Talk:American teenage girl charged with murder of her mother
Why is this a noteworthy news story? 
To justify this story as being "news", I made a point to add some context to explain why this particular murder case is noteworthy. I don't think Wikinews should contain stories on every murder that takes place, but this case has a number of noteworthy features to it, not the least of which is:
- The defendant's online journal containing a record of her thoughts and activities right up to her arrest.
- Over 5,000 posts to the comment section in her journal has turned this story into an internet phenomenon.
- The defendant is an accomplished student from an upper-middle class family.
- The crime is potentially one of matricide, which is itself highly unusual.
- The defendant is female, which is also unusual, as the vast majority of murders are committed by males.
- The defendant is a minor, which is even more rare for a murder case.
It's not every day that a case like this comes along. The journal and its thousands of comments also serves as a noteworthy commentary on the social norms and mores of American teenage society. --DV 13:09, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
You'll find such noteworthy features in nearly every murder if you look close enough. Most of the article consists of rumours, speculations, overstatements, and superfluous details. This is a typical yellow press article, not news. Well, if Wikinews wants to go this way... -- Flobber (from .eu)
- Nearly every murder is matricide committed by a female minor who posted details of her personal life on a public journal for all to read? What basis do you have for this comment? I have never seen such a case. Have you? — DV 09:37, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
As the girl is clearly identified by name AND picture AND location, this article could possibly be libellous, especially because she is a minor and the reporter presumably does not enjoy the privilege of reporting a court case directly (as I presume he/she was not present in court).
-- Jan van der Crabben, 13:36, 29 Nov 2004 (GMT)
- This case has been waived to adult court, so U.S. minor privacy laws do not apply. --DV 04:40, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- To support this assertion, Rachelle Waterman is pictured on the front page of the November 24th edition of the Anchorage Daily News, wearing an orange CCJF jumpsuit:
- Honor student at plot's core Anchorage Daily News, November 24, 2004.
- This case is all over the mainstream media in the United States. (It just made USA Today.) If you are in another country, I understand your concerns, but in the U.S., once you are a criminal defendant on the front pages of newspapers standing in adult court, you are a public figure and lose most of the normal privacy protections accorded to a normal citizen. --DV 14:39, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- So where is Wikinews in ? Shouldn't there be a common publishing policy to follow? A - very - general answer might be: take the human rights. And in this case (and consequently): do not publish name nor picture. -- 22.214.171.124 22:22, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- When you start throwing around terms like "human rights", you start to betray a POV.
- "Human rights" is a POV buzzword. What the heck does it mean?
- If another person were to ask, "What about the human rights of the murdered mother?" and demand that the story be written that way - that would be POV as well.
- Instead, why not present a balanced picture of the positive and negative aspects of the defendant's case and its circumstances, and allow the reader to decide?
- By the way, given that the defendant is being treated as an adult by both the press and the courts, I'm curious - should a male adult defendant not be pictured or named in an article about his case? (Seems a bit of a double-standard with the recent Scott Peterson case, doesn't it?) --DV 02:29, 30 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- I don't think Wikinews has any hope of success if we insist on levels of coverage based on importance. You can't force editors to be interested in certain news items. It will be impossible to guarantee that the big news items receive the biggest coverage, and small news items receive little coverage. Rhobite 04:07, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think it needs to be made more clear exactly what Rachelle is being charged with. The article states that she has been charged with "first-degree murder of her own mother", yet in the description of the actual deed, only Arrant and Radel are mentioned. Surely if this were the case, Rachelle could only be charged with conspiracy to murder? Illanos 18:22, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Parts of the article seem to imply that she is guilty. Right now, this is just an assertion of the prosecutor. Who is the prosecutor? Have they falsely accused people before? What does the girl claim? Has she plead guilty? Without addressing these issues, I don't see how the article can be NPOV. --126.96.36.199 20:33, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)
- I researched your questions and found out the name of the prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Daniel Schally. I wasn't able to find any claims of false accusations by either the prosecutor nor the arresting officer, Alaska State Police Trooper Robert Claus, on Google, but perhaps if you have other sources you could do some digging on that issue?
- Her court-appointed attorney for the trial is Assistant Public Advocate Steven Wells, and he entered an initial plea of "not guilty" during the pre-trial hearing, although the police presented evidence that all three alleged perpetrators confessed to their parts in the crime. If you are able to dig into this case to find out if there is any misconduct on the part of the police or the prosecutors that would certainly be a scoop for Wikinews, although at this time there are no indications that there is anything fishy going on. This isn't the OJ Simpson case - what motive would the police or prosecutors have to falsely accuse Waterman? My personal opinion, after reading the police statements presented during the pre-trial hearing, is that Waterman is likely to plea to a lesser crime (perhaps only the conspiracy charge) to get out of the first degree murder charge, but we shall see. — DV 09:32, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It is ok 
I think the article can be published and it is ok. Anyway I am not american and I think the opinion of an american,or someone else near the event would be worth.The article seems ok to me. --- Carlosar 02:40, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
No problem 
I have no problem with this article as it stands Lankiveil 05:56, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
POV in article title 
Remove "own" from the article title. It's as if the author is shocked that she had her mother killed (and they probably are, but that doesn't mean it should stay that way). To say "own mother" gives the reader unnecessary POV. Just "mother" gets across the same piece of information while allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. - Vague Rant 10:38, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)
- The "own" has been removed from the article title. -- Carlosar
I have updated the article with all the latest details, plus I have added comments from interviews with a forensic psychologist and a criminologist to add context to the story.
I also expanded the external links to include new reporting by other news outlets.
— DV 09:40, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Reporting from the UK 
The UK-based Telegraph has the following report on this case:
- 'Just to let everyone know, my mother was murdered', Telegraph (UK), December 12, 2004.
What's interesting is that they dug up a personal picture of Rachelle Waterman sitting on her bed with a stuffed animal, report many more intimate details from her journal, and speculate to a degree I have not seen in American mainstream news outlets.
The Telegraph article also prefixes several of her journal entries with charged adjectives such as "chillingly" and "ominously", and ends with speculation that perhaps Waterman did not love her mother.
I'm curious if anyone from the UK could tell me if the Telegraph is representative of mainstream reporting from the UK, as I have not found mainstream American news organizations reporting about this story in such a lurid manner.
The reason I ask is that several editors, (I am not sure if they are from countries other than the United States) have implied that the press outside of the United States has higher moral and ethical standards than their American counterparts, but this report from the Telegraph appears to contradict that opinion. (I found the use of an intimate photo set in her bedroom, rather than a class photo or a photo from the trial, to be rather odd, to say the least.)
To help me evaluate this Telegraph report, could someone please let me know which news organizations in the UK are thought of as "mainstream" versus those outlets that are looked down upon as "tabloid" or "gossip" publishers?
I had thought the Telegraph was a mainstream UK news outlet, (they've been online for ten years) but now I am not so sure.
— DV 10:11, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I think this article is missing a ton 
I was just on Courtvnews.com and there's a lot of information as to the sexual assault this girl suffered early on and her other psychological problems. I think that's a big part of this case. -J.R. Glenn 11:22 PM January 5th 2007
This article mentions 'incase'. If the quote is correct [sic] should be added; if the quote is incorrect, it should be changed to 'in case'. Van der Hoorn (talk) 16:26, 26 February 2009 (UTC)