Friday, October 13, 2006

The mystery thickens

Can anyone tell me the point of today's Page One story in the New York Times about a woman trying to determine if her father may have been involved in the death of a New York man in 1942?

The article recounts at length the fruitless search by a 71-year-old woman for the truth surrounding long-forgotten events in which her late father was among several city contractors charged with graft. After the charges were filed, a young accountant employed by the father's company was killed when a tire burst as he was inflating it. Shortly thereafter, the charges against the father and others were dropped.

Based on sketchy information about these events, the Times reports, "a homemade investigation began, a modern-day Agatha Christie sleuthing for an answer that no one else — no authorities, no family of the deceased bookkeeper — was demanding."

Hundreds of words and a half a page of newsprint later, we learn that the the homemade investigation was inconclusive.

Now, we have two mysteries instead of one. First, is whether foul play was involved in the accountant's death. Second, is how the story got into the Times.