Crime and Culture in the Much Bigger Picture: HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’

I just read a review of a new docu-series on HBO, Exterminate All the Brutes, which seems fitting for the discussion of this blog. The series takes a long and broad look at the ways "whiteness" has been shaped and enforced around the globe and in the modern age. More explicitly, the four-part series is … Continue reading Crime and Culture in the Much Bigger Picture: HBO’s ‘Exterminate All the Brutes’

American Neo-Noir and the Postcolonial Unconscious

I’m taking a turn down some adjacent Crime Fiction “noir” paths right now. I’ve been watching some “neo noir” American films, and reading some cultural theory around the noir genre. Last month, I watched a 1981 film that can be considered part of the American neo-noir trend of that period: Sharky’s Machine, directed by and … Continue reading American Neo-Noir and the Postcolonial Unconscious

Making an Appeal: The critical crime and culture takes of Aja Romano

This post is a little different from my usual “Making an Appeal” posts. Instead of pointing to a publication venue or organization that is circulating fresh and critical takes on crime and crime media, I want to single out a particular culture writer who is logging cultural criticism that is well-researched and attuned to the … Continue reading Making an Appeal: The critical crime and culture takes of Aja Romano

An Interview with an MFM Facebook Group Admin

I’ve talked a bit about the style and content of the popular true crime comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, launched in 2016 by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff (see here, here, and here). The show is a significant milestone in the true crime economy. It re-circulates stories already established as true crime morbid worthy, and … Continue reading An Interview with an MFM Facebook Group Admin

Making an Appeal: The Marshall Project

If you watched Netflix’s Unbelievable, or read the non-fiction book, A False Report, then you’ve already encountered the work of The Marshall Project. Named for the civil rights lawyer and first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court, The Marshall Project works “to elevate the criminal justice issue to one of national … Continue reading Making an Appeal: The Marshall Project

Glossary: What is a trope, and what do tropes have to do with crime?

This blog uses the word “trope” a lot. Let’s pause for a bit to talk about what a trope is and does. In the knowledge fields of rhetoric and poetics, a trope refers to any device that performs a substitutive role. That means a trope is a kind of replacement: a word or phrase that … Continue reading Glossary: What is a trope, and what do tropes have to do with crime?

Just a tidbit I came across: data analysis of crime TV dramas indicates that fictional victims are overwhelmingly white women

U.S. Television’s “Mean World” for White Women: The Portrayal of Gender and Race on Fictional Crime Dramas, July 2015, Sex Roles 73(1):70-82. Authors: Scott Parrott and Caroline Titcomb Parrott From the research abstract: A quantitative content analysis examined gender and racial stereotypes concerning victim and offender status in fictional crime-based dramas from the 2010–2013 seasons … Continue reading Just a tidbit I came across: data analysis of crime TV dramas indicates that fictional victims are overwhelmingly white women

The ‘gateway body’ and crime narratives: trafficking in white feminism

When reading Tanya Horeck’s Justice on Demand earlier this year, a reference to something called “the gateway body” caught my interest. Horeck’s book, which I reviewed here, is a media-studies look at true crime in the current post-tv, serialized and digitally-networked era. One chapter in that book focuses on the way popular true crime series, … Continue reading The ‘gateway body’ and crime narratives: trafficking in white feminism

Edmond Locard’s “Exchange Principle”

Edmond Locard (1877-1966) was a French criminologist and is considered the “father of forensic science.” His most famous legacy is probably “Locard’s Exchange Principle,” which is the basic notion that “Every contact leaves a trace.” More specifically, whenever two objects come into contact, there is always a transfer of material. This principle is a foundation … Continue reading Edmond Locard’s “Exchange Principle”