Weight of News

Sometimes the world converges into a series of weird coincidences.

Some would argue there's no such thing as "coincidence" because there's a master plan in the high heavens for us all.

I don't know which is which, I DO know, that I often experience something and in some miraculous way it's explained in a way that had nothing to do with the original experience.

Today, two separate things connected to me and my life and it got me thinking.

First, I saw this article (thanks for posting Rex!)
"When the Weight of the News Becomes Too Heavy For Those Covering It"

Feel free to read it. It's about seeing horrible shit and then having to report on it.

It basically brought back all the memories of some horrible news events I saw unfold or heard about.

I spent a few years working in news. When you work in news, seeing and hearing horrible things is unavoidable. Luckily, I was never in the field. So my experiences were kept to a minimum.

I remember when Jodi Sanderholm disappeared from the town right next to where I spent 5 years in college. She wasn't that much younger than me. We even had mutual friends.
I was in maybe my 2nd year working at KWCH. Of course we were all over the search for her-- everyone was. Ark City, and every city in a 50 mile radius. Thousands of people trying to find one young girl. At this point, the hope is very much still alive.

Then they pulled her car out of a lake....

Then they found her body in a wildlife area.... Things done to her that still gives me nightmares.

I sat in on part of the capital murder trial for her killer, Justin Thurber. A guy I knew of before he decided to kidnap and kill someone. A guy who was friends with people I went to school with. A guy who was often hanging out in the dorm next to us and frequented the bars we went to every weekend. A twisted murderer.
My best friend said she always got "weird vibes" from him. Thinking about it makes me want to throw up.

Murder trials, while at times are quite interesting, are mostly God awful.
Yes I saw gruesome pictures. Yes there were details I wish I hadn't heard.  I watched family and friends I didn't know grieve. It's like being let in on something you shouldn't be.

A guy I was dating at the time covered most of the trial. I remember one Saturday he was napping on the couch. He started having a nightmare, saying "Jodi" in his sleep. He saw way more than me and was much more deep into it. I can't imagine what that was like.
I don't want to.

Oddly enough, as I was reading this article, I saw another news story that triggers memories.

The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the death sentence for the Carr brothers. For you "non locals", just imagine two dudes who are pure evil in human form.

Rapists, murders, sick fucks. They killed for entertainment...even a dog.

The Carr bro's rampage became known as "the Wichita Massacre". It was in 2000. I was in high school, not really concerned with much besides theatre and my own silly life. I remember hearing about it, but not knowing the details. Just that people kept talking about 5 kids shot in a field and how a teacher was saved because of her hair clip.

I think I was a little too naive to understand the weight of the situation. I guess I always saw Wichita as a big city with lots of crime and quadruple murders were commonplace.
Little did I know....

Cut to 2007 or 2008. The Carr brothers were in the news again for something. This time I had to know about it because I was writing stories on it. I learned about the case and kept asking questions in the newsroom. I wanted to know what happened. What the trial was like. How all this unfolded. There wasn't a wealth of information, I'm not sure cameras were allowed inside when the Carr brothers were convicted. My curiosity kept me up for hours one night reading article after article. After some scouring, I managed to find a transcript of the survivor's testimony. The one saved by her hair clip.

It was chilling. She describes EVERYTHING. I couldn't begin to imagine what this young girl went through.

The strangest thing was when she described the condo where it all happened. Turns out, we almost moved into the unit attached to it. I had no idea that months prior to me reading about the gut wrenching event, I was thinking of moving in to the place right next to where it happened. That feet away from where I could have been sleeping, 5 people were held up at gunpoint while monsters raped and tortured them.

When I read Holly G's testimony, it all unfolded like a movie in my head. I could see everything exactly where she described it because I had basically just been there. It was the same floor plan as the place we were looking at.

It gets to me a little bit. That one night you're hanging out with friends enjoying your evening, then it turns into the worst night of your life. That could have easily been me. Every time I hear something about the Carr brothers it all pops back in my head.

Then I go to Facebook, and I look up Holly....

She seems happy.

The awful stories usually have some effect on people. Whether it's anger, disgust, sadness.
Everyone is different. Sometimes we see and hear about this crap and it sticks with us. Sometimes it doesn't even faze us. I don't like having nightmares and memories like that...but most of all...I don't like that they came from something that happened in real life to real people.