[Author note: Sorry for the 1/2 post this week. My computer crashed and with this being the first entry in the series, it wasn’t backed up yet. –JRL]
Every news station in the Twin Cities was leading with the story the horrific discovery of a burning body in Black Dog park in Burnsville.
The body was burned beyond recognition and had been sent to the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for identification. Police were asking for any information regarding the case, but given the relatively remote location and easy in and out access to Interstate 35W, the chances of getting any good leads seemed remotely small.
Across the Twin Cities, in Andover, the murderer sat watching the news with sadistic glee. The murderer flicked off the TV and said to themselves, “Yes! A clean getaway and no evidence at the scene!”
While the murderer was celebrating, new reporter Paul Beckert was facing up to his first major news story while working for the Twin Cities Gazette. He’d only been hired a couple of weeks previously, right out of journalism school. Most of his college reporting was TV and multimedia based, so it was a different world for him to be working in print/on-line journalism.
As he rushed to write up his story, he found himself thinking of his girlfriend who worked downtown. No one knew if the victim was random or not, the only details the BCA was willing to give out were that the victim appeared to be a young female. The press conference with the BCA, in his mind, was a waste of time. It was a rehash of everything that was already known with no new information from the original morning press conference with the Burnsville P.D.
Taking a quick break from his updated story, he sent of a text to his girlfriend. The gruesome nature of the story had left him shaken and rethinking his decision to go into journalism and wondering if it was too late to go into radio.
No time to re-think it now, I’ve got a deadline for this story.
He added a couple of more paragraphs to the story and re-read it. He fired it off to the afternoon editor for review. While he waited for Sherry to review the story, he checked his phone, no reply from his girlfriend yet.
Sherry approved the story and pushed it up to the website and had it in the queue for considering for the next morning’s print issue. He had a feeling that there would be more updates to the story right up until press time. He couldn’t control that but it also frustrated him that he couldn’t get the complete story in one go.
With his last story submitted, he packed up for the day and grabbed his jacket. It was only October, but in Minnesota, it could bring a blizzard. It was already getting colder as highs had sunk into the mid-40s already with lows already below freezing. While he didn’t like living in a townhome, he didn’t mind the lawn and snow service provided.
As he left the building and walked the skyways to the parking ramp where he was parked, his phone chirped from his jacket pocket. It was his girlfriend confirming if he still wanted to go to Hunan Palace, a cozy little Chinese restaurant on the other side of town.
He sent a quick “Yes, on my way home.” and started driving home.
Wednesday Briefs Authors posting this week: