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Okt 27

Uggerby å kano

This orgy-centered narrative was bandied about by lawyers in the Italian courtroom, as were terms like “she-devil” and “witch.” But was any of it true? After four years of Knox’s incarceration based on an increasingly shaky set of extracted confessions and problematic forensic evidence, prosecutors’ made-for-late-night version of the crime has finally been snuffed this week. Knox, now officially freed, is heading home to Seattle.All this has left the press to ask,Uggerby å kano somewhat sheepishly: were mainstream theories about Knox’s guilt driven primarily, as Slate.com’s Katie Crouch argued last month, by our collective lust for a kinky tale? This hypothesis, it turns out, does have some historical weight behind it.

Since the advent of the penny press nearly two centuries ago,Uggerby å kano American journalists have done some of their briskest business when selling tales of unlikely female perpetrators – the more frail and photogenic, the better. With each successive decade, the “girl killer” genre of true crime reporting has hewed more and more closely to the fading industry model of d-list porn films: a sloppy mash-up of stock characters (the femme fatale, the lesbian psycho-slasher, etc.) prone either to overly-hasty climaxes, or, inversely, to long, drawn-out sagas that test the stamina of even the most dedicated voyeurs.Here, briefly, are four women in American history whose sensational murder and assault trials became, much like Knox’s, vehicles for serving our most base collective appetites, sometimes spawning whole industries unto themselves and often reflecting larger cultural battles.

On January 25th, 1892,Uggerby å kano a young Memphis teen named Alice Mitchell allegedly attacked her former “girl lover,” Freda Ward, with a knife, slitting her throat. Her motivation? Perverted love sickness, according to the feverish press coverage that began locally but quickly spread across the state, and then the country. American readers, it turned out, were fascinated by the prospect of female sexual deviance at the turn of the century, at a time when young women were first entering public life en masse as workers, consumers, and sexual agents, increasingly bending the rules of traditional gender roles.