Incomplete news

I’m a big fan of news stories that leave you with more questions than they answer.  I ran across a good example the other day in the Seattle Times that really got me going and I’m going to share it with you.  WARNING: The story is about a murder, so it’s not warm and fuzzy.  In fact, some of the questions it leaves unanswered are pretty yucky.  You have been warned.   Let’s start with the original story as printed on July 12 on the Seattle Times website:

EVERETT, Wash. —
An Arlington, Washington, woman has admitted she killed her husband in 2004 and buried him in the backyard.

The Daily Herald reports ( that Michele Donohue pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the death of Byron Wright.

After a tip from a jail informant, Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives found the man’s dismembered body in February, inside a plastic tote and two bags buried under two feet of dirt and a cement floor. An autopsy showed that the 53-year-old man was stabbed multiple times in the head and neck.

Donohue told Wright’s family and others that he had left her for a younger woman.

The woman divorced Wright, later remarried and told her new husband what she had done. Her new husband and two buddies of his eventually dug up Wright’s body and buried him under a shop floor.

In exchange for Donohue’s guilty plea, a deputy prosecutor agreed to recommend a 15-year prison sentence. Donohue faces a maximum 18 years when she’s sentenced later this month.

Okay, now we start with the unanswered questions.  First, we’ll start with a trivial item.   How did a jail informant get into a position where they could break the news?  Was the woman already in jail?  If so, what for, and if not, then which of her moronic accomplices was?  Another of the minor questions is how do you divorce someone who’s no longer around to discuss the matter?  I’m sure there’s a lot of precedent for this but I don’t think it’s likely to be very easy.  A disgusting but practical question is how they determine the number of stab wounds on a body that has been … ahhh… “stored” shall we say, in three separate containers?  Bleah.  Again, though, pretty trivial.  Let’s move on to one of the big ones.

What kind of schnook was the ex-husband that when his family was informed by his wife that he’d run off with a younger woman they seem to have accepted it without raising so much as an eyebrow?

“Gee, Madge, I haven’t seen Bob around much lately.”

“No, and you won’t be seeing him again either, because he took off with (his secretary / a Hooters waitress / the girl at the clinic who gave him his prostate exam) a while ago without telling you, his loving (sister/brother/mother/father) and I don’t expect he’ll be contacting you any time soon either.”

<laughing> “Ha!  That’s Bob alright, he’s such a free spirit!  We’ll miss him though, that’s for sure.  Well, thanks for letting us know, I have to unload the groceries now before the frozen stuff thaws.”


Another of the larger questions is what kind of schnook the NEW husband is if he has at least two friends he can contact on short notice to help him relocate a dead body.  Maybe he’s in the funeral home business but I think it’s more likely that he lives a lifestyle that would be right at home in a Quentin Tarantino flick.  “Hey, Cooter, you think you and Bubba could come over on Saturday and help me move a my wife’s ex-husband’s body?”   “Awww, shit, Albert, AGAIN?”

But let’s set all this window-dressing aside and move on to the grand kahuna, the whopper question of the whole story, shall we?  How in the hell do you tell your new husband that his predecessor did not, in fact, run off with his secretary as you had previously told him but had in fact been personally whacked by you, his loving new wife?  I can’t see any realistic scenario where that doesn’t involve a lot of shouting followed by awkward silence.  Somehow, though, this dame not only managed to avoid having the new hubby immediately call the cops (which is annoyingly easy nowadays) she apparently broke the news to him so deftly that he responded by suggesting that they relocate the body together.  You know, quality time with the wife, digging up the ex and re-burying him in the basement.

And lastly, well, I don’t really feel very good about this one.  I know it’s wrong and judgemental (<snort> as if the rest of this post wasn’t) and totally unfair of me, but somehow I just can’t … no matter how hard I tell myself not to… I just can’t shake the feeling that every single person involved in this fiasco shops at Walmart.


One thought on “Incomplete news

  1. feingarden Post author

    Okay, just as I hit the “publish” button I realized that there is indeed a scenario that would make sense of most (though not all) of the questions this story raises and that is if the dear departed ex-husband was an abusive jerk and the wife was acting in self-defense. I considered not publishing, but in the end I chose to ignore that possibility and let the attempt at comedy stand on its own.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s