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Child Abductions in U.S. News Media


Spring-Serenity Duvall and Leigh Moscowitz

Few crimes provoke the collective fear, public outrage, and media fascination that child abductions do. Stories about missing children capture national headlines and dominate public discourses about crime and deviance, child safety, parenting, the American family, and gender and sexuality.
Snatched is the first book-length study to interrogate the predominant myths centered on gender and class that shaped mainstream U.S. news coverage of kidnappings in the 2000s. Through an exploration of hundreds of reports from newspapers, news magazines, television broadcasts, and web stories, Snatched critically analyzes how news narratives construct the phenomenon of child abductions, the young girls and boys who fall victim, the male perpetrators of these horrific crimes, and the adult victims of long-term abductions who were found years later. The book’s interdisciplinary nature, methodological rigor, and thorough investigation into some of the most riveting and revolting crimes of the last decade make Snatched a worthy, important, and timely contribution to the fields of media studies and girlhood studies.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Duvall, Spring-Serenity. Snatched: child abductions in U.S. news media / Spring-Serenity Duvall, Leigh Moscowitz. pages cm. — (Mediated youth; vol. 25) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Kidnapping—Press coverage—United States. 2. Crime and the press—United States. I. Moscowitz, Leigh. II. Title. HV6598.D88 070.4’493641540973—dc23 2015010726 ISBN 978-1-4331-2716-8 (hardcover) ISBN 978-1-4331-2715-1 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1618-6 (e-book) ISSN 1555-1814 (print) ISSN 2378-2935 (online)

Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at

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