"It's the joggers I don't trust, they're always the ones to find the bodies!"
The health-conscious analog of Disposable Vagrant
. Joggers have a tendency of being the target of Serial Killers
, muggers, and monsters in the woods. Similarly, they are also the most likely to discover the victims of all of the above.
Why joggers? Because it's a solitary activity (or at least, it can be easily done alone, jogging with friends is
fun) and this can be played for scares by making audiences relate to the solitude and helplessness when danger strikes. Recent technology (starting from the Walkman days) has graciously provided joggers with means of distracting their ears as well, making them easier targets. Similarly, joggers are drawn to nature and secluded locations, both of which make for good places to snatch victims or dump bodies. All in all, joggers in fiction are akin to Red Riding Hood
; colorful targets moving obliviously through dangerous places where nasty predators do their work.
As a Death Trope
, there are unmarked Spoilers ahead.
- The Onion had an article piece on joggers fed up with finding dead bodies all the time.
- This happens at least once in the Savannah Reid mysteries.
- The opening of Richard Harris' novel and film Fatherland. In which a Waffen-SS soldier out on a morning training run by a Berlin lake discovers the corpse of a retired high-ranking Nazi who has been murdered. (The hapless squaddie is murdered too, later.)
- It happens an episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. Sean runs over a jogger.
- The pilot episode of Grimm kicks off with a creature eating a jogger.
- This is occasionally how Law & Order gets from Start to Corpse.
- In The Sopranos, Mikey Palmice is killed while jogging.
- In Criminal Minds, in the episode titled The Popular Kids, The first victim is snatched and killed while jogging.
- Additionally, The Footpath Killer, also from Criminal Minds, might count for this as well, though he killed Hikers.
- Subverted in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- the guy found dead dressed as a jogger wasn't really one;the killer just dressed and used a process to freeze him in position so he'd look like a dead jogger.
- Played straighter though with the jogger who was killed by the woman with porphyria, so she could eat his organs.
- Jim Fixx.
- Jogging can be a stressful activity for those who have health issues or who aren't used to it. Heart attacks, asthma, heatstroke, etc can result in a dead jogger fairly quickly if there's no one around to help.