Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too Much

The Journal of Lake Placid, best known for its in-depth coverage of holiday parades and middle-school sports, carries an unusual police-blotter story on the front page today. Three weeks ago, an 87-year-old woman apparently confessed to killing her 93-year old deaf and blind husband because she said she was tired of caring for him, the sheriff’s office reported.
            The sad story – one that clearly has a lot of local interest – told the basics two weeks ago.  The Nov. 2 story reported names, addresses, times and the fact that the wife was charged with murder.  The follow-up story that appears today rightly includes what officials say appears to have happened and why they think so.  But today’s news rides on the coattails of an autopsy report, prompting Journal reporter/editor Mat Delaney into share::
            Three knives were protruding from the man when first responders arrived. [... The victim was found]  in bed with three kitchen knives still sticking from his nude body.  [... The victim]  was found lying on his left side in the couple’s bed in the master bedroom with three large kitchen knives embedded past the hilt and protruding from his exposed right side. Secondary stab wounds were observed ... [in the victim’s ] neck as well as the right portion of his abdomen.  [The victim] suffered eight stab wounds, including three shallow wounds to his back. Five wounds were deep penetrating stabbing injuries that pierced organs and major arteries with a blade longer than nine inches. The report said a total of four knives were used in the killing. 
 This level of detail serves no purpose other than to horrify. It certainly derails the urgency to report that a story on the same front page ("Vercipia Biofuel Plant is Topic for Rotarians") is plagiarized from a company news release.

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