Feeling Trapped, Ladies? Don’t Mope … Off Hubby!

The motives behind Snapped are difficult to tease out. Does the show, currently in its seventh season, instruct women in

The motives behind Snapped are difficult to tease out. Does the show, currently in its seventh season, instruct women in how to off their partners?

It’s shocking, really, how simple it actually is. For example, you don’t need a gun. A woman named Lynn Turner poisoned not one, but two of her partners with antifreeze, and nearly got away with it. (The symptoms induced by ethylene glycol mimic those of flu.) Another woman, Sandy Murphy, who was not ultimately convicted of murder, might have faked her husband’s drug overdose with some Xanax and heroin.

“Most of the women that we profiled, they are facing problems that women all over the country are facing—economic, marital, custody battles—and we are seeing how they are dealing with the problems,” said Deborah Dawkins, a supervising producer of Snapped whose company, Jupiter Entertainment, also produces the new Oxygen show Captured. “But for them, they are so into the moment of desperation, they make a choice that we don’t make.”

Asked whether the show is empowering for women in some way, Ms. Dawkins and her producing partner, Donna Dudek, demurred. But they admitted that the show can, in some instances, rally the sisters. A woman named Kimberly Cunningham, upon learning that her brother-in-law had raped her daughter, drove to his job and shot him so many times that she needed to reload the gun halfway through her spree. It was impossible not to feel for a mother protecting her daughter. Still, stories like that are the exception, rather than the rule, on Snapped.

Somehow, Snapped manages not to be tacky, even when the women who commit the crimes are. (The ladies from Las Vegas are the worst!) Sure, it’s an addictive true-crime series that sucks you in with sex, drugs, murder and all those easy hooks that can leave you feeling a little dirty afterward. But, as Ms. Dudek pointed out, the show satisfies a real need for women besides pure entertainment: a fundamental curiosity that women have about each other and what they keep under the sink.

Feeling Trapped, Ladies?  Don’t Mope … Off Hubby!