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FW Weekly Publishes Interview With Texas Killer

New York Times, Associated Press Turn to AAN Paper for Info on Mass Murderer.

September 20, 1999  11:50 am
After posting an interview with gunman Larry Gene Ashbrook on its website, AAN member FW Weekly received national press attention in the wake of last Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Fort Worth church.

Ashbrook called FW Weekly’s offices less than a month before the killings and “told a reporter in detail about his desperate life,” according to a press release issued by the paper.

“My back’s against the wall,” Ashbrook told Weekly reporter P.A Humphrey on August 19. “My father died two weeks ago. I don’t have anywhere else to go.”

FW Weekly published its first account of the Ashbrook interview on its website the day after the shooting.

According to FW Weekly Editor John Forsyth, he and Publisher Robert Camuto decided to immediately post the story on the paper’s website to fill-in the blanks that were likely to be left by the local dailies’ coverage of the incident. “We knew they would take their quantity-over-quality approach,” said Forsyth, “and we knew we had the one thing they couldn’t get: an interview [with Ashbrook].”

Media response was overwhelming. Camuto says that Associated Press picked up the story up for its newswire, the interview was quoted on the cover of the New York Times, and the paper has received calls from the Washington Post, local broadcast stations, and CNN. In addition, Humphrey was interviewed on MSNBC on Friday afternoon.

Conspicuous by their absence were the Fort Worth area’s daily newspapers. Despite devoting blanket coverage to the mayhem, hometown daily the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did not mention the FW Weekly interview, and neighboring Dallas Morning News did not acknowledge FW Weekly’s scoop until Sunday, a full three days after its publication. “[The Fort Worth Star-Telegram] has letters that the guy had written on their front page, but that doesn’t measure up to an interview with the guy, in my estimation” Forsyth said.

A full version of Humphrey’s hour-long encounter with Ashbrook will be published in the Sept. 23 edition of FW Weekly.

Tags: Editorial, Electronic Pub

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