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Remediating the “Yorkshire Ripper” event in the era of feminist true crime

Hamad, Hannah ORCID: 2023. Remediating the “Yorkshire Ripper” event in the era of feminist true crime. Boyle, Karen and Berridge, Susan, eds. Routledge Companion to Gender, Media and Violence, Routledge, pp. 242-250.
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On 10th March 2021 the phrase ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ trended on Twitter in the UK in response to discourse circulating about the disappearance of London woman Sarah Everard, who was found murdered in Kent that day, a week after going missing from south London. This Twitter response revealed parallels being drawn between current events and the notorious killings and attempted killings of women in the north of England from 1975-1980 that came to be known in popular parlance as the ‘Yorkshire Ripper murders.’ Noteworthy were parallels drawn concerning the victim-blaming that underpinned entreaties of police then and now for women not to walk alone at night. Closer scrutiny revealed the impetus for drawing these parallels for many Twitter users, was their recent viewing of documentary series The Ripper, which dropped just weeks earlier on 16th December 2020, and which by 24th December was the second most viewed title on Netflix UK. The Ripper shines a light on victim-blaming that characterised official discourse presenting as advice to women from authorities about how to stay safe while the perpetrator remained at large, and that manifested in the policing of women’s behaviours and movements in the form of calls for a night-time curfew on women, and negatively judgmental censure of those who walked out alone after dark. This chapter deals with the legacy of this case in contemporary media culture, focussing on texts and contexts, and arguing for this series’ status as symptomatic of what Tanya Horeck terms ‘feminist true crime.’

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781003200871
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 February 2024
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2024 14:05

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