Press: Knocking On Death's Door

In covering tragedies, do journalists go too far?

When serial murderer Ted Bundy was executed last month, Detroit-area editors and news directors followed one of journalism's most unshakable maxims: develop the local angle. In the case of Bundy, the local hook was Caryn Campbell, a 24-year-old nurse from Dearborn, Mich., whom Bundy murdered in Colorado in 1975. But what was second nature to most journalists was yet another horrible reminder for the Campbell family. "Any article or news report about Ted Bundy always included Caryn's name and the fact that 'her nude and frozen body was found in a snowbank,' " wrote her sister, Nancy McDonald, in a letter...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!