"Justice for Linda"
Chip Scanlan has a great column today on Poynter Online in which he speaks with, via e-mail interview, Orange County Register legal affairs reporter Larry Welborn, who talks about a story he was unable to let go of and a woman whose photo he was never able to forget.
Linda Cummings was 27-years-old in 1974 and to that point, had not had a happy life. After experiencing a difficult childhood and physical problems related to a congenital condition that affected her knees, Linda "had a plan." She was working at a hospital, studying to become a registered nurse and was "more optimistic about life than ever before," according to Colette, her stepsister.
Then why would Linda kill herself, which is what everyone thought had happened when she was found dead in her apartment in January 1974. Or did she?
The Orange County Register recently ran Welborn's eight-part series on his search for "Justice for Linda." (Free registration required.) The story's Web version includes links to original articles about the case, video interviews with Welborn and copies of Linda's driver's license and death certificate. Throughout the story, embedded links can be clicked if you wish to view further details about Welborn's source information.
This is a terrific example of great storytelling and I can honestly say that after reading Linda's heartbreaking story, I'm also having trouble letting go of her.