OK, so this is going to be a jumbled mess of part rant, part confusion. It’s the Friday leading into yet another holiday weekend, and my brain is pretty much shut down. However, I’ve been meaning to blog about this for awhile, so here goes.
So, I was back at my in-laws in Iowa over Thanksgiving, casually reading the Des Moines Register. I came across a picture of a little Taco Stand in Davenport, Iowa. In a split second before even reading the headline, I assume it is simply a cute human interest story that no doubt was letting people know about the place and probably help attract some business.
So, I read on. HEADLINE: Wife Killer Opens Taco Stand. WTF!? I read it again to make sure it wasn’t just the after effects of my holiday libations from the previous night. Yes, I saw it right – Wife Killer Opens Taco Stand. Shocked, and fully alert, I keep on. I’ll let you read the article for yourself by following the link below, but let me give you a quick re-cap. Basically, this dude James Klindt not only killed his wife, but “dismembered” her…with a chainsaw! After serving only 20 out of his 50 year sentence for “good behavior” (sweet justice system) – he came back to his hometown to start over, live the American dream of owning a business, and opened up Eats & Sweets Taco Stand. How uplifting.
He was interviewed and provided some quotes that were pure gems. The journalist, curious about why his tacos were so tasty, asked him how he learned to cook. Klindt responded with “I learned to make Tacos from the Hispanics while I was in the joint.” Lovely. Pressing on, the journalist wants to know how his return home has been received by the locals. Klindt expressed that some people have been really hard on him, and recalls a recent trip to the local bar when patrons complained and asked him to leave. “It was just so vicious, pure hate.” OMG seriously? When I think of acts of pure hate, things come to mind like, oh say, KILLING AND DISMEMBERING YOUR WIFE! I laughed out loud in disbelief.
Besides ending with menu items and prices that was the gist of the article. Now, I am all for people starting over, making a life etc, but not people who only spend 20 years for killing their wife. What was the point of this article?
As a PR person, I think that editorial generally does two things: inform and persuade/dissuade. In my opinion, it clearly was meant to be a “starting over” story, but to me that is irresponsible. This article pressures people into feeling compassionate and forgiving, when they might not be ready to, and might not want to help him or buy his damn food. As for me, I’ll be passing on the all-beef tacos.
What are your thoughts on this story? Informative, irresponsible, or inspirational?