Why Are Attractive Criminals Media Sensations?

Horrible crimes occur every day in Florida and throughout the United States. Most of these crimes and the people who commit them do not become media sensations or even front-page news. However, certain stories involving attractive alleged criminals seem to grab headlines on the Web, in newspapers and on television.

Take for example, Casey Anthony, a pretty 23-year-old from Orlando who is charged with the first-degree murder of her toddler daughter, Caylee. Casey Anthony is currently being held without bail in the Orange County Jail. If convicted, she faces the death penalty. Granted, this case has many sensational aspects that make it newsworthy, but the widespread media coverage given to Casey Anthony is arguably at least in part due to her good looks.

Another case that made a big splash in the media involved Debra Jean LaFave, a beautiful former model and teacher in Temple Terrace, Florida, who had sex with a 14-year-old student in 2004 when she was 23. She pleaded guilty to statutory rape charges in 2005, blaming her behavior on bipolar disorder. Her defense attorney made headlines after making the controversial statement to the media that “To place Debbie into a Florida state women’s penitentiary, to place an attractive young woman in that kind of hell hole, is like putting a piece of raw meat in with the lions.”

So why do cases involving attractive suspects receive so much publicity and attention? One reason is the old theory that “sex sells.” People like to see pleasing images and pretty faces on magazine covers, in the movies and on TV. By putting attractive criminals on their front pages, newspapers and magazines will attract more buyers. Likewise, stories about beautiful but “bad” people on TV news programs and Web sites will attract more viewers. Good news stories need a “hook,” and a attractive perpetrator is just that. Most people are simply more interested in reading about and seeing images of beautiful people.

Another theory is that many people have a preconceived notion (whether it is right or wrong) that attractive people wouldn’t or couldn’t commit crimes, and so it is surprising and fascinating when a pretty or handsome individual is arrested for or charged with a crime. Society may have a prejudice that crimes are committed by average or even unattractive people. So stories about beautiful criminals get people talking. Whatever the reason, if an alleged offender is attractive, chances are good that he or she will receive more coverage in the news.

On the Wrong Side of the Law?
Contact Us Day or Night (407) 228-3838

Contact our criminal defense lawyers in Orlando, FL for an immediate consultation regarding your legal rights. Most of the lawyers at the Umansky law firm are former prosecutors who have tried DUI cases and are now putting their experience to work for you. Please call (407) 228- 3838 today.

Recent Criminal
Case Results

Grand Theft ($300-$5000)

Nolle Prosequi-Case Dropped

CT-Driving Under the Influence Car (M1)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

CT- Driving under the influence car

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

Grand Theft Third Degree

Adjudicated Guilty; One day jail/one day time serve; Restitution fees; Court Cost

Petit Theft < 300

We negotiated an agreement that entailed the State dropping the charge after our client completed a Pre-Trial Diversion Program. The Charge was dropped via a Nolle Prosequi.

Unlawful Speeding

Withhold of Adjudication; No points on license; Paid fine and clerk cost; 8 hour aggressive driver class; 90 days to satisfy fine and class

Shoot/Throw Missile Into Dwell/Struct/Veh; Child Abuse; Criminal Mischief; Battery (Domestic Violence)

No Information Notice - Charges Dropped

Attach Tag/Lic Plate To Unassigned Vehicle (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped

DUI with Minor In Car or BAL of .20 or Higher

Pled No Contest, 1 Year Probation, 10 day Car Impound, Community Service

Motion to Modify Probation

Motion Granted in 48 hours

Petit Theft

Adjudication Withheld, 4 Months probation, Costs/Fines, Impulse Control Class

Petit Theft of $100 or MORE (M1)

Nolle Prosequi

Refuse To Submit To DUI Test (M1)

Case Dropped

Battery on Law Enforcement Officer (F3); Disorderly Conduct (M2)

Nolle Prosequi - Case Dropped


Charges Dropped

Scheme to Defraud(F3); Grand Theft(F3)

Motion to Terminate Probation Granted

Unlawful Speed


Failed to Yield at Intersection

Not Guilty

Leave Scene Of A Crash W/Property Damage (M2)

Case Dropped

Motion to Modify and Impose a Withhold of Adjudication


Attempted Burglary of a Conveyance

Charges dropped

Possession of Cannabis (less than 20 grams)

Charges dropped


Reduced to reckless driving

Possession of Alcohol Under the Age of 21

Charges dropped

Driving Under the Influence

Reduced to Reckless Driving

Violation of Probation

Case Dismissed

More Cases

Recent Personal
Injury Settlements


Scooter Accident


Car Accident


Car Accident


Government Liability Case


Back Injury

More Settlements