Thursday, May 13, 2010

Morbid curiosity, or true news value?

Several news organizations, including the Stockton Record (but not including the Tracy Press), are taking legal action to unseal court records and lift the gag order regarding the Melissa Huckaby-Sandra Cantu case.

The news outlets want access to the records sot hey can answer the questions still swirling about the case, and they're willing to go to court to get it.

But is this just morbid voyeurism? What could possibly be gained from revealing the no-dobut sordid and sickly details of the 8-year-old Sandra's murder?

Possibly nothing. Possibly everything.

After such an unthinkable crime — as attorney Stephen Clark told the Press, "There’s no motive that anyone could comprehend. This is just one of those ones where no one would understand.” — we still search for answers. It's because of the nature of Huckaby's crime — one that not only was especially heinous, but one that also breaks nearly every convention in the homicide handbook — that there's so much curiosity.

To confront some of the darkest sides of humanity, you first have to know them. If court documents are never unsealed, and if the gag order is never lifted, we may never know what exactly happened to Sandra Cantu, or why Melissa Huckaby did what she did.

We may never know, regardless. But not even getting the chance is a surefire way to keep the mystery murky.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"morbid voyeurism"- Agreed.

It is a child that has been brutally murdered. A child that has a grieving family. A child's sad end to a young life- splashed all over the news.

It is disheartening to find the press wanting to keep this despondent story alive.

Keep the gag order.