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Criminals on the loose!

One of the stories I chose to look at for the News Cycle assignment was a story from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about three men accused of using a software glitch in a poker machine to get $400,000 over a period of two months. The story appears to be very breaking because there is little information about what exactly these men did to trigger the glitch, and authorities were still "in the process of arresting" these men at the time the story was written. It certainly seems like an interesting story that would hold a reader's interest more once more details are known; since it involves finding an easy way to get a lot of money, it sort of caters to the whole "ordinary people fantasizing about crime" aspect of an interesting crime story. Hopefully, there will be follow-up stories with more information about how the men allegedly took advantage of the machine and if they are convicted.
The other story I found is much more exciting because there is a lot more information, and the suspect has a well-known history. A woman named China Graham gave a stolen check as an offering in church and then stole a wallet from a woman who had left her purse on the pew she was sitting in. The police know exactly what she did afterwards because she used a credit card she found in the wallet to buy items at a Dollar Store and a supermarket. She's stolen wallets from people in a different church and in a grocery store, and police are currently looking for her. The difference between these two articles just goes to show how important details are to sucking a reader in. Also, the amount of detail the writer of the second story had to work with gave him the ability to tell the story in a more creative way--he was especially able to play on the contradiction between the woman being in church and the fact that she was stealing. He also wasn't hindered by the need to talk about the incident using the word "allegedly"; police know for sure she stole items because of surveillance cameras. This helped him paint the picture more clearly.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 6, 2009 5:30 PM.

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