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Behold the monster: Mythical explanations of deviance and evil in news of the Amish school shooting

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journalism
Issue number8
Volume18
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)994-1010
Publication statusPublished
Early online date8/07/16
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

In October 2006, Charles Carl Roberts IV walked into a one-room Amish schoolhouse in West Nickel Mines, PA, USA, brandished a handgun, and killed five female students who were all under the age of 13. Through an analysis of 215 news articles published in 10 local, regional, and national newspapers in 2006 and 2007, this article examines news characterizations of Roberts that cast him as a ‘Monster’. We explore interdisciplinary notions of pure evil to expand current literature of news myth to include a form of explanation that appears in news when no other current mythical archetype will suffice. This study complicates current perspectives on news myth by expanding the ideological tools to examine the nature of evil in loss through the example of the Amish shootings.