What happened to news?

Ecstatic parents of boys found in Missouri hail ‘miracle’

It is truly a wonderful thing that the two boys who had gone missing in Missouri – Ben Ownby, 13, for four days, and Shawn Hornbeck, 15, for four years – have been found. Sadly, sadly, it doesn’t always turn out this way. I don’t know if it’s a miracle or not, but it does count as one of those Very Good Things.


Well… I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon, but… what the hell happened? Four years the kid was gone. Shawn, I mean. What was he doing? We’ve learned that he didn’t go to school during that period. Ok. What did he do? We see that he has a pierced ear. Did he have that when he was 11? Did he never go out of the apartment? Did he not have the opportunity to contact anyone? Was he kept locked up? Tied and gagged? He has clothes that seem to fit him, were they brought to him, or did he go along to buy them? He looks pretty healthy, so he was apparently eating ok, even if not McDonalds. He has long-ish hair, but you know, nothing out of the ordinary. He’s had haircuts. Who did that? Who brought him to the barber? What did they say? What did the neighbors say? Was there never a sound?

And what about the charges brought against the man, Michael J. Devlin, whose apartment they were found in: one count of first-degree kidnapping. Hello!!? There were two boys! Count ’em: Ben, Shawn. One, two. ”Wait a minute… lemme count ’em again… Hey, Sheriff! I think we better count ’em again! I think we got one more here than we thought! Lemme see…”

And as for the other kid, Ben, well, what happened to him? When and how and where did he disappear? How did he wind up in the apartment? Did nobody see him going in?

So anyway, I’m just wondering, what happened to news? News where things would be presented in a reasonably intelligent way. The who, what, where, when and why of it all. The articles on this subject that I’ve read and seen on TV, including CNN where the subheading above comes from, have none of that. They try to be a feel-good story, which is great; I mean, yes, it’s great that they were found, and found in good shape. But don’t the news reporters or producers imagine that people would have some questions about all of this? Why leave so many things obviously unanswered?

It just makes no sense, and it’s just not news.


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