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Criminal Justice Resources :

Crime Fiction and Humor

A collection of web sites related to the "lighter" side of criminal justice, including crime fiction and crime humor.

1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearings into Juvenile Delinquency, with the special focus on Comic Books
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Classic Detective Fiction : An extract from The Blackwell Companion to Crime Fiction
Courtesy of CrimeCulture.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Clumsy Crooks
Feel alone and afraid in a world full of security breaches and criminal masterminds? Remember, there are plenty of criminals out there who are simply too dumb to rampage effectively. For instance, one man who was tired of walking stole a steamroller and led police on a 5 mph chase until a cop stepped aboard the vehicle and stopped it. This site documents his ilk and reminds you that many bad guys are dangerous to no one more then themselves.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Comic Books and Juvenile Deliquency
Interim report pursuant to S. Res. 89, 83d Cong., 1st sess., and S. 190, 83d Cong., 2d sess., a part of the investigation of juvenile delinquency in the United States. Publisher Washington, U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1955. Note: Link works best with Mozilla Firefox. The interim report is available in print copy in Special Collections.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Comic Books and Juvenile Delinquency
The Senate Investigation : Excerpt from Seal of Approval : The History of the Comics Code. The Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency conducted its investigation of the comic book industry in the spring of 1954. The committee held three days of hearings in New York City (the location selected because most of the comic book publishers were based there), called twenty-two witnesses, and accepted thirty-three exhibits as evidence. When it was all over, the comic book industry closed ranks and adopted a self-regulatory code that is still in effect today in modified form.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Confidential File: Horror Comic Books! YouTube. (25:30)
A report by Paul Coates. Produced by Jim Peck. Directed by Irvin Kershner. Aired October 9, 1955. A KTTV Production, Los Angeles, for Times-Mirror. In 1954 the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency conducted an investigation into how the comic book industry was supposedly contributing to the moral decay of a nation's youth. The investigations were spurred on by a number of articles that blamed comics for the rise in juvenile delinquency in post-war America. Chief among the critics was Doctor Frederic Wertham, whose book, "Seduction of The Innocent" has been blamed for nearly single-handedly crippling the entire comics industry....In 1955, the comic book publishers formed the self-regulating organization, The Comics Code Authority, which great impacted on how comic books were perceived by the public and what kind of stories were told in the comics for decades. The effects of the virtual witch-hunt from this period in American history still has effect on the comic book industry to this day...."Confidential File" was aired in 1955, after the senate hearings and the formation of the Comics Code, but it serves as a perfect example of how the media reacted to the comic book industry, and sought a scape goat by blaming the comic book publications for society's own lack of responsibility in raising its children. A blame game that would later manifest itself when later TV cartoons, rock and roll music, Dungeons & Dragons, videogames, and so on would become the new whipping boy for those that didn't want to look to themselves for the state of their own children and society's sad state.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Cozy Mystery List
A Guide to Cozy Mystery (and Other Favorite) Books and DVDs.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Crime Culture
A UK web page offering information on 21st-Century Crime, including interviews, reviews of fiction, non-fiction & classics re-issued, links for crime readers & writers.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Crime Fiction
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Crime Fiction Bookshelf
Online books from Project Gutenberg.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Crime Films
This section of Crimeculture focuses on the most often discussed forms of crime film - gangster films, detective films, classic film noir, neo-noir, cop action films.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Crime Magazine: An Encyclopedia of Crime
Crime Magazine is about true crime: organized crime, celebrity crime, serial killers, corruption, sex crimes, capital punishment, prisons, assassinations, justice issues, crime books, crime films and crime studies.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Detective and Mystery Comic Book Strips Available in the MSU Libraries
Locations and call numbers
The MSU Libraries have over 750 for review.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Detective and Mystery Stories Available in the MSU Libraries
Locations and call numbers
The MSU Libraries have over 500 detective and mystery stories for review.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Detective Fiction Bookshelf
Online books from Project Gutenberg.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Diagram for Delinquents: Fredric Wertham and the Evolution of Comic Books Promotion YouTube (4:51)
Promotional video for the Diagram for Delinquents Kickstarter site. The documentary will detail the impact that Dr. Fredric Wertham had on comic books, a pastime the doctor declared caused juvenile delinquency in children. Wertham's testimony for the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency resulted in the creation of the Comics Code Authority, a self regulating body that censored comics for the sake of the reading public. Wertham and the CCA have had a lasting impact on comics felt even to this day....Learn about the history of comics and their struggle with freedom of expression. The story takes us to the present day with the recent announcements by DC Comics and Archie Comics to abandon the CCA Code for their own ratings system.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Dumb Criminal Acts Library
The Dumb Criminal Acts Website shows stupid criminals doing stupid things. Short paragraph summaries depict the hilarious misadventures of real life robbers, kidnappers, and drug traffickers. One thief is stupid enough to steal a woman's purse while she is getting her photo taken in an instant photo booth. Say cheese, jailbird! Another robber hands a letter to a bank teller demanding all the bank's money. Unfortunately, this criminal mastermind wrote his demands on his own personalized bank deposit slip. One idiot even tries to break into a safe with a hamburger spatula! What the zany Keystone cops are to law enforcement, these buffoons are to the criminal world. The Dumb Criminal Acts Website is proof positive that crime does not pay ... except in laughs.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Forensics Crime Fiction
(Last checked 03/21/13)

G. J. Demko's Landscapes of Crime: The Geography of Crime Fiction
"George J. Demko is a professor of geography at Dartmouth College and a devotee of the mystery genre. He is especially interested in the settings of mysteries-the geography, the locus operandi of crime fiction." His site examines stories from around the world and details the impact of land and the environment on the crime story itself.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Gay and Lesbian Detective Novels
(Last checked 03/21/13)

The Horror : Congress investigates the comics
Article by Louis Menand, appearing in the New Yorker, March 31, 2008
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Mystery File Crime Research Journal
This is the online version of the Journal and contains articles and studies on a variety of current and past writers as well as interviews, reviews, columns and more related to mystery and detective fiction.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

(Last checked 03/21/13)

Sisters in Crime
"To combat discrimination against women in the mystery field, educate publishers and the general public as to inequities in the treatment of female authors, raise the level of awareness of their contributions to the field, and promote the professional advancement of women who write mysteries."
(Last checked 03/21/13)

The Thrilling Detective Web Site
Covers all types of crime fiction, books, television, film, etc.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Time Shift : Italian Noir, The Story of Italian Crime Fiction (YouTube)
Documentary which profiles a new wave of Italian crime fiction that has emerged to challenge the conventions of the detective novel. There are no happy endings in these noir tales, only revelations about Italy's dark heart - a world of corruption, unsolved murders and the mafia....The programme features exclusive interviews with the leading writers from this new wave of noir, including Andrea Camilleri (creator of the Inspector Montablano Mysteries) and Giancarlo De Cataldo (Romanzo Criminale), who explains how his work as a real-life investigating judge inspired his work. From the other side of the law, Massimo Carlotto talks about how his novels were shaped by his wrongful conviction for murder and years spent on the run from the police....The film also looks at the roots of this new wave. Carlo Emilio Gadda (That Awful Mess) used the detective novel to expose the corruption that existed during Mussolini's fascist regime and then, after the Second World War, Leonardo Sciascia's crime novels (The Day of The Owl) tackled the rise of the Sicilian mafia. These writers established the rules of a new kind of noir that drew on real events and offered no neat endings....Also featuring Italian writers Carlo Lucarelli and Barbara Baraldi, the film uses rarely seen archive from Italian television. This YouTube video lasts 59 minutes.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Time Shift : Nordic Noir, The Story of Scandinavian Crime Fiction (YouTube)
If you liked the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Draw the curtains and dim the lights for a chilling trip north for a documentary which investigates the success of Scandinavian crime fiction and why it exerts such a powerful hold on our imagination....The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a literary blockbuster that has introduced millions of readers to the phenomenon that is Scandinavian crime fiction - yet author Stieg Larsson spent his life in the shadows and didn't live to see any of his books published. It is one of the many mysteries the programme investigates as it travels to Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland in search of the genre's most acclaimed writers and memorable characters....It also looks at Henning Mankell's brooding Wallander series, with actor Krister Henriksson describing the challenge of bringing the character to the screen, and it asks why so many stories have a political subtext. The programme finds out how Stieg Larsson based the bestselling Millennium trilogy on his work as an investigative journalist and reveals the unlikely source of inspiration for his most striking character, Lisbeth Salander....There are also segments on Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian rock star-turned-writer tipped to inherit Larsson's mantle, and Karin Fossum, an author whose personal experience of murder has had a profound effect on her writing....This YouTube video lasts 59 minutes.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Twentiety Century Crime Fiction (Book)
Looking for a good read? Available in the Main Library Stacks at MSu and many other libraries.
(Last checked 03/21/13)

Web Mystery Magazine
The Web Mystery Magazine is an on-line quarterly journal dedicated to investigating the mysterious genre in print, in film, and in real-life. Many of the articles discuss aspects of crime in mystery stories.
(Last checked 03/21/13)


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Jon Harrison : Page Editor
Criminal Justice Specialist
Social Sciences Collections Coordinator
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Last revised 03/21/13

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