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...

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