Introduction The first article I wrote using a title rather similar to this one was written for this journal at the invitation of Brian Williams in the aftermath of the events of 9/11. I am writing this as the events in Mumbai, November 2008, (a terrorist attack and police siege on tourist hotels in Mumbai resulting in over 150 deaths), have drawn to a close. As Jenks (2003) has commented elsewhere, events such as these transgress both our collective and our individual understanding of what it is that can be taken for granted in our everyday lives. Events like 9/11 or Mumbai pose multi-layered questions not only about the nature and purpose of 'new' terrorism (frequently distinguished from 'old' terrorism with the advent of the suicide bomber) but also about the economic, political and social conditions that make such actions an attractive option. The media coverage given to such events and others like them, are all intended to move us: to encourage us to place ourselves next to the victim, for after all, are not they just like us? The excavation of our feelings in this way in the aftermath of such events poses all kinds of questions about the contemporary role of the media in our everyday lives. However such events, in and of themselves, also pose questions about what we understand by crime, criminal victimisation, and appropriate policy responses to such experiences. The purpose of this paper is to explore the extent to which the excavation of our feelings in relation to the suffering of others referred to above has become the touchstone of recent criminal justice policy initiatives and to raise some questions concerning the appropriateness of this elision between policy and empathy.