One day recently, at an event at the park, I was watching people gathering around a cop. Several seemed to be jostling for his attention. I couldn’t help but wonder what the attraction was.
Then I remembered someone I know who idolizes the Mafia, and it clicked: Gang members attract groupies. Suddenly I started thinking of other examples of the same phenomenon.
Many people are attracted to those they see as “dangerous.” Some of these groupies are “harmless” people (perhaps cowards) who hunger for an association with someone who has more of an edge. Someone who can help them feel less harmless by association.
Others are in denial that they idolize bad guys, and they want plausible deniability, so they gather around those who are dangerous but are seen as somehow “legitimate,” too. Someone who can kill with impunity, but only “those who deserve it.” Anyone cops murder is generally considered, by the cop groupies at least, to have deserved it somehow. Cops are their natural aphrodisiac.