something to think about
Why do you think the Laci Peterson story became such a major news item?
Women go missing every day, some of them pregnant. Why this story? Why this woman and not Evelyn Hernandez , who went missing in last May?
...Evelyn Hernandez of San Francisco, [who] vanished last May 1 with her 5-year-old son, a week before she was to deliver a baby boy. Her torso was found in the bay three months later and identified, while her son remains missing. No arrests have been made...friends and family tried repeatedly to get Hernandez's case featured on "America's Most Wanted" but were rejected because no warrant had been issued for a suspect. But, [Evelyn's friend] Damy said, the show did a story on Laci Peterson although no suspects had been named in that case either
Andrea Yates killed her children, a story which was covered in all forms of media for weeks on end. Recently, a couple strangled and then beheaded their three children and it only made a couple of major news web sites and was gone in a flash (when I Googled this story most of the links that came up were dead) .
Why the disparity? How does one story get picked up by every media outlet and another rates only a small box on page 20 of the local paper? If publicity helped find Elizabeth Smart's kidnapper, then why not give the same amount of publicity to every missing child or every unsolved murder?
It's also interesting to note the differing views on similar situations. The Van Damns befriended a strange man and brought him into their home even though they had children. They have been villified by both the press and public for doing so. Many people laid the blame for Danielle Van Damn's kidnapping and murder squarely on the shoulder's of the parents.
The Smarts also befriended a strange man and brought him into their home. No one blames them for that. No one made them defend that decision.
I don't have any answers. I'm curious on your take. Consider this research for something I am working on.