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The World’s Ten Most Watched Criminal Trials

Criminal TrialsWhen it comes to criminal trials, there are many reasons why people enjoy watching. Many people enjoy having the opportunity to see the inner workings of a trial, especially when it relates to a shocking case. Whether you are on the side of the criminal lawyer or the prosecution, there is a lot of action to take in.

1. The 2013 trial of Jodi Arias certainly caught on with the enormous coverage it received on HLN. Arias was accused of murdering her boyfriend, Travis Alexander. Her story changed multiple times, one including a home invasion and then one including self-defense. Arias was ultimately found guilty. The trial had enough attention to later be turned into a Lifetime movie.

2. The trial of O.J. Simpson in 1995 was so pivotal that thousands of viewers could not stop watching. Simpson, an ex-football player was already a well known figure, so when criminal charges were added people watched along with the car chase that ended in his arrest. He was eventually acquitted on charges of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. Since the trial Simpson has had other troubles with the law including a widely reported case involving a Las Vegas robbery.

3. In 1979 the trial of Ted Bundy shocked audiences as they learned how he had murdered 30 women during the 1970s. In fact, his trial was the first to be broadcast nation-wide. He was found guilty, sentenced to death and executed 10 years later.

4.Jeffrey Dahmer (known as the Milwaukee Cannibal) stood trial in 1992 for viciously killing 15 people, including children. It was broadcast with a 10 second delay in an effort to edit any disturbing content. Dahmer was found guilty.

5. A relative of the Kennedy family, William Kennedy Smith, was charged with and acquitted of charges relating to rape. CNN broadcasted the trial in 1991. Smith was later accused of sexual assault, and those charges were also dismissed or settled out of court.

6. The 2010 trial of Lindsay Lohan gained more than two million online viewers who watched the child star receive a guilty verdict for violating probation.Lohan has continued to find herself in trouble with the law and each time it gets huge attention from the media.

7. In 1992, viewers tuned in to the trial of four LAPD officers who assaulted Rodney King. The assault was caught on camera and while the officers were acquitted, riots erupted in the streets, killing and injuring many.

8. Phil Spector’s trials, in 2007 and 2009, stemmed from charges of murder in the case of actress Lana Clarkson. He claimed she had shot herself. His first case resulted in a hung jury while the second led to a guilty verdict. He is serving a 19 year prison sentence.

9. In 2011, the murder trial of Casey Anthony was high priority and one of the most reported stories at the time. The young mother was accused of murdering her child, Caylee. HLN covered the entire case, with many shocked to see that she was acquitted on all charges. More than five million viewers tuned in.

10. In 1984, a woman named Diane Downs ran into a hospital screaming that her children had been shot by a carjacker. One child was dead and two were injured. Ultimately, Downs was convicted of shooting each of her children. During her prison sentence she escaped, but shortly after was put back in prison.

People often wonder why there is such a fascination with criminal trials, but the scandal continues to captivate millions during certain criminal trials.

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