Enigma of the Dark: Reflections while Researching Journalism and the Claremont Serial Killings


  • Mary-Anne Romano Curtin University, Australia




Claremont Serial Killings, journalism as ritual, media coverage


After almost 25 years of mass media coverage on the Claremont Serial Killings, Perth audiences were informed in December 2020 that Bradley Robert Edwards would serve two life sentences for murdering two of the young women. This article draws on interviews with journalists to discuss media practices in the case that shocked Perth while shaping audience understandings of women as victims. The article describes how the term ‘serial killer’ came into use to bolster the importance of Western Australian news; how the status and resources of victim’s family influenced media coverage and, consequently, the police investigation; and, how the position of a journalist as an unbiased observer became untenable in the case.

Author Biography

Mary-Anne Romano, Curtin University, Australia

Mary-Anne Romano is a doctoral candidate at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. Her currently research areas include journalism as practice, journalism and cultural memory, and how the media reports major crimes. As a former journalist who has worked and taught in the journalism field, she has completed an honours thesis and subsequent research work in the areas of moral panic, and the discrimination of women in newsrooms. In 2014, she was invited to take part in a student fellowship at Harvard University, where she was able to work with sociology, communication and journalism scholars to develop her current research specialities.