As a student, starting a school club all by yourself can be a frightening idea. But Daya Allon ’24 did it anyway, creating a True Crime club that was an instant success, gaining a whopping 47 student names and emails from all Upper School grades on its sign-up sheet. I met up with this true crime aficionado to talk about clubs, true crime, and the perfect murder.
How did you first encounter true crime, and what made you love it?
I got drawn in by childhood cartoons — Scooby-Doo was a big part of what I watched as a kid, and then Clue the game; little things that involved true crime as a kid. And as I started getting into it, I found out there were these cases that were never solved— like, unsolved cases really got to me because there are so many clues and evidence and everything, and it’s just a mystery. And it’s not a fake mystery like you get sometimes, it’s a real thing; a person was murdered and you have to solve it, and that really interested me.
What are your favorite types of cases? Are there any specific things that you really tend to enjoy?
I like closure sometimes- like, I want to know who did it. But I also like unpredictable cases. Cases where it’s not always the husband. Like, fine, it’s the husband. But I want something special in there. Also, unsolved cases are really fun to speculate about — who did it, what’s the evidence — and kind of become your own detective. But, yeah. I like when the woman’s the killer. It’s a little unsuspected, but I like it.
Have you ever taken a true crime class or DIS?
No. I wanted to do the May term class, though. But I do read a lot of true crime books and podcasts and shows, and it’s a big part of what I do in my free time.
Books, podcasts, shows, etc. — what is your favorite medium?
What I consume the most is podcasts because they’re easy, quick, and I can listen to them on the bus and everything. I think I get the most information out of reading, out of books. And then I enjoy a lot of documentaries. I just enjoy watching TV shows about true crime.
What inspired you to start your club? Any specific people, events, or things?
I was scrolling through the list of clubs seeing if I wanted to do any, and then I realized, while listening to a true crime podcast, that there isn’t a true crime club. And I was kind of surprised, because I know a lot of people are interested in that sort of thing. Initially I was going to get some people to start it with me, but then I realized I’m not great at working with other people. So I just emailed Jackie and started the club.
What do you hope to accomplish with the club?
I hope to get a bunch of good conversations going about true crime. Sometimes true crime can be just you sitting alone watching this thing — like, you feel kind of weird talking to your parents about murder or these awful things that are happening — so I kind of want a community where people with interests can just share in a safe community.
What was your reaction to so many people signing up? Were you surprised?
I genuinely thought there would be three people. Actually, while making my poster I was like, “You know what? I think I’ll get 10.” I genuinely thought 10 people, maybe some freshmen will come. I didn’t realize people were actually interested in this stuff.
Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a club?
So, for anyone who wants to start a club… just go for it. I mean, I didn’t really think it through that much, but there’s always going to be someone out there who’s interested in what you’re interested in. And there’s always going to be someone out there who wants to do the same thing as you.
How about for people who want to explore more true crime? Any recommendations?
If you want to get into true crime, there are so many amazing podcasts. If you like comedy, there’s a bunch that have a comedy aspect to them; more informational; more everything. It’s out there. Books? I have a long list of books. I would start off with my favorite: The Stranger Beside Me, by Ann Rule. Very, very good book. She knew Ted Bundy, worked with him, was a journalist for the police department, had no idea, talked about it with him. And eventually she wrote a book about it, about the case and her connections to it. I’m also reading this one called Murderous Minds. It’s about the minds of murderers, the psychopath and what the prefrontal cortex does to your emotions and stuff. So, yeah. There’s a part of it for everyone. Maybe not the lighthearted, but…
If you were going to be murdered, how would you want it to happen and what would you want the case to be like?
Okay. If I were to get murdered, I would want a single gunshot to the head. Like, quick. Well, actually? Not a gun. If they’re going to kill me, a little more personal. A gunshot’s a little easy; I’m not into guns. I just don’t want to feel it or to have any suffering afterwards, so maybe a knife to the heart or decapitation. I mean, I don’t want people to be traumatized. But I want it to be a little spicy. I definitely want people to know I was murdered — so, like, I wouldn’t want to die by poison because sometimes you can’t find out. I wouldn’t want them to say, “Oh, she just dropped dead.” I also want it to be done by a serial killer, but they don’t know the person’s a serial killer until they see my case and realize that it’s a pattern throughout… I don’t know, the East Coast. And he travels in a pattern throughout the East Coast, and I’m the break in the case.
What if you were the murderer?
If I were the murderer? If I were to murder someone, I would want it to be poison. But an insulin, because insulin they can’t detect. Or… they usually don’t suspect women if it’s an aggressive crime. They only suspect women if it’s poison because that’s the psychology behind it. So I’d go brutal, really strong… strong arm it. And sorry, but I’d have to plant evidence that it’s someone else. The ultimate murder.