Star Tribune’s Simons on Pam Taschuk’s murder: top-notch

Since I stopped writing Daily Glean, I’ve lost my regular spot to praise good coverage, which I don’t do often enough.

But I tweeted earlier today in praise of Abby Simons’ Monday piece on Pam Taschuk’s murder by her husband-abuser. Even though the story is 11 days old and not the sort of big-deal investigation that papers promote, Simons crafted an excellent narrative, fleshing out original reports of 48 previous police calls to the Taschuk home.

The story not only captured the awfulness of life with Allen Taschuk, and the “between the cracks” practices that failed to prevent his crime, it included at least one of the victim’s warts. In one of the most powerful sections, Simons notes Pam Taschuk lied to police officers about Allen Taschuk beating her son and, in that case, enabled his violence. The effect was not to excuse the husband’s ultimate crime; to me, it only deepened a sense of how brutalized the brutalized wife must have been.

As one source noted, the Taschuk case was “very complicated, and the whole relationship was not as simple” as readers might reflexively think. Tough-minded, well-written, deeply reported journalism captures that. This one deserved its place on the front page.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Tim McNeill on 10/12/2009 - 05:28 pm.

    I read the story and was simply shocked. This did deserve to be on the front page. A well writen story that drove the point home. What upsets me is the range of comments the story recieved from readers on the web site. I thought the Strib was going to moderate comments. This story pointed out the need for such moderation.

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