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Monster Fangirl

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Hurray! The heroes have captured the murderer and locked him away, and the day is saved.

So why is he getting all this fan mail?

The Monster Fangirl (and this is almost Always Female, though the genders may be flipped) might have the belief that Love Redeems, or she's In Love with Your Carnage (in the worst case), or believes that he's really innocent. If she's aware of his evil nature, it's essentially a form of All Girls Want Bad Boys turned Up to Eleven.

Their fate is usually to be casually discarded to wind up another victim or to go to jail for the crimes they commit to aid the Monster, often screaming declarations of love all the way. As a villain is not always redeemed, the woman's deluded attraction to the dangerous psychopath may also be a romantic manifestation of Too Dumb to Live.

Depressingly, this occurs even in Real Life. In medicine, this is sometimes called hybristophilia, a paraphilia in which one is sexually aroused by the fact that somebody has committed a heinous crime.


Compare Draco in Leather Pants, and to a lesser extent, Rooting for the Empire for when the fandom does it. See also Psycho Supporter, Nightmare Fetishist, and Horrible Judge of Character. For a fangirl of a literal monster in a relationship with one, see Interspecies Romance, Beast and Beauty, or You Sexy Beast.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Death Note:
    • Light Yagami founds over half his schemes on these people. Misa Amane had some potential as a less-polished monster in her own right, as a less brilliant and histrionic psychopath instead of a genius narcissistic one, but decided to slave her entire being to his will on first meeting, and never wavered, and without that his plan to defeat L would never have begun to exist. His final big scheme also relies heavily on Disposable Woman Kiyomi Takada, a college girlfriend turned news anchor whose response to the revelation that he is Kira is not visceral horror but infatuation.
    • The rest of the Kira fans who keep him in names and faces to kill (yay fact-checking!) and cheer and all, and also his eventual right arm Teru Mikami, are a bigenderal hydra of this phenomenon stretching across the world. Even after the Villain with Good Publicity is exposed and declawed and killed, he still has a huge cult. This series is founded upon existential despair.
  • Lummy from Fairy Tail is completely head-over-heels with Mad Bomber Jackal, a reflection of how fans became so enamored with him despite how he's nothing more than an irredeemable killer; on another note, she also changed Beast Man Tempester into a Dark-Skinned Blonde Bishōnen to suit her tastes. Deconstructed when her swooning gets on Jackal's last nerve, driving him to blow her to smithereens.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Harley Quinn is the girlfriend of The Joker, an infamous homicidal clown who terrorizes Gotham City. Harley was originally the Joker's psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum until she suffered a major case of Critical Psychoanalysis Failure, being manipulated by the clown into falling in love with him. Harley is insanely devoted to the Joker, despite him being a violent psychopath who is terribly abusive to her.
    • After Harley ditched the Joker for good, the clown prince of crime got himself a new right hand woman with Alexis Kaye AKA Punchline. A college student who got held hostage hostage by the Joker during an attack on a TV Station, Alexis's infatuation with him eventually grew into an unhealthy obsession as she developed her own Joker-inspired attire and began to randomly poison people around Gotham in order to catch the Joker's attention. The Monster Clown saw potential on her and taught her a modified version of Joker Venom that Alexis tested on the homeless. Punchline finally proved herself to the Joker after she murdered the dean of her college. Additionally, she believes herself to be Harley's Superior Successor and apparently the Joker actually likes her and treats her better compared to his former henchgirl.
  • Judge Dredd: The lead-up to the "Necropolis" arc had a rather tragic justified example. After a woman barely survives an encounter with Judge Death, a psychopathic Omnicidal Maniac from another dimension, it creates a psychic link between the two. She basically becomes a smitten fangirl of Death and dreams about becoming his bride. She then helps his allies Phobia and Nausea to cross the dimensional span into Mega City One by sacrificing her husband, for which Death rewards her by ripping out her heart.
  • In the first part of the Maximum Carnage storyline, Carnage was in the middle of his latest rampage within the maximum-security facility he had been sent to when to his disbelief, he gained a cheering section. Of course, the fan, in this case, was fellow inmate Shriek, who was almost as sociopathic as he was, but they would become partners as a result.
  • Issue 3 of the mini-series Star Wars Vader Dark Visions features a mentally unstable nurse on board a Star Destroyer who falls in love with Darth Vader. Her delusional mind even conjures up fantasies about them straight out of a cheesy romance novel and somehow convincing herself that his every act of murder and violence against a crewman is somehow showing his love for her. It ends exactly how you expect, really, but sneaking into his quarters while he has his armor off is a new kind of stupid.
  • In one of his limited series, Venom gains a crowd of child admirers on Halloween (one wearing a Spider-Man costume, ironically) after saving one from a mugger - the fact that he brutally killed the mugger is lost on them. He might have even given one an autograph if the police weren't coming.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Sabrina in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines is revealed to have been this as a child. At one point, she wrote a school essay about a person she admired. Her chosen subject was Twenty Gyarados Bill, a notorious criminal whose titular Gyarados devastated the coast of Johto and the reason why the six active Pokémon limit was established. While she doesn't deny he's a mass murderer, she tries to highlight his more positive traits, describing him as "a shining example of self-improvement through hard work and determination".
  • Male examples: in The Simpsons fanfiction The Yellow Mile, a grown-up Maggie, who is on death row after killing one of the gangsters who murdered her parents, briefly contemplates the number of marriage proposals she's been getting.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the opening of Men in Black 3, Boris the Animal escapes from his Lunar Prison when his prison mail girlfriend brings him a cake containing his lethal symbiont. The kill-crazy alien monster thanks her for her aid to him, but lets her be sucked out into space without remorse and goes back to trying to destroy Earth.
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood shows Charles Manson's fanatical followers, many of whom are female and believe they are in love with him, and all of whom are willing to kill for him. Manson sends four of them—"Tex", "Sadie", "Katie", and "Flowerchild"—to murder everyone in Tate's house, but the plan goes Off the Rails when Dalton hears their noisy muffler and orders them off his street.
  • The Petrified Forest: A very rare male example in the person of Grandpa Maple, an old coot who hangs out at his family's gas station in the Arizona desert. He loves to tell the story of how Billy the Kid once took a shot at him, and he is only too thrilled when notorious gangster Duke Mantee arrives and takes them all hostage.
    "It certainly does feel great to have a real killer around here again."
  • Downplayed at the end of The Pink Panther (1963) when Clouseau is framed as being the jewel thief The Phantom. He's hauled away to jail but there are legions of screaming fangirls outside.
  • In Serial Killing 4 Dummys, Sasha is a Goth girl obsessed with Serial Killers. When Casey expresses (mostly in jest) his ambition to become a serial killer, Sasha encourages him to pursue the ambition for real, and volunteers to be his first victim.
  • The eponymous Villain Protagonists of Tragedy Girls are a variation on this trope, a pair of teenage True Crime enthusiasts whose fascination with serial killers and spree killers goes well beyond morbid curiosity into a desire to emulate the psychopaths they obsess over. The film opens with them developing a serious Broken Pedestal concerning their town's actual serial killer, Lowell, who they criticize for his sloppy technique as they kidnap him and plan to make him the scapegoat for their crimes.

  • The Harry Potter franchise has Bellatrix Lestrange, tenaciously devoted fangirl to Voldemort, and according to J.K. Rowling, is obsessed with Voldemort despite his complete inability to feel love, compassion, or even pity for another being.
  • Mr. Monk Gets Even: Stella Chaze, a local woman who had become Dale the Whale's girlfriend during incarceration, plays a part in the story. She creates a massive traffic accident to help him escape, injuring dozens of people and ultimately blows up her house in an attempt to kill Stottlemeyer and Monk (or keep them from getting any information regarding where her boyfriend is) when they come to question her.
  • Sissi from the Nightfall (Series) has become obsessed with Prince Vladimir, the Big Bad who has destroyed the world and is breeding the surviving humans for vampire food. She's drawing pictures of him and is writing stories about him. She ends up at the Resistance because she's gone on a probably deadly journey to meet him.
  • The Parker Pyne story "Have You Got Everything You Want?" by Agatha Christie has a milquetoast man arrange the theft of his wife's jewelry as he's being blackmailed over his having an affair years earlier. In actual fact he didn't even have an affair, a frightened young woman fleeing a jealous husband spent the night in his hotel room, which is enough to cause a scandal, but he's firmly advised never to reveal that, as he's only interesting to his wife if she thinks her love redeemed a criminal.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Baltar's cult in Battlestar Galactica sheltered Baltar after his trial from the many, many people who wanted him dead.
  • In Bones, Serial Killer Howard Epps got married to one of these while in prison. Then he escaped and killed her.
  • Several episodes of Criminal Minds, with "Riding the Lightning" and "The Angel Maker" being the most prominent examples.
    • In "Riding the Lightning", the Serial Killer has a horde of fangirls who call themselves "The Brides of Jacob" and deliberately dress up as his victims.
    • In "Devil's Backbone", Psycho Therapist Antonia Slade has either several Monster Fanboys including the unsub or just the unsub using several aliases.
  • Gender Flipped in Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior with Veronica Day's Monster Fanboys.
  • In Flashpoint, "Jamie Dee" takes a hostage to steal a police car. It turns out the "hostage" is one of his fangirls. However, he's not what he seems.
  • The "fiancée" of Nate Haskell in the CSI episode "Targets of Obsession". He has a whole club of Monster Fangirls.
    • This reaches new highs of psychosis in "Father of the Bride", where fangirl Tina Vincent cackles maniacally at her own capture, and spends her interrogation alternately smiling at taunting the cops with how much better Nate Haskell is than them.
  • Dexter:
    • Dexter himself gets a fangirl in Lila, who sees him as a misunderstood creature and her soulmate when she finds out that he is actually a prolific Serial Killer. She turns out to be dangerously insane herself, and he eventually kills her after she tries to kill his girlfriend and her children.
    • The killer in Season 6 gets legions of online fans, plus a pair of fans who actually aid him in a kill.
  • Frasier: in the episode "Life of the Party", Frasier, after another disastrous blind date, laments:
    Frasier: Murderers on Death Row can find women to marry them! I can't find one who'll sit through coffee with me!
    Niles: It's easy for those men to attract women, they have all that time to work out in the yard.
  • In the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Seizure": Kevin Reddick, a death row inmate known as the Motel Ripper, attracted these, including a research scientist he manipulated into committing a copycat killing. Her boss, Dr. Buckman, set things in motion to exculpate Reddick because his PET scan showed Reddick did not have a lesion in his brain, which would have discredited Buckman's theory about rage killers. The research scientist, on the other hand, did have the lesion.
    • Another episode centered around a recently-paroled killer, who is shown to have his share of "groupies" (which Eames naturally makes a snarky comment about). He's not responsible for the episode's main crime, however.
  • The Law & Order: Special Victims Unit episode "Svengali" featured a homicidal artist who has almost a dozen followers who commit murders, as he encourages them to be creative and to impress him. In the end, he gets sent to a Super Max prison where he will have no contact with anyone on the outside.
    • William Lewis escapes from prison with the help of a pair of these, one of whom is a doctor, thus showing that this is not strictly a low-IQ trait.
  • One of the criminals in Lie to Me (a rapist who blinded his victims) had a Monster Fanboy who was so devoted that he married one of the victims so he could be "close" to what had been done to her.
  • Red John from The Mentalist seems able to recruit fanatical followers of both sexes.
  • In the Millennium (1996) episode "Lamentation" Lucy Butler comes off as this to Ephraim Fabricant, a notorious Serial Killer she's exchanged vows with over the Internet. To put it mildly, she turns out to be the more dangerous of the two.
  • Tiger King: Season 2 mentions that in spite of Joe's incarceration for animal abuse and murder for hire, many gay men across the world have declared their love for him and/or write him letters. Joe describes one in particular as his new boyfriend.
  • On Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the Reverend who held Kimmy hostage for 15 years has a fiancee despite being in prison. Kimmy finds this out when he calls her asking for a divorce (since apparently he legally married her while she was a hostage) and a whole episode revolves around her and Titus trying to convince the woman not to marry him. Turns out the woman is marrying him because of her horrifically low self-esteem; in her words, she's okay with marrying a prisoner because he'll never spend enough time with her to find out how terrible she is.

  • In The Beatles' "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", the titular character murders several people with a hammer, but he still has fans.
    Rose and Valerie, screaming from the gallery
    Say he must go free
    (Maxwell must go free!)
  • Madame Macabre's "Killer Love" is from the perspective of a woman who's in obsessive love with a Slasher Movie villain.
    I don't care what people say,
    they don't matter anyway.
    Sparks like this you can't deny.
    If you left I think I'd die!
    I hear them shoutin',
    "Run away, run away!
    Ooh, that boy's a sin!"
    But I just can't help it,
    this killer love,
    killer love's gonna do me in.
  • Frank Zappa: "The Illinois Enema Bandit", about a real-life criminal who gave his female victims enemas. When sent to court "one girl shouts: "Let the bandit be" and another one shouts: "Let the fiend go free."

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Bill Hicks' song "Chicks Dig Jerks" addresses this, name-dropping Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun, Charles Manson and Squeaky Fromme, and the fact that women actually tried to get dates with serial killer Ted Bundy after he was caught.
  • Chris Rock "You get more respect comin' outta jail than school..."

  • In Assassins, Squeaky Fromme speaks of the apocalyptic preachings of mass murderer Charles Manson, remembering how they met and declaring herself his lover and slave. She believes that by assassinating Gerald Ford the authorities will be forced to release Manson from prison, at least temporarily, to testify at her trial.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Tsukiko to Xykon in The Order of the Stick. She regards him as a hottie and devotes herself to him, thinking someday he'll grow to love her. Unfortunately, he doesn't care about her feelings. When she dies, he hardly has a reaction to it.

    Western Animation 
  • Inque in Batman Beyond had a male version. He helped her escape and tried to become like her. She pays him back for his help by giving him a half-way working solution. He becomes something like her, all right.what happened? 
  • Dilbert: After being convicted for the death of a busload of Nobel Prize winners (an accident that actually been caused by the Pointy Haired Boss), Dilbert quickly discovers that life in maximum security is surprisingly enjoyable - he's got a large, furnished cell to himself, including an internet connection, and gets a ton of fanmail from women who finds his murderous reputation a turn-on.
    Dilbert: You know, I'm actually innocent.
    Guard: Yeah, but I wouldn't let that slide if I were you. *winks*
  • Kid Cosmic: Fantos the Amassor is a male example. He's a Psychopathic Manchild enamored with Erodius the Planet Killer and the destruction it causes, going so far as to collect various memorabilia of it— including various Stones of Power, which are the remnants of the planets it has destroyed.
  • The Simpsons: In "Pranksta Rap", Bart fakes his own kidnapping to avoid being punished after sneaking out to a rap concert, and ends up accidentally implicating Milhouse's dad Kirk Van Houten due to hiding in his apartment, and some very unexpected competence from Chief Wiggum. It ends up benefitting everyone involved; Bart gets off scott free, Wiggum is promoted, and Kirk loves prison, as he gets three meals a day, and conjugal visits from "Springfield's craziest chicks".
    Lindsay Neagle: You've kidnapped my heart!
  • Villainous has Demencia, a Loony Fan of Black Hat who keeps breaking into his lair and trying to help with his product demonstrations.

    Real Life 
  • Karla Homolka, wife of Canadian sexual sadist and killer Paul Bernardo, was one of these and an active accomplice in his crimes, but successfully portrayed herself to the court as a scared wife forced to go along with him in order to get a reduced sentence in exchange for providing evidence against her husband.
  • Lots of serial killers and spree killers have gotten this, developing substantial fandoms from people who wanted to strike up relationships with them. Some famous examples include:
    • Marriage proposals to inmates, and serial killer groupies. Quite famously, the "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez wound up actually marrying one of his admirers. Scott Peterson, a man convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in a highly-publicized trial, received his first proposal from someone wanting to be the next Mrs. Peterson barely an hour after he arrived on death row while the jailers were busy answering to the telephone to admirers asking about his new postal address.
    • This is often called "Bonnie and Clyde Syndrome", although they didn't have nearly as many fans as Hollywood might suggest, especially once they became known cop-killers. Some other criminals of the time period, like John Dillinger and Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd, had far more.
    • The "Free Jahar" (Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the younger Boston Marathon bomber) fangirly squeefest. Even Rolling Stone magazine got caught up in this one, running a controversial cover story that featured a profile of the young Tsarnaev describing him as "a beautiful, tousle-haired boy with a gentle demeanor, soulful brown eyes and the kind of shy, laid-back manner that 'made him that dude you could always just vibe with,'" accompanied by a glamorous-looking cover shot.
    • "Columbiners" are a subculture of people obsessed with the Columbine High School Massacre and its perpetrators Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Many take it well beyond just an ordinary True Crime enthusiasm into idealizing "Reb and VoDKa" as heroes for disaffected youth, with three of them winding up implicated in a (thankfully thwarted) mass murder plot of their own in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and another one, around the time of the twentieth anniversary of the shooting, going so far as to travel from Florida to Columbine High School in a failed attempt to pull off a repeat of the massacre. Less thankfully, one Columbiner in Finland actually did manage to imitate his heroes and kill eight people at his school.
    • Similarly, James Holmes, who shot up a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado during the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, gained a following of "Holmies" afterwards.
    • Likewise with the "Cruzers," fans of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, who flooded the jail in Broward County, Florida with a deluge of fan mail and phone calls, some even giving money for his commissionary account. Nikolas Cruz even duscussed with his brother about setting up a fan club, to gather money and love letters.
    • The notorious Serial Killer Ted Bundy was a fairly handsome man, something that was not lost on people when Netflix premiered the True Crime documentary Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, nor when Zac Efron starred as Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile around the same time (both were directed by Joe Berlinger). "Hot Ted Bundy" soon became a meme, to the point where Netflix felt obliged to remind people that there were thousands of other attractive men in their other programs who weren't serial killers.
    • Jeffrey Dahmer, the "Milwaukee Cannibal", managed to get fans squeeing over him. This is mainly due to his somewhat sympathetic backstory,note  pitiful persona,note  nerdish but rather hunky Pretty Boy good looks, and other factors. Some romanticize his crimes into some twisted "murder & cannibalism for love". It also doesn't help that, like Ted Bundy, he also has a hot Pretty Boy former Teen Idol, Ross Lynch, playing him in My Friend Dahmer. Female admirers either ignore the fact that Dahmer was gay or see his orientation as a perk. note  Many see Dahmer as one of the very few genuinely sympathetic serial killers, an otherwise decent fellow who was driven into evil and seemed to regret it.
    • The "True Crime community" (or TCC) on Tumblr has a bad reputation for this and has often been accused of glamorizing serial killers and mass murderers and trying to whitewash or justify their actions. Many of the fandoms described above (Columbiners, Holmies, Cruzers) were born from and have their main presences in Tumblr's true crime community, which also has a not-insignificant degree of overlap with the site's alt-right presence. Many of the more grounded true crime enthusiasts on Tumblr often despair at the reputation the community has.
    • Yuka Takaoka, a 21-year-old woman who stabbed a man with a kitchen knife in 2019, claimed to have done so out of love, supposedly wanting to kill him and then herself because she could not bear the thought of them being apart. She gained a following among the anime community due to her rather attractive looks and her reputation as a "real-life yandere girlfriend", with a few GoFundMe pages even being created in an attempt to raise funds to bail her out. (Luckily, none gained significant traction before getting deleted, and at any rate Japan does not allow bail for attempted murder.)
    • Nasim Aghdam, who shot and wounded three people and then killed herself at YouTube's headquarters because she felt that they were unfairly blocking her videos, was immediately noticed on many of the internet's various crawlspaces. Not just because many of them sympathized with her specific grievances, but also because she was a very attractive woman of Iranian descent who often wore sexy and flamboyant outfits in her videos.
    • Luka Rocco Magnotta, who filmed himself murdering Jin Lun and then dismember and rape his body, has admirers sending him love letters.
    • Belgian Child Killer Marc Dutroux has teenage girls sending him love letters. In his first months, admirers sent him enough money he was able to buy his own TV instead of renting it from the prison.
  • In a non-romantic example, a number of mass murderers, especially those motivated by hatred of women, have gotten fandoms from the He-Man Woman Hater "incel" community, who see them as rebels against a system that they think denies them love and affection. (In other words, instead of directly falling in love with a killer, they think that the killer's crimes will improve their love lives.) Elliot Rodger, the Isla Vista, California shooter who left behind a detailed manifesto (including a YouTube video) outlining his motivations, is especially notorious for getting this, to the point some had nicknamed him "Saint Elliot."
  • There's even people who squee over Nazi war criminals like Joseph Mengele and make cutesy Chibi fan art of the guy. Much like Bundy, his Tall, Dark, and Handsome appearance probably plays a part.
  • John Hinkley Jr. attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981 due to his admiration of Travis Bickle from Taxi Driver. After getting parole in 2020, he began a musical career, and unfortunately many of his fans now actively applaud his assassination attempt and call him a "national hero" for it.