Serial Murders Through the View of Media

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Serial Killer Essay Introduction

It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that contemporary mass media has a significant impact on the informational awareness of the community. Needless to say, such a strong controversy as serial murder is reported in mass media on a regular basis. However, mass media is known to deliver information that is not entirely objective because it reports about a certain event from the perspective of some discourse. This tendency can be traced in reporting about political issues, although the same phenomenon can also be observed in the coverage of serial murders as they may have a specific social or political impact. This trend, however, happens to be fairly insignificant. Well-defined subjectivity of the contemporary mass media can be observed but it is not significant as long as it is not aimed at modifying the perceptions of the target audience. Some discourses may be present, but their impact is not primarily aimed at rendering a particular message to the readers. Consequently, leading mass media resources prefer to depict serial murders objectively as they rely heavily on the investigation details and expert opinion of the officials.

 

The New York Times: Serial Murder in Connecticut

The article published in The New York Times describes the results of serial murder in Connecticut. More remains of victims were found in 2007. This serial murder was particularly intriguing for the mass media because victims were found at different times. Moreover, murders were committed near a shopping center so that these were crimes committed in public. Needless to say, the media paid primary attention to this tragedy. The article described the murder objectively since the main purpose was to help the public get to know new information regarding the murders. Hence, the event was covered with reporting about investigation results rather than comments on the fact of murder. However, the article does not suggest any theory or investigation hypothesis so that the motives and circumstances of the murder are not covered in it. The article characterizes the murder as a threat to society and quotes a statement that it will not happen again (The Associated Press, 2015). Therefore, this murder is estimated to pose a threat to public safety, especially in regard to the fact that most of the murders were committed not far from the shopping center.

The Los Angeles Times: Serial Murder in the Whole History

This article was published in the Los Angeles Times in 1991 and revealed certain facts about the potentially violent serial murder in the whole history. In addition, the newspaper managed to collect sufficient information about the investigation so that multiple opinions and ideas were reported in the article. The article described the murder in the light of the investigation process so that various officials reported about numerous details of the serial murder (May 1991). This produced an effect of horrifying amazement since the article positioned the murder as a hard-to-believe phenomenon. It is certainly true, however, since the murderer was suspected in more than 60 acts of homicide (May 1991).

To explain such a position, it is worth saying that the article described an investigation as linked to the other serial murder. This was the basic theory discussed by the author of the article complying with an official version. The article reported that officials were not completely sure about the relation between two series of murders, but suggested that they had enough evidence, so it was supposed to be the cruelest serial murder in the entire history. The emphasis is placed on the relation between serial murders which is why its extents were considered to be the main characteristics of the given serial murder.

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The Los Angeles Times: Serial Murder in India

This article is also published in the Los Angeles Times, although it reports about a different serial murder that was committed in India. It becomes increasingly apparent that the article focuses more on the fact that a serial killer managed to bribe some of the local police officers (Los Angeles Times, 2007). This presents a particular interest in the newspaper as long as such evidence was detected in a foreign country. Consequently, a discourse of the article is entirely different in comparison with serial murders committed in the United States. That is why the serial murder was presented as an average event in India. The article did not criticize the murderer or the bribed policemen.

In many respects, the article belongs to a category of international news so that it could have been substituted by any other event. The article did not cover any of the criminal theories and admitted the fact of the bribery. The article suggested that the bribery was a hint for a certain motive of the murder, but none of the predictions came true (Los Angeles Times, 2007). Overall, the article described the murder as an average event, especially for India. However, it did not place the event in some cross-cultural or political discourse, although attitude to the same serial murder in the U.S. would have been entirely different.

The Huffington Post: the Murders of Six Women

This article discusses the sixth murder in a series of murders that are suggested to be connected. The article is published in the Huffington Post tracing the entire sequence of murders. The serial murder is intriguing for the newspaper as well as the publicity since all six killings were committed within 13 months, and victims seem to belong to the same social circle (Lohr, 2015). The serial murder is described as a mysterious event because no distinct details about suspects and motives of the crime are available. The article suggests that there must be some relation between the murders, but the officials have not yet identified it (Lohr, 2015).

Thus, the serial murder is depicted as a number of murders committed due to some secret motive. The article claims that all six women seem to know each other so that the murders of these women are expected to hide some information from the publicity. Generally speaking, the article considers the serial murder to be based on some complex motive because it is suggested that all murders were planned beforehand. That is why the article describes the serial murder as active so that new victims can be expected.

Daily Mail: Criticizes the Actions of the Police

This article was published in Daily Mail and described the serial murder in the neighborhood of Los Angeles. The main striking fact from the article is based on a prediction that the killer must have committed more murders that he was accused of, which is why the police were blamed for blindness (Carter, 2015). The serial murder caused an initiative of filming a documentary so that the serial murder became quite well-known across society. The article presents the serial murder as the most violent crime in history since more than 180 people disappeared in Los Angeles for 25 years (Carter, 2015). The article’s discourse is based on the materials of the documentary as the police seem not to know enough facts.

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At the same time, the article criticizes the actions of the police as most of the murders were committed to black drug addicts and prostitutes. The police did not demonstrate sufficient determination to investigate the case. The article claims that the murders were not based on some particular motive because the murderer committed them after having sexual intercourse with the victims. Thus, the sexual motive is quite apparent, and it greatly depends on the killer’s psyche. The article depicted the serial murder as a potentially most violent crime in history, which seems to be unsolved completely because of the passive participation of the police.

The Los Angeles Times: the Murderer Shot Himself

This article has also been published by the Los Angeles Times. It describes a serial murder that included killings of people within two days. Needless to say, such an event attracted the attention of mass media since it was a distinct threat to public safety. Furthermore, the murderer shot himself. He was reported to have some problems with the law in the past, especially when he served in the U.S. Army in 1999 (Alvarez, Kelley, & Saillant, 2005).

The serial murder was presented as a sequence of events with comments of the witnesses so that the article did not place the serial murder at a subjective angle. The main motive for the murder was claimed to be related to the fact that victims were relatives of the attorney that publicly proclaimed the murderer to be socially dangerous. Hence, the article assumed that the crime was grounded on the purpose of revenge. The article characterized the serial murder as an action that was taken by a person who seems to be mentally unhealthy. The article gave an account of the past experience of the murderer and emphasized on his being presented to a court-martial for the absence of timely reports. Besides, the murderer has recently filed a divorce, and these circumstances might have influenced his mental well-being.

Boston Globe: Shooting in San Bernardino

The article by Boston Globe covers the recent shooting in San Bernardino that resulted in at least 14 deaths (Myers & Pritchard, 2015). This is the cruelest serial murder in recent years, and it is related to a current debate regarding weapon handling limitations. Besides, one of the motives is assumed to be terrorism which is why such a strong reaction of mass media is quite obvious. The article presents the events of the serial murder briefly while background and preparation for the crime were discussed in detail. The article outlined all the information available without making any specific comments.

Since the President made a public speech after the tragedy, the article also included a paradigm of some legal issues as unrestricted ownership of weapons was a subject to state and federal governments. As it was initially mentioned, the main motives for the serial murder were terrorism or workplace violence (Myers & Pritchard, 2015). The police are trying to draw the link between the serial murder and recent actions of the couple that used the weapon in the area. The article depicted the tragedy as one of the most violent crimes in recent decades and admitted that the tragedy might have been a terroristic act as indicated by the available evidence.

The Telegraph: a Serial Murder in Goa, India

This article was published by The Telegraph. It describes a serial murder in Goa, India. The article is dedicated to this event because Goa is a well-known beach resort so that it is visited by many people around the world. It is hard to argue that such a homicide was expected to be reported in the major sources of mass media. The article described the sequence of events and compared it with some other cases of violence in Goa.

The article focused on the fact that it was an extremely violent crime and indicated that Goa was not an entirely safe place for holidays. Generally speaking, the serial murder was presented as an unexpected tragedy, but the frequency of such cases was suggested to be relatively high. The article did not provide any criminal theories or official versions of the homicide’s motives (Nelson, 2009). Overall, the article described the serial murder as a violent act, which unfortunately happened in a resort area. Therefore, the newspaper placed the event in the discourse, in which Goa received a negative connotation since violent crimes occur in that region relatively often.

Forbes: the Murder of Ashley Taylor

The article was published by Forbes providing a full-fledged investigation of serial murders. The current article gives an account of the fifth part of the investigation that revolves around the murder of Ashley Taylor (Murphy-Milano, 2011). The entire case is evidently interesting for the newspaper since it covers an issue of a violent relationship. In fact, the murderer committed all crimes based on the above reasons, which is why Forbes emphasized a tendency of growing violence and criminal involvement in modern models of a romantic relationship.

As a result, the article depicted the serial murder as a particular social tendency because the murderer acted, in the same way, multiple times. The article provides meaningful details of the case so that an objective to deliver sufficient knowledge about violence in relationships can be observed in the article. This assumption was taken as a basic criminal theory because the murderer evidently had certain mental problems (Murphy-Milano, 2011). This tendency was also apparent to the official investigation which is why Forbes decided to raise the issue. Eventually, the article concluded that the official investigation had a chance to bring about justice much faster as the serial murder included a wide range of explicit details.

The Washington Post: a Mysterious Serial Murder

The last article written by The Washington Post describes a mysterious serial murder of a woman and two of her sons. The case included an official assumption that the crime was related to witchcraft which is why the newspaper covered this event in detail because it was obviously intriguing and curious to learn about. That is why the article described the murder as some witch ritual related to a so-called blue moon (Moyer, 2015). The article provided an official opinion about the religious motives of the crime. As a matter of fact, the article did not refute the official assumption.

Instead, the article depicted the serial murder as evidence of sober truth that violent rituals were still present in the contemporary civilized society. Thus, the article provided an official forensic approach because the wounds on the victims’ bodies witnessed a certain witchcraft practice. Due to the fact that the serial murder was committed before the event was commonly recognized as witchcraft, the investigation, as well as the article, admitted that the serial murder had all signs of a crime on a religious basis.

Serial Killer Essay Conclusion

It is appropriate to comment on the fact that most of the newspaper articles describe serial murders with relative objectivity. In other words, the articles report about the evidence of serial murder, describing the main events concerning the crime, and providing official commentary. Likewise, the articles refer to the expert opinion of the official investigation. It is worth mentioning that serial murders are criticized implicitly while the content of the articles is more focused on details. Speaking about a common interest in serial murders, the articles cover this topic because of a need to acknowledge certain social problems. At the same time, some articles describe serial murders in order to highlight some social or psychological tendencies because social relations, workplace, and violence are evident in the modern community.

However, some articles covered serial murders because of the presence of a particular discourse. In such a way, it has been identified in the serial killer essay that the articles tend to describe serial murders within the United States as a certain social tragedy while the same crimes in India are depicted as an average event. Likewise, the authors of the articles prefer to cover serial murders, which involve some unusual and unpredicted circumstances or pose a particular threat to the public. That is why a serial murder committed as a result of a witchcraft practice is obviously more intriguing. Regarding all these findings, it is necessary to admit that contemporary mass media manages to deliver relatively objective information about serial murders, but some minor gaps are still present.

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