By Mark Davison
For this SCAB I’m going to write two stories, please read them first and don’t just skip to the end, or you will ruin all the fun.
An all American beauty queen, engaged to marry the man she loves, has her life cruelly ripped out from under her when she discovers that her soon to be husband has been shipped off to England by a strange religious cult.
To save him the women travels with two friends to London, where she finds her fiancé, where together they sprit themselves off to a small beach cottage on the south coast for a romantic get away.
Upon returning to London, the man realises that his marriage will never be accepted by his family, and so is forced to call off the engagement. The woman, understandably distraught returns to the United States.
A Mormon man, on mission in England, is kidnapped at gunpoint by a woman who he has met one, and who claims she is in love with him. His stalker, who followed him overseas, takes him under duress to a small secluded house where she keeps him under lock and key for 3 days. While there, this woman ties him to a bed, spread eagle, and forces him to have sex with her, repeatedly.
Upon discovering his kidnapping, the rest of his mission alert the authorities and begin a national manhunt. When the kidnapper reads this in the newspapers, she releases her captive, before being found by the police. But before she can be put on trial she skips bale and flees the country.
Now for the reveal, as you might have guessed both stories describe the same set of events, the activities of Joyce McKinney and “The Case of the Manacled Mormon”. The story of how Joyce travelled from her home in the US to follow Kirk Anderson, a Mormon and her so called fiancé was picked up and sensationalised by tabloid newspapers.
But the tabloid newspapers weren’t looking to find out the truth. Instead they focused on presenting their two opposing views in what became a trial by media. The sent reporters to the US with the aim of uncovering things about Joyce’s past, harassed her family and previous acquaintances, and continued to follow her decades later when she tried to move on with her life.
All of this is set out in the documentary Tabloid, which only gets 7.1 on IMDB but I would still recommend as well worth a watch. The film manages to tell the story, using only second hand source material, interviews, and newspaper stories and leaves you wondering at the end, what really happened?
How two totally disparate stories, and many polar opposite testimonials can come from the same chain of events is fascinating and really made me think. Often we assume we know the answer to questions before we have asked all the write questions. In class Marc is always telling us to ask why, to never feel like we have enough information, and I think tabloid has show me some of the dangers of jumping, before you know what you are jumping into.