. Interested students can direct message the account with their name, grade, and student ID number to join. The Criminal Justice Department and the Guardians Club have also assisted in the group’s recruiting process.
Makowski has been a one-man show in the creation of the group. Once the group achieves club status, she hopes that a faculty advisor and executive board will work collaboratively to help with fundraising and organization of more guest speakers.
Until then, Makowski plans on partnering with Thorn, an organization that raises awareness for human sex trafficking and children who are exploited online. She hopes that the group can raise funds for Thorn by designing merchandise representing the group.
She said, “My goal is to recognize those who are still missing and give recognition to the victims who are still missing and become an advocate for missing children.”
PHOTO COURTESY of Anthony DePrimo