ENNER, La. — The cake had been served and the children were jumping up and down in a big, inflatable castle when the birthday party turned to bedlam.A tragedy, no question.
Clarence McGraw's jaw dropped as he saw the visitors coming, guns drawn. The screaming began.
Children ran everywhere in the courtyard of the low-income apartment complex; adults fell to the ground. Bullets flew. The killers wounded three youngsters, but for reasons police can't explain, it was 19-year-old McGraw they were after.
As McGraw lay in the center of the green square, the gunmen stood over him and fired again. He was shot 15 to 20 times in all.
How does the Media handle it?
.. The Media presupposes a charnel yard .. "littered with ... bone fragments and teeth."
On Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Glenwood Apartments in Kenner, Trinioucka Martin rose early and cooked all morning for her twin boys' birthday party — meatballs, fried chicken, baked macaroni, sandwiches. She had already ordered a cake with the youngsters' picture on it, hired a DJ, and rented the inflatable castle and house.
McGraw woke up at his aunt's house across a highway from the apartment complex and had a hankering for something sweet. He wanted some cake.
At the party, after the crowd had dispersed and the officers arrived, McGraw lay dead on the ground near a sewer grate, his torso and lower body riddled with bullet wounds. Balloons still floated from ribbon; the "Happy Birthday" banner still hung.
No arrests have been made. McGraw was buried in a $450 grave against a chain-link fence in a crumbling New Orleans cemetery. The mound of dirt above his casket is littered with rocks and bone fragments and teeth. There was no money for a marker.
This is yellow journalism at its best. Or at its worst.It causes the reader to doubt the veracity of the rest of the article.
The author of the article comments, swears that the "rocks and bone fragments and teeth" are indeed more than mere hyperbole.
I apologize for my skepticism, and strike the statement. (But not the statement of doubt ... it does have that effect.)