I’ve been working my way through the seven weeks of newspapers that stacked up while I was out in the Midwest. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting a concentrated dose of local news, but it seems like every paper has a story about multiple people being shot, stabbed, bludgeoned or poisoned. Cops shoot perps; perps shoot at cops.
The big story for several days was a woman who went missing; her body was found with her head and fingers cut off and abandoned out in the swamps. Cops, who had been staking out her doctor husband, saw some of his relatives removing something large from his house and discovered it was his body, dead from an overdose.
It was refreshing to step back in time to these photos and a crime account in The Missourian September 18, 1967, by comparison:
“A squirrel hunter, Charles H. Meyer of Gordonville, Sunday stumbled onto what was thought to be stolen goods near Gordonville. Loading the goods onto a truck are from left, Deputy Sheriff Bill Sperling, Larry Meyer, son of the hunter, Deputy Vernon Sebastian, Deputy Jon Knehans and Mr. Meyer.” The story ran on P3A, not the front page, but it was still big news.
Burglary goods in briar patch
The Cape County Sheriff’s Department Sunday recovered items estimated to be worth $500 to $600 which were taken in a burglary August 5. The items, found by Charles Myers, in a woods on his farm as he was squirrel hunting, were believed taken from the R.L. Hanning farm near Whitewater.
The Sheriff’s Department said the loot consisted mostly of electrical equipment, appliances and tools and were spotted by Mr. Myers wrapped in a tarpaulin in a briar patch.
Chief Deputy Wm. A. Sperling said the briars were 12 and 14 feet tall and it was difficult to even open a truck door after backing in to pick up the recovered items.
He said the loot was stashed not far from Route Z west of Gordonville, but could not be seen from the roadway because of the thick foliage. Mr. Myers, however, was hunting further back in the woods and spotted the tarpaulin in the briar patch, Mr. Sperling said.
Wrong AND inconsistent
There was some uncharacteristically sloppy editing in this story. The last name of the hunter and his son was spelled “Meyer” in the photo cutline, and “Myers” in the story. Chief Deputy Wm. (Missourian style, for whatever reason, was to abbreviate William) A. Sperling was referred to as “Mr. Sperling” later in the story. I’m pretty sure somebody got a crankygram from jBlue when he read the paper. Being wrong was bad, but being wrong AND inconsistent was unforgivable. The first error was probably the reporter; the second error meant both the reporter and the copy editor weren’t paying attention to detail.