The Spectacle Blog

Revising Katrina’s Mayhem

By on 9.27.05 | 7:43AM

The Los Angeles Times today challenges the tales of murder, rape, and destruction at the Superdome that were widely reported in the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina.

With *only* ten bodies found in the Superdome and four in the convention center, among whom was one gunshot victim, the authors cast aside reports of the post-Katrina mayhem as myths.

Yet with the key fourth paragraph, "His assessment is one of several in recent days to conclude that newspapers and television exaggerated criminal behavior in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, particularly at the overcrowded Superdome and Convention Center."

Is the Times overreaching here? The article only addresses crimes at the Superdome and Convention Center. The looting still stands.

For a small sample of the breakdown of law in New Orleans after Katrina, peruse a day or two of the New Orleans Times-Picayune's blog style reporting. Without much searching, you'll read about a dead body abandoned (at the Convention Center), residents arming themselves against trespassers, and looters spreading thin police resources.

Not all reports of lawlessness from New Orleans were hype.

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