Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Gender & Women's Studies

Reader 1

Aimee Bahng

Reader 2

Roberto Sirvent

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

©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.