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Fear, Justice, and Modern True Crime

Dawn K. Cecil
Fear, Justice, and Modern True Crime
ISBN: 978-1-62637-901-5
ISBN: 978-1-62637-987-9
2020/181 pages/LC: 2020008494
"Highly recommended.... Cecil deserves congratulations for her compelling analysis."—Lizzie Seal, Contemporary Sociology


For centuries, people have been drawn to true stories of crime and the justice system. But what began primarily as a literary genre focusing on murder has evolved. From docuseries and podcasts to Facebook groups and events such as CrimeCon, modern true crime has become diverse, complex, and interactive. In Fear, Justice, and Modern True Crime, Dawn Cecil examines the genre to uncover the messages it conveys.

Modern true crime, Cecil argues, has the potential to inform people about crime-related issues and the criminal justice system—but it can also reinforce popular stereotypes. Her work deftly unpacks the impact of true crime stories on our perceptions, our fears, and even the process of justice.


Dawn K. Cecil is associate professor of criminology at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. She is author of Prison Life in Popular Culture: From the "Big House" to "Orange Is the New Black."


  • True-Crime Obsessions.
  • The Serial Effect.
  • Modern True Crime.
  • Serial Killers and Notorious Murderers.
  • Missing Persons and Unsolved Mysteries.
  • Wrongful-Conviction Narratives.
  • Fear, Justice, and the Experience of Modern True Crime.