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Introduction to Criminology

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INTRODUCTION TO CRIMINOLOGY What is CrimeKristen Kramer University of Winnipeg Representing Crime and Criminalsy Case of Karla HomolkaPaul Bernardo o The rape and murder of two white teenage girls in Southern Ontario by two white blond haired middle class newlyweds was much more widely reported than the cases of missing and murder women in downtown Vancouver in the Pickton casey The Pickton Case o Is the largest and most poorly handed serial killer investigation in Canadian historyo It was only once political pressure was put on Vancouver policecity officials by the friends and family of the missing Vancouver women that the bodies of the women werefound a suspect identified o Many of the missing women worked in the sex trade on the lower east side ofDowntown Vancouver o This case did not attract as much attention as the HomolkaBernardoo Dozens of women involved in the sex trade go missing or are murdered with littlemedia coverage o Many believe that the Pickton killings were ignored because the murdered women and sex trade and addicted to street drugsgirls were involved in the o Robert Pickton was convicted by a jury in BC in 2007 of seconddegree murder and sentenced to serve six life sentences following a trial that dealt with the first six victimso The charges and conviction established Robert Pickton as the worst killer in Canadian historyWhat is Crimey Media coverage encourages us to think that crimes are simple facts with the obvious moral connotations that we know what are and should be crimes and how much fear and outrage are appropriate for any particular crimey Media plays a huge role in forming our responses to crime and criminalsy Wider social forces are at work shaping our govs decision about which behaviours will bedefined as criminal These forces also influence broadly how severe the penalties o Associated with crimes o Police decisions about which crimes to investigate or noto Prosecutors decisions about which crimes to prosecute o Judges and juries decisions about who is and who isnt guilty of crimes o Judges decisions about particular crime and criminals deserve the most severe penalties o Correctional staff decisions about what to do with different kinds of criminals y We need to understand these processes rather than assume crimes are simple
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