The Press: Riding Crime's Crest

On her way to a church dance one night, a 22-year-old San Francisco secretary named April Aaron picked her way through the Panhandle, a densely wooded, dimly lighted strip of parkland on the city's west side. Suddenly a figure leaped from the darkness, snatched April's purse and, when she screamed, slashed her viciously with a knife.

Even in San Francisco, few purse-snatch stories rate much attention from the press.

But April's case had Page One quality—young innocence cruelly hurt. The papers made the most of it. The victim was "pretty" (the Chronicle}, "vivacious" (the Examiner), "deeply religious" (the News-Call Bulletin). As doctors tried...

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