nancylebov (nancylebov) wrote,

Death in the blind spot

Last April, a man was slowly beaten to death. Somehow, it barely made the news. I've read all the comments to a major lj source, and even people who lived quite near where the murder happened didn't hear about it until it hit the blogosphere.

There's been a campaign to tell the mainstream media to cover this. As of this morning, it still hasn't hit the mainstream media. Is this some sort of cover-up or, more likely, entrenched habit which is making this story fall through the cracks?

I'd have assumed that the cruelty and the baroque details--cellphone video of the beating, bloodstains all over the county coroner's house (the coroner was the father of one of the murderers), the body stored in the garage for ten days--would be enough to get the murder a little public notice.

Instead, it's pretty much just been reported in the gay press because the murderers are using a "gay panic" defense and in an alternative paper. If hadn't been a homosexual angle, would this story have been ignored completely?

I'm amazed and a little paranoid that this could have gotten lost in the shuffle. Possibly the VA Tech shooting overshadowed it, but even in all of the local press?

Are torture-murders so common that they aren't news?

Here's the email I sent to NPR's On the Media:

Aaron Hall was tortured to death in Crowthersville, Indiana in April by three men during about two days leading up to April 12.

The murder didn't make the news in Indiana, nor has it yet made the national news. It's been reported in a few gay publications. The murderers are claiming homosexual panic as a defense. It's been all over the blogosphere.

I'm hoping you'll pick up the story.

Nancy Lebovitz

It turns out that I got a couple of details wrong--the murder was done by two men, not three, and I linked to the fourth page of comments (though it still has the original article). I hope those aren't enough to discredit the story.

If there's some media outlet that you think ought to be prodded, by all means prod it. Maybe all that's needed is more emails to get above a threshold. Or maybe we need to figure out what's going on so we'll have a better idea of where to apply pressure.

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