I have a tough time with assignments like this, one, because it's obviously emotionally tough, but two, because I'm not fond of putting a camera in people's faces when they're grieving. Late in the day, they found Chelsea's body, but even so, her parents showed up at the planned vigil to thank the thousands of people who had helped search for her. The media, of course, swarmed them. Me included. I'm never proud of that moment. I think it's vile. My reporter justified it this way: the family has been very open with the media from the beginning. They knew media would be at this event. For them, it was expected, and a way to get their message out to all watching. And she had a point.
We lead such a weird life. I looked behind me last night, and for as far as I could see, reporters and cameras lined the yellow tape doing hits for the six o'clock news. What is it about human beings that we need to hear news like this? I'm not suggesting we live in a bubble, and yes, by getting news like this out there perhaps laws will be changed regarding sex offenders like John Gardner, but... I don't know. The energy behind the story disturbed me a bit. Our piece last night was lovely. Candlelight makes for very pretty pictures, especially on the emotional faces of the attendees. But the guilt part of me kicked in, as it always does. Is it right to exploit grief?
Or are we simply honoring the life of a loved and respected young lady? Some family's shun the media during these situations, others open themselves up. I don't quite understand the motivation, and I suppose, should accept that it is their choice. I'm a private mourner. I don't like for even those close to me to know when I'm hurt, so I guess I can't relate, and that's why I get agitated by our invasion of a griever's privacy. But maybe for some it provides comfort to know the world will learn a little bit more about their loved one.
Today we head to court for John Gardner's arraignment. With her body found, they will be able to charge him with rape and murder. I hope the man never sees the light of day again.
And now... it's time to go.