Author Kim Goldman & Tatsha Robertson
Publisher BenBella Books
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review
A media frenzy ensues and spreads your family name through the news. Reporters ambush you, and across the country, strangers gossip about your personal loss.
Welcome to the circus.
No one understands better than Kim Goldman the complex emotions of individuals suffering a personal tragedy under the relentless gaze of the media. During the famed O.J. Simpson trial, Kim, whose brother, Ron Goldman, was brutally murdered, became the public poster child for victims suffering in the public eye.
In Media Circus, Goldman, now a dedicated victims’ advocate who works with families across the country, presents the first collective look at these ordinary, grieving victims—forced to manage their very private trauma and despair in a very public way.
Through candid interviews and detailed, original reporting, Media Circus delivers riveting, humanizing, and inspiring stories from the victims and survivors of violent crimes who found themselves the focus of national media attention. Its heartfelt narratives showcase the unique challenges of coping with and healing from grief when the whole world is watching.
In these pages, the families of other victims tell their stories, including:
Esaw And Emerald Garner, wife and daughter of police brutality victim Eric Garner (2014)
Scarlett Lewis, mother of six-year-old Newtown tragedy victim Jesse Lewis (2012)
Debra Tate, sister of Charles Manson murder victim Sharon Tate (1969)
Judy Shepard, mother of gay hate-crime victim Matthew Shepard (1998)
Mildred Muhammad, ex-wife of the DC Sniper (2002)
Tere Duperrault Fassbender, survivor of family’s brutal murder at sea (1961)
Collene Campbell, sister of murdered NASCAR driver Mickey Thompson (1988)
Marie Monville, wife of the Amish Shooter (2006)
Dave And Mary Neese, parents of teen murder victim Skylar Neese (2012)
Scott And Kathleen Larimer, parents of Aurora theater shooting victim John Larimer, and
Shirley Wygal, mother of Aurora theater shooting victim Rebecca Wingo (2012)
Media Circus goes beyond the names and faces to show the real victims behind the stories.
What did I think?
I don’t want to go in to the ins and outs of this book too much, because then I would be telling you the contents in a way it shouldn’t be told. The book is written brilliantly, the interviews ask the questions you would want to know the answers to. The individuals interviews were open and honest even after they have all been hounded and interrogated by the media.
Two parts that majorly stood out for me in this book, for all of the wrong reasons, were how some of these suffering families were treated. Some received numerous death threats and still to this day do not feel safe, and some have lost their individuality and are only ever known as the wife of a mass-murderer. This is downright wrong, our society should not reject these brave individuals who have already been to hell and back. Is this down to the media or is it just the human race choosing what they want to know, and what they think they know?
Think about it, the media are there to do their job, this is their way of making a living; but should they really be approaching the victims families so soon? Does this stop their healing process or does it actually make them come to terms with exactly what ordeal they have just been a part of? Has the media desensitised us? Is it really worth the potential hurt and trauma just for a headline news article, just to satisfy those lucky enough to not be in this situation?
As a Forensic Science graduate, murder cases and the like really interest me. I feel guilty for it after reading ‘Media Circus’. Why should I be interested in other peoples misfortune? It’s not as if someone has just tripped over on the curb or someone slipped on a banana peel. This is murder, the worst part of the human race. This is not human instinct, it is a choice.
The media give the public what they want to know but do they always take the families in to account when they go about this? In all the books I have read on murderers and tragedies, it is very rare that you hear about the families and the horrific ordeal they have been through. So why do the media hound these people? So they can post a picture of their lost one? So they can get a quick one liner for their article?
On the other hand, the media often do good things. They help promote charities in memory of the victims, they help get the word out about these crimes and how heinous they really are. Does the positive outweigh the negative, or is this something that can only be determined from person to person? Are the media becoming better or worse as the years pass?
I strongly urge you to read this book. A lot of the questions I have asked have already been answered in there. It is a brilliant read and it really does make you look at the media in a different light, and yourself for that matter.
My Rating? ♥♥♥♥
Will you be adding this to your TBR pile?