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Title: Serial killing and celebrity : the importance of victim narrative in crime news reporting and its effect on the families of multiple homicide victims
Author: Tolputt, Harriet A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 9835
Awarding Body: Birmingham City University
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2016
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Serial murder and celebrity go hand-in-hand. Newspapers, films, books - both fact and fiction - and television programmes all illustrate the public's fascination with crime. Academics are no exception. However, it is the killers themselves who are usually the stars, both in research and fiction. This thesis argues that it is the victims and their families that propel the narrative and are the real storytellers. This research explores the complex nature of the relationship between the families and the media, and how the relatives coped with being under the media spotlight. It also details how the victims' narrative contributed to the increased media attention and what benefits this might bring. Using thematic analysis, informed by grounded theory and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, the thesis concludes that, counter to public perception, the relationship between victim families and the media is not purely extractive and is in fact mutually beneficial. Interviews with ten people who lost relatives to serial murder show that journalists provide a role as a quasitherapist, and reveal how families manipulate the media in a way similar to seasoned public relations professionals. While themes involving negative interactions were expected, it was noted that there were also positives for families affected by serial murder engaging with the media.
Supervisor: Wilson, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: L300 Sociology ; M200 Law by Topic ; P500 Journalism