I came across a two part series about a crime, it’s trial, and conviction of a SDSU murder from 2008. The article captured me and I couldn’t stop reading it.
In 2008, a 22 year old San Diego State University student was stabbed outside a frat house near campus. His name was Luis Santos. The interesting part of this story is the guy who killed him was Esteban Nunez, son of high-power lawmaker, Fabian Nunez of Northern California.The tragedy was random, the two men had no connection what so ever.
Nunez and his friends had driven from Sacramento to San Diego for a weekend trip. Nunez had a troubled past despite his lavish upbringing from the success of his father. He had an obsession with knives which was the weapon used to kill Santos. It was a group fight, and everyone else was unarmed.
The Santos family feared their son would not get justice do to Nunez’s powerful father and their connections. However, in the end Nunez was sentenced to 16 years in prison in June 2010.
The story, written by Christopher Goffard of the LA Times, is profoundly detailed and vivid to imagine. The level of detail and imagery he produces is what makes this article so interesting. He reports on both sides of the story, spending time with the victim’s family and the suspect’s family. He tells the high-profile crime case more like a feature than hard news, it’s a crime a story but it reads like a novel.
Goffard tells the background story of everyone main person in this article, which helps humanize them and to sympathize for them. In reporting this way, I feel like I really go to know the people involved.
Reporting this way is important because so many details come out that no one would otherwise know and they really bring the story to life. It’s a great investigative reporting piece on crime and punishment.
The suspects in court on charges of killing Luis Santos.Photo courtesy Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press.