Jennifer D. Wade Journal

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Unexpected News

Several times a day, the Associated Press will notify news organizations of breaking/developing stories by sending "news alerts" over the wire.  Usually, the initial alert comes across with the generic slug of "AP News Alert".  So, actually reading it is, to borrow a line from Forrest Gump, rather like a box of chocolates.  You never know what you're going to get.  Many times, you read the alert, expecting something big, only to find out that there's been, for example, a coup in East Jibip.

But, every once in a while, you are truly stunned.

Such was the case yesterday, when an AP News Alert revealed the arrest of a suspect in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey.  In successive news alerts, more details were relayed, one or two sentences at a time: the suspect was captured in Thailand; he was being held on other sex charges; he had a previous conviction in California; he's a school teacher.

And, all the while, you're still thinking, I can't believe they finally made an arrest!

Ten years of seeing those home videos of JonBenet at her child beauty pageants; ten years of speculation about the mother being the killer, or the brother; ten years of tearful yet firm denials by the family; ten years of what appeared to be no progress. 

After all that, there is progress.  And, the prime suspect turns out to be some guy from out of the blue.


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