Modern audiences have an appetite for true crime, and particularly stories that involve murder.
As we sink deeper into our sofas to select yet another grisly crime series, here we have an investigation of our very own. But this time our crime scenes are filled not with murders and cold cases, but with us - the consumer, and also, active producers of these narratives.
The Murder Society podcast is hosted by Dr Maria Mellins, Senior Lecturer Film, Criminology and Sociology at St Mary's University, Twickenham.
In this first episode we are introduced to the central themes of risk and fear in society and consider the appeals of true crime. The podcast includes clips from Ted Bundy's call to psychologist and Ed Kemper's account of hitchhiker murders and wel also speak to Dr S Moore about fear in everyday life.
Using case studies of Joanna Yeates and Elizabeth Stacey, this episode considers missing white woman syndrome, and the construction of female murder victims/survivors. The episode features interviews with Dr Sarah Moore, author of Crime in the Media (2014) and Dr Carole Murphy, a leading researcher from the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery.
Drawing on cases such as Amélie Delagrange, Madeleine McCann, and murder/suicide of the Harts family, we consider how true crime can be linked to cautionary ‘warning’ stories. We also reflect on the fixation with beautiful, dead women in popular culture. Interviews in this episode include Dr S Moore, an expert on female victims of Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault, and a retired Murder Squad detective.
Murder entertainment is a lucrative business with wide consumer appeal. This episode outlines murder markets including murderbilia and true crime tours. We also consider celebrity death and the links between serial killers and fans. In this episode we interview Michael Buchanan-Dunne on his award winning Murder Mile walk, and Dr Richard Mills, expert on The Beatles and celebrity death.
The final episode of series one concludes major themes such as the representation of victims, true crime narrative construction, and murder collectibles. It features an interview with true crime writer and psychoanalyst Mikita Brottman (Thirteen Girls, An Unexplained Death, and the Forensic Transmissions).