Joe McGinniss Josephine Hendin - Essay

Josephine Hendin

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Even murder should have dignity. How can we justify the passage of brutality from the police blotter or tabloid to the permanence of a book, except as a necessary step toward restoring meaning and individuality to the victims or the killers? Murder books such as Meyer Levin's Compulsion, Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, or Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song have looked for meaning even in the unprovoked or random murder of strangers, furthering our awareness of murder as a crisis of morality, psyche, and culture. Fatal Vision by Joe McGinniss is different. It takes a crime of intimacy rich in meaning and refuses it significance, coherence, or explanation. (p. 35)


(The entire section is 559 words.)