If blog posts had alternate titles, as do some books, this one would be December 2014: A Recap. Life kicked into high gear the last month of last year, and I failed horribly at keeping up a running record. A belated summary — admittedly colored by the passing of time — must suffice.
December was a time of firsts. I got to tag along on a manhunt for the first time. I covered a murder for the first time. I photographed a living, breathing monkey, full of Christmas spirit. I drilled holes in the walls of my apartment.
Spanky the monkey tells Santa what he wants for Christmas.
That last one won’t get much space here, formative an experience as it may have been. Suffice it to say, at the urging of my fiancee, I now own (and can sort of operate) a power drill.
More important, as far as my journalistic endeavors are concerned, was the manhunt. Early one afternoon at the beginning of the month, I got a call from a veteran reporter from a local TV station. Our outlets are news partners, which means we exchange info and tips, and I get a chance to learn from someone who has been in the biz for a while.
As was our luck that afternoon, someone had broken into an old piano manufacturing plant — presumably in search of copper wiring. I rushed to the scene immediately. After a dramatic search involving police dogs, multiple agencies, and a daunting display of weaponry, deputies with the sheriff’s department led a handcuffed suspect from the building.
It was more exciting than any Tuesday has the right to be, and it was the first time I really felt a tingle of danger while on the job.
Mere breaking and entering was not all December had in store, however. Toward the end of the month, what started as a missing persons search for an elderly man turned into a homicide investigation when he was found buried in his own yard.
I learned how to request a search warrant and an autopsy report (though I still haven’t gotten the latter yet). I dealt with investigators from the State Bureau of Investigation while at the crime scene.
The investigation is ongoing, so this story doesn’t have a neat conclusion, but I’m learning as it continues.
On a much more upbeat note, I also got to photograph a monkey while he climbed all over Santa Claus at a local animal shelter.
December was many things, some good and some not-so-good. At the very least, it was certainly never boring.