Narratives About the Washington Sniper Shootings

Lay Summary 

The researcher compared interview material from residents of the Washington, D.C. area about the 2002 sniper shootings in that area with material reported by Amma Davis in “Narrative Reactions to Brutal Murder.” Davis categorizes her material into a number of different story types, some of which are relevant to the material collected. In this interview material, however, the comparable stories are developed in a different way, which could, perhaps, be described as more temperate and cautious than the stories Davis collected.

The researcher concluded the paper by exploring possible reasons for the relative caution of the stories of her interviewees. Possibilities included: 1) the particular character traits of this set of interviewees; 2) the amount and type of media coverage; and 3) the extent of community and police reaction, which impacted just about everyone in the area.

Paper read at Perspectives on Contemporary Legend Conference, Corner Brook, 2003

District of Columbia
United States
Victim Services
Industry Sectors 
Public Administration
Scientific Research and Development Services
Start date 
1 Jan 2003