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Park Dietz

Unhealthy as some non-obscene pornography may be, it is not as unhealthy as detective magazine covers depicting violence toward a woman whose sexual characteristics are emphasized, horror films depicting girls or women undressing moments before the villain pounces upon them, or televised depictions of violence toward alluring, glamorous, and wanton women. --Park Dietz, Meese Report, 1986


Park Dietz (1951 - ) is a forensic psychiatrist.

He has interviewed, and testified at the trials of, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Hinckley, Andrea Yates, and many more murderers of the last 30 years

In a documentary called Conversations With Killers, Dietz recalls his encounters with criminals.

Park Dietz also contributed to the Meese Report. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park_Dietz [Jul 2005]

Detective magazines

Abstract: The origins of detective magazines can be traced to 17th and 18th century crime pamphlets and to 19th century periodicals that Lombroso called “really criminal newspapers.” Content analysis of current detective magazines shows that their covers juxtapose erotic images with images of violence, bondage, and domination; that their articles provide lurid descriptions of murder, rape, and torture; and that they publish advertisements for weapons, burglary and car theft tools, false identification, and sexual aids. Six case histories of sexual sadists illustrate the use of these magazines as a source of fantasy material. We postulate that detective magazines may contribute to the development of sexual sadism, facilitate sadistic fantasies, and serve as training manuals and equipment catalogs for criminals. We recommend that detective magazines be considered during policy debates about media violence and pornography.

A class of popular periodicals known as "detective magazines" has apparently eluded the attention of researchers and commentators concerned with media violence and pornography. These magazines provide factual accounts of crimes and criminals, and are thereby distinguished from mystery fiction. They rarely contain photographs of nudes, and are thereby distinguished from those publications that most individuals casually refer to as erotic, pornographic, or obscene.

In this paper, we review the historical roots of these detective magazines, report data on the content of current detective magazines, present six case histories in which detective magazines were a source of fantasy material, and discuss the possible psychiatric and criminologic significance of detective magazines.

We postulate that detective magazines serve as pornography for sexual sadists. The works of the Marquis de Sade and his literary disciples, though known outside the literati, are too erudite and too remote in setting from everyday life to appeal to the sexual sadist of average intelligence and educational level. In contrast, detective magazines depict and describe sadistic acts in familiar settings, using the imagery and language of tabloid newspapers. This class of periodicals receives little commentary in comparison with those that are considered obscene or pornographic on the basis of their explicit use of erotic imagery. Detective magazines characteristically pair violent and sadistic images with erotic images, yet are more accessible for purchase by young persons than are magazines that depict naked bodies. --Detective Magazines: Pornography for the Sexual Sadist?. Park Dietz and Harry Hazelwood RR . 1986;31(1): 197-211.

--http://www.porn-report.com/103c-park-elliott-dietz-statement.htm [Jul 2005]

see also: men - magazine - sadism - detective

The Content of Detective Magazines

Detective magazines are readily available at newsstands, drugstores, supermarkets, convenience stores, and elsewhere. One copy of each detective magazine issue available on a single day at ten suburban Boston stores was purchased and studied in detail. The mean purchase price was $1.11; the range was from $0.95 to $2.50. These magazines generally were displayed along with women's, "confession," and children's magazines, usually adjacent to adventure and gun magazines, and always on a different rack from espousedly erotic men's magazines. We have subsequently confirmed these observations regarding display patterns in stores in Charlottesville, VA; Chicago, IL; Columbia, MO; Houston, TX; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; New York, NY; St. Louis, MO; Washington, DC; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Nineteen detective magazine issues, representing eighteen different titles from six publishers, were studied. They were: Detective Cases. Detective Diary, Detective Dragnet, Detective Files, Detective World, Front Page Detective, Guilty! The Best from True Detective, Headquarters Detective, Homicide Detective, Inside Detective, Master Detective, Official Detective Stories, Police Detective (two issues), Real Detective, Startling Detective, True Detective, True Police Cases, and True Police Yearbook.

We analyzed several aspects of the content of these 19 issues. First, we analyzed the violent and sexual imagery in photographs used for front covers, article illustrations, and commercial advertisements. Second, we analyzed the words expressive of violence and sexuality used in the titles of articles promoted on the front covers and listed in the tables of contents. Third, we analyzed the textual content of articles for descriptions of violent and sexual behavior. For this third purpose, a stratified, random sample of 38 articles was selected (two articles randomly selected from the signed articles in each issue). The results of these content analyses are presented in the following sections.


The covers of the 19 magazines bore 21 photographs. The most common image on front covers was that of a woman in an inferior or submissive position. Seventy-six percent of the cover photographs showed domination and submission imagery. Men dominated women in 71% of cover pictures, while women dominated men in 5%. Some pictures showed a woman alone in a submissive or subjugated position. Bondage was depicted in 38% of the cover pictures, and all of the bound subjects were women. Ropes, chains, handcuffs, and cloth were used to achieve this bondage with equal frequency. In order of decreasing frequency, other repetitive cover imagery included violent struggles, brassieres, guns, accentuated breasts, strangulation, corpses, blood, and knives or other cutting instruments. Table 1 shows the percentages of each type of image in covers, articles, and advertisements.

In contrast to the cover photographs, the illustrations accompanying articles most often pictured buildings or other settings and conventionally dressed people. Law enforcement personnel were often shown processing a crime scene or working at a desk; they were always men. Violent and erotic imagery was much less prevalent in article photographs than in cover photographs. When it did occur, the most prevalent form was domination and submission imagery. Men dominated women in 5% of the article pictures, and women dominated men in less than 1%. Individuals were most often bound with ropes or handcuffs, less commonly with leather, chains, or cloth. Park Dietz and Harry Hazelwood RR . 1986;31(1): 197-211. via http://www.porn-report.com/103c-park-elliott-dietz-statement.htm [Jul 2005]

Detective magazines, comic books and early fetish magazines

Gold Seal Detective magazine cover, June 1936
image sourced here. [Jun 2005]

In the early 20th century, "Detective magazines" covertly provided a way of publishing bondage imagery. Comic books often featured characters being tied up and tying others up, particularly in "damsel in distress" plots.

There were also a very limited number of specialist fetish magazines which featured images of bondage, such as the famous Bizarre magazine published from 1946 to 1959 by the pioneering fetish photographer John Willie, and ENEG's Exotique magazine, published 1956 - 1959. These disappeared with a crackdown on pornography in the late 1950s. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondage_magazine#Detective_magazines.2C_comic_books_and_early_fetish_magazines [Jun 2005]

Bondage cover

A bondage cover, as opposed to a bondage magazine, was a general-interest magazine that featured bondage imagery on its cover, usually an image of a bound and gagged woman.

Painted covers
These were the earliest examples of bondage cover art images, and run from about 1910 (when the pulps became more common) until roughly 1975 (when men's adventure type of magazines started to disappear).

The peak era for these seem to be the 1930's with weird menace and detective pulps and the 1960's heyday of men's adventure magazines.

Photo covers
The earlist cover with an actual photograph seems to be a March 1938 cover of Actual Detective Magazine . The earliest use of a color photo on a cover is the February 1939 issue of True magazine, with the February 1940 edition appearantly the first to feature a gag. The peak era for these was the era from roughly 1959 until 1986, when, due to the Meese Commission, and the end of a few of the publishers of Detective (or "True Crime") magazines, the main era of the bondage cover ended, though there were a few issues of Detective Dragnet in the late 1980's and early 1990's, and a brief revival from about 1994 until 2000, though even then few and far between (unlike the late 1960's, when at least 2 such covers could be seen monthly. Also, the use of over-the-mouth gags was common enough that the slang term "Detective gag" is used for it. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bondage_cover [Jul 2005]

see also: bondage - cover - magazine - detective - Park Dietz

The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer (1992) - Park Dietz

The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer (1992) - Park Dietz [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

An abused young man. A hair-trigger temper. A trail of dead bodies. What makes a cold-blooded killer tick? THE ICEMAN AND THE PSYCHIATRIST is now available for the first time on DVD. Renowned forensic psychologist Dr. Park Dietz gets up close, personal and even confrontational with psyche of one of the most dangerous men alive. Bringing together the earlier THE ICEMAN TAPES: CONVERSATIONS WITH A KILLER and THE ICEMAN: SECRETS OF A MAFIA HITMAN with the newly released Dietz interview, this new special edition, THE ICEMAN INTERVIEWS is the ultimate compendium of the mind of a murderer. Includes Richard "The Iceman" Kuklinski's riveting on-camera confession, exclusively for HBO, of the murder of police officer Peter Calabro. Making news in February 2003, Kuklinski accepted a plea bargain for a concurrent 30-year term to his 60-year prison sentence and implicated Sammy "The Bull" Gravano in the crime. THE ICEMAN INTERVIEWS - this new special edition is guaranteed to run chills up and down your spine all over again. --via Amazon.com

see also: Park Dietz - forensic - murder

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