Recent work on homicide and the media has focused on the United States. This study considers the British context and examines the coverage of homicide by a leading British newspaper (The Times) over a period of 23 years (1977 to 1999 inclusive). The focus is on the newspaper coverage of the top cases each year and over the whole period. This approach allows for an exploration of the hierarchy within ‘media–homicides’ that are distinguished in terms of ‘mega–cases’, ‘mezzo–cases’ and ‘routine cases’. Hence, this issue is shown to be a more complex social and cultural phenomenon than is usually understood through the traditional binary ‘reported–non reported’ approach. The importance of unusualness and cultural context is emphasised in fully understanding how homicides become, particularly, mega–cases.