Let's Play Alternate Headline


Police Fail to Prevent 6 Slayings in Florida sure sounds more informative and telling than XBox Dispute Sparks 6 Slayings in Florida but guess which one is now in heavy rotation? America's mass media is positively addicted to associating video games with violence, real and imagined.

But the facts of the brutal Deltona murders tell us that the XBox angle should be far down in the story. Many bigger questions loom.

First, the local sheriff's office responded no fewer than six times to calls involving the victims. Where are the reports for those calls? Were the cases considered closed? Were any arrests made? Why not? Just how does the department handle cases of squatting in vacation homes? High-priority property crime or minor domestic squabble?

And kicking squatters out of a private residence was clearly the beginning of the dispute between the victims and their attackers. The XBox stuff was an ancillary part of that dispute.

Elevating it to create a sexy headline compounds a great evil.