Profiling the Dead

Abramis Academic
Publication Type:
The Profiling Handbook, 2015, 2015, pp. 94 - 105
Issue Date:
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This essay investigates the difficult in profiling the victims of violent crime. ‘Perhaps all writing of the narrative kind is motivated deep down,’ Margaret Atwood has written, ‘by a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring something or someone back from the dead ’ Do writers treat the dead differently, particularly the victims of violent crimes? Are profiles of crime victims handled with less or more respect than profiles of the living? This essay draws on the author’s own experiences of researching two books about two murdered women. One of these women left court documents, personal writings and archival material that shed light on her character; the other left nothing from which a writer could draw material. What are the principles and practices involved in profiling murder victims. How does an author give voice to the dead?
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