Oops, Again: "Records Hint Iraqi Woman's Death Not a Hate Crime"

Remember how last week the New York Times was trying to whip up a new hate crime frenzy with the headline "Iraqi Immigrants in California Town Fear a Hate Crime in a Woman’s Killing?" This was right after the NYT's analysis of how the anti-Semitic murders in Toulouse, France were due to the French being allowed to debate immigration policy.

Well, the dopier sorts of Americans have been ginning up a A Million Hoodies and Hijabs protest to tie together the whole Trayvon / Shaima meme. And, predictably, the fire-breathers in the Islamic World have taken this as another reason to hate Americans. 
Yet, the whole story, with the xenophobic racists leaving a note by the dead body of an Iraqi housewife in El Cajon, sounded implausible from the git-go, and the police were already signaling that the victim probably knew her killer. 
Well, Kristina Davis of the San Diego Union-Tribune has been doing some work and today she reported:

Records Hint Iraqi Woman's Death Not a Hate Crime 

During a search of the home and the couple’s vehicles in the hours after the attack, police found court paperwork to file for divorce in Alawadi’s Ford Explorer. The packet was not filled out, but a form requesting a court fee waiver was filled out in handwriting with Alawadi’s name, address and phone number.


That's hardly conclusive, but it sounds more plausible than the NYT's SPLCized version of the story.

There are patterns that people can notice if they let themselves. And once you let yourself notice the pattern, it's easier to notice more. For example, an awful lot of the hate crimes that make the news turn out to be hoaxes. That doesn't mean there are no such things as hate crimes, just that hate crimes like, say, Matthew Yglesias getting stomped for Walking While White is too boring and depressing to be news. The stuff that becomes big news is, typically, a noose is found in the Diversity Nook at some hyper-liberal college.

One of these days, I'm going to have to write up something on What We Can Learn from Claude Shannon about What Makes the Newspaper.

And there was some other drama in Alawdi family not long ago:

… On Nov. 3, police found [daughter] Fatima with a 21-year-old man after responding to a report of two people possibly having sex in a car, the documents state. Officers called her mother, who came to the location and picked up the girl. As they were driving away, Fatima said, “I love you, mom,” before jumping out of the vehicle onto Mollison Avenue at 35 mph. 

She was taken to a hospital with several injuries, including a possible broken arm. She refused to talk to police at the hospital but reportedly told paramedics and hospital staff that she was being forced to marry her cousin and didn’t want to.


Hey, well, what do you know, cousin marriage ... It's almost as if reality contains partly predictable repeating patterns.