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Fascinating Hostage Story in CT Involving Newspapers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by StormSurge, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. StormSurge

    StormSurge Active Member

    As a non-journo, I found this fascinating. I'm guessing a few of you in the business will as well.

    I'll try & give the highlights here as best I can & let the links tell the story.

    Backstory. March 5, 2007, Richard Shenkman & his wife Nancy Tyler, are going through a divorce. He allegedly burns down their summer cottage in Noank, CT. Shenkman's arson trial is scheduled to start in August.

    This morning, Shenkman had a compliance meeting with regards to the pending divorce in court in Hartford. Today is also the day he was to vacate their shared home in South Windsor, CT.

    Before that could happen, Shenkman kidnapped Tyler on her way to work in Hartford this morning & held her hostage at their home.

    I noticed a story on the Hartford Courant's website this morning, but it was pretty vague and was only updated a few times during the morning. At one point, it had been over an hour since an update was published. I checked the New London Day's website to see if they had any info on it, considering it had local ties. (Noank is in the Day's coverage area.) There was nothing.

    Later in the afternoon, the Day had a story up. Shenkman had called a reporter from The Day issuing demands to the police. He threatened to kill Tyler if The Day published a story and was upset that the Courant and the local Fox affiliate wouldn't take their stories down.

    Tyler was released this evening around 8:30 and about an hour later, several gunshots were heard and the house was engulfed in flames. As I write this, there is no word on Shenkman's status.

    The Day has posted a great video of the reporter, Karen Florin, speaking to Shenkman:

    (video embedded in story. I can't seem to link to it separately.)


    Other related links:





    Sorry for the rambling post. I really just wanted to share the video, but figured I better share some more info with it.
  2. That viedo was unreal. You could see anguish in the reporter's face that she even had to be a part of it. But it was neat to see the disgust in her face with the dude's answers.

    It was weird, but intriguing.
  3. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Wow. That video was absolutely incredible. Florin was a combination reporter/911 dispatcher/therapist on those calls. Definitely not in her job description. Holy crap.
  4. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    That's a pretty crazy story, but it does bring up a lot of good discussion points. If you have a story up on your website, do you pull it down? Do you stop covering the story until the situation has resolved itself? Do you continue with coverage despite the demands because it's the public's right to know?

    Also, that was really good audio quality on the phone calls. I wonder what they used to capture it. Did she put him on speakerphone and the video camera captured audio on both of them? Or was she using a telephone recording device and they dubbed that audio file into the video?

    UPDATE: The Day is now reporting that they took the suspect from the burning house and he's in custody at the hospital.
  5. I think Foxnews or whoever had the full story. The guy demanded The Courant take the story down the paper said "No."
    Glad nobody got hurt.

    Kudos to Karen Florin!
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