Augusta professor’s latest book is out now
The grisly details of murder and true crime fascinate Americans.
Whether it’s the current news about the horrific homicide of 22-year-old Gabby Petito, who disappeared while traveling in Wyoming with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, or the unsolved killing of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in her home in Boulder, Colorado, almost 25 years ago, people are intrigued by murder.
People’s obsession with true crime has also taken the entertainment industry by storm, leading to numerous popular documentaries, movies about murders, television series on cold case investigations and podcasts dedicated to homicide.
The genre is so prolific that Hulu’s latest hit — Only Murders In the Building, starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez — centers on Upper West Side neighbors and true crime podcast fans who sleuth out a murder podcast on their own.
“Murder captures our attention,” said Dr. Kim Davies, dean of Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, who is also a sociologically trained criminologist with an academic focus on homicide and violence. “For a lot of people, I think it’s the idea of solving a mystery. And many people who find murder so fascinating, haven’t ever seen an autopsy and they haven’t seen a death.
“When I taught my Sociology of Murder class here at Augusta University, I used to take students to autopsies and it’s gruesome. It’s not like what you see on television or in the movies.”
Just last month, Oxford University Press published Davies’ new book, The Murder Book: Understanding Homicide Today. Back in 2007, Prentice Hall published The Murder Book: Examining Homicide by Davies, which was the only comprehensive textbook to focus on homicide. Her new textbook explores additional topics such as the increase in mass murders, the change in Stand Your Ground laws across the country and police shootings as it relates to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Probably the biggest difference in the two books is the chapter on mass murder,” Davies said. “Unfortunately, there have been a number of huge mass murders since the last book such as Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech and the Las Vegas shooting that killed 58 people. In fact, our society and our news media has focused on mass murders much more.
“When I wrote the last book, students were fascinated by serial murder, and a lot of students still are, but now it seems like we are more focused on mass murder.”
The full release about Davies’ book release is attached, and well worth the read.
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Dr. Kim Davies is a sociologically trained criminologist with academic focus is on homicide and violence. Kim is available to speak with media about this subject – simply click on her icon now to arrange an interview today.
Kim Davies Dean of Pamplin College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
Dr. Kim Davies, Dean of the Pamplin College, is a sociologist available to discuss homicide.