Rosario on Parricide

Perspective and Context: Endangered Species in Newsrooms

Public Safety columnist Ruben Rosario chimes in on the case getting saturation coverage in local news media this week, a Chaska man's alleged murder-for-inheritance of his mother. With the rest of the news media busy trying to flesh out the script in these cases--wayward, feral youth, often fueled by the It Drug of the moment, turn on the hands that feed them--Rosario's bird's eye view of the case is particularly welcome.

Matricide. Patricide. Parricide. Whatever phrase you choose, we're talking children killing parents here. Though statistically rare, such murders happen roughly 300 times a year in this country.

Before we get all lathered up about today's wayward youth, though, keep this in mind: The reverse -- parents who kill their children -- happens twice as often.

But given recent local incidents dominating headlines, perhaps it's time for a quick tutorial on a particular homicide that literally hits home.

Earlier this week, the Star Tribune's Kim Ode took a swing at the same topic in the paper's Signature lifestyle section. If you harbored a moment's doubt that what we're talking about here is a prettified version of the old women's pages, you need read no further to find your illusions vanquished: Predictably, her exploration is heavy on words like "chilling," "horrific," and "disbelief".

But hey--nothing moves those Sunday grocery circulars like a new fear for the security moms to gnash over at the next Pampered Chef party, you know?