Case Study 6

29 Feb

This story stank of bias in its original form. I did my best to clean it up.

To do this I focused on words like “suicidal”; it hasn’t been determined whether the woman was suicidal, so it’s no more fair to accuse her of that than it would be to outright call her a murderer. I feel like the reporter could be a fan of one of the dead musicians because the article is so skewed toward them. Yes, it is a tragedy that the men died, but I felt that the story was trying to make a bigger point about cosmic injustices or something. We’re journalists, not philosophers. The story should be written in such a way that the reader can draw his or her own conclusions.

The link at the end of the article (the blog post) was cut because I felt that the focus should have been on the dead men, not the woman. At the very least the paper should have linked directly to the model agency’s website, not the satirical, biased blog post at the link.

Chicago Murder Trial Begins for “Suicidal” Woman

Former Model Killed 3 Musicians With Car in Bid to End Her Life, Prosecutors Say

They probably never saw her coming.

It was July 14, 2005. Lunch hour in Chicago.

Three local musicians who worked day jobs together at an audio electronics company were stopped at a traffic light in a Honda Civic in a suburb north of the city.

At a speed authorities estimated at 70 miles per hour, a former model who police said was trying to kill herself ran three red lights and slammed them from behind in her red Mustang convertible.

Both cars went airborne on impact, witnesses said. Each landed crushed upside-down on the pavement.

The three men died. The woman walked away with a broken ankle. Her murder trial begins today.

“The one thing that would have brought this thing to closure would have been had she been successful in what she set out to do that day,” said Dave Meis, brother of victim Douglas Meis, referring to the alleged suicide attempt by an ex-model named Jeanette Sliwinski, then 23.

Sliwinski’s lawyers have denied that she was attempting suicide. Her current attorney did not return a call seeking comment on the case.

The crash brought Sliwinski internet infamy. Many blogs and Web sites have posted modeling pictures of Sliwinski since she was arrested.

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