Upcoming event: Romantic Terrorism – How He Gets into Her Head

sharon

Please join us at the next Crime and Justice Research Centre Seminar Series for Romantic Terrorism – How He Gets into Her Head
with Associate Professor Sharon Hayes.

Thursday 7 May 2015
3.00pm – 4.30pm, afternoon tea provided
Room C412, Level 4, C Block, QUT Gardens Point Campus, 2 George St, Brisbane Read more

Supporting Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence: RSVP by 17 April 2015

Supporting Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence: Challenges and Recommendations for Justice Responses

QUT’s Crime and Justice Research Centre and CQU’s Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research for a discussion about research and practice to improve justice responses to domestic and family violence in Queensland. We welcome practitioners, survivors, scholars, students and community members to attend this community event.

Date: Tuesday 21 April 2015
Time: 1.30pm – 5.00pm with afternoon tea provided from 3.30pm – 4.00pm          Location: SLQ Auditorium 2,
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane, 4101
see map here

Please RSVP by Friday 17 April 2015 to enquiries@cjrc.qut.edu.au

Panel 1: Domestic violence: Improving systems responses to Indigenous survivors

Research Perspective
Who’s failing whom? From policy to criminology: The potential consequences of Indigenous children’s exposure to family violence and its impact on Indigenous families and communities.
Dr Kylie Cripps
Indigenous Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

Practice Perspective
Key challenges and recommendations for improving legal systems responses to survivors: Regional and metropolitan experiences
Wynetta Dewis and Hayley Smith
Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service

Panel 2: Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence

Research Perspective
Muslim women’s experiences with the criminal justice system in Australia: Reporting intimate partner violence
Dr Nada Ibrahim
Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

Practice Perspective
Domestic violence and the criminal law: Can we do this better?
Her Honour Judge Fleur Y Kingham
District Court Judge, Queensland

enquiries@cjrc.qut.edu.au

cdfvr cqu

 

 

 

 

 

Crime on a desert island (part five): Music about crime

This Old Guitar
Image cca Alan Levine This Old Guitar

by Dean Biron

Music and crime are most commonly associated through notions of illegal downloading, the lyrics and lifestyles of “gangsta” rappers, or heavy metal musicians supposedly exhorting young people to deviance. In the 1980s, links between certain types of rock music and antisocial or even criminal behaviour were widely feared, to the extent that in the US, the wives of several government officials – most infamously Tipper Gore, partner of Senator Al Gore – founded the Parents Music Resource Centre, in an attempt to deny children access to music they claimed threatened the very foundations of society.

Of course, music and crime have long between intertwined. Countless classical opera scores are drenched in blood. In Giuseppe Verdi’s Rigoletto (1851), for instance, the protagonist enters into a bargain with an assassin, with unforseen deadly consequences. A century on, the Mississippi Delta blues musician Robert Johnson was said to have sold his soul to the devil: the result was a handful of legendary songs and an early death, allegedly poisoned by a jealous husband.

In the 1960s, The Beatles revelled in their image of four clean-cut and fun-loving young men, whereas the Rolling Stones were considered to best represent the malevolent, dangerous side of rock and roll. The status of the latter seemed only to be confirmed by the 1969 Altamont Speedway concert, where the Hells Angels – hired as “stage security” by the band for $500 worth of beer” – went on a spree of violence which culminated in a fan being stabbed to death in front of the stage (images captured in the 1970 documentary film Gimme Shelter). Yet the Beatles too were unsuspectingly dragged into the dark regions of sixties counterculture when petty criminal and cult leader Charles Manson used their songs “Helter Skelter” and “Piggies” as incitements to mass murder.

Musicians have also used the song form as social commentary, often in an attempt to right perceived injustices. Bob Dylan wrote several of these, the most famous being “Hurricane,” about boxer Ruben Hurricane Carter’s wrongful conviction for murder.

Here are 10 pieces of music with explicit links to crime:

  1. Send me to the ‘lectric Chair” by Bessie Smith (1927)
  2. “Hurricane” by Bob Dylan (1976)
  3. “Tired Eyes” by Neil Young (1975) – story of drug deal gone wrong.
  4. “Millie Pulled a Pistol on Santa” by De la Soul (1992) – the “daisy” rap band expanded their repertoire in this gripping tale of sexual abuse.
  5. “The Mercy Seat” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (1988) – the “mercy seat” refers to the electric chair.
  6. “Rape Me” by Nirvana (1993) – an anti-rape song, though it was subsequently banned from radio because of the title.
  7. “Nebraska” by Bruce Springsteen (1982) – story of mass killer Charles Starkweather.
  8. “Midnight Rambler” by the Rolling Stones (1969)
  9. “Poptones” by Public Image Ltd (1979)
  10. Kristallnacht by John Zorn (1993) – a musical meditation on the “night of broken glass”, the notorious Nazi crime perpetrated against the Jews in November of 1938.

 

 

 

 

 

Supporting Survivors of Domestic and Family Violence: Challenges and Recommendations for Justice Responses

Please join QUT’s Crime and Justice Research Centre and CQU’s Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research for a discussion about research and practice to improve justice responses to domestic and family violence in Queensland. We welcome practitioners, survivors, scholars, students and community members to attend this community event.

Date: Tuesday 21 April 2015
Time: 1.30pm – 5.00pm with afternoon tea provided from 3.30pm – 4.00pm          Location: SLQ Auditorium 2,
State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, Stanley Place, South Bank, Brisbane, 4101
see map here

Please RSVP by Friday 17 April 2015 to enquiries@cjrc.qut.edu.au

Panel 1: Domestic violence: Improving systems responses to Indigenous survivors

Research Perspective
Who’s failing whom? From policy to criminology: The potential consequences of Indigenous children’s exposure to family violence and its impact on Indigenous families and communities.
Dr Kylie Cripps
Indigenous Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales

Practice Perspective
Key challenges and recommendations for improving legal systems responses to survivors: Regional and metropolitan experiences
Wynetta Dewis and Hayley Smith
Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service

Panel 2: Criminal Justice Responses to Domestic Violence

Research Perspective
Muslim women’s experiences with the criminal justice system in Australia: Reporting intimate partner violence
Dr Nada Ibrahim
Queensland Centre for Domestic and Family Violence Research

Practice Perspective
Domestic violence and the criminal law: Can we do this better?
Her Honour Judge Fleur Y Kingham
District Court Judge, Queensland

enquiries@cjrc.qut.edu.au

cdfvr cqu

 

 

 

 

 

Crime on a desert island (part four): Prison films

John

by Professor John Scott

 

While few prison films have enjoyed widespread appeal, save, perhaps The Shawshank Redemption (1994), they have enjoyed an enduring place in cinema and television. The golden age of prison cinema was perhaps the 1930s, which spawned classics such as I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932), which used the prison to examine social justice themes amidst the turmoil of The Great Depression. A brief revival of the genre during the 1960s produced classics such as the Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Cool Hand Luke (1967) and there has been a steady stream of such film since, with television now a home for the genre with programs such as Prison Break (2005) and Orange is the New black (2013).

 

Unlike other genres, prison films have frequently drawn upon real events for inspiration. They place the individual against an uncaring and cruel state penal apparatus. Despite this, few prison films seem to have motivated popular movements for penal reform and it be concluded that a large part of the appeal of the genre is a voyeuristic fascination with confinement and the barbarities it entails.

 

In an age where so much of the spectacle of punishment is hidden from view, prison dramas provide an opportunity to glimpse into a secluded space occupied by Criminal Others.  Another appeal of the genre may be a latent homoeroticism contained in many prison movies. Indeed, a motif in many is camaraderie among men and prison stories often have reference to bonding between younger and older men, be it in comedies such as Porridge (1974-1977) or more serious films such as Shawshank. In this way, these films are as much en exploration of masculinity as they are explorations of social justice. While women prison populations are increasing, only a handful of films have been made about women’s experiences of confinement. One of the more exceptional these is the Irish/UK production Magdalene Sisters (2002).

 

Pornography, both gay and heterosexual, has been littered with references to prisons.  The prison at once provides an opportunity to exploit same-sex eroticism, but it also is a forum in which to explore power with its obvious connections with sadomasochism and B&D.  In mid-2014 six people were arrested in San Francisco protesting a prison themed gay Pride party. Protesters were concerned that the organizers of the event would trivialise the experience of confinement given historical relations between sexual and other minorities and law enforcement.

So here are tend films to see which will make being confined to a desert island seem like a holiday:

  1. Cool Hand Luke (1967). Directed by Stuart Rosenberg (1927-2007) and staring Paul Newman (1925-2008) in the title role. Famous for the line ‘What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate’.
  2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Directed by Frank Darabont (1959-) and starring Time Robbins (1958-) and Morgan Freeman (1937-). Adapted from a novella by horror writer Steven King (1947-).
  3. Midnight Express (1978).  Directed by Alan Parker (1944-), with Brad David (1949-1991) as Billy Hayes, a convicted drug smuggler who was imprisoned in Turkey between 1970-1975.
  4. Escape from Alcatraz (1979). Once again, teams director Don Siegel (1912-1991) with Clint Eastwood (1930-), following success of Dirty Harry (1971). Dramatizes what might have been the only successful escape from the maximum security prison island in 1960.
  5. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). Directed by John Frankenheimer (1930-2002), with standout performance from Burt Lancaster (1913-1994) in the title role as real life inmate Robert Stroud, who keeps birds as pets in prison and becomes an expert on bird diseases.
  6. Papillon (1973). Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (1920-1989), with Steve McQueen (1930-1980) in the title role as real-life safe-cracker and murderer Henri Charrière (Papillon), sentenced to the notorious French penal colony of Devil’s Island off the coast of French Guiana.
  7. Dead Man Walking (1995). Directed by Tim Robbins (1958-), tells the story of Sister Helen, played by Susan Sarandon (1946-) in an Oscar winning role, who advocates for a death row rapist and Killer played by Sean Penn (1960).
  8. Hunger (2008). Irish film directed by Steve McQueen (1969-) and starring Michael Fassbender (1977-) as Bobby Sands who led a 1981 hunger strike in which IRA prisoners protested against the removal of their Special Category Status.
  9. Chopper (2000). Australian autobiographical film based on the exploits of Mark ‘Chopper’ Read. Directed by Andrew Dominik (1967-) and starring Eric Bana (1968-) in the title role.
  10. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975). Directed by Milos Foreman (1932-) and starring Jack Nicholson (1937-) as a recidivist criminal who seeks a transfer from a prison farm to the more ‘relaxed’ environment of a mental institution.

 Next week: true crime.

Crime on a desert island (part two): The serial killer

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Blog post by Professor John Scott

The serial killer is a modern invention and an integral part of crime and popular culture. The rise of the serial killer shadows that of the detective and the serial killer shares many traits with the classic detectives, such as mystical or almost supernatural abilities. Indeed, superheroes such as Batman may represent an amalgam of both.

The daddy (few pop cultural serial killers have been women) of al serial killers is Jack the Ripper, the epithet given to a perpetrator (or perpetrators) who committed at least five brutal murders of women in London in the year 1888 (over 125 years ago). Of course, what we all know about Jack the Ripper has nothing to do with the actual crimes themselves, or the lives of the victims, or of the men who investigated them (detectives were always men back then). Our knowledge comes from stories we have read, television shows we have viewed, narratives both specific to the case and narratives, which have somehow been influenced by it. The Jack the Ripper case has become so infamous and has been so long pondered over as to have led to the coining of the term “ripperology” – the study of the Jack the Ripper crimes.

The serial killer is a relatively rare beast in society and it goes without saying (the statistics have proven this over and over again) that we are far more likely to experience violence at the hands of someone known to us in our home environment than from a sadistic psychopath who targets strangers. Yet our overarching fear of the random killer persists. Part of this fear is a distrust of modernity and all that it promised in terms of the ability to at once explain and control crime. The serial killer captures the unpredictability of crime, its randomness and the inability of scientific methods to predict and control crime. And while we may deplore their crimes, there is no doubt that we attracted to their presence on the screen.

  1. Psycho (1960). Directed by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) and featuring Anthony Perkins (1932-1992) as killer Norman Bates.
  2. Silence of the Lambs (1991). Directed by Jonathan Demme (1944-) and featuring Anthony Hopkins (1937-) as killer Hannibal Lecter.
  3. Jack the Ripper (1988). Mini-series featuring Michael Caine (1933+) as historical figure Chief Inspector Frank Abberline of Scotland Yard.
  4. Zodiac (2007). Directed by David Fincher (1962-) and based on Zodiac murders in the san Francisco bay area of 1960s-1970s.
  5. M (1931). Early German film directed by Fritz Lang (1890-1076) and starring Peter Lorre (1904-1964) in a career defining role as a deranged child murderer.
  6. Se7en (1995). Directed by David Fincher (1962-) and featuring Brad Pitt (1963-) as a police officer tracking a serial killer.
  7. 10 Rillington Place (1971). Based on true events and directed by David Fleischer (1916-2006) with Richard Attenborough (1923-2014) as real-life serial killer John Christie.
  8. The Boston Strangler (1968).  Based on true events and directed by David Fleischer (1916-2006) with Tony Curtis (1925-2010) as real-life serial killer Albert DeSalvo.
  9. Badlands (1973).  Directed by Terrance Malick (1943) and based on events which occurred in South Dakota in 1958.  Starring Sissy Spaceck (1949-) and Martin Sheen (1940-).
  10. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Directed by Tobe Hooper (1943-), this is the mother of all ‘slasher’ films

Next week: Court Room Drama