Universal Journal of Psychology Vol. 2(1), pp. 41 - 46
DOI: 10.13189/ujp.2014.020107
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In Search of Annie: A Study of Viewers' Feedback to the Crime Documentaries Highlighting Famous Irish Murder and Missing Persons


Mike Berry 1,*, Mary Aiken 2
1 Clinical Forensic Psychologist, Visiting Scholar, CyberPsychology Research Centre, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, Dublin 18, Ireland
2 CyberPsychologist, Director of the CyberPsychology Research Centre, Institute of Leadership, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI Reservoir House, Ballymoss Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18, Ireland

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to offer some data to answer the question of who responds to media requests for assistance to help in solving major crimes, why do they, how opinionated are they, and how useful is the process? Six one hour documentaries were commissioned by an Irish national television station and presented by Mary Aiken and Mike Berry and broadcasted as “Crime in Mind” in a prime time slot. Five cases were identified for analysis including the case of Annie McCarrick, an American student, who disappeared from Dublin. All were cold cases where most avenues of investigation had been exhausted. A 'confidential web line’, a new Forensic Cyberpsychology online reporting medium, was employed to encourage viewers to add any new information or express views about the cold case(s). Initial analysis of the data is very promising; results are being actively pursued with the relevant authorities. This study has explored the characteristic and value of requesting help from the public, leveraging academic expertise, media and technology tools that may facilitate recall of material that could lead to the solving of serious offences. Findings including a breakdown of demographics, suspects and location of bodies.

KEYWORDS
Ireland, Murders, Missing People, Viewers' Responses, Cyberpsychology, Documentaries

Cite this paper
Mike Berry , Mary Aiken (2014). In Search of Annie: A Study of Viewers' Feedback to the Crime Documentaries Highlighting Famous Irish Murder and Missing Persons. Universal Journal of Psychology, 2 , 41 - 46. doi: 10.13189/ujp.2014.020107.