January 2012 Archives

Analysis: Leads

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The lead to the story written by New York Daily News, "Missouri teen, Alyssa Bustamante, pleads guilty to killing 9-year-old Strangled girl, slashed her throat just to see what it would feel like, prosecutors say," is a great lead to analyze.

This lead almost answers the five Ws- Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
Who: A Missouri teen, Alyssa Bustamante
What: pleads guilty to killing 9-year-old
Where: ?
When: ?
Why: To see what it would feel like

The details of this lead focus on how the girl killed the 9-year-old and why she did it. The location of the crime seems to be in Missouri since that is where Bustamante is from, but the New York Daily News didn't specify exactly where. It is a straightforward and hard-news lead, but the journalist did leave out two components that I believe a lead should cover.

Dead Man Found in a Cabin in St. Louis County

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A man from Zimmerman, Minn. was found dead in a fire-destroyed cabin on Saturday in St. Louis County, roughly 15 miles southeast of Hibbing.

The Duluth News Tribune states that there was another person involved in the fire, a 35-year-old woman from Buhl was able to escape without injury. Unfortunately the male she was in the cabin with wasn't as lucky.

The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office and the state Fire Marshal's Office are investigating claims the Associated Press. And the the man's name is not going to be released until his family has been notified.

Do Your Homework or Suffer the Hand-Shaped Bruises

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A 31-year-old, St. Paul woman was accused of abusing her 8-year-old daughter on Tuesday because her daughter apparently lied about doing her homework.

Around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the 8-year-old's father was called by her mother, Porscha Lafaye Yearby saying, "You better come pick up your daughter. I really (messed) her up this time," reports Emily Gurnon from the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the Duluth News Tribune.

According to the girl's father, Yearby had gotten angry with their daughter, pushed her to the floor and punched and slapped her face. Gurnon also reports that the father saw that the girl had a bloody nose and bruises on her face.Officers recorded that the bruises on her face were in the shape of a hand and that the girl had a large red mark on her neck and a cut on her upper lip.

The Associated Press states, "Yearby told investigators she slapped the girl five times because she believed the girl had lied about doing her homework."

Yearby is set to appear in court again on Feb. 9. for the assault.

27 patients at The Christ is Love center for addicts in Lima, Peru were killed due to a massive fire on Saturday.

The Christ is Love center uses biblical teaching to help addicts become better citizens BBC News reports. Unfortunately many of those addicts will not be able to apply their lessons to a normal life due to either death or injury from the fire.

The Associated Press says that the center was "unlicensed and overcrowded." Firefighters said the doors were locked during the fire and confined the patients inside. Some people leapt from windows to escape the burning building as flames continued to grow.

Ironically, the people addressing their drug addiction in hopes of a better life were trapped "like prisoners," while the fire blazed said Health Minister Alberto Tejada to the Associated Press. Tejada also said that the building was ordered to close two different times.

BBC news reports that Tejada told the Associated Press that, "It was a house they had taken over for patients with addictions and they had the habit of leaving people locked up with no medical supervision."

The fire began early Saturday morning while the residents were eating breakfast. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation, but BBC News claims that some reporters believe the fire began by two patients lighting their mattress on fire as a way to escape the center.

Mysterious Skin Eating Disease Has No Cause

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Morgellons, a disease that is claimed to produce fibers, fuzz and other debris sprouting from sores on the skin, apparently has no cause according to Government health officials on Wednesday after a four year long research study.

Symptoms that the victims claim include fatigue, erupting sores, crawling sensations on their skin, and mysterious red, blue, or black fibers that emerge from the sores.

According to Mike Stobbe from the Associated Press, the study cost nearly $600,000 and the final results from the study conclude that Morgellons exists only in the patients' minds. Scientists also found nothing odd about the threads and fuzzballs that patients reported emerged from the sores on their skin and that they were possibly from clothing. "They also couldn't explain the creepy-crawling, tingling or pins-and-needles feeling that many sufferers said they experienced before the rashes, sores and ulcers appeared," says JoNel Aleccia from msnbc.com.

In order to conduct the research, the CDC and Kaiser Permanente began their study in January 2008 after CDC officials received hundreds of calls about the abnormal disease. By the time the study was launched, the agency had heard from over 1,200 people. According to Stobbe, the mysterious disorder was dubbed Morgellons in 2002 from a 1674 medical paper that described similar symptoms.

Once the research was considered to be complete, it was decided that the disease is not contagious, not hereditary, and it is believed that the disease exists only in the minds of the victims.

Strangled, Sliced, and Stabbed for Fun

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The 9-year-old girl was strangled, sliced at the throat, and stabbed in the chest for the enjoyment of her 15-year-old neighbor.

On Tuesday, January 10, Alyssa Bustamante, now 19, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action of her neighbor, Elizabeth Olten.

The original murder took place on Oct. 21, 2009 in St. Martins, Mo., and at a hearing that same year, prosecutors said that Bustamante plotted the death of her younger neighbor and waited days for the perfect time to act. Bustamante dug two holes as graves, and then a week later strangled, sliced, and stabbed Elizabeth without any reason other than her desire to know what it would be like to kill someone.

Her plea to second-degree murder will cause her to face between 10-30 years to up to life in prison, and her charge for armed criminal action will be 3 years up to life.The actual sentence has not yet been decided and the sentence hearing is currently set for Feb. 6.

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