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The Old College Try

CU radio thrives on the AM band.


Unlike the Hochhalters, Michael and Vonda Shoels, parents of murdered Columbine student Isaiah Shoels, have actively courted the press, and on October 31 they earned even more attention as the cover subjects of the New York Times Magazine. But the article in question -- "Parents Blaming Parents," by Lisa Belkin -- is neither a puff piece nor an assault on a couple who have inspired no shortage of grumbling over the past six months. Instead, it's an intelligent and well-written look at the lawsuits filed against the parents of students who've killed fellow classmates. Following intriguing mini-profiles of the Shoelses and their lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, Belkin looks into suits brought against the parents of fourteen-year-old Michael Carneal by relatives of three girls he shot in West Paducah, Kentucky, focusing on the information provided by mother Ann and father John Carneal in the discovery process. This material implies that the Carneals were as involved in the life of their son as most parents and were totally unaware of the homicidal instincts welling up within Michael -- yet the Kentucky courts have declined to dismiss the case. If this pattern holds true in Littleton, litigation initiated by the Shoelses and others will likely spend years winding its way through the system, with the media following it every step of the way. Some stories fade away, but Columbine is forever.

Have comments, tips or complaints about the media? E-mail "The Message" atMichael_Roberts@westword.com.

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