By Tracy Dingmann
So many times we at ABQ Journal Watch have written about the particularly good work done by various individual reporters at the Journal.
It’s time to do it again today.
Given the topic, the July 23 UpFront column “Thieves Hit Kid’s Graves,” by Joline Gutierrez Krueger could have been rendered in overwrought and sensationalistic tones.
I mean, people stealing flowers, vases and toys from babies’ graves? A story about this could have really gone over the top.
But Gutierrez Krueger, a writer with a real gift for writing about children and about victims of crime, dealt with the topic sensitively and informatively.
In telling the sad tale, she avoided the obvious tactics of tear-jerking or outrage and instead mixed parent’s poignant quotes with some pretty hard facts.
This included the craziest fact of all.
From the story:
But if the thieves thought their graveyard bounty would bring in a nice profit, oh how wrong they would be.
The vases are made of a low-grade material commonly known as pot metal that goes for about 10 cents a pound. Aluminum such as those found in soda cans, by contrast, goes for 45 cents a pound.
What great use of a simple detail to so deftly illustrate the ultimate cruelty and futility of a heartbreaking string of crimes.