Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Villisca’

Buddy Bunker's Omaha World-Herald photo of the homecoming of Lt. Col. Robert Moore won a 1944 Pulitzer Prize. Moore was a cousin of children killed in the Villisca ax murders.

Buddy Bunker’s Omaha World-Herald photo of the homecoming of Lt. Col. Robert Moore won a 1944 Pulitzer Prize. Moore was a cousin of children killed in the Villisca ax murders.

My friend Bob Nelson interviewed two women who lived for years in the home where the Villisca ax murders happened more than 100 years ago.

Bob’s a great writer. Our desks were close together some 20 years ago and I loved listening to his half of telephone interviews, then reading the resulting stories. I’m glad to share a link to his story. And it’s an excuse to call attention again to my Villisca story, the longest story of my career (and one of the best).

The photo above was taken at the train depot in Villisca, Iowa, when Col. Robert Moore returned home from North Africa on July 15, 1943. The photo won the Pulitzer Prize for Omaha World-Herald photojournalist Earle “Buddy” Bunker. In 1997, my editors at the World-Herald assigned me to write a story about the day Moore came home from the war. Knowing that one of the editors, Joanne Stewart, had roots in Villisca, and knowing how sensitive the community was about continuing coverage of the murders, I joked that I’d find a way to connect the story to the ax murders.

Well, I didn’t have to stretch very hard. It turned out Moore was a cousin of children killed by the mysterious axman, and the murders were a huge and continuing factor in his life.

I recalled my Villisca story in a blog post two years ago.

I don’t have much to add, but wanted to share Bob’s latest story about the ax murder house and reshare the link to my own story.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Buddy Bunker's photo of the homecoming of Lt. Col. Robert Moore won a 1944 Pulitzer Prize. He's hugging his daughter Nancy as his wife, Dorothy, and nephew, Michael Croxdale, watch. My 1997 and 2008 stories about this photo are two of the most memorable of my career.

Buddy Bunker’s photo of the homecoming of Lt. Col. Robert Moore won a 1944 Pulitzer Prize. He’s hugging his daughter Nancy as his wife, Dorothy, and nephew, Michael Croxdale, watch. My 1997 and 2008 stories about this photo are two of the most memorable of my career.

One of the best stories (and the longest story) of my career actually had a huge hole in it. But I got to fill that hole 11 years later.

This post continues my series providing updated journalism lessons from memorable stories of my career. (I welcome other veteran journalists to share similar updated lessons from old stories in guest posts.)

Today I’ll discuss the two stories I did on the people in the photo above, first an incredibly long print story and then a multimedia story. First a warning: This was the longest story of my career, 200 inches long (I like to joke, though it’s accurate, that I wrote 250 inches, but the bastards made me cut it). And that’s back when newspaper columns were wider than they are today. It ran more than 9,000 words. And that doesn’t count the sidebar about Bunker and the photo, the timeline or the cast of characters.

One thing we’d certainly do with this project today would be to make an ebook. It was well on its way to book length anyway. Since I’ll be posting the full story here, plus some background, observations and ways that I’d do the story differently today, it’s certainly going to be my longest blog post ever. If you spend the time to actually read all the way through, I hope that the story itself and/or my observations about it are worth your time.

The story is about the photo above and the people in the photo. I used the story frequently in writing workshops, long before I started teaching digital journalism tools and techniques. I’ll share some of those lessons, too. (more…)

Read Full Post »