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‘Vindictive' Reporting




In regard to your review of the top stories of 2011 ("Top 10 Stories," Dec. 22), I am compelled to express my indignation at the omission of the word "allegedly" in your reference to me as an abusive husband. In doing so, writer Ryan Burns has presented the allegation as fact, while veiling the Journal's responsibility for the libelous nature of this statement by attributing it to Thadeus Greenson of the Times-Standard. General issues of journalistic integrity aside, I cannot help but believe that your article was retaliatory and overtly vindictive.?As one of the few persons privy to the broader circumstances leading to the tragic death of my daughter I can assure you that, although very well written, Mr. Greenson's report was far from exhaustive. In fact, many of the direct references to my family that appeared in his article, and in your own subsequent blog posts, were derived from a very small number of uncorroborated anonymous sources and the third party account of a single person with an obvious agenda which was published in tabloid-style foreign press outlets. Thus, these elements should be approached with a substantial amount of skepticism. In addition, your choice of highlighting only the most gruesome of several conflicting and disconnected accounts allegedly made by my wife to authorities, while under a state of extreme duress, is particularly questionable.?Perhaps you have fallen victim to your own morbid fascination and the Journal has joined in the media frenzy which is alluded to in your review. I have greatly appreciated the compassion demonstrated by Mr. Burns and your publication in past coverage of Sophia's untimely passing. However, if your true intent is to honor the memory of my daughter, and possibly provide a service to the community, then I would suggest in-depth coverage of critical issues affecting Humboldt County such as the state of funding for mental health services in our region. By doing this you may play a central role in saving a life in the future, while leaving the speculation, hearsay, and character assassination to the tabloids and Internet comments section posters.

Robert P. Parker, McKinleyville

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