Wanted man: a conceptual review of the role of dark tourism, in facilitating the exploration of unsolved cold case murders

Robinson, N and Dale, C 2009, Wanted man: a conceptual review of the role of dark tourism, in facilitating the exploration of unsolved cold case murders , in: Tourist Experiences: Meanings, Motivations, Behaviours, 1-4 April 2009, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.

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Dark Tourism is by definition the consumption of tourism related to the macabre and horrific (Robinson & Dale 2007). Over recent years with the evolution of the global media village, news events have become far more accessible than ever before and with this, consumer interest has increased greatly around such events. The increased propensity to travel and higher disposable incomes has meant that individuals can now visit locations, which have often been televised and associated with a particular event or atrocity. Nowhere is this more apparent when visiting places where murders have taken place. This includes, for example, 25 Cromwell Street (Fred and Rose West Murders), 10 Rillington Place (John Reginald Christie) & Cranleigh Gardens (Dennis Nielson). Some murders can remain unsolved over a period of time and become forgotten, with the perpetrator still at large. Dark tourism offers a way to rekindle societies memory of such events and possibly lead to the apprehension and prosecution of an individual. The authors propose a model that uses the environmental ergonomics of the location (such as location of murder, significance of environment to the offenders knowledge of the location) and offers an organic predicting tool / environmental check list that can be used by investigators to better understand the possible motivations of the offender, his / her knowledge of the environment and possible links that the offender might have with the infrastructure of the location where the murder was committed (e.g. railway station, car park, public toilets etc). The proposed model is then applied to an unsolved North West murder, (Joan Harrison, Preston (UK) 1975) a quasi cold case review approach is applied to the murder, with the model being employed to identify the offenders profile and possible knowledge of the location. This paper aims to appraise the phenomenon of cold case murders by members of the community. This type of dark tourism activity acts as a post-modern form of murder mystery where the act of murder itself becomes commodified and the public themselves attempt to solve the cold case murder and engage in offender profiling.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects / Themes > G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Subjects / Themes > H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 06 May 2009 09:40
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 17:41
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/1934

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