1st Edition

True Crime in American Media

Edited By George S. Larke-Walsh Copyright 2023

    This book explores contemporary American true crime narratives across various media formats. It dissects the popularity of true crime and the effects, both positive and negative, this popularity has on perceptions of crime and the justice system in contemporary America.

    As a collection of new scholarship on the development, scope, and character of true crime in twenty-first century American media, analyses stretch across film, streaming/broadcast TV, podcasts, and novels to explore the variety of ways true crime pervades modern culture. The reader is guided through a series of interconnected topics, starting with an examination of the contemporary success of true crime, the platforms involved, the narrative structures and engagement with audiences, moving on to debates on representation and the ethics involved in portraying both victims and perpetrators of crime within the genre.

    This collection provides new critical work on American true crime media for all interested readers, and especially scholars and students in the humanities and social sciences. It offers a significant area of research in social sciences, criminology, media, and English Literature academic disciplines.

    Notes on Contributors



    George S. Larke-Walsh

    Beyond Entertainment: Podcasting and the Criminal Justice Reform "Niche"

    Lindsey Sherrill

    Chasing the Truth: Making a Murderer, Historical Narrativity and the Global Netflix Event

    Caitlin Shaw

    True Crime Adaptations and the Many Faces of the Atlanta Monster

    Kyle A. Hammonds

    True Crime, True Representation? Race and Injustice Narratives in Wrongful Conviction Podcasts

    Robin Blom, Gabriel B. Tait, Gwyn Hultquist, Ida S. Cage, and Melodie K. Griffin

    Unresolved - Narrative Strategies in an Unsolved True Crime: Depictions of the JonBenét Ramsey Killing

    Elayne Chaplin and Melissa Chaplin

    Breaking Silences, or Perpetuating Myths: Images of Mafia Violence in True Crime Documentary

    George S. Larke-Walsh and Blake J. Wahlert

    ‘Exquisitely Criminal Production Music’: Television, Ethics and the Sound of True Crime

    Toby Huelin

    Barthes's "Grand Project" and the Negative Capability of Contemporary True Crime: On Errol Morris’s A Wilderness of Error

    Michael Buozis

    My Friend Dahmer: A Graphic‐Narrative Search for the Origins of Evil

    Jesús Jiménez-Varea

    Forensic Fandom: True Crime, Citizen Investigation and Social Media

    Bethan Jones

    "What Else Can I Add?": Inverting the Narrative through Female Perspectives in Falling for A KillerMy Favorite Murder, and Murder, Mystery & MakeUp.

    Stella Marie Gaynor


    George S. Larke-Walsh is a Full-Time Lecturer at the University of Sunderland, UK.