For a news junkie like me, the “We found JonBenet’s killer” story is a huge annoyance. It captures headlines all over the place, obscuring real news. So some creepy middle-aged white guy killed some creepy childhood beauty princess. So what? The JonBenet story is interesting only because it is so very creepy. But this shouldn’t have ever been anything more than local news in central Colorado.

Hey, Mainstream Media: Tell me about the war. Tell me about the economy. Tell me about changes in technology and science. Tell me about real crime. Tell me about law and politics. Tell me about natural disasters. But don’t bother me with Britney belching. At least, not on the front page of all your websites.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.


  1. Well, now it looks like he may have falsely confessed, that is a little bit more interesting.

  2. Meh. This dude’s confession says that he picked her up from her school on December 26, 1996. Clearly, something is amiss here, but I can’t motivate myself to care all that much. I began suffering from “JonBenet fatigue” in early 1997 and I’m not over it now.

  3. I vehemently disagree. This is what’s so great about the Internet — you don’t have to choose. Just click over to your “International” menu and be done with it. I am sure they did not pull any reporters off breaking stories on the Middle East, or Capitol Hill, to focus on JonBenet.What really may be bothering you is the fact that *others* consider this important. I am one of those others. I follow sex crimes and murders involving (or likely to involve) creepy (usually white) guys. I care about the Dru Sjodin story, the Taylor Behl story, the Shasta Groene story, the Jamie Bolin story, the Imette St. Guillen story, and the Laura Ling story. I think each individual crime deserves all the attention it gets, because it raises general awareness of sex crimes and icky guys. Plus, national attention sometimes aids in capturing suspects.This is probably because I consider male perverts a bigger immediate threat (or at least, wider-spread and closer-range) than Middle Eastern terrorists. As a white woman, I have probably had a lot more experience with creepy (usually white) guys than you have. Clearly, there are many others out there like me. We are a substantial enough population that our interests merit news coverage.Part of the reason JonBenet attracted so much interest in the 1990s was the spinoff story of child beauty pageants. It shocked a lot of people to see 5-year-olds wiggling across stages in teased, bleached-blond hair, heavy makeup, and garters. Those pageants are conducted nationally, not just in Colorado. Anyway, regardless of the reason, if a story is huge at the time, it would be irresponsible not to follow it up when there’s a break in the case many years later.

  4. I am going to have to disagree with you spungen regarding “male perverts” being a bigger threat than “Middle Eastern terrorists”. The male perverts have the ability to affect the lives of the specific individuals and a few others with their crimes. Middle Eastern terrorists have the ability to disrupt an entire countries way of life. If terrorists began bombing grocery stores or shopping malls here in the U.S. the way they do in Israel it would devistate our society. I do not think we could handle regular attacks on our every day lives the way the Israelis do. I am already tired of the amount of press given to this guy. All I need to hear about him is whether or not he is telling the truth. I do not need to hear all the details about the case. We already heard all of them 10 years ago. While you are right about being able to chose your news from the internet, television is much different. Without cable, I am pretty much forced to listen to Jon Benet stuff.

  5. Brett,While you are right about terrorists potentially impacting more lives at a single stroke than perverts,1. I have never known any terrorists personally, but have known plenty of perverts (albeit, not killers that I know of);2. There are a lot more perverts than terrorists;3. Most of us are in a position to do more to thwart perverts than terrorists.

  6. Spungen, I am going to have to both agree and disagree with your last comment. I will agree that individually, our lives are more directly threatened by perverts because we are the ones who must fight to protect ourselves against them. While this threat is more personal and immediate, I would still argue that it is not as great as the threat posed by by Islamic Terrorists. I would also argue your point that there are more perverts than terrorists. That may be true within our borders but that is absolutely not the case worldwide. Besides, it only took 19 men to take the lives of 3000 and affected the lives of many more who were close to those. Because of those 19, our entire nation is different. While perverts can destroy the lives of individual falilies, they cannot take down an entire nation.

  7. Not that I’m necessarily disagreeing with you, Brett, but it’s an interesting question as to what exactly did change on 9/11 (at least on the national scale). Nineteen guys with box cutters and death wishes can hijack airplanes and knock down some buildings and kill some innocent civilians. But they can’t and didn’t destroy our country. At the end of the day, they lack the power to destroy us; only we possess sufficient power to destroy ourselves.What annoys me about the JonBenet story is not that I think creepy white guys doing creepy things to creepy little white girls is unimportant. It’s that the number of people that it really affected is disproportionately small compared to the level media attention lavished on the story.The war is bigger because it directly affects more people.

  8. I will agree with you that fortunately they didn’t cause as much change as they hoped largely because of our response to their attack. If we would not have responded as quickly and severely as we did they could have attacked again and again. Because we have not suffered another major attack on the scale of 9/11 since that day life has continued with little change. So much so that many people have almost tragically forgotten what happened that day. One change that September 11th led to is that many Americans woke up to the dangers we face from the threat of global Islamic Terrorism. You are completely correct in saying that only we can destroy ourselves and we didn’t let that happen. They did have the power to start that downfall but we did not let it continue. As far as your other point about the coverage, that is part of what I was trying to get at. It drives me nuts when we get wall to wall coverage of these stories similar to Natalie Halloway. They are largely local stories that take the focus off of very important things going on in our world.

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