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'Murder will out': intimacy, violence, and the Snow Family in early colonial New Zealand


Harman, K, 'Murder will out': intimacy, violence, and the Snow Family in early colonial New Zealand, The Intimacies of Violence in Settler Colonial Economies: Everyday Encounters around the Pacific Rim, Palgrave Macmillan, P Edmonds and A Nettlebeck (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 159-177. ISBN 978-3-319-76230-2 (2018) [Research Book Chapter]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2018 The Author

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-3-319-76231-9_8


The 'murder mystery' genre relies on the relationships that evolve between a death or deaths, the evidence left by the killer(s), the investigators, and the field of prospective suspects. For the historian of intimacy and violence, murder is instructive of community relationships, not only through the facts of the case, but also through the suspicions and circumstances that play out following cases involving violent deaths. In this chapter, I use the murder of a settler colonial family as a focal Point through which to explore the intimate, complex, and changing cross-cultural relationships between Māorl and Pākehā In mid-nineteenth century Aotearoa New Zealand. Revealing issues of class, race, politics, gender, and identity, the wider set of circumstances within which this family was murdered speaks directly to the ambiguities of a frontier society at once both socioeconomically and physically intimate and yet inherently unstable and sometimes violent. In the private domain and public sphere, in the doctoring of evidence and the rumours of newspapermen, in the community of the innocent and the catching of the perpetrator, and in other circumstances and suspicions surrounding this case, one of Auckland's most notorious violent crimes reveals interwoven layers of intimacy and violence.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:history, New Zealand, colonial
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Historical studies
Research Field:New Zealand history
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Harman, K (Associate Professor Kristyn Harman)
ID Code:123437
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2018-01-09
Last Modified:2018-12-04

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