Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
Gender & Women's Studies
©2020 Alexandra E White
Most mainstream true crime narratives revolve around a corpse. It is usually the body of a woman. The body is most often white. Not always, but in the cultural imaginary, she is blonde. She comes from a good family. She was a sweet girl. What happened to her? While this question haunts the general public, it also animates true crime communities as the victim becomes a symbol of innocence, a site of spectacular violence, and evidence of the incomprehensible extreme of human behavior. The question brings (primarily) white, cis women true crime fans together in the name of fascination, fear, sorrow, rage, and justice -- or, what I refer to as white feminist true crime. This thesis intervenes in the white, carceral feminist hegemony in true crime media to insist instead on intersectional feminist true crime storytelling that transforms notions of death care, communal grief, vulnerability, memory, kinship, activism, and justice. As I critique the white feminist bias of true crime and trouble its representation of death, I also consider what true crime storytelling and community-building offer intersectional feminism. I lay out the case for a true crime storytelling that expands the categories of “victim,” “perpetrator,” and “violence” in conversation with intersectional feminist organizing and scholarship.
White, Alexandra, ""May We Be Buried Alive Together": Towards an Intersectional Feminist True Crime Praxis" (2020). Pomona Senior Theses. 231.