Blogs Jun 1, 2012 at 6:00 am


...or perhaps that in this day and age, the media should be able to glean all their readers need to immediately know from the internet, and should leave the families and friends alone to grieve. That's how I'd feel, if it were my wife.

What could we possibly need to know from the school where her children attend? That the kids are nice and they're going to miss their mom? Sometimes it's hard to defend journalists.
I hoped that the recent Pulitzer Prize winner would set an example in journalism by knowing that boundries exist when it comes to tragedy. That hope was clearly misplaced.

Leave the families of this tragedy alone unless they want to talk to the press.
@2 in what way did Eli contact the victim's family? He did try speaking with people who knew her and what's wrong with that?

@2: You're misreading. I did not call her family.

@1: I did not call the school to talk to kids. I called the school because there are adults there who knew Gloria. She volunteered there.

Did I read elsewhere that she knocked the gun out of his hand, but that he recovered it before she had a chance to get away? Still. That's a brave thing to do.

My heart goes out to her friends and family. That she had school-age children just breaks my heart.
The death of all victims is equally tragic. My thoughts go out to the friends and family of each one of them.
So many guns.

So many fucked up people.

So many senseless tragedies.

There are times it's too painful to be an American.

My heart is breaking for the victims, their families, their friends, and our country.
Thank you for following up, Eli. If there is a memorial fund for her family you find out about please let us know.

My thoughts are with her family and loved ones.
Ease off Eli, maybe. The family circled the wagons because they knew reporters would be doing this. It is their job, after all. Respecting their wishes does not mean no coverage, it means resisting the urge to hype the story. I think this is a job as well done as can be expected given the emotional shading the "aftermath" posts have taken on.
I feel so deeply sorry for all those who lost loved ones. May you know some peace and comfort.
Damn you, Mr. Sanders! How dare you even think to remind people that the recent tragedy had victims - real people - and that it wasn't just about the shooter!

...and off goes effeminate Eli on his latest ambulance chasing mission. One Pulitzer not enough?
@1, @2, @9 Eli is doing his job, and doing a damn fine one at that. Here, he paints a picture of a victim, with a few deft brush strokes, and let's us connect, at least in a little way, with someone we never knew. And, he leaves us in tears, with only heartfelt support for her family.
@13, I agree, and fear my light punctuation may have led you to think I meant different. Sorry. My opening sentence might better have read "Ease off on Eli". I directed it not at Eli but at those who came here to criticize his trying to tell the story at all.
Sounds like a nice person in the wrong place at the wrong time. I don't think any deeper digging is required.

My condolences to her family and friends.

Gee whiz, I got more biography on her by watching KOMO news at 4 yesterday.

She was a Lighting Engineer (or Designer) and the professional society she belonged to is the Illuminated.

The thing that made me saddest was that this is something I had never as a specialty...but why's as important as all get out (especially here where it's dark 10 months a year).

So, now we can never talk to her...this is what society lost.
SROTU, your trolling has been noted, now please knock it off.
I'm curious as to where some folks got the idea that what Eli did/is doing is something new, controversial or especially skeezy. Whether you think it's ethical or not, following up, even very quickly, with the families of victims has been Day 1 stuff since Hearst or even further back. This is how the sausage is made, gang, and this is about as respectful and dignified a reporting of a "no comment" you'll ever see.

I doubt you quote these phantom ethics in the 10 other horrors you read about every day that happen further from home.
Oh dear. We (were) in the same industry.

Thank you, Eli. It’s heartening that her associates are staying quiet for now and allowing the family to control the information on her.

My sympathies and kind thoughts go out to her family.
I agree with the general sentiments behind @'s 1 & 2, even while I feel this is a perfectly respectful and responsible piece of reporting. Through no real fault of eli's, this just conjures images of those reprehensible local teevee news crews jamming their cameras in the faces of still grieving families at a fresh accident site or outside of a courthouse following a verdict.
The Times has a harrowing account from one of the bystanders who came to Ms. Leonidas' aid. Apparently the shooter was attacking her before he shot her (maybe she argued about giving her keys up or he was worked up by then; we'll never know).

Bless those willing to step up and help another person in trouble.
Thank you, Eli, for posting this. You could not have written it better.
According to coverage in the Times yes, she knocked the gun out of Stawicki's hands but he recovered it. Brave lady.
Beautifully writ, Eli. I don't understand why some commenters are all atizzy because you called some people and asked some questions. Sounds like what I expect reporters to do.

"May we all be loved this fiercely," indeed.
Yeah, but why did he write it then? A non-story story. True to Stranger form, it ends up being all about Eli rather than the victim.
@25: We're writing about all the victims. It would seem wrong to be silent about this loss, although we understand and absolutely respect her family's silence.
My co-workers are mourning her loss today. Many have worked with her in the past and have said wonderful things about her. They're upset and shocked. She impressed those with whom she worked in this industry.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to know more about the victims. It was nice to read a bit about Schmootzi the Clod and Meshuguna Joe- and I'd like to know something about the others as well, the ones who didn't have quite the reputation or stage presence.

But if the famililies would like to keep quiet, that's fine, and Eli is respecting that after the initial round of inquiries.
I don't get why people are so up in arms over Eli's post. The other victims of this rampage were members of the Stranger's core audience. There have been numerous accounts of who they were and what they meant to friends. Many readers knew them, and those who didn't have gotten a sense of who those people were and what the loss represents by reading about them.

Ms. Leonidas was a person completely outside the Stranger's demographic, and her death was isolated from the tragedy at Cafe Racer. Personally, I am glad to see that Eli reached out to try to give her the same celebration of her life as was afforded to the other victims. I think this post is extremely respectful and gives power to the family and friends of a woman who was clearly very beloved.
I'm somehow comforted to know the Good Samaritan who was trying to save her kept telling her, "I'm here with you; you're not alone. "
I have a feeling the same people up in arms over this post would have been equally mad if you had chosen not to write about her.
These are real people who had lives and families and friends and careers. It's important to remind people of that. We've learned a lot about the other victims, particularly the musicians who clearly touched so many people's lives.

Good reporters can gather this information in a professional and respectful manner. Often relatives and friends want to speak about their loved ones. If not, you back off, just as Eli did here.
Yeah guys, if there weren't some kind of memorial everyone would be getting pissed that there was no personal coverage of this. I think that second/last paragraph is totally beautiful, and it sounds like Eli was respectful of everyone's wishes not to speak about Gloria. RIP.
Get with the program, folks. It's really simple. When a Times reporter does it, it's an outrage and you can pile up on them. When the Stranger reporters do it, you have to praise them.
I think Eli handled this really well. I don't think she should be forgotten.
@17 The "Registered Commenter Filter for Slog and Lineout" script for Greasemonkey makes such a difference. Getting nested comments and stripping out Bailo, Will, et al. has made these threads bearable. I highly recommend.…
I understand the families wishes but I kind of bothers me a little while people completely cut people out of the mourning. I might be a bit sensitive since a friend died this year and the family keep friends out of it. I am glad people are researching her a little so that people can feel connected.
I'm a reporter who has often been in the position of contacting grieving family members sometimes within hours of a death. There's a right way to do it: You knock, you say how sorry you are and you mean it. You say you wish you weren't there. You say that you'll understand if they can't talk to you, but that you want to tell people who the person was that they lost, the real person, not the statistic. And then you shut up, and listen to whatever is forthcoming. Sometimes it's "No comment," and that's fine. But sometimes it's the right moment for memories, and you take the stories they tell you - often funny stories, sometimes poignant ones, always stories that could not be told about any other human being - and you write them down and hold them out so that others will know who we, as a society, just lost. It's a sacred trust. I think it's one of the most important things reporters do. And if I had lost someone, I'd be happy to see Eli on my doorstep.
As a member of the Cafe Racer family, I can honestly say that the staff at The Stranger has shown themselves to be sensitive and understanding while trying to pay tribute to our lost friends. Some of the staff were friends with the dead. Certainly, Gloria's death is horrifying and it's not surprising that the family would want to circle the wagons. Regardless, The Stranger does not handle these tragedies in the manner typical of MSM and it's prejudicial to treat all journalists as sensationalists. We want to see our dear friends celebrated in print, they deserve it. Perhaps the reporters at The Stranger did not want Gloria to be left out of this remembrance solely because she was killed separately from the others that day. After learning how her friends and family felt, they respectfully gave them space. Perhaps vilifying the people who want to give an accurate portrayal of the lives of the dead right now is a far worse offense than anything they've done...

Please wait...

and remember to be decent to everyone
all of the time.

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