Take Two for March 21, 2013

The LA Times resuscitates its latent Homicide Report blog

Doner LAPD Shooting Torrance

Brian Watt/KPCC

LAPD officers protecting a person threatened by multiple homicide suspect Christopher Dorner fired upon a truck that matched the description of one driven by Dorner. Dorner was not in the vehicle, but innocent people were hit. The victims are expected to survive.

When it debuted in 2007, the LA Times' blog The Homicide Report was a breakout hit. Reporter Jill Leovy meticulously wrote about every homicide victim in L.A. County.

The posts weren't long, but she would include personal details normally missed by a police blotter:  where the victim was headed, nuggets of information about their family, or maybe it started rain when it happened. These narratives gave people new life beyond just being a name or a "victim," but as a human being.

However, the blog only lasted for a year before Leovy left, and since then readership has dropped off as posts became infrequent. Now the paper is reviving it by looking for a dedicated reporter. Assistant managing editor Megan Garvey explains that it's a difficult job.

"The idea of having to talk to families at one of the worst moments of their lives," she says, "it's difficult to do that."

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