Killer Kids—A Case Study

  • Sarah Wright MonodEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Risk, Crime and Society book series (PSRCS)


This chapter explores a case of moral panic that emerged in relation to a murder by a group of young people (including a 12-year-old) in Auckland, New Zealand. This is a case that has all the ingredients of a typical moral panic: a horrible event; sensationalist media coverage; a plethora of opinions, diagnoses and remedies; and a proposal to make a knee-jerk law change. The analysis illustrates that it is also a panic that followed a unique trajectory (as all panics do). This chapter considers why it took this shape and finds that features of the case touched on an understanding about the truth of images, a fantasy about criminal ethnic others and an appetite for punitive penal policies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Victoria University of WellingtonWellingtonNew Zealand

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