Whose picture should accompany the article, the murderer or the victim?

IMO the victim’s picture if available. Not bloodied of course but like a happy picture. If you’re going to glorify someone, glorify the victim.

I think putting the murderer’s mugshot alone is not good practice, unless the murderer is still at large in which case disseminating his/her picture serves the public good.


Agreed, on both counts.

Agree as well, and if the murderer was also killed, don’t count them among the number of the dead.

My relative was coming out of court, and a reporter asked her “So, a good day for you?”

The victims family was in court crying. The killers family was in court crying. It wasn’t a good day for anyone, not even the prosecutor.

Ideally, a shot of the couple during happier times.

Right, definitely not a bloodied picture. Something worthy of a postcard to mom.

I recognize more effort has to be made, since you have to ask the victim’s family for the photo and permission which may not be forthcoming. In breaking news the victim may not be identified or their next of kin still needs to be notified before you can break the victim’s name let alone picture.

Whereas the police will release a mugshot into the public domain. Still think it’s worth the effort, or that you can use a generic picture of the town or something rather than the mugshot.


The main reason I can see to post the mugshot is before conviction, in case others have seen them around. And, of course, before that, you’d post the photo of a suspect to try and find them. But, yeah, after conviction, I don’t see any reason to show the murderer. If the victim is known and you can get permission, that’s a good photo. If not, and you still must have a photo, you could use photos of the courthouse or some other stock photos that illustrate the concept. Or possibly just a photo from far enough away that you can’t really make out the suspect. There are plenty of choices beyond the mugshot.

I also have a proposal for names. Since everything is online now, you can just link to some official document, but otherwise avoid using the name.