The Origins of the Victim-Offender Relationship
In this chapter, the author traces the origins of the relationship between victims and offenders within the context of the Oklahoma City bombing. She begins by giving her first impressions of Timothy McVeigh, the suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing whom she saw on April 21, 1995. She then considers how viewers regard (or disregard) perpetrators' pictures, particularly in memorial spaces commemorating victims, and in particular pictures of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building taken shortly after the bombing as well as McVeigh's perp walk footage. She also examines the reactions of family members and survivors to McVeigh, along with the connections that they felt with him and media constructions of McVeigh as a para-social enemy. Finally, the author explores how the victim–offender relationship influenced the attempts of family members and survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing at memory work.
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