Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Playing "What if?" with the newspaper

The other day, I was reading an article in the newspaper about an apparent murder-suicide. What troubled me was that the writer of the article noted in his lead that the site of this tragedy was on the same street where a local teen girl was starved and murdered by torture at the hands of her mother in 2009. The mother recently was on trial (she was sentenced to death on Thursday). What I didn’t get was why the writer chose to start his article with this coincidence. Why mention the apparent murder-suicide happened on that same street? What’s the connection?

Unfortunately, there was no connection mentioned in the article, so why the writer chose to do that is a mystery to me. However, the writer in me started to wonder…”what if?”

What if it had NOT been a “murder-suicide”…but a murder? After all, police did not recover the murder weapon at the scene. (If they had, the writer should have mentioned this. I mean, where IS that murder weapon? Usually, if someone commits suicide with a gun, they find the gun used on the scene.) What if these people knew the mother and had information supporting her guilt? (There was a chance she’d get life in prison instead of the death penalty.) What if she’d managed to hire someone to murder those people so that they couldn’t say anything?

There was no connection in this newspaper article, but my imagination started to create one.

This hung with me for a while. It definitely has the stuff of a good mystery story.

And speaking of mystery, I had to laugh after I solved a Jumble puzzle in the newspaper the other day. I laughed because the words I unscrambled could easily be a secret message to warn someone of something: “Foyer,” “Album,” “Beware” and “Poison.”

Hm, another mystery story inspired by something I read in the newspaper? We’ll see.

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