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Fatal FictionsCrime and Investigation in Law and Literature$
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Alison L. LaCroix, Richard H. McAdams, and Martha C. Nussbaum

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190610784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190610784.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

Kidnap, Credibility, and The Collector

Kidnap, Credibility, and The Collector

(p.197) 10 Kidnap, Credibility, and The Collector
Fatal Fictions

Saul Levmore

Oxford University Press

Chapter 10 uses John Fowles’s novel The Collector to explore the psychology and strategic dynamics of the crime of kidnapping. Kidnapping occurs for many reasons. In The Collector the kidnapper seeks emotional control over the victim, with a hope for intimacy, while the victim imagines different motives and seeks to gain control herself, including by faking the trust the kidnapper seeks. The crime shares some of the difficulties of ransom kidnapping, where the kidnapper must somehow gain credibility for his promise to harm or kill the victim if he is not paid but also to return the victim alive if he is paid. Levmore concludes that a better understanding of kidnapping would reveal better legal mechanisms for preventing or reacting to it.

Keywords:   kidnapping, John Fowles, ransom, victim, psychology

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