Fair warning: I’m a true-crime writer myself. I only watched Don’t F with Cats because my son had it on; normally I can’t stomach depictions of animal cruelty (or graphic depictions of human torture or death either, thankyouverymuch).
So, with that said, I think the author here doesn’t really “get” true crime fandom. That is: we have a lot of different reasons for liking the genre. Some of us are just forensic science geeks. Some of us, as you pointed out, really enjoy the satisfaction of seeing horrible people get caught and brought to justice (though, for the record, I’m against the death penalty). Some enjoy the thrill of it, the same as watching a horror movie, but knowing this was REAL. And some use it to learn about crime and criminals — to learn how to spot red flags, to protect ourselves, to hopefully avoid becoming victims ourselves.
True crime has been popular as long as there have been mass media. Some of the first newspapers were devoted to grisly retellings of crimes and murders. Our grandmothers read Ellery Queen and watched Alfred Hitchcock Presents (admittedly, not *true* crime, but crime nonetheless). I think the takeaway is that evil exists. By stripping off the veil of “respectability” the way Quincy stripped off the body bag, we face it. And by facing it, we can conquer it. At least that is the hope.