Remarkable story how a 22-year-old, beginning reporter for the hometown Tracy Press, Jennifer Wadsworth, helped police find the killer of eight-year-old Sandra Cantu. Wadsworth, who had worked for the paper since September, used basic journalistic techniques to discover that Melissa Huckaby owned the suitcase the dead girl was found in. Now the story has taken on almost unspeakable horror, with the Sunday School teaching granddaughter of the pastor of a small church charged with rape as well as murder in the case.
Of course, to add to the irony of a print journalist making such a difference, the LA Times reports that this all happened as the Tracy Press struggles to survive.
San Jose Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold today reports on how Wadsworth just used old-fashioned journalistic digging to direct the attention to Huckaby.
In an altogether unrelated piece of reporting and finding the story behind the story, check out, if you can find it, HBO’s new documentary, “Thrilla in Manila.” The 90-minute recap of a 1975 fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier is far more than a sports documentary. Told through the eyes of Frazier, today 65 years old and living in a shabby apartment behind an inner city gym he has owned for decades, it’s a story of racial politics and unforgiveness that captures the sound and fury of a decade and about the hearts of two warriors. Ali’s ranting and insults forever changed Frazier, who today sees the stricken former champion and claims victory from their long-ago epic wars. I did this to him, says Frazier, who cannot forget or forgive being branded an Uncle Tom and stooge of the white man. Ali, of course, no longer speaks publicly because of his advanced Parkinson’s, but in 2001 told the New York Times he apologized for the things he said about Frazier. Ali was, and is, a Muslim, and in the ’60s and ’70s was under the sway of the Nation of Islam and Elijah Muhammad’s brand of racial separation, which the documentary maker John Dower likens to the Ku Klux Klan, especially since they have a clip of Ali in Mania pre-fight regaling reporters with tales of his own meeting with the Klan.
Here’s an unrelated (to the documentary) clip from Germany about the Thrilla, often considered the greatest heavyweight fight of all time, and one that tested the hearts and souls of both men: