Faceless: High-profile murders and public recognition

Brookes, Michael and Wilson, David and Yardley, Elizabeth and Rahman, Mohammed and Rowe, Sophie Grace (2015) Faceless: High-profile murders and public recognition. Crime, Media, Culture, 11 (1). pp. 61-76. ISSN 17416590 (ISSN)

Faceless Post-Print Version.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (589kB)


This paper reports on the outcome of an investigation into whether or not members of the public would recognise high-profile victims and perpetrators and, if so, whom. The study was based on the premise that prominent media coverage would cause a greater number of perpetrators to be recognised than victims and that those victims who were recognised would be white children. Field research was conducted in a university and in non-university settings, such as fast food outlets, bus stops and shopping centres. All 20 images used were black and white headshots. Most photographs showed one person, but two photographs had two images. A total of 103 people were surveyed. The majority of our sample (78%) were unable to name any victims or perpetrators. These results provide strong evidence to suggest that despite 24-hour rolling news and the prominence of high-profile victims and perpetrators on the front pages of national newspapers, the public fails to remember who these victims and perpetrators are. We discuss why this may be so. © The Author(s) 2015.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Unmapped bibliographic data: AD - Centre for Applied Criminology, School of Social Science, Birmingham City University, Perry-Barr, Birmingham, United Kingdom [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints] M3 - Article [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1741659014567969
23 April 2015Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: High profile, media coverage, murders, public recognition
Subjects: CAH15 - social sciences > CAH15-01 - sociology, social policy and anthropology > CAH15-01-02 - sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences > Dept. Criminology and Sociology
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2016 11:58
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2022 15:55
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1744

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


In this section...