The Boston dailies’ second-day coverage of Craigslist killer Philip Markoff’s apparent jailhouse suicide really separated the sheep from the goats, as Fr. Fahey used to say back at Fordham Prep in the ’60s.
Tuesday Boston Globe headline:
Markoff scrawled messages in blood
Tuesday Boston Herald headline:
Source: Philip Markoff was ‘hell-bent’ on killing self
In a macabre twist in the already bizarre tale of Philip Markoff, the accused Craigslist killer scrawled in blood the name Megan, that of his onetime fiancee, and the word pocket on his jail cell wall before dying, four law enforcement officials with knowledge of the case said.
Hub corrections officers — fearing they’ll be scapegoated for the high-profile death of Philip Markoff — wondered yesterday why the accused Craigslist killer wasn’t kept on suicide watch, even as officials launched a sweeping probe into the blood-soaked cell horror.
1) At least from the respective reports, Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea Cabral was more forthcoming with the Globe than the Herald
2) Only the Herald used the word “shank
3) Only the Globe had this: “A Boston trauma surgeon said that if Markoff sliced the carotid artery in the neck and placed a bag over his head, he could have died within 10 minutes.”
But it was the opinion pieces in the Boston dailies that really crystallized their differences.
From the Globe’s VoxOp feature:
“Being under a suicide watch is obviously pointless at the Nashua jail. Philip Markoff was found suffocated and alone in his cell this morning in an apparent suicide. An investigation is underway, but that won’t bring Markoff back to his family or those that loved him, and it certainly isn’t justice for his victim’s families and loved ones. How does someone suffocate themselves while on a suicide watch?’’
A Globe editorial added this:
If not exactly predictable, Markoff’s suicide shouldn’t come as a shock. He had been placed on suicide precautions in April 2009 when a staffer observed suspicious marks on his neck consistent with a hanging attempt. Severed social relations are a factor in inmate suicide attempts. Markoff’s body was discovered one day after what would have been the one-year anniversary of his cancelled wedding to his college sweetheart.
Nowhere did the editorial note that Markoff was no longer on suicide watch – a fact VoxOp blogger Joanne Thomas also conveniently ignored.
Meanwhile, the Herald had dueling opinion pieces about the effect of Markoff’s abrupt demise on the family of his alleged victim, Julissa Brisman.
Margery Eagan headline:
Cowardly act spared Brismans lifetime of pain
Laurel J. Sweet headline (technically not an opinion piece, but “Analysis”):
Suicide dashes hopes for truth
So to review, class: Who’s the sheep and who’s the goat here?
You tell us.