Hyperventilating on crime
I’m sure we’re all pleased that someone who has repeatedly raped is arrested, tried, and convicted. That is a good thing.
It would also be a good thing if we could write about it using our indoor voices.
Here is the opening sentence from a post on Baltimore’s Investigative Voice blog:
A man alleged to have brutally beaten and raped three women in a violent killing spree has been convicted of attempted murder and rape in the first of three trials.
If I may be forgiven for parsing this:
Let’s move away from alleged. The defendant was charged.
Rape and murder seem seldom to be accomplished gently, so brutally might be understood.
Is it a killing spree if he has not yet been tried and convicted of killing anyone?
Don’t rape and attempted murder already suggest violence, so that violent killing spree is just some more heavy breathing?
And is spree, which used to be used for something more nearly innocuous, like drinking spree, quite what we want here?
The bare facts are ugly enough. They don’t require hype.