Criminology, Journalism, and Concussion: About Me, Aaron Jacklin

Aaron Jacklin
6 min readOct 15, 2022
Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Post-concussion syndrome ended my journalism career.* For a while, that’s eclipsed everything else, but I’m trying to change that.​

I’m also a dad, a writer, an editor, and an amateur coder. I’ve worked in nonprofit news and as a criminological research assistant. I’ve done other things too, but most of that wasn’t as interesting.

* At least, my first journalism career.


It’s difficult to pin down one single influence that brought me to criminology, though the biggest is undoubtably that I knew many crime victims and their family members.

I also grew up in a hunting family, which sensitized me to the gun control issue. As a teenager in the late 1990s, I read Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, and it, along with other books by FBI profilers, introduced me to the idea that crime was studied in structured ways.

Perhaps oddly, a martial arts background also played a factor. I earned a first degree black belt and taught in the dojo while I was in high school. Knowing many crime victims, as I mentioned above, I had a special interest in teaching self defense.

Finally, I was profoundly affected by the news coverage of the World Trade Center bombing (1993), the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), and the Columbine High School shooting (1999).

All of that lead me to criminology just as I was preparing to graduate high school, and I applied to a number of university programs as a result. (I think I’d already applied before Columbine.)

I was originally attracted to criminology because I wanted to learn about crime to be better able to teach self defense.

However, as I studied and learned, I had a number of perspective shifts that changed my intentions. I went through a period where I wanted to work in corrections, then criminology or criminal justice research, then criminal justice policy, then political lobbying, then journalism.

Journalism stuck.


I originally became interested in journalism because I enjoyed writing fiction and I kept coming across authors I liked who had…



Aaron Jacklin

Creating quality, ethical nonfiction crime content. Criminology Journalist & Writing Coach. Writing a book by July 2024.