So in this blog, we’re going to be rhetorically analyzing Gabi petitos case in the media coverage that is received. This is going to be an introduction to the case to kind of explain what has happened. And then further on in the blog we’ll start analyzing different pieces of media such as podcasts.
Unknown Speaker 0:15
Police are looking for 22 year old Gabby Petito. She disappeared while traveling in a van cross country with her fiance Brian laundie. She’s been missing since late August. my hammock one of these trees and are kinda like in the desert.
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The van that the couple were traveling in was found at laundries parents home in Florida. Police they’re calling the case quote odd. According to their social media pages, a couple was out west traveling to national parks and Utah and Colorado. The petito’s mother says the last time they FaceTimed is August 25, the same day as Gabby’s last Instagram post. At the time, the couple was in Wyoming according to her mother, and their last text messages were exchanged around August 30. Laundry drove the van from Wyoming to Florida, but Gabby is nowhere to be found. He has since hired a lawyer.
This tik tok in general gives a little bit of background and is pretty unbiased, but many tik toks just like this are containing web sleuths that have honestly cracked a lot of pieces that the FBI have yet to release. So this is a CBS News article that released the cause of death from the corner of Gabby batido found in Grand Teton National Park that is strangulation in the manner of her death was unfortunately homicide.
So missing white woman syndrome is something we’re going to be talking about a lot when it comes to analyzing this case. It is basically what social scientists consider when the media goes in an absolute frenzy over yet another missing white woman in the media, we’re going to be kind of contextualizing that with a lot of indigenous people and people of color that were found in the search for Brian laundrie and Gabby Petito.
So Gabi petito has actually earned her own Wikipedia page from her case, which is pretty much unheard of for true crime cases in general.
So this is a CNN timeline of the Gaby petito case so far. It starts with a little update at the beginning that Brian laundries remains were found in Florida and that his parents had joined it in the search and that’s how his remains were found.
June 2021, is when the couple began their van journey that was supposed to end on Halloween.
That’s Gabi petito there.
August 12, in Moab, Utah This is when the body cam footage caught Brian laundry and Gabi potato in a domestic dispute. This was a really big deal because this is the first time that we see that Brian laundry was definitely violence against Gabby Petito. However the police actually handled it as if she was the aggressor. There’s been a lot of coverage on this piece specifically. So here you can see Gabby and absolute hysterics
will cover this footage more in depth throughout the blog.
August 17, laundrie flew to Tampa to go empty the storage to tell his parents basically that they were going to be extending their trip on August 27. Louisiana a couple vacationing saw the two and a domestic dispute. And the last week of August is when Gabby petito’s family were last in contact with her through FaceTime text messages letting her know that there was no service in Yosemite But some argue that that might have been Brian laundry sending those messages.
September 1 This is when laundrie returned without Gabby petito in her van. He was not speaking or cooperating with the police and September 6 The laundry family goes to a camp grounds and basically are completely uncooperative.
September 11 Gabby petitos family officially report her missing
September 16 The petito family are begging for their daughter to come home.
September 18 is when the manhunt begins for Brian laundrie and he’s officially a person of interest.
September 19 human remains were found in green Grand Teton National Park that match Gaby petito’s
description and September 20 They were confirmed to be Gabby Petito
Everyone has been searching for laundry in October 12. After the investigation they have found his
remains, his parents had just joined in a search for the first time after being entirely uncooperative.
His backpack was also found at the scene containing items that he was known to carry. And like I mentioned earlier, nine other bodies were also found in the search for the two throughout multiple national parks in just in Florida, and different spaces like that, but those have yet to be covered in many media news outlets.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Unknown Speaker 00:01
When we first started doing this project, we originally wanted to do it on a woman named Kaycera Stops Pretty Places, an indigenous woman who went missing in Montana and was later found dead. However, her case was not properly explored or investigated. And her family is now calling for the police department to find who did this to her because they feel like it’s not a case of not enough information or not having suspects. It’s simply a case of the police department feeling like this is a victim who does not deserve the same amount of attention and care as other cases.
Unknown Speaker 00:37
Now, since according to the Great Falls Tribune, since the eight days between Petito’s family reporting her missing on September 11. And when her remains were found September 19, three indigenous people Sterling Prinze Redstar, Markie Shea Williams and Cloelle Buck Elk reported missing in Montana. And I would bet that none of us know their names. And none of us know who these people are, it is disproportionate the amount of indigenous people
Unknown Speaker 01:11
who go missing compared to other people of different ethnicity. So we kind of decided to go in the opposite direction by working on the case of Gabby Petito, because she got a lot of media attention. And she was basically plastered all over everyone’s living room, TVs all over the phones all over social media. And even after her death, her, you know, her missing person case being closed because her body was found and brought to homicide. She was continuing to be a main focus for basically all new stations. And we have to ask ourselves, why do so many indigenous women women of color, go missing every single year and up murdered, and we don’t hear about their names or memorize them or remember their faces, the way we do white women. So we decided that by using Gabby Petito, we can bring attention to other cases of Indigenous women by exploring missing white woman syndrome, something we talked about the first week of class.
Unknown Speaker 02:12
Now, in America’s history, white women being in danger or being the victim has been a constant.
Unknown Speaker 02:23
A constant source of fear and it’s something that has been focused on books written stories. And starting from when American law Americans Europeans first carmelized, America, the stories was started out with white men, white women being in danger of indigenous people. And then it moved on to white women being endangered by black people. And now,
Unknown Speaker 02:52
this kind of leads on to this perpetual viewing of white women as the victim. And so we end up where we are now where white women continue to be the victim. But increasingly, what we see in true crime is the narrative of white women being the victim of white men.
Unknown Speaker 03:11
True Crime narratives tend to revolve around white female victims and white perpetrators, which is what we see in the gallery partido case. And Brian laundry, she ends up being killed by her boyfriend. They’re both white. And this is something that true crime.
Unknown Speaker 03:29
Shows podcasts. Focus on heavily is a white victim and a white perpetrator, usually female victim, male perpetrator. And most of the audience of these true crime podcasts tend to be white women, and they pay attention. They are the consumers when they’re, and they are basically the usual victim. And this could explain why so many people are paying attention to the Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie case because it just seems like another true crime narrative podcast happening.
Unknown Speaker 04:04
In 2013, a sociologist at Northwestern University Zach Sommers found that even though white women only make up a third of the population, half of the articles in the dataset that he was analyzing about the coverage that victims get in news articles went to white women. So a third of the population are white women and half of the articles are about are about white woman. And, and this really like this discrepancy in how much coverage and how much time law enforcement how much money in law enforcement FBI spent, and has spent on the Gabby Petito case alone, versus how much time and effort is put into other cases, really asks really makes you ask the question, why do we allow for there to be such a big difference between how some people are treated in their time of need?
Unknown Speaker 05:00
and how other people are treated in their time of need. Now, the Hulu documentary
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done by 2020 on ABC asks the question, is it because Gabby Petito was an influencer? Is it because she was on social media? She was young, she’s beautiful. People are looking at her. They’re paying attention to her. They care about her, because she is someone that they feel like they can know that someone that they can feel for. And I don’t think that that should be the case for law enforcement. Law enforcement shouldn’t be looking at whether someone’s an influencer or not for them to pay attention to that person. It’s not a question of who can get away with murder. The Gabby Petito case really helps to bring it home, and how much there is a difference between a white woman going missing and a woman of color going missing. During the search for Gabby Petito and Brian Laundrie, nine bodies were found. And it makes you wonder, can they really not find a person? Or are they just not spending enough time and effort looking for these people that have not garnered the attention that Gabby and Brian have? And why is it that some people are paying more attention than others and how can we fix this issue in order to we can have justice served for all people who need it, and not just people who look a certain way
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Unknown Speaker 0:00
affirmed yesterday that the remains found by his father Chris in the Myakka Hachi Crick environmental Park were in fact those of the missing man. The FBI says Unknown Speaker 0:09 they were able to confirm that the remains were Brian’s through dental records. Law enforcement has been searching for laundrie since September 17, when he was named a person of interest in the death of his fiancee, Gabby Petito.
Unknown Speaker 0:20 But I am not an expert on anything. Not in this case. I am however, a convicted felon. And this sounds like just to me not I don’t know. It just sounds an awful lot like the parents struck a deal for full immunity. And the second that the park opened back up, they went to this spot and found Brian. I know everyone was like, well, they told the FBI that’s where he like to camp, and it was underwater. Okay. Okay, but they have drones and all of this technology they can see underwater The FBI is like the friggin FBI. Okay, so it’s super weird at supersaas. To me, it just sounds like the parents wanted full immunity and they said we’ll let you know where he is. If you do not charge us with aiding and abetting a fugitive or or concealment of whatever crime they were trying to charge Brian with murder homicide. Anyway, it sounds like they got immunity. That’s just my personal opinion after following this case, like religiously and having some idea of how the criminal justice system works. That’s what it sounds like. To me. I’m just saying Just saying.
Unknown Speaker 1:28 It’s video like hundreds of others that are surfacing on the internet are as of yet another conspiracy theory in the Gabby Petito case. This is a major trope within true crime. And this is just like I said, one of many this one specifically is referencing how long it took the police to find a Brian laundries body, yet they were able to find it within hours when his family was involved. Some people are saying this was because of a an agreement with the police and the family, or possibly that these remains aren’t actually Brian laundries and somehow they faked the dental records. So some people are saying this as a government cover up. And some people are saying this is a massive convolution by the laundrie family. Whether or not any of these are actually true, as they will probably never be confirmed. It is just important to remember that just like with the Cecil Hotel documentary that we see on Netflix, conspiracies are a major thing that come up with in true crime. They’re able to ruin people’s lives and sometimes, but very rarely, they’re able to solve cases. Another very interesting trope that is really important to include is the fact that the police have been heavily ready ridiculed throughout this investigation. This is another trope that we see, especially in satires, like the one of a very fatal murder. That is also a podcast. We see lots of this coming up. And so even worse, we see the body cam footage of Gabby Petito and laundrie and Brian laundrie, they were going to domestic disputes, the police got called and then a lot of people are criticizing the police for not having done more realistically, there was a few options for them to complete whether or not we believe that they could have done more, it doesn’t really matter because the end result is now here. So a lot of attention is being drawn to these issues. We’ve also seen this in many other cases as well but it’s being drawn away from the fact that we aren’t going to get justice for this case and that we still haven’t found out what really happened as much as we might believe that it was Brian laundrie and as much as all of the evidence points to him. And for all we know that his family are actually victims too and they are consistently being ridiculed on the internet in the reason maybe they haven’t spoken up is because you know they’re terrified. It doesn’t really matter what place you take in all of this. The importance is that these tropes are such a stereotype and they’re being followed meticulously in this case just as well as many others.