Murder Cases, Trunks and the Entanglement of Ethics: The Preservation and Display of Scenes of Crime Material

  • Angela Sutton-Vane
Part of the Palgrave Histories of Policing, Punishment and Justice book series (PHPPJ)


This chapter explores the materiality of recording serious crime and the police record, examining the agency and entanglement of objects as they move through time and space. It focuses on murder files because they often survive as ‘accidental tourists’ in record offices and may be accompanied by baggage in the form of forensic evidence. The framework of the chapter is four historic murders which occurred between 1924 and 1934 in the South East of England. The chapter concentrates on the materiality of the surviving evidence: the bodies of all the women were left in trunks and at least one of these trunks, along with murder weapons and blood-stained clothing, has survived in a museum and been displayed as an artefact.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angela Sutton-Vane
    • 1
  1. 1.Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

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