At a dinner party early this past summer, some friends and I got to talking about why it was that the media, and especially the tabloid newspapers and the cable television news channels, were so obsessively interested in some stories but not in others which appeared to be at least superficially similar. In particular, we wondered what was the reason for their fascination with the case of Natalee Holloway, the Alabama teenager who had disappeared and was widely presumed to have been murdered—though at the time of this writing her body has not been found—while on a high-school graduation trip to Aruba. We compared the media’s feverish interest in her fate with the almost complete lack of same in the contemporaneous murder-kidnapping of the Groene children, nine-year-old Dylan and eight-year-old Shasta, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, by a convicted sex offender who had also murdered the children’s older brother and their mother and her...

 
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