Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 09:18 AM.

Headlines are written in a way to try to get your attention. As a matter of fact, they say eight out of ten people only read the headline without reading the rest of the story. Growing up in a newspaper and being a mathematician who also teaches statistics to college students, I enjoy having these numbers in my pocket.

A headline is like a fishing lure. A good one will catch more than those two folks out of ten who generally read the story. I’ve never been much of a fisherman, but I do love newspapers and viewing headlines as an “art form.”

Recently, an incident took place in a neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. The story spread virally on the internet to national news and television websites. The headlines were similar, including the following.

  • Mormon LDS Bishop Rescues Female Utah Assault Victim With Samurai Sword
  • Sword-Wielding LDS Bishop Helps Neighbor Being Attacked
  • Utah Bishop with Samurai Sword Runs Off Attacker

After researching this story back to its original source, I found out what I “think” actually happened before the national media got a hold of the story.  The fellow getting all the headlines for being a hero was named “Hendrix.”

A lady (the victim) in Mr. Hendrix’ neighborhood had been having trouble with a fellow at work that seems to have used to be her boyfriend – we will call him, “the stalker.” The stalker was waiting on the victim to leave her house at around 7 a.m. in the morning. After exiting her home, the stalker jumped out of the bushes (he probably still loves her) and knocked the victim down, grabbing her keys and trying to enter her home.

The victim was able to activate a panic alarm she had recently installed because of previous encounters with the stalker (who used to be her boyfriend). In addition, the victim was also giving the stalker a pepper spray bath before anyone showed up.



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