Victimology. Reporting, suffering and victim profiles


Term Paper, 2014
10 Pages

Excerpt

Contents

I. REPORTING AND SUFFERING

II. VICTIM PROFILES AND VICTIM FAMILY PROFILES

III. FURTHER VICTIMIZATION

IV. SHARE RESPONSIBILITY

V. HARMFUL ACTIVITIES BY OTHER SOCIAL GROUPS AND INSTITUTIONS

VI. RESTORATIVE JUSTICE?

References

I. REPORTING AND SUFFERING

As noted by Karmen (2013), media coverage has given victims with firsthand experiences a public platform to campaign for wider societal reforms. The Curleys was given national attention to their pain when their 10-year-old son, Jeffrey Curley, was murdered.

However, media are in a profit-oriented business. While the media's coverage brought national attention to the horrific crime, at the same time the media benefited from the coverage as well. The media needs advertisers and readers. Jeffrey's murder provided just that. "Shocking stories attract readers, listeners, and viewers," Karmen noted (p. 43). "Blaring headlines, gripping accounts, colorful phrases, memorable quotes, and other forms of media hype build the huge audiences that enable media enterprises to charge advertisers high rates."

Karmen went on to note that producers, editors, and reporters who seek to play up the human-interest angle may exploit the plight of persons who have suffered devastating wounds and losses, having found that crime stories attract a lot more notice if they are spiced up with a heavy dose of sex, gore, and raw emotions.

As noted by Macquarrie (2009), the phone constantly rang. "Reporters from all of the Boston media outlets asked for interviews," noted Macquarrie (p. 62) of the book entitled "The Ride."

The Curley's ordeal fits this mode.

The media gathered outside the Curley's house when news broke about Jeffrey's disappearance. According to Macquarrie (p. 62), "The news media's interest grew exponentially. Dozens of reporters had begun gathering outside the house by midafternoon, local television trucks had secured the few remaining parking spaces near the home. Microphones and notebooks seemed to be everywhere, and Jeffrey Curley's name, as well as his Little League pictures, began appearing regularly on TV throughout Greater Boston."

Another example of the news media thirst for ratings and sales is evident after it had been determined that Jeffrey was killed. Macquarrie noted that the news of Jeffrey's killing dominated Boston's newspapers, television and radio, and his Little League picture became an iconic image of the unimaginable. "Reporters from around the country and Canada began making their way to Hampshire Street, where and impromptu shrine of flowers, candles, prayers, and stuffed animals grew to shoulder height and stretched for nearly a city block.

Clearly, the Curley's private moment of grief was invaded by the media. They turned a personal tragedy into a media circus and public spectacle. This intrusive behavior is often seen as an invasion of privacy, noted Karmen. The media were insensitive during the Curley family's time of suffering. All they wanted to do was get the story because they knew it would sell.

II. VICTIM PROFILES AND VICTIM FAMILY PROFILES

The profile of the victim, Jeffrey Curley, highlights his vulnerability to pedophiles and murderers. According to Karmen, infants, toddlers, youngsters, and even teenagers are vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse by their caretakers. "Children are also highly desirable targets for kidnappers and pedophiles who may be complete strangers, but may also be acquaintances or even close relatives," Kamen noted (p. 219).

Jeffrey was vulnerable because he was young and adventurous. According to Macquarrie (p. 9), Jeffrey was described as "a confident imp who thought nothing of bicycling alone in city traffic. Jeffrey knew all the shortcuts in this working class enclave, all the side streets, and nearly all the neighbors, both the upright and the shady."

According to Macquarrie (p. 9), "More so than his brothers, Jeffrey was an ever-visible, peripatetic presence in the neighborhood, one of the poorest and most crowded in a city better known for Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and activist, brainy intellectuals."

Jeffrey often got a lot of freedom. His parent's separation caused his father to not be around to give him a lot of attention. A pedophile gave him the attentions that he sought. The pedophile, Charles Jaynes lured him into riding with him by promising Jeffrey a bicycle. According to Macquarrie, Jeffrey had lost three bicycles, and his mother had refused to buy another until Christmas. Jeffrey wanted a bicycle at that time. However, his mother said that she could not afford to buy him one until Christmas.

Jaynes had befriended him and had promised to give him a bicycle if he promised to do something for Jaynes. The something was later revealed to be allowing Jaynes to have sex with him. Jeffrey's refusal resulted in his death.

Jaynes had many other outings with him such as a trip to a shopping mall where Jaynes posed in a photo booth with the boy on his lap. According to Macquarrie (p. 21), Jaynes brought Jeffrey to work at least a half dozen times in what he called "this little boy's heaven of gleaming new cars." He had fun roaming the shop at will and chasing his Jaynes with the water hose.

As noted by Karmen, this was a child lure, which are deceitful tricks abductors use to entice them into situations where they are prone to being exploited. "Child lures involve ways of meeting the intended prey, of gaining their trust – perhaps by playing games – and of evading parental supervision," noted Karmen (p. 230).

Jeffrey's mother was not able to supervise him as well as she wanted to because she had to work. The book noted how Barbara, Jeffrey's mother, would use her mother as another layer of supervision for the ten-year old son of a working woman. "The older boys helped fill the role too, and Barbara would call them frequently to check on Jeffrey," noted Macquarrie (p. 11). "But being teenagers, the boys were not natural babysitters." Clearly, Jeffrey was often left alone, unsupervised.

A profile of Jeffrey's family notes that his parents had separated. Depressed, his mother, Barbara, had to work to make ends meet. The father was in his life but was not there as much as Jeffrey needed him to be. His father, Bob, was a firefighter, and he lived with another woman.

According to Macquarrie (p. 139), "In private conversations and public forums, Bob and Barbara heard murmurs and innuendos that their ten-year old had had been given too much freedom. Some talk show hosts bluntly asked where Jeffrey's parents had been."

III. FURTHER VICTIMIZATION

Further victimization did occur for the victim and his family. According to Macquarrie (p. 139), "In private conversations and public forums, Bob and Barbara heard murmurs and innuendos that their ten-year old had been given too much freedom. Some talk show hosts bluntly asked where Jeffrey's parents had been."

[...]

Excerpt out of 10 pages

Details

Title
Victimology. Reporting, suffering and victim profiles
Author
Year
2014
Pages
10
Catalog Number
V293223
ISBN (eBook)
9783656907466
ISBN (Book)
9783656907473
File size
492 KB
Language
English
Tags
victimology, reporting
Quote paper
Louis Howell Jr (Author), 2014, Victimology. Reporting, suffering and victim profiles, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/293223

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