From ‘forensic narratives’ to ‘narratives of forensics’: telling stories about the murder of Gay Gibson

Neale, Alexa (2021) From ‘forensic narratives’ to ‘narratives of forensics’: telling stories about the murder of Gay Gibson. In: Mellins, Maria and Moore, Sarah (eds.) Critiquing Violent Crime in the Media. Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 77-111. ISBN 9783030837570

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This chapter critiques crime in the media by identifying the origins of damaging narratives which blame women victims for violence by men. By tracking stories about the 1947 murder of Gay Gibson by James Camb from news media and archived trial documents, through iterations of the narrative over more than seventy years, I identify the forensic contexts of courtroom and capital punishment as critical to comprehending the construction and reincarnation of misogynistic tropes. Moreover, overlooking these contexts in favour of overstating DNA and other scientific evidence has consequences for contemporary justice. By restyling the Gibson murder as a ‘cold case’, selectively reinvestigating partial evidence and jurifying the public via social media, a tabloid press publisher and television documentary have retrospectively re-silenced Camb’s victims. This article argues that stories about historical crime in the media are telling of attitudes to gender and justice in the present as much as the past.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2021 09:55
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2022 17:24

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Black Books: The Institutional Memory of Hanging and Mercy at the Home OfficeG2465LEVERHULME TRUSTECF-2018-448