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March 02, 2005

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» THE MURDER OF JUDGE LEFKOW'S FAMILY from Michelle Malkin
Have you been following the news about the horrific, execution-style murders of Chicago-area judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow's mother and husband? As you probably know, there is strong suspicion that the crimes may be connected to a white supremacist hate g... [Read More]

» THE MURDER OF JUDGE LEFKOW'S FAMILY from Michelle Malkin
Have you been following the news about the horrific, execution-style murders of Chicago-area judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow's mother and husband? As you probably know, there is strong suspicion that the crimes may be connected to a white supremacist hate g... [Read More]

» Is the New York Times the root of all evil? from Word Munger
Just One Minute has an extended rant about how "Jodi Wilgoren of the NY Times may have committed a deadly lapse of judgment in her moving account of execution-style slaying of the husband and mother of a Federal judge." Wilgoren's crime? Revealin... [Read More]

» More Irresponsible Behavior from the NY Times from The Eleven Day Empire
Tom Maguire points out yet another example of thoughtless and reckless reporting by the NY Times. He notes that in... [Read More]

Comments

Teresa

Good heavens, why don't people think, especially in a case like this where the killers are still free! I hope your post wakes up a few people (at least, I don't think the reporters can be woken up, but maybe the authorities will guard her carefully until they find out what's going on).

I didn't read any more about the story today. I was still disgusted after Mayor Daley's press conference yesterday where he was already using the murders to push his gun legislation... sheesh.

lilo

as a local radio host used to say (extremely sarcastically) bout the hotshot press and newscasters
"Our right to know supercedes your right to exist."

Mrs. Davis

The young Ms Lefkow returned home some time ago and is probably under as much protection as her mother. I know because my daughter attends the same school and sent a copy of the e-mail that was sent by the administration to each student. Tasteless, perhaps; but deadly? I think not. I'm more offended that law enforcement officials are using innuendo instead of evidence to build a case.

anonymous

While it was a stupid and dangerous slip of the NYT, my guess is that all of the children are now in federal protective custody and so it is irrelevant. The question is whether or not it endangers anyone who knew those children, or whether the Feds had to take extra steps to secure those people BECAUSE of the NYT story.

I say this because I am peripherally aware of family members of one of Judge Lefkow's children. He was a co-employee of someone I know, and today, it was explained by company HR, that he is in federal custody.

Whatever that means, I've no idea. But the implication was that he is not returning to work. (ever? Who knows.)

TM

The young Ms Lefkow returned home some time ago and is probably under as much protection as her mother.

I assume they are all under lockdown right now, but had she been planning to go back to school at some point?

Still good point - there should be no grounds for immediate panic (so I will try to exhale...)

DensityDuck

Newspapers should not be allowed to obtain or publish any details about anyone, ever. It's clearly a threat to the public that the information contained in a common phone book should be bandied about so carelessly. I mean, everyone knows that the government's operations require a cloak of secrecy to be truly effective; if you let a flood of reporters in there it would screw everything up!

Jay Manifold

Oh, I don't know. I'd be satisfied with a ban on pseudonymous commenters on blogs, myself.

Geoffrey Barto

This is the same NYT that printed potentially deadly information about the anonymous Iraqi bloggers a month or two back.

I don't think the New York Times would ever let a little thing like the safety of a human being get in the way of their reporting. You have to remember what's really important, ya know? Mere mortals or the old gray lady? It's not even a close call.

Mrs. Davis

had she been planning to go back to school at some point?

I sure hope the Feds catch these guys before next semester starts. Somehow I have the feeling this investigation may get a very high priority, as it should.

But I'll bet its tough to go back to anything after something like this.

TM

It's clearly a threat to the public that the information contained in a common phone book should be bandied about so carelessly.

Well, the Yahhoo People Search for the USA gives me nothing for either "Laura Lefkow" or "L Lefkow", although one of the subscription services promises some hits.

So I am not sure what common phone book you might be looking in, or how you knew to pick the appropriate bok in California.

That said, it is possible that the (already planned) next step was going to be name and location changes for the judge's family members, so maybe this is info is soon to be passe.

DensityDuck

>Oh, I don't know. I'd be satisfied with a ban on
> pseudonymous commenters on blogs, myself.

OH SNAP!

>This is the same NYT that printed potentially deadly
>information about the anonymous Iraqi bloggers a month
>or two back.

Oh, right, you mean the same information that they themselves had posted on their own website, and that Jeff Jarvis had posted four months before the NYT article?

Charles Pettibone

"Hmm, I don't know if the hate groups will pick it up out of the article, or if blogs will point it out to them, just like I'm doing *right now*. I'm at sea as to what to do, so I'll go ahead and post about it instead of putting some thought into the matter before resorting to instant publication technology. I hope this post will bring the matter to the attention of the proper authorities, even though a simple phone call would accomplish the same thing in a secure and private manner, which would also be *guaranteed* success. Since blogging is touted as the cure for all evils, I'll post and rely on legions of ankle-biting pajama clad puppy-sippers to get the message out. That's the ticket!"

Edit your post to include the text provided above, 'tard.

Beto Ochoa

If someone who knows how to manipulate the Public Databases searches for you, you're going to be found. I do this on a regular basis and have yet to fail given enough time.
Regardless, this is an abuse by the press which is all about their own secrecy but your privacy be damned.
A local television station once filmed a friends house, complete with the name and address on the mailbox, in connection with a child molestation only they had the wrong house. My buddy wound up losing his job because the people he worked with were confused by the coverage and associated him with the case and he and his family finally had to move away but the mistaken identity follows him to this day.(18 years) Any background check on him turns up people who remember him as the pedophile in the news report.

Patterico

DenseDuck,

More people read the NYT than read Jeff Jarvis's site or the Iraq the Model site.

TM

even though a simple phone call would accomplish the same thing in a secure and private manner, which would also be *guaranteed* success...

Excellent idea - please leave me the appropriate phone number, and I am happy to call. Should be simple to find.

And perhaps you would be kind enough to call ahead and explain to them that I have an important point that they really ought to think about.

Thanks very much.

[Note: On another day, I might edit the T-bone post for language, but I find it makes a useful point when the critics meet their lowest sterotypes.]

TM

As to the Duck, with this:

Oh, right, you mean the same information that they themselves had posted on their own website, and that Jeff Jarvis had posted four months before the NYT article?

Actually, lots of people meant the unresearched, rumor-mongering speculation that they were CIA stooges, with which the Sarah Boxer story led.

Charles Pettibone

Well, since she's under the protection of the US Marshals, you'd probably want to contact them. Since you're asking me to do your research for you, I'm reasonably sure you won't condescend to follow the links, so here you go:

Robert J. Finan II
Assistant Director of Investigative Services and Witness Security
202-307-9707

Or, you could call the Illinois branch directly:
U.S. Marshal Kim* Richard Widup
219 S. Dearborn Street Room 2444
Chicago, IL 60604 (312) 353-5290

[*I'd also like to take this opportunity to appeal to your gentle readers: Kim is no kind of name to saddle a man with. It's just wrong. Wrong like rain on a wedding day.]

"And perhaps you would be kind enough to call ahead and explain to them that I have an important point that they really ought to think about."

Oh puh-lease, you're the one that is "hoping that this post will call this point to the attention of the proper authorities." I've already done enough of the legwork for you by locating the proper contact info. If you're really interested in bringing the issue to the proper authorities' attention directly instead of relying on the collective power of the blogosphere, you don't need me to serve as your vanguard. Pick up the phone. I'll check back later to hear how it went.

"[Note: On another day, I might edit the T-bone post for language..."

What, "'tard" too hot for you? Widdle feewings huwt? Sorry you can't take a joke. I'll make a deal with you: don't post retarded articles complaining about how the NYT might have outed one of the judge's family members and worrying about how the blogosphere might bring it to the attention of the assassins if they didn't pick up on it themselves and I won't call you 'tard.

"...but I find it makes a useful point when the critics meet their lowest sterotypes.]"

They're my ankles! They're my aaaaaaankles!!!

;)

TM

What, "'tard" too hot for you?

Just rude; we try to maintain standards here.

Feel free to maintain your own standrds elsewhere, thanks.

Jay C

I am assuming that the rationale behind the focus of this post (and so many others) being on the awful failings of the New York Times in identifying one of Judge Lefkow's daughters is that there is unanimous agreement about the even worse awfulness of this heinous political crime (for that it what it is). That the posters and commenters who are eagerly jumping on the NYT-bashing bandwagon are doing so out of the sort of unconscious reflexes triggered by reading too many blogs too often, and not out of ignoring the implications of this terrible crime.
Yes, I know there might be some slim chance that Dr. Lefkow and Mrs. Humphrey were simply offed by a couple of random burglars: but what, in all reality, given the Judge's well-documented connections with Matthew Hale and his scumbags, what, in reality are the chances of THAT?
C'mon folks, if the NYT (or for that matter, you or I) can find out the locations of the Lefkow sisters via a quick Googling, why wouldn't a gang of fanatical criminal terrorists (for that is what they are) be able to do the same?
Yes, it's not good journalism, but get a grip, guys: there are more important issues here to get incensed over.

TM

C'mon folks, if the NYT (or for that matter, you or I) can find out the locations of the Lefkow sisters via a quick Googling, why wouldn't a gang of fanatical criminal terrorists (for that is what they are) be able to do the same?

Hmm, my point was that I, at least, was *not* able to track down the daughter via a quick googling.

As to your point that there are other, larger outrages in the world and in this story, well, I expect we all agree, and a number of bloggers discussed them (follow the Memeorandum link). Sometimes I veer a bit from the well-beaten path.

And, since I was atleast as curious as the rest of you - aided by the phone number provided by the ill-mannered yet oddly helpful earlier commenter, and after gettng past the receptionist, I chatted with a "Shannon Metzger" (sp?) in media relations of the Chicago office of the US Marshalls Service.

Her gist - thanks for the tip, and she will pass it along. The family has been advised that loose lips can sink ships, but waddya gonna do?

Charles Pettibone

We? This turn into a group blog or are you having delusions of grandeur? Will you start referring to yourself in the third person, next? George is getting upset.

Anyhoo, I'll do my best to keep you from turning my rude behavior (says you) into a strawman. Let's focus on the real issue: are you going to call the Marshals? Or were you being less that perfectly truthful when you earlier said you would? I mean, I gave you the contact info you requested. I'd hate to think I took time away from organizing my booger collection to dig up info that would languish, unused and disregarded, in the comments thread.

;)

TM

Will you start referring to yourself in the third person, next?

Pretty much always have - one of the long-standing jokes here that regular readers are probably sick of, but of which we never tire.

...are you going to call the Marshals? Or were you being less that perfectly truthful when you earlier said you would?

Hmm, see above. Comments crossed in the night, apparently.

Jane J

The Times also printed a picture of the judge's house on page one that clearly showed the street number. Leaving aside the fact of the murders there, I don't see how the judge can ever go back home now that the house and the exact street address have been broadcast all over the world.

Forbes

Having some familiarity with the Marshal's Service guarding Federal judges, since the WTC I trial in NYC, circa '95, I wonder about certain implications of many of the commenters herein. (I've become personally acquainted with a few of the Deputy Marshals.)

The original threats were considered to be against the judges themselves. 24/7/365 protection requires approx. 5 full time body guards. Are we now to suppose that the protection is to be extended to children (this judge has 5 daughters, with two older than age 20) and parents? Married children and their spouses? Grandchildren? Brothers and sisters? Their families? How far does the threat to kidnapping and murder extend?

Do we presume that the college age daughter (and all her siblings) quoted has been, or should be provided (or subjected to) round the clock armed, government-provided security, stalking her to academic classes, the library, sorority meetings, and overnights with the boyfriend? Do we provide her, or the Marshal, with a car to facilitate transportation for the two of them?

There are a couple thousand federal district and appellate judges. How far do we go in creating a class of citizens that are entitled to a level of security not provided to the rest of us? And at what cost?

I ask this because the knee-jerk reaction to such media exposure is: more security, more laws and regulations, more cost (and most fairly ineffectual, e.g. see airport security). Yet, the threat assesment seems entirely lacking (at least in the public dialogue), as the real threat seems no more than a high profile anomoly--as every fews years there is a violent incident, e.g. the Unabomber.

The Marshal's Service web page states 21 security details with 6 round the clock in 2002--though I doubt the numbers are individual details, as I'd guess the Southern District of New York is run as one detail.

As regards criticism of the NYTimes in choosing to report personal details as such--well, the Times deserves the criticism, if only as the "leading light" of mainstream media. This is not Times-bashing, as one commenter put it, IMO. (Such characterizations are best left for criticizing the editorial page regarding differences of politics.)

Rather, I think the MSM has invaded a zone of privacy that far exceeds what is necessarily newsworthy. This invasion occurred long ago, and it is only now with the arrival of widely available internet-based communications media that such legitimate criticism can be aired.

The privacy invasion that the MSM regularily practices is a voyeurism well beyond the self-selection that necessarily occurs for guests appearing on trashy daytime television.

And while alluding to where the MSM should draw the line, one could say draw it anywhere, for now, there is no line. But an interview of a blood relative of murder victims, all who are apparently under the threat of such violence, and then provide identifying details of said relative--whether such details are widely known, or not--adds no news worthy of publicity.

The power of the MSM is its influence upon society at large, and that influence is obtained by acting responsibly towards the subjects of its news stories, as well as its readership. Such responsibility is carried out by editors exerting news judgement--including details that are central to the news report, and ommitting information that is secondary to the story.

Television and print media regularly interview relatives of the passengers aboard airline disasters, and neighbors of murder perpetrators or victims, none of which serves any news value.

Blah, blah, blah, (sorry TM, I should get my own blog).

TM

Forbes, I see part of the problem right away - the Federal Marshalls are wimps when it comes to providing security.

In his latest instructional video, Tommy Lee Jones shows how one Texas Ranger can protect a whole group of young women all by himself, thereby embodying the famous Texas Ranger motto - "One sorority house, one Ranger."

Seriously, there is obviously no way they can have five marshalls on every family member for the next few years. An obvious alternative would be name changes and college/location changes (sort of like the Witness Protection program, which does not guard folks 24/7).

How this would work for the kids who still live with the judge, I have no idea.

sophy

Please do not hesitate to have runescape gold . It is funny.

eve isk

When you have eve isk, you can get more!

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