Prosecutors ever investigate crime scenes

The reality of the crime scene

Table of Contents

List of abbreviations

List of figures

List of tables

1 Introduction

2 Theoretical Foundations
2.1 The development of the television into a mass medium
2.2 Media sociology - a definition
2.2.1 Social reality in the medium of film
2.2.2 The reality of mass media in general and in film specifically
2.2.3 Theories of media use
2.3 The state of research on crime in general and TATORT in particular
2.3.1 The investigations by Stein-Hilbers and Uthemann into the representation of crime on television
2.4 The attraction of series
2.5 The attraction of crime novels
2.5.1 The origin of a genre of success
2.5.2 On the history of the television crime thriller
2.5.3 The character of the television crime novel The function and central message of the television crime story
2.6 The crime series TATORT
2.6.1 From the idea to the first implementation
2.6.2 The concept
2.6.3 Important development steps in the history of T ATORTS
2.6.4 Violence - a much discussed means of entertainment
2.6.5 T ATORT, the guarantee of success
2.7 For the general representation of reality in crime novels
2.8 A preliminary statement for the special representation of reality in the TATORT series
2.8.1 Critical consideration of the "crime scene"
2.8.2 Looking ahead at debated consequences and topics
2.9 On the abandonment of public service broadcasting

3 Objective

4 The investigations
4.1 Topic analysis of the TATORTE from 1970 to 2008
4.1.1 Methodology and data basis
4.1.3 Objectivity, reliability and validity
4.1.4 Interpretation of the analysis results
4.2 The investigation of the representation of environmental crime based on four TATORT episodes
4.2.1 Methodology and data basis
4.2.2 Overviews of the individual films TATORT Poison (July 21, 1974, NDR) TATORT Kielwasser (25.3.1984, WDR) TATORT colored water (13.10.1996, RBB) TATORT The Cormorant War (6.1.2008, SWR)
4.2.3 Interpretation of the representations
4.2.4 Objectivity, reliability and validity

5 Summary - the reality of the TATORTS

6 Conclusion


Appendix A: Media-sociological topics
Appendix B: Beginning of the Steel Network Follow
Appendix C: Overview of all transmission formats
Appendix D: Map of the broadcasting corporations of the ARD
Appendix E: Offenses Against Sexual Self-Determination

List of abbreviations

Figure not included in this excerpt

List of figures

Figure 1: Number of TATORTE over the years

Figure 2: Media communication model of the three realities

List of tables




1 Introduction

“Crime in television crime films is a phenomenon that has nothing to do with what crime is in everyday reality. The television detective film constructs a 'reality' that does not exist. "[1]Christiane Uthemann, 1990.

“Anyone who wants to know something about the state of our country should turn on TATORT.[2]

Sabine Goertz-Ulrich, 2008.

Starts on November 29, 1970 Taxi to Leipzig the series TATORT on the First German Television (ARD). Since it was not foreseeable that TATORT would one day become the most successful crime series on German television, this project was initially conceived for two years. But the audience quota of 60 and more percent for the first ten programs[3] hinted at a success of today's proportions. TATORT currently leads with an average of seven million viewers[4]that corresponds to a market share of 20 percent, the list of the ten most successful television film series and series[5]. What this success brings with it, however, is the uninterrupted public criticism that those responsible face.

“The critics demanded much more time criticism, the police chiefs more reality and understanding of the difficult work of the police, the criminologists more information about somatic and physiological, the psychologists more information about psychological and pathological conditions, the sociologists more information about the social conditions of crime; and the politicians wanted everything together. "[6]

No other series is scrutinized as critically as TATORT. The sparkling entertainment of the audience comes first and not primarily the sociological education[7]. However, if you look at a TATORT on Sunday evening at 8:15 p.m., it seems to be confirmed that with topics like HartzIV[8], Overloading single mothers[9] or attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)[10] a look at today's society and the sociological enlightenment is given a higher priority, which would support the above thesis by Sabine Goertz-Ulrich. In view of this, does the actual criminal act of the series take a back seat? Does crime only serve as a starting point for the socially critical content that the series actually wants to convey in the further course? In view of this, is the crime even real? With regard to the depiction of crime in crime films such as TATORT, Christiane Uthemann claims that it is unrealistic and has absolutely nothing to do with reality. The present work starts with this conflict: It examines the TATORT for its implementation of crime, especially environmental crime, in order to check Uthemann's thesis, among other things. As a basis for analysis, a total of four exemplary episodes from the seventies, eighties, nineties and the current decade are used and examined for specifics of representation or reality. Before that, however, based on an extensive topic analysis, the work investigates the extent to which the TATORT reflects “the state of the country” every decade, as Goertz-Ulrich claims. Contents of 530 episodes of TATORT serve to ratify, on the basis of which the topics of the individual decades are examined in the first section of the fourth chapter.

First, however, in the second chapter, the theoretical basics for the progress of the work should be shown. With access to the field of media sociology, it becomes clear that the topic dealt with can certainly be treated as an object of cultural sociology. In addition, selected theories on the construction of reality in film and on media use are presented before the state of research on the topics of crime thriller and TATORT is evaluated. This is followed by an analysis of the television program of the television newspaper Hörzu[11] as a basis to illustrate the fascination that emanates from series in general and from crime novels in particular. After the idea, the concept, the development, the depiction of violence and the success of the crime series TATORT have been examined in detail, a preliminary determination of the depiction of reality in crime novels and in TATORT serves as the starting point for one's own investigations, the respective objectives of which are specified in the third chapter becomes. Subsequently, in the fourth chapter, the methodology and the results of the investigations are presented and interpreted before a comprehensive review of the hypotheses takes place in the fifth chapter.

2 Theoretical Foundations

2.1 The development of the television into a mass medium

The breakthrough of television as a mass medium went hand in hand with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953 and the Uruguayan-German final of the football World Cup in Bern on July 4, 1954[12]. After around 300 people in the FRG owned a television set in 1952, the number of registered television sets broke through the million mark three years later[13]. For the first time in Germany, crowds of people sat in front of the TV to watch the coronation and the international match live. The window to the world from people's living rooms was open. Thus the television set with programs of newsreels, cultural films, television games and entertainment shows[14] more and more an important socialization authority that offered orientation aids and made the complexity of the world more understandable[15]. The number of televisions in Germany in 2008 illustrates the importance of televisions as a socializer of the present day: According to the fee collection center, there are 37.03 million registered televisions. This means that about every second person in Germany in 2008 had a television.[16]

2.2 Media sociology - a definition

Even before the television made its breakthrough as a mass medium, sociology was concerned with the medium of film, as the following work shows: As early as 1913, Emilie Altenloh examined in her dissertation about The sociology of cinema the sociological connections around the cinematograph theater in general and the connection between social stratification as well as entertainment and cultural interests of the Mannheim audience in particular [17]. Andries Sternheim wrote in his essay in the first year of Journal for Social Research (1932) on the mass enjoyment of cinema as “the simplest and most expedient means of forgetting your real life situation and putting yourself in another, illusory world[18]“And also Herbert Blumer's works from the 1930s such as Movies and Conduct (1933) or Movies, Delinquency and Crime (1933) document the early engagement with film from a sociological point of view[19].

Indeed, it is communication and media studies that are primarily concerned with film and film analysis. However, the sociological aspect plays a role here, i.e. the representation of or statements about social reality[20] in the film, hardly a role. Accordingly, the film analysis with the background of a social analysis in the context of media sociology is better positioned. As a result, the focus of media sociology is on the social and cultural conditions, relationships and processes in media communication[21]. It's about the “interaction between the media on the one hand and social relationships on the other[22]“, That is, dealing with media-mediated communication in its complex social contextualization[23]. This results in a diverse range of topics, starting with the cultural meaning (e.g. what the significance of the media for society is) through social consequences (e.g. what consequences arise socio-culturally) and the construction of reality (i.e. how the media construct reality) to social change (i.e. the relationship between sociocultural and media-communicative change)[24]. The present work only deals with some of these topics in connection with the series TATORT.

Winter and May suspect in their essay about Cinema, Society and Social Realitythat the film is only viewed marginally in sociology because it is too close and too familiar to us[25]. This is shown not least in the fact that cinema, according to the authors, is a medium for enculturation of people. By this they mean that it has an influence on how people speak, dress and act and that it thus represents a part of the socialization process of a neutral, culturally-free newborn on his way to becoming a culturally fully integrated adult. “Even the first critical analyzes assumed that Hollywood films reflect social and cultural ways of life, conflicts and ideologies and are thus a mirror of psychological and social sensitivities.[26]“After a detailed examination of some relevant media-sociological studies on Hollywood films, the authors conclude that one can learn a lot more about the social and cultural realities of western and non-western societies through films and that the visual and formal language of the film more appropriate social conflicts, structures of meaning and ideologies can express and communicate than through the “concepts and methods of sociology, which have been purified from all subjectivity[27]“.

2.2.1 Social reality in the medium of film

The different ways of dealing with media, social reality in communication sciences and sociology are what Keppler deals with in her essay Media and Social Reality Once again clear: In communication sciences, media and social reality are fundamentally opposed, with the media representing the transmitters of an external reality that is independent of them. In the constructivist models of sociology, however, the media are seen as an integral part of society and thus as an active element in the social process.[28] With this, Keppler ties in with Berger and Luckmann, who with their work over The social construction of reality form the basis for social constructivism [29]. Using a methodical approach, this examines how people create and institutionalize social phenomena, e.g. criminal action as a type of social action, and transform them into traditions for future generations.

At this point it becomes clear that the mass media, and in particular television, is one of these institutions and acts as a mediator of central social facts, norms and values ​​and thus also as a mediator of knowledge about crime[30]. Through the general distribution and constant use of the television, binding rules of the overall system are established across all social groups and classes. In addition, in the special case of crime, it is shown to what extent this represents a threat to the individual or can be seen as a social problem for society. Furthermore, it is shown where crime occurs and what causes it, how it is to be assessed and where solutions are to be sought[31]. In this way (however) the attitudes of the population towards the topic of crime can be influenced, so that a distorted perception of this social problem is evoked[32]. Frequent consumption of crime portrayed on television, according to the results of Uthemann's study[33], scares the audience and makes them perceive the world as more dangerous than it actually is[34].

At this point, however, it should not be forgotten that media entertainment is fundamentally geared towards addressing a mass audience with content that suggests a certain detachment from the constraints of everyday life and primarily entertaining it[35].

2.2.2 The reality of mass media in general and in film specifically

A distortion of reality, as described by Uthemann, is revealed by Niklas Luhmann in his analysis of the Mass media reality viewed as a failure of this[36]. He sees the primary function of the mass media in their contribution to the construction of reality in society. The widespread, anonymous and consequent unpredictable distribution creates a common social presence for the members of a society and thus a collective space of memory and expectation.[37] By establishing a common social time, the mass media contribute to the preservation of modern societies in a way that no other social system could ever do: “What we know about our society, yes, about the world in which we live, we know through the mass media.[38]“Ergo means to watch TV in a democratic culture, to be informed about the most important issues of the time. From this one can conclude that the crime film is also an enlightenment and that its heroes are enlighteners[39].

A permissible objection is that films are always works of art, whose very own reality can differ from the social one. It is the artists and filmmakers at the interface between society and artwork who act as mediators of social crises, contradictions and moods, so that the deciphering of this subjective artistic reconstruction of social reality can never be unambiguous. Without being objective, however, films can be superior to sociological methods in terms of visualization.[40] Mai points out that the context in which a film was made has a greater expressive power than the film itself. For example, films such as Roses for the prosecutor [41], The marriage of Maria Braun [42] and Good bye, Lenin [43] Discourses about German problems stimulated and, as a result, also induced a political effect. In addition, according to Mai, it is precisely these films that are more firmly anchored in the collective memory of Germans than national memorial days or literary classics, “because, unlike staged memories of memorial days, they capture the attitude towards life of a generation and give it expression[44]". In addition, films offer a repertoire for everyday conversations and thus serve the social cohesion, respectively the common social presence of members of a society in the sense of Luhmann.

Finally, it should be pointed out that the reflection of social reality in cultural studies has been discussed for a long time. Here, in the currents of New Historicism, culturality or the radical contextualism of cultural studies, an emphasis on the cultural-historical context can be observed.[45]

2.2.3 Theories of media use

The debate about the culture industry and the incipient cultural decline caused by television began at Horkheimer and Adorno and culminated in the rejection of the honorary award at the German Television Prize by the author and critic Marcel Reich-Ranicki[46]. Horkheimer and Adorno show in the chapter Culture industry - enlightenment as mass fraud in your Dialectic of Enlightenment Using the example of the cinema film, that all films are in principle similar in principle and as realistic as possible and deny the recipient any imagination and further reflection. As a result, the industrially produced film is only designed for economic success and is opposed to the authentic culture, which in turn leaves room for human thought and does not imitate reality, but wants to go beyond it. The culture industry makes culture a commodity like any other and collapses as an individual product.[47] For Reich-Ranicki, with a few exceptions, there is only “nonsense” on television[48]. Why is there a noticeably high level of television use[49] in the (German) population and why is there a noticeably strong reception of crime genres[50]? What are the possible consequences of this?

To clarify this, the uses and gratification approach should provide a first approximation[51]. As part of the approach, the active role of recipients in dealing with the mass media is examined for the first time under the models of media use research. The question here is no longer: “What do the media do with people?”, But rather: “What do people do with the media?”. It is therefore the recipient who decides, purposefully according to interest, expectation and need, about the use (or non-use) of the respective medium. This naturally results in competition among media providers and offers for the recipient's time and attention. So what prompts the crime viewer to 'use' crime fiction? Is it perhaps about the brain teaser (in) a crime novel or would he like to relax by means of tension, satisfy a need for security by generating fear and horror and experience an emotional overwhelming[52]?

To this end, the cultivation thesis provides a further theoretical approach with regard to the possible consequences of television reception. It goes back to research by George Gerbner in the seventies[53] and states that those who watch a lot are cultivated by television and that their view of the world is shaped by television conditions. In the special case of depictions of violence on television, Gerbner and his employees determined a distorted perception of reality among frequent viewers using a TV content analysis and a recipient survey, who on the one hand the risk of becoming victims of an act of violence or a criminal act and on the other hand the proportion of rich, criminals and doctors or lawyers in society overestimated. Due to the reality-biased assumption of a highly violent reality, the results show that viewers are much more fearful and more prone to violence[54]. The empirical findings on Gerbner's study are overall ratifying with regard to his theses and have so far been supported by more than 300 follow-up studies. These also include the investigations by Marlene Stein-Hilbers from 1977 and the subsequent repeat study by Christiane Uthemann from 1990, which will be examined in more detail after the state of research has been presented.

2.3 The state of research on crime fiction in general and the crime scene in particular

Dealing with crime films enjoys an impressive popularity among authors. It is based on the one hand on the great popularity of the genre with viewers and on the other hand on the fan cultures that have developed from it, especially those of the TATORTS. There are a number of so-called fan books for this purpose, which present all episodes shown up to the date of publication with information on contents and additional facts about characters and background information on the individual series[55], or, more specifically, only one investigator like Trimmel[56] or Schimanski[57] or an investigative duo like Stoever and Brockmöller[58] dedicate. The genesis of TATORT scripts has already been scientifically investigated[59] like individual episodes in the series: Comrades (1.4.1991, SRG) served Süss[60] as an illustrative example for describing the reception of crime stories by young people and based on Quartet in Leipzig (11/26/2000, mdr / WDR) examined wilt [61] the German-German rapprochement after ten years of all-German presence. Other socially relevant topics, which were addressed in TATORT, found their way into the subject of investigation in numerous works: Ortner[62] analyzes the implementation of the immigration problem in Germany and Mously[63] undertakes a media psychological investigation into the representation of home in the series. Buchholz turns to the articulation and manifestation of social criticism in TATORT, taking a closer look at three popular episodes as examples[64]. This method was also followed by Gottschalk, who also checked three episodes, which contributed greatly to the public debate about shooters at school, right-wing extremist terror and terrorist threat, for their congruence with reality[65]. Both authors conclude a positive agreement with the assumption that the TATORT expresses social criticism or that contemporary history is involved as a supplier of ideas. There are also shorter treatises by several authors in Investigation into crime scene again[66], which deal with the history of the commissioners, the depiction of too much violence and the information provided by TATORT. In addition, the band delivers in view of the interviews with Gunther Witte, Hajo Gies and Udo Wachtveitl[67] interesting details about intentions, characters and representations of reality that were useful for the present work and honors various commissioners and outstanding episodes in several tributes. In addition to critical Swiss voices about the 'German' TATORT[68], the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich even showed an exhibition on the subject by Erika Keil and Andreas Volk from August 26 to November 22, 1998 Crime Scene - The Props of Evidence[69]. In addition, the TATORT is also popular with other TV crime novels like the Steel mesh [70] or Police call 110 [71] compared[72] And last but not least, it finds its way into numerous books, reports and essays on (German) television thrillers. For the present study, among other things, the work of Hickethier[73] and Bruns[74] to the series in general as well as Wehn[75] and Cippitelli / Schwanebeck[76] especially drawn to the German crime thriller. Brück offers a clear selection bibliography on the state of research on the West German television crime thriller[77]. With reference to Bauer[78] she discusses the move from classic murder to modern murder topics such as economic and environmental crime. In doing so, she found that to date there have been no empirical studies on the quantitative distribution of the topics negotiated.[79] Bruns also emphasizes that empirical studies that deal with social change in series are hardly available in social science research[80]. Both findings are more than ten years old, but they are still justified today. Although individual episodes of the TATORTEN were turned to and the issues there were analyzed in comparison to reality, there has not yet been a comprehensive analysis of the issues. The same applies to a subsequent consideration of a possible social change within the series. The present study attempts to close this gap by devoting itself to a detailed TATORT topic analysis and investigation into the representation of environmental crime in four decades.

2.3.1 The investigations by Stein-Hilbers and Uthemann into the representation of crime on television

Both works examine the depiction of crime on television and verify its correspondence with criminological reality. The authors assume that television “conveys an image of crime that has little to do with reality and is not suitable for breaking down unrealistic ideas about crime and crime control in its viewers[81]". According to Stein-Hilbers, this unrealistic audience assessment is based on the factual knowledge of the recipients, which is made up of television-conveyed knowledge about crime. She sees signs of this in the ´public opinion` about new types of crime such as politically motivated crimes, in the widespread stereotypical views about criminals and in the firmly established views about punishment and punishment purposes, without having had any personal experience in this area[82]. In the feature films she examined[83], including two TATORTE from 1975, in their opinion “even after a long period of time” the topics and the thematic priorities were not topical[84]. After evaluating their standardized questionnaires on how crimes, perpetrators and victims are presented on television, Stein-Hilbers comes to the following results, among other things[85]: The depiction of crime on television has little to do with the everyday reality of viewers, but they cannot check the information themselves due to a lack of personal experience. Furthermore, the representation is limited to certain partial aspects and the social reality is reduced or depicted accordingly unrealistic. As a result, these images are also unsuitable for realistic assessments of crime. The focus of their criticism is above all the mostly not shown social process of the origin and control of crime, the concentrated portrayal of violent crime and neglected views of crime, alongside that of the police, for example that of the perpetrator.

Uthemann follows Bandura's assumption that “people gain their impression of social realities, with which they hardly or not at all come into contact, through the representation of society on the screen[86]"And adds the following points to Stein-Hilbers' assumptions[87]: Socially taboo offenses in the field of sexual crime such as rape or sexual abuse of children are not presented at all or only rarely and complex phenomena such as economic or environmental crime, which lead to harm to society as a whole beyond the violation of a private individual interest, are mostly left out. She also expects traditional criminal communities rather than organized crime or even terrorist groups. After minor modification of the Stein-Hilbers questionnaires and the analysis of 133 crime films[88], including four TATORTEN, from a two-month investigation phase in 1986, Uthemann came to the conclusion that the clearing-up rate for the violent crimes shown on television roughly corresponds to criminal reality, but the frequency of portrayal of violent crime has a one-sided and therefore inconsistent distortion of reality. Because in comparison there are actually convicted road criminals, who, however, are hardly portrayed in the crime films. In addition, she judges the low number of sex offenses shown to be realistic, as very few cases were known at the time. Furthermore, she considers offenses of economic and environmental crime to be over-presented, however she admits that after the dark field research the real extent cannot be determined, which makes this statement vague. The assumption of traditional criminal communities, however, was confirmed in the course of their investigation.[89] From the dramatizing and shortening of violent crime, Uthemann concludes that television, especially crime films, does not contribute to knowledge about crime in reality[90].

Finally, both authors provide specific information about the possibility of changing the representation of crime towards a more realistic representation. They should be discussed briefly again in the last chapter.

2.4 The attraction of series

Tales in sequels apparently seem to satisfy a basic need in human entertainment: Homer's rapsodic chants, the stories of Scheherzerade from the Arabian Nights[91] and also the medieval production of the Bible in picture stories, first in woodcut, later on paper[92], are early evidence of this. This was followed by colportage and early series literature as well as entertainment theater and cinema series, before the radio series became the TV series as the TV-related mass media form in modern times[93].

Martenstein justifies the success of the series with the principle of repetition, because “television is too fast, too fleeting, what only happens once is sent off.[94]“A look at the TV newspaper confirms Martenstein's thesis: On Thursday, May 29, 2008, there were exactly 100[95] To see series. Including 54 different series, 35 of which were on private broadcasters. Among the public broadcasters, the telenovelas were above all Red roses, storm of love and the doctor series In all friendship the mostly broadcast and also mostly repeated series (forms). An additional look in detail at the ARD program on the examined day further corroborates Martenstein's thesis: just three programs[96] were broadcast that were not based on repetition. The situation is similar for the other public broadcasters. It is even clearer with the private sector: For example, RTL does not broadcast any program on the day under review that is not based on the principle of repetition. The most successful German soap opera runs here in the evening program Good times Bad Times, which will briefly explain the principle of television series.

The fictional production, which has been broadcast every day since 1992, except Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, was designed for continuation or endlessness, with individual series episodes of dramaturgy and production forming recognizable, delimited units that in different ways connect to previous ones Create episodes and provide starting points for those that follow[97]. As a rule, three different narrative strands are interwoven in a kind of pigtail structure and told in around 25 minutes. This is usually followed by the abrupt end, the cliffhanger, "the most exciting point"[98]. The viewer can accumulate the knowledge from the last episodes and, not least because of the cliff hanger, has a very specific expectation of the next episode: He wants to know: “How will it go on?”. Here, human curiosity and its satisfaction is specifically evoked. Using the uses and gratification approach, a soap opera like Good times Bad Times satisfy needs other than human curiosity. McQuail's Typology of Needs[99] also lists the need for information and entertainment, the need for personal identity as well as for integration and social interaction. The series also serves the viewer as a source of information about living conditions and satisfies his need for the return of the familiar and familiar. Through the strategic repetition of similar interpersonal relationships, emotional constellations and constructions of feeling, a calculable build-up and breakdown of emotions is induced in the recipient[100]. In this way he can be strengthened in his personal values, find different models of behavior and identify with other individuals. In addition, he has the opportunity to put himself in other circumstances and to adapt the problem solutions shown. Gerbner also clarifies this view with the aid of the cultivation thesis[101]. Good times Bad Times consequently represents a stage for introspection and thus offers a multitude of possibilities for experimentation[102]. It is part of this great "storytelling machine" television[103]. Of course, consuming the series also benefits distraction and relaxation and, last but not least, fills up unused time of the day. And, as already mentioned, it does this regularly and reliably, so that a ritual use can be identified in which the viewer sees his expectations fulfilled and the promise of entertainment has been fulfilled[104].

2.5 The attraction of crime novels

2.5.1 The origin of a genre of success

Crime lovers also value this promise of entertainment when they consume a crime novel. The desire for stories about crime and punishment, guilt and atonement is ancient, the motives complex and the explanations for them diverse[105]:

“This ranges from more sporty explanations such as 'relaxation through tension' to the indication that the crime reader and viewer become a participant in ritual manhunts; from the rather harmless fun of puzzling along to the exercises of a repeatedly needed purification process.[106]

Bertolt Brecht recognized in his essay About the popularity of the crime novel the playing field that the thriller offers human observation, because in addition to the detective, the reader is also given the "brain teaser", with which he gets the "intellectual enjoyment of the detective novel" [107]. Satisfaction is achieved through continuous observation, drawing conclusions and coming to decisions, as well as overcoming the obstacles that intervene between observation and conclusion and between conclusion and decision[108].

The thriller begins its success story in crime fiction, which developed from the tradition of storytelling about criminal cases in the 18th century[109]. Francis Gayot de Pitaval, himself a lawyer in the time of Louis XIV, collected legal case histories from 1734 to 1743 and initially only entertained the French public with the first ´Pitaval`, the collection of Pitaval stories[110]. More Pitavale followed until a new form emerged in the 19th century: entertaining popular crime fiction. The double murder on Rue Morgue (1841) by Edgar Allan Poe is generally considered to be the first work that deserves the title detective novel[111]. After further different implementations of the criminal substance, Arthur Conan Doyle created the figure of Sherlock Holmes in 1887, who heralded the mass production of crime literature as a serial hero[112].

So it should be noted once again that the documentary character is deeply rooted in this new fictional genre and its subgenres[113]. According to Sherlock Holmes, the literary form has further differentiated over time and today encompasses a broad spectrum, “which is in the triangle of action, with the literary basis in the so-called hard-boiled school[114]`, the thriller, with the literary basis in psychological crime, and the crime, which feeds on the classic detective and crime novel, moves[115]“.

2.5.2 On the history of the television crime thriller

Since the crime thriller unites narrative patterns and dramaturgical techniques that can be found not only in literature but also in comics, film and television, it is said to have the characteristics of an "intermedia narrative form"[116]. The mutual influence led to the fact that the film quickly took on the subject matter of crime fiction. After there were seven film adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe crime novels in the USA alone between 1909 and 1914 during the silent film era[117], Germany followed in November 1954 with the television series The gallery of great detectiveswhich reported from Sherlock Holmes to Hercule Poirot[118]. Three years later, the cinematic implementation of Dürrenmatts flickered The Judge and His Hangman across the screens. In addition, at the same time the idea developed that television had to be live and authentic, just ´the window to the world`. The “para-documentary” television thriller was born.[119] After smaller series productions, the didactic and educational series designed by Jürgen Roland was broadcast from 1953 to 1958 The police report reports[120]. However, the 22 street sweep episodes were more successful Steel meshwhich Roland then produced until 1963 and which decisively shaped the image of the crime thriller on West German television[121]. Based on the American series Dragnet, the cases shown come from the code. The brutality is shown here in a very clear and drastic way, but it is also often ironically broken.

in Steel mesh real police files. A little "spiced up" they should depict the everyday life of the police station as realistically as possible[122]. Police reports from the news were fictitiously supplemented by “off-speakers in quasi-reporter function”[123]. This presentation of ´real fiction` begins at the beginning of each episode: After the re-enactment of the crime is seen, it is pointed out that "this case is true [...][124]“.

At the end of the 1950s, the thriller, whether produced in Germany or imported from the USA, is a guarantee for the highest audience numbers[125]. He has retained this special position despite the political, social and cultural changes in post-war German society and the multiple radical changes in the German television landscape, from the establishment of the ZDF to the introduction of the dual system and the restructuring of television in the former GDR. The Infratest of 1965 already indicates the average audience quota for television thrillers in the First Program from October 1956 to March 1959 at 81 percent[126]. In a recent study from 2005, Zubayr and Geese examined various crime novels from the viewer's perspective[127]. They analyzed an average day in 2004 with a total of 18 hours and 59 minutes of crime films, thrillers and crime comedies on television[128]. According to the study, Germans spent 18 minutes a day watching crime films and series. In total, ¼ of the consumption of fictional productions is accounted for by crime novels[129]. Zubayr and Geese further determined that ¾ of all German citizens[130] see at least one detective story every week. Once again, a TATORT won the highest level of crime viewing participation: Heart failure broadcast by Hessischer Rundfunk on October 17, 2004, had 9.43 million viewers[131]. To show the current needs and the diversity of the genre, it is sufficient to take another look at the television newspaper Hörzu: On the Thursday examined, 14 crime series, two police series, three TV crime novels, a crime drama (The little hope), nine documentaries[132], two action series with a federal police background (GSG 9), two series of actions dealing with events at the United States Department of Homeland Security (Threat Matrix - Red Alert) and a series in which the detective as the protagonist is endowed with super senses (The Sentinel - In the Hunter's Eye), broadcast[133].[134]

If you look back at the history of the television crime novel, it came after the end of Steel mesh 1963 not least through the first American series 77 Sunset Strip also to the preliminary end of the realistic trend on television[135]. The image of the television crime thriller of the sixties was shaped by the multi-part series based on text by the English author Francis Durbridge: The scarf (1961), Melissa (1966), A man named Harry Brent (1968) and other 'street sweepers' of this kind[136]. In addition, Durbridge's then Edgar Wallace bestsellers were filmed and successfully shown in theaters. The goal of astonishing his audience was achieved because the films enjoyed great popularity among moviegoers[137]. While the dichotomously polarizing distinction between police and detective films had largely prevailed in the cinema, other crime forms that made use of elements from other genres also developed on television. Mikos refers to the science fiction elements in the case of Knight Rider, on erotic elements in the series Three angels for Charlie and on action elements in Miami Vice.[138] With the increasing disinterest of the German public in American series, crime series, which were produced on the model of British crime novels and brought new color to the genre through irony and wit, increasingly gained importance in the program[139]. It was the same with the figure of the investigator. The commissioner opened in 1969 at ZDF[140] the multitude of investigative crime novels that are still popular today. The ARD then created the series TATORT. After the following consideration of the essential character of a television crime novel, it will be turned to it more intensively.

2.5.3 The character of the television crime novel

If you follow Hickethier, the crime genre is opposed to the family genre[141]. In the family genre or in family series, an attempt is made to switch off the dangers to the individual and restore a harmonious world through ties to the family. They thematize, so to speak, 'the inside' of society. ´The outside`, on the other hand, is the focus of the crime film. The danger and the strangeness of the 'outside world' are processed into 'consumable worlds of images' and made understandable and 'legible' to the recipient[142]. The different forms of crime do this in their own different ways. An action thriller like GSG 9 offers, for example, hectic cinematic actions instead of dialogical communication, as is the case in the dialogue thriller The commissioner wrote on the body[143]. If one speaks of television crime, however, what is usually meant is police crime, i.e. the form of broadcast that is designed from the perspective of police investigations[144].


[1] Uthemann (1990) p. 280.

[2] Goertz-Ulrich (2008) p. 16.

[3] See Witte (1983) p. I / 2.

[4] In the following, the masculine designation always means the female form, but we have omitted this form in order to make it easier to read.

[5] See ARD (2008) p. 283.

[6] Schulze-Rohr (1979) p. 4.

[7] See Witte (1979) p. 2.

[8] CRIME SCENE Between us (10/14/2007, HR).

[9] CRIME SCENE Little hearts (12/16/2007, BR).

[10] CRIME SCENE The nameless girl (April 15, 2007, NDR).

[11] See Hörzu (2008).

[12] See Maurer (2008) p. 140.

[13] See Weyl (undated).

[14] See Maurer (2008) p. 138.

[15] See Hunziker (1988) p. 50.

[16] See Media Perspektiven basic data (2008).

[17] Altenloh (1914).

[18] Sternheim (1932) p. 344.

[19] See Blumer (1933a) and (1933b).

[20] The author uses the concept of social reality, which goes back to Comte and

means the coexistence and cooperation of people as well as their results and effects. See Korte / Schäfers (2008) p. 15f.

[21] See Hepp / Vogelgesang (2005) p. 299.

[22] Hepp / Vogelgesang (2005) p. 299.

[23] See Hepp / Vogelgesang (2005) p. 299.

[24] Hepp / Vogelgesang provide an overview of the media-sociological topics. See Appendix A.

[25] See May / Winter (2006) p. 8.

[26] May / Winter (2006) p. 8.

[27] May / Winter (2006) p. 14.

[28] See Keppler (2005) p. 95.

[29] See Berger / Luckmann (2007).

[30] See Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 12f. Naturally, concrete professional and practical also contribute

Experience in the field of criminology, individually by class

different, contributes to the development and development of knowledge about crime. See SteinHilbers (1977) p. 12.

[31] See Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 14.

[32] See Uthemann (1990) p. 63f.

[33] When it comes to the concept of crime, Uthemann relies on Schneider, who sees crime as “a process-like event that is determined by both social and individual criminalization and decriminalization processes”. Accordingly, a single criminal act is not to be seen statically, but as the result of a social development and the subsequent significance for perpetrators, victims and society. See Uthemann (1990) pp. 120f.

[34] See Uthemann (1990) p. 63f.

[35] See Hunziker (1988) p. 122.

[36] Luhmann (2004) p. 174f.

[37] See Luhmann (2004) p. 183f.

[38] Luhmann (2004) p. 9.

[39] See Engell / Kissel (2001) p. 33.

[40] See May (2007).

[41]Roses for the prosecutor. Drama, FRG 1959, director: Wolfgang Staudtke.

[42]The marriage of Maria Braun. Drama, FRG 1979, director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder.

[43]Good bye Lenin! Comedy, Germany 2003. Director: Wolfgang Becker.

[44] May (2007).

[45] See Wittkamp (2006) p. 2.

[46] See Reich-Ranicki (2008).

[47] See Horkheimer / Adorno (1989) pp. 144ff.

[48] See Reich-Ranicki (2008).

[49] See Media Perspektiven basic data (2008). See also under 2.1 The development of the television into a mass medium.

[50] This follows in the chapter 2.5.2 On the history of the television crime thriller the study on crime reception by Zubayr / Geese.

[51] See Meyen (2001) p. 11ff.

[52] See Prümm (1987) quoted from Mikos (2002) p. 5.

[53] See Brosius (1997) p. 33.

[54] See Schäfer (2008) p. 18f. The thesis that those who see a lot of people are more prone to violence because of their idea of ​​a violent reality in order to defend themselves in the violent world has not been clearly proven. See Schäfer (2008) p. 18.

[55] See Wacker (2000); See Wacker / Oetjen (2002).

[56] See Radewagen (1985).

[57] See Goyke / Schmidt (1997); See Harzenetter (1996); See Villwock (1991).

[58] See Pundt (2002).

[59] See Köster (2000).

[60] See Süss (1993).

[61] See Welke (2005).

[62] See Ortner (2007).

[63] See Mously (2007).

[64] See Buchholz (2006). She looks at TATORT Secondary school leaving certificate (March 27, 1977, NDR), TATORT The Pott (9.4.1989, WDR) and TATORT Children of violence (2.5.1999, WDR).

[65] See Gottschalk (2006). She analyzes the topics mentioned in the text using TATORT Violent fever (02/02/2001, SWR), TATORT Vicious circle (10/31/2004, mdr) and TATORT Scherzerade (5.6.2005, RB / WDR).

[66] See Wenzel (2001a).

[67] Gunther Witte is considered to be the inventor of the TATORTS (see chapter 2.6.1 From the idea to the firstimplementation). Hajo Gies studied sociology with Theodor W. Adorno in Frankfurt am Main, completed a film degree at the HFF Munich, directed two Haferkamp TATORTEN and developed, among other things, the Schimanski figure and shot a total of 14 Schimanski episodes. Udo Wachtveitl has played the Munich chief detective Franz Leitmayr since 1991.

[68] See you (2007).

[69] At the same time, on the occasion of the exhibition, a volume was published in the university's series of publications: Cf. School and Museum for Design Zurich (1998).

[70] The 22 Stahlnetz episodes from the NDR production were broadcast between 1958 and 1968. They are based on real events.

[71] Polizeiruf 110 was produced from 1971 to 1990 by the German television network of the GDR, DFF, and continued after the fall of the Wall from 1993 to the present day by various ARD broadcasters.

[72] See Wenzel / Desinger (2002); See Viehoff (1998).

[73] See Hickethier (1991).

[74] See Bruns (1996).

[75] See Wehn ​​(1998).

[76] See Cippitelli / Schwanebeck (1998).

[77] See Brück (1996).

[78] See Bauer (1992).

[79] See Brück (1996) pp. 28f.

[80] See Bruns (1996) p. 209.

[81] Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 3.

[82] See Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 15.

[83] Stein-Hilbers examined 35 films and 15 reports in the mass program, 8 films and 25 reports in the minority program as well as 25 news programs and 3 discussions from 1975 on ZDF, ARD and WDR. The distinction between mass and minority programs leads them on the basis of various criteria of the genres. It is based primarily on the audience ratings. When these are high, they are classified as a mass program. See Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 39ff.

[84] See Stein-Hilbers (1977) p. 44.

[85] See Stein-Hilbers (1977) pp. 130f.

[86] Banduras (1979) quoted from Uthemann (1990) p. 51.

[87] See Uthemann (1990) p. 86ff.

[88] "These included both comedies and serious films, films with a fictional plot and those that were based on actual events, series and individual productions as well as films of recent and older production dates that came from a total of 11 produced countries." Uthemann (1990) p. 98 .

[89] However, this is not the case with the portrayal of theft and damage to property. See Uthemann (1990) p. 136ff.

[90] See Uthemann (1990) p. 281.

[91] See Hickethier (1991) p. 17.

[92] See Martenstein (1997) p. 1.

[93] See Hickethier (1991) p. 17.

[94] Martenstein (1997) p. 2.

[95] Including 22 designated repetitions. The programs of the following stations were included in the count: ARD, ZDF, RTL, Sat.1, Pro7, Kabel1, RTL2, Vox, arte, 3sat, NDR, WDR, SWR, BR, mdr, RBB, HR. The children's and trick series were of no importance (with the exception of: The simpsons), they were not scored. Because of this, the program from SUPER RTL and the children's channel went unnoticed. The count was based on: Hörzu (2008).

[96] 10.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m .: My strange daughter (TV drama), 8.15 p.m. - 9.45 p.m .: The big showthe natural wonder (Show) and 0.30 a.m. - 2.45 a.m.: The train (War drama).

[97] See Hickethier (1991) p. 9.

[98] See Göttlich (2005) p. 377f.

[99] Cf. McQuail (1983) quoted from Meyen (2001) p. 16.

[100] See Hickethier (1991) p. 15.

[101] See Hickethier (1991) p. 46.

[102] See Bruns (1996) p. 205.

[103] Hickethier (1991) p. 14.

[104] See Hickethier (1991) p. 12.

[105] See Wissler (1994) p. 353.

[106] Wissler (1994) p. 353.

[107] See Brecht (1967) p. 453.

[108] See Brecht (1967) p. 454.

[109] See Brück (1996) p. 13.

[110] Seibert (undated).

[111] See Mikos (2002) p. 2.

[112] See Brück (1996) p. 13.

[113] See Brück (1996) p. 13.

[114] The genre of crime stories "hard-boiled school" founded by the Americans Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett has the type of the hard-boiled detective

[115] Mikos (2002) p. 2.

[116] See Mikos (2002) p. 2.

[117] See Mikos (2002) p. 2.

[118] See Hallenberger (1998) p. 48.

[119] See Hallenberger (1998) p. 48.

[120] However, it is disputed among experts whether this broadcast concept is actually a crime thriller. See Brück (1996) p. 15.

[121] See Brück (1996) p. 16.

[122] See Brück (1996) p. 16.

[123] See Hallenberger (1998) p. 48.

[124] See Appendix B for the introduction of the episodes as a figure.

[125] See Hallenberger (1998) p. 42.

[126] See Brück (1996) p. 11.

[127] See Zubayr / Geese (2005).

[128] This was followed by comedies and sitcoms lasting 16 hours and 7 minutes. The programs from ARD, ZDF, the third programs, 3sat, RTL, Sat.1, ProSieben, RTL II and Vox were included in the investigation. See Zubayr / Geese (2005) p. 1.

[129] Viewers between the ages of 14-29 spend 16 percent of their fiction viewing time on crime thrillers. Interest increases significantly with age: the proportion of users who are 65 or older is 35 percent. 80 percent of 50-year-olds and older viewers watch at least one crime novel per week. See Zubayr / Geese (2005) p. 14.

[130] Viewers from 14 years of age.

[131] See Zubayr / Geese (2005) p. 515.

[132] Count among them Low & Kuhnt - detect commissioners, Len ß en & Partner and K11 - Commissioners on duty. These are fictional productions that want to depict the everyday life of police officers and detectives as realistically as possible.

[133] This includes a total of 18 designated repetitions. The crime scene Vacancy (10/9/2005, HR) is not, for example, marked as a repetition.

[134] For a complete list, see Appendix C.

[135] See Mikos (2002) p. 3.

[136] See Hallenberger (1998) p. 50.

[137] See Mikos (2002) p. 3.

[138] See Mikos (2002) p. 4.

[139] See Hickethier (1991) p. 24.

[140] See Mikos (2002) p. 4.

[141] See Hickethier (1991) p. 22.

[142] See Hickethier (1991) p. 14f.

[143] For a further discussion of attempts to differentiate the crime genre in the literature, see Brück (1996) pp. 25f. and Seeßlen (1981) quoted from Süss (1993) pp. 61f.

[144] See Bauer (1992) quoted from Brück (1996) p. 25.

End of the reading sample from 123 pages