Interviewing the Interviewer

Looking back on a long career as a journalist, Geoff Yuda is finally finding the time to reflect during his final year at the Pennsylvania Bar Association. His career path brought him to the PBA as a strong-minded journalist in his 30s, then to the state Capital as an editor for a committee newsletter, and back to the PBA as the editor of the Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine. It has been a unique and rewarding journey, one that began with his first paid journalistic position at the Pocono Record newspaper when he was fresh out of college.

“First you have to have a great command of the AP style of writing. Second, you are fact checking everything, even cases of law,” Yuda declared while describing some of the main aspects of an editor’s role. “You always want to protect the writer,” said Yuda, and added, “This clientele is all lawyers and they are all writers, but they don’t write for space.” Lawyers may write a “brief” that can be many pages in length which will explain their position and defend against potential questions. Many times an editor will “distill” multiple pages into a few sentences without losing the concept of the original brief.

Working for attorneys will make an editor want to go the extra mile, verifying every fact, case citation, and quote. The editor is the “fact checker of last resort” for the magazine. The majority of the interviews he conducts are with lawyers and are almost exclusively performed utilizing email. There are many rounds of emails going back and forth between Yuda and his interview subject.

“The interviews are designed in this manner so there should never be a misunderstanding when quoting a lawyer,” Yuda stated. An editor is “honor bound” to get facts right the first time.

Even though Yuda is not a lawyer, he spends quite a bit of time verifying information within submitted articles using online legal research tools like LexisNexis. Lawyers, like writers, can make mistakes that get past their own eyes. A mistake in a magazine will be much more widespread than a mistake in a courtroom. The potential for a mistake can make a lawyer “anxious” after the article are submitted for the magazine because it is read and reviewed by their peers. When a writer’s mistake is found, Yuda will verify with two online sources, attach both sources to a paper copy of the article, and submit it to his boss. He will wait for the communications director to sign off on the correction before permitting the original article to go to press. “In our case, if you get something wrong, it’s wrong 26,000 times, and it is read by 24,000 lawyers,” he warned then added “That’s the terror hanging over you.”

As a contributing writer for the bimonthly lawyer magazine, he found that he always needs another “fresh set of eyes” on his own articles. He felt that “letting go” of his own work was sometimes the hardest aspect of his work, but he knows it is a critical for the success of a journalist. “There is a definite gap between the eyes and the brain, it’s why people make bad witnesses, it’s why you shouldn’t hold onto something you’ve written,” he added. When he writes an article, he has a minimum of two others in the communications department review his articles. Yuda’s editorial pieces go through the same editorial scrutiny so he finds himself in the same position as writers that need to “let go” of their articles.

The most difficult task of his job is to getting lawyers to submit their articles on time in order to meet the magazine deadlines. Yuda stated “Lawyers can be wordy and that doesn’t lend well to deadlines.” Lawyers who are on staff at the Bar, as well as attorneys who write guest articles, are guilty of being tardy with deadlines. As deadlines loom, he finds himself hounding the delinquent writers.

The inability to motivate writers to submit articles on time was the main reason Yuda left the state government. “They wouldn’t do it…that was frustrating,” he stated.

Yuda knew he was destined for a career in communications after his first journalism class at Shippensburg. During this class, he said it “just clicked.” His Journalism 101 professor was a free-lance writer who constantly encouraged his students by emphatically stating, “You can do this!” As a non-traditional student, he felt being older gave him an added advantage over his peers. He felt the other communications majors did not have any real world experience in navigating the politics in finding journalistic work that would pay money. This proved critical as he graduated in the mid-1970s during a recession. He believes his paid communication internship at a small public relations firm was instrumental in landing his first paying job “in print.” The practical “real world” experience benefitted him more than the theory he learned in the classroom. He would also like to see colleges have “better placement procedures for journalism majors.”

During his reflection, Yuda is amazed how much technology has changed during his tenure as an editor. “My first lawyer edition was laid out on a wax galley from the printer. Using a template, you would cut out the articles, arrange them onto the wax paper inside of the template cutouts, and this was a long, tedious process,” Yuda described. Today the same work is done on computers while the large computer files are passed back and forth utilizing an application called Dropbox. The old fashioned scissors and glue “cut and paste” has been replaced with the online cut and paste. One drawback to the new technology in journalism is the long hours spent staring at a computer screen. “The eye strain is one of the few things I dislike about technology.” Yuda is also tasked with being the state Bar’s web site editor which adds addition hours in front of a computer monitor.

As editor for the magazine, he is also charged with acquiring artwork for each article. “In the past, this required us to pay individual artists to design a cover,” said Yuda. “We had an art budget of $500 per edition.”

Now the communications department subscribes to an online art “clipping” subscription which is like “having the world at your fingertips.” This subscription allows him to quickly find art based on category and download up to 100 different images each month.

When asked if he had a chance to do anything over in his college or journalism career, he immediately declared that each section along the way has supplied him with the knowledge he would use later in his life. He emphatically admitted, “I wouldn’t change a thing.” After retirement, you should be able to find Geoff Yuda at his local water hole sipping on a cold Heineken beer.


Welcome to Susquehanna University’s Introduction to Journalism – COMM 131


This site is designed to showcase submitted assignments throughout the Fall 2016 semester.

Feel free to look around the site, browse the articles and let me know what you think!


Feature Related Sidebar

College Employees – Spring Break in Puerto Rico

Susquehanna University is on the leading edge with the school’s most recent study abroad program.

A generous donation from a Susquehanna alum was earmarked to send a small group of faculty and staff on a seven-day trip to Puerto Rico during 2016’s spring break. The gift was designated to pay the expenses for ten employees so they could experience an immersion into a different culture, specifically outside of the United States. The experience is designed to give the participants the same cultural experience students receive on a three week GO Short program and was coordinated by Spanish Studies Abroad.

The program was open to all faculty and staff at Susquehanna University. Any interested employee was required to submit an essay describing how the trip would benefit both the employee and the university. The selection process was completed; the people were required to attend evening “prep” classes scheduled prior to the trip. These classes provided instruction in packing, practicing of common Spanish phrases and addressed health, safety and food concerns.

After the group arrived in San Juan, they traveled to Ponce to spend a half day with a K-12 charter school. A trip to an organic farm in the central mountain rainforest provided a look how a farm can be self-sustaining while providing ecological benefits to the local watershed. A service learning trip to La Perla allowed the travelers to paint and clean up a city playground. Later in the week, the group met the island’s most popular artist and sculptor, learned about fishing from a local fisherman and experienced the lights of a bioluminescent bay. Other cultural experiences included decorating masks used in religious ceremonies, learning about the island’s military fortifications and discussions about the Spanish influence on the inhabitants. Throughout the entire trip, the group had an embedded, native Puerto Rican tour guide who thoroughly explained the cultural components.

Upon their return to the United States, the group met for reflective classes. These classes assisted the participants to “unpack” the many cultural workings they experienced. Associate Registrar Monica Leitzel explained to the class how the trip has helped her “…connect with our students as they prepare to go abroad for a semester.” She added, “I feel that I can relate to our students on a different level.”

Feature Related Media

Organic Farm Photos



Sidebar Audio Clip

Monica’s Quote


Organic Farming – Branching out in the Rain-forest

Farming in America presents enough challenges, so imagine the unique difficulties having your farm located in a rainforest in Puerto Rico. Every morning Jorge and Denise Pérez face various challenges on their organic farm located high in the Cordillera Central (Central Mountains) of Puerto Rico.

The Pérez family began their farm a few years ago after procuring a hilly tract of land near the municipality of Utuado, situated in the central-western mountain region of Puerto Rico. They decided to create an organic farm and eschew the use of pesticides and fertilizers. They also avoid the usage of most gasoline powered farming equipment. Both Jorge and Denise have a desire to have a minimal environmental impact on the land, spawned out of their love of nature.

Jorge is a native Puerto Rican and grew up in the Utuado area. He was raised in an area where the local Grande de Arecibo River had been compromised by surrounding farms and other businesses for decades. These farms permitted massive amounts of sediment and pesticides to pollute their drinking source. Local businesses also contributed to the water problem by allowing various chemicals to flow freely into the watershed.

The Grande de Arecibo River starts high in the mountains of Puerto Rico and has four reservoirs located along its length. These dams allow various water authorities to use the water for distribution throughout local municipalities. After the Vivi reservoir in the Utuado area was deemed contaminated with pollutants and filled with sediment, the local population could no longer use the water for drinking and restrictions were put into place. It took a large amount of tax money to drain and clean the bottom of the river. The local population had to become part of the solution so they could help in preventing further pollution to their drinking water source. Jorge did not want his family to experience the environmental tragedy he saw growing up around Utuado.

Denise came to Puerto Rico from Canada to study ecological biology in the rainforest. She immediately fell in love with the country and quickly knew she would not return to Canada. After meeting Jorge and falling in love, they married and started a new family. Eventually they settled down on a tract of land only a few miles from Jorge’s homestead.

After purchasing their land, they surveyed the parcel and decided on a strategy to best utilize the entire piece of land, while leveraging ecological benefits as well. Afterwards, the Pérezes began the task of clearing out a few acres of the rain forest while leaving the fruit bearing trees in place. Any semi-flat area was designated as the place where leafy vegetables would be planted. Any hillsides that were cleared were planted with a special Puerto Rican grass. This native grass ultimately provides two benefits to the environment. The grass will hold the soil firmly in place during the rainy season and it also filters the water by removing any chemicals from the water. Any cleared land area that had a modest level of incline would have fruit or nut bearing trees planted on the slopes.

The Pérezes decided to grow a vast variety of native and non-native plants which included vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs and spices. They began growing the plants they wanted to personally consume but soon they expanded their farm to include a broader variety of plants. They conducted extensive research concerning non-native plants and found other plants, like kale, which would thrive in a rainforest farm. Soon they were growing a broad variety of consumable fruits and large leaf vegetables. In order to sustain their crop, the couple refused to grow hybrid plants which do not contain seeds which can reproduce. Avoiding hybrid seeds and plants allowed them to control their own seed inventory and eliminate any dependency on seed companies such as Monsanto.

Jorge applied his carpentry skills to transform the property’s cabin like structure into the new family homestead. With the assistance of his father and brothers, he more than doubled the square footage of the original building by adding bedrooms and a family sized bathroom. He added plumbing to the house and updated the kitchen with modern fixtures and appliances. Lastly, he refinished the main living space while preserving the original beams and unique woodworking. After the home was complete, Jorge built a garage for the storage of farming equipment. Soon after Jorge and Denise finished their construction projects, their first child was born.

After a few growing seasons, the Pérezes realized the benefits of rotating the types of plants being grown around the various cleared sections of the farm. One of the benefits of rotating plantings allows the composting of weeds and plants in any unused sections. The composting allows nutrients and minerals to return into the soil. A successful organic farm is highly dependent on the proper maintenance of the soil via composting since synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are not used. After composting has completed in a section of land, the Pérezes will allow the soil in a section to “rest” from producing plants. Resting a section of land prevents nutrients and minerals from being drawn out by plants and allows for replenishment of missing elements. Some of the growing seasons are as short as four weeks, mainly for broad leaf plants. Short growing seasons facilitates the rotating of crops among different plots.

An organic farmer leads a very busy life. The Pérezes are both involved in the work on their farm and they employ two part-time locals during busy times. Most days the Pérezes start their work before daylight and continue until dusk performing farming tasks. The most time consuming tasks include planting, weeding, watering, harvesting and trimming back the ever expanding rainforest plants. A sizeable buffer between the farmland and the rainforest is required to keep snakes, like the boa constrictor, from infiltrating into the groundworks of buildings. The only gasoline powered tool in use on the farm is used to maintain this buffer. This multipurpose tool uses different attachments (a string trimmer or a saw blade) depending on what type of plant is being cut back. The Pérezes also have several dogs which help in keeping snakes away from their home. Jorge also spends many hours performing maintenance on the farm’s water management system.

Water management is an important component of maintaining an organic farm in a rainforest. During the rainy season, it is important for water to run off from the land while not removing fertile soil from the fields. Eliminating standing water is needed to prevent insects from breeding in these pools. During the dry season, maintaining adequate watering is required, even on a farm in a rainforest. Jorge fabricated an extensive water collection system during the construction on his home and garage. His system captures all of the water from the buildings’ spouting into three 1,000 liter holding tanks. A connected pump and pressure tank allow water to be pumped to elevations 100 feet above the water tanks. The farm has a framework of buried PVC pipe which provides water to each section of the farmland. Each section has an above ground water faucet and facilitates the use of sprinklers as needed. Gravity is used to water sections of the farm situated below the level of the water tanks.

The Pérezes have expanded their organic farm outreach to include the farmers market in San Juan. Each Saturday, Denise will load up harvested crops and transport them to market. On her return trip from San Juan, she makes regular deliveries to restaurants, food stands and will barter with other farmers located close to their farm. On a typical day, she will bring home coffee, meats and other items after trading products. They estimate they raise about 25 percent of the food products they consume on a yearly basis. Jorge is also skilled at creating elaborate wood burning crafts which Denise sells at market. In 2016, they began hosting tours, in conjunction with a local company, to boost awareness of the organic farm industry.

If you want to want to understand how an organic farm operates in the Puerto Rico rainforest, stop by the Pérez’s farm and plan on spending several hours working alongside of Jorge and Denise. They always welcome any donated labor.


Learning to Avoid Predators Before You Are Born


An intriguing research topic and fascinating presentation captured the audience, much like a spider’s web captures its prey.

Dr. Matthew Persons, a professor and behavioral ecologist at Susquehanna University, used this arachnid strategy as he presented his topic entitled “Learning to Avoid Predators Before You Are Born” at the Library and Committee Faculty Scholarship event on February 1, 2016. These informal wine and cheese events provide faculty members the opportunity to present their research topics to their peers in a casual, after hours setting in the Blough-Weis Library.

Persons’ presented his research and explained how some species, like the red-eyed tree frog and the wolf spider, will demonstrate what he calls “embryo antipredator strategies.” He said, “I was intrigued how some types of creatures acquire the ability to avoid predators before they are born.” His curiosity eventually turned into a research project and he then recruited several of his biology students to assist with the many phases of the study.

The research project focused specifically on the wolf spider and how the spider embryos learn predator cues from their mothers. Person explained this “learning” occurs while the embryos are in the egg sack, which is attached to the mother’s body.

“Predator recognition mechanisms can occur before emergence,” Person affirmed, while showing evidence how spiders will hatch in less days when exposed to predator vibrations. He also described a few of the spider’s post-birth behaviors, which he described as being “mediated by olfactory cues.” He concluded by describing some of the applications of the wolf spider’s silk, acknowledging the students who assisted in the research, and providing the audience with a departing mystery. Persons declared “Research can explain how something occurs, but may not answer why it happens. Science has yet to unravel this mystery.”

The wolf spider study is not the only one of Dr. Persons’ research that contained a strange twist. During a subsequent discussion with Dr. Persons, he revealed another research oddity. A previous research trip involved Persons traveling to Puerto Rico, where he studied the island’s lizard population. This trip occurred during the pre Sept. 11, 2001, timeframe and lasted approximately a month.  His research required him to capture, catalog, and study many of the variations of lizards. At the end of his study, he made the decision to bring his specimens back to the United States, which allowed him to continue his research. Unfortunately, he was allowed to return to the states with just the two duffle bags, which he used to bring his belongings to the island. Persons said “I left all of my clothes in Puerto Rico and instead, packed up the lizards in my two duffle bags.” After his plane landed in the United States, Persons inconspicuously worked his way through customs with the two bags of lizards. Customs officers incorrectly made the assumption he was returning home with only his dirty laundry and proceeded to wave him through without inspecting his bags. “Back in the states, the one lizard lived another fourteen years in my lab,” Persons said.



YouTube / Newest Movies Trailers – via Iframely

The movie Spotlight portrays an accurate picture of a current day newspaper, particularly from the view of investigative journalism. The idea of having a team of four investigative journalists working together to form the Spotlight team could only happen at a newspaper in a larger city where there are additional resources available. It can take months, and sometimes years to develop a large scope investigative series of stories such as the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests in the greater Boston area. A problem of keeping a yearlong investigative story moving along yet keeping it private is at best problematic. The movie also touched upon how specifically the Spotlight team needed to develop meaningful stories that will engage their readers.

The movie plot involved a new editor coming to the newspaper and how he is viewed as an outsider even though he was from the Boston area. The office politics of a new editor coming in and wanting to put his own mark on the paper is realistic and not only applicable to journalism, but could be for any communications field. Late in the movie, this new editor is seen coaching his journalists and telling them that writing about the abuse is important work. This type of motivation is really needed when people are working with such negative subjects.

Some of the journalism specific items I noted in the movie were the use of sources such as established contacts, former coworkers, and researching physical documents. Scrambling for deadlines was also mentioned. The 9/11 event and the impact to the Spotlight team seemed very realistic because of the scope of the national tragedy. When the documents were released to the courthouse, the movie did a good job explaining how the Spotlight team did not want “scooped” by the another newspaper.

The interviewing of the abuse victims was dealt with in a sensitive manner by the Spotlight journalists. You felt they had the best interests of the victims in mind even though they needed the information these people held internally. They showed how they needed to ask tough questions and even get the victims to describe actuals acts of abuse. The one victim described the abuse as both physical and spiritual abuse. The movie also linked sexual abuse and substance abuse for some of the victims.

Strictly from the research aspect of the Spotlight team, analysis, trending and data mining skills came into play especially when large quantities of data were uncovered. The team initially found trends in the data when a suspected priest was placed on sick leave. After further analysis of the collected data, they discovered there were actually multiple statuses suspected priests would be placed into besides sick leave. Researching church directories was the “ah-ha” moment for the Spotlight team.

It was unique how the moved showed how suing to have the sealed documents opened was viewed by the community as the newspaper suing the Catholic church. I would never have made that connection without the help of this movie. This view could be devastating for the newspaper since 53% of the Boston Globe’s subscribers are Roman Catholic. Management wanted to be sensitive to the fact that ostracizing readers could impact the newspaper financially, while at the same time they wanted Catholics to know what was going on with priests in their state. Getting those court documents unsealed showed the abuse was more widespread than the paper anticipated. This made the project grow in scope and in the amount of time it would take to get to press with the first story. The editor mentioned how he wanted his reporters to go after the system and not after individual priests. I feel this made the movie more realistic.

The one reporter showed how it was not possible to leave his work at work. He knew the one home in his neighborhood was a supposed treatment location for the priests. He felt the duty to warn his own children immediately and sought ways to warn others of this facility. I felt this was in line with what Allison Everett mentioned about reporters not having a counselling resource like police departments.

Another realistic item was when it was revealed that the paper had much of the story handed to them almost twenty years earlier. One person made the decision to allow a single story about the abuse to run back in 1993 and never had follow-up stories to supplement it. I imagine this can happen in any type of journalism forum. After the first story runs, a story which includes phone numbers for people to report abuse, the journalists become swamped with calls from more victims. It is easy to see how a wide spread story like the one in this movie actually morphed into over 600 articles spanning multiple years.

Overall I feel this movie did a great job in showing the many various struggles an investigative journalist can encounter in their career. These struggles can be in the office, out in the field and internally.

Specialty Stories

Bright, Followup, Sidebar, Round-up, Obituary


Gnomes Find New Homes

The recently evicted Little Buffalo gnome’s homes found new homes in two Perry County boroughs parks.

Young and old residents of Millerstown and Duncannon were excited to learn their communities made the necessary accommodations to their public parks for the controversial gnome homes. The last gnome home was relocated in Duncannon on Friday March, 29, 2016.

The Millerstown Community Walking Path spokesperson said the majority of the 38 gnome are installed along the riverside pathway. The miniature homes are directly attached to trees and other permanent structures. The last two gnome homes were installed in Duncannon’s downtown playground.

Local resident Becky Shaw is thrilled about the move. “I first saw the gnome homes while hiking at Little Buffalo and it saddened me they kicked out of the park,” said Shaw. “Now I get to see them a couple of times a week when I exercise on the river walk,” she added.

The gnomes and their homes were the creation of Newport retiree Steve Hoke. In 2015, Hoke received permission from state park officials at Little Buffalo to install the gnome homes along walking and hiking trails around the lake. Hoke was inspired to create the gnome homes after seeing a video from a similar project in Nebraska.

Earlier this year, park officials asked Hoke to remove the gnome homes. Complaints from a few park visitors reached state officials in Harrisburg. The state officials determined the little homes did not align with state park ethics and its goals.

Hoke said he will expand his gnome home creations if other Perry County communities would like to participate.

The Mystery Surrounding the Disappearance of the Red October

The puzzling mystery surrounding the disappearance of the Soviet Submarine Red October is now being pieced together after interviewing the remaining survivors.

Initial information indicates the typhoon class submarine suffered an unexpected radiation leak from its nuclear reactor and sank while in the northern section of the Atlantic Ocean. It was originally reported Commander Marko Ramius and all his officers presumably perished along with the vessel on November 14, 1984.

After interviewing all of the surviving seamen, new information revealed the ship’s medical officer Dr. Yevgeniy Petrov survived the catastrophe.  Reports indicate Commander Ramius ordered the doctor and the enlisted sailors into the life rafts so they could escape exposure of the reactor’s leaking radiation. New information indicates the radiation leak could be related to sabotage of the propulsion system, however no Soviet official would go on record concerning this claim.

There were also unconfirmed accounts that U.S. Navy vessels, which were in the area, had actually fired shots at the Red October before it slipped below the ocean surface. U.S. intelligence officials have denied any attack on the Soviet submarine but have stated they were assisting the Soviets in finding the missing submarine.

California Murder Has Ties to Mid-state

A 2003 murder in California has been solved with the help of a former area resident.

A former Sunbury resident unknowingly assisted detectives in solving a California murder case. The case involved an unknown teenage girl found murdered and dumped behind a Castro Valley restaurant on May 1, 2003. As police exhausted all of the leads in the case, it appeared the identity of the young girl would never be known.

Meanwhile, former Sunbury resident David Woolworth began seeking donations to have the victim buried instead of cremated. Woolworth, currently from Castro Valley, asked, “What are you going to do, hand the mother a bag of ashes?” This case held special meaning for him since he was once estranged from his own daughter. Woolworth’s campaign was successful and unknown Jane Doe was buried in a Hayward cemetery.

Months later as the murder case went cold, veteran homicide detective Sgt. Scott Dudek had the body exhumed. He requested a forensic artist to construct a bust sculpture from Jane Doe’s skull. A 48 Hours (CBS) broadcast showing the sculpture ultimately brought in the tip to break open the case. Detectives identified Jane Doe as 16-year-old Mexican teenager named Yesenia Nungaray.

Yesenia Nungaray left Mexico for America on her sixteenth birthday to find a better life, but that was not what she found. After detectives solved the case, they revealed she was murdered by a family friend and former coworker Miguel Angel Nunez-Castineda. Castaneda fled apprehension to Mexico where authorities are reluctant to arrest him. If arrested, he would likely face the death penalty because he was charged with murder in America. Mexico rarely allows extradition if a suspect could face execution in another country.

Nungaray’s murder would probably have gone unsolved if she had been cremated. Yesenia Nungaray’s mother still proclaims her gratefulness for the actions of David Woolworth in solving her daughter’s murder. Woolworth, who has been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, hopes to see Nungaray’s murderer brought to justice before he dies.

Missing Couple Found Murdered

The story surrounding the missing Jamison couple from Masonville, Pa, took many twists and turns until it was eventually solved by the police.

The mystery began with a report of another older couple who had escaped from the Maple Shade Psychiatric Hospital. Claire and Fred Harlinger were reported missing on Tuesday November 10. The Harlingers were serving sentences of indefinite confinement to the hospital. Their sentences were for their involvement in the deaths of their two children twenty years earlier.

The following day, Benjamin and Alana Jamison failed to show for the counselling sessions they conduct at the hospital. The couple helped at the Meadowbrook Hospital by providing volunteer counselling to patients. Dr. Sam of the Maple Shade Psychiatric Hospital was concerned for the Jamisons because they had never missed any appointments with their patients. He was unable to find the Jamisons when he went to their farm house during a wellness check. Dr. Sam concern was legitimate because the Jamisons intimately knew the Harlingers after conducting counselling sessions with them.

During the period the older Jamisons were missing, their grandchildren Rebecca, 15, and Tyler, 13, arrived for their first visit with their estranged maternal grandparents. The children began to notice increasingly strange behaviors from the older couple and soon contacted their mother, Stacey Jamison. She discovered the older man and woman posing as her parents were imposters during a Skype call with her children. Ms. Jamison immediately alerted the Masonville Police Department. The police report positively identifies the imposters as Claire and Fred Harlinger.

Masonville Police arrived at the Pennsylvania farm and found Rebecca and Tyler alive but terrified. As police conducted their investigation at the farm, they found Fred Harlinger dead in the kitchen. He appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head. Claire Harlinger was found deceased in one of the upstairs bedrooms. An initial report indicates she was found with a glass shard from a mirror protruding from her neck.

As police continued their investigation, they found Benjamin, 78, and Alana, 77, bludgeoned to death in the basement of their home. A carpenter hammer appears to have been the murder weapon. The hammer was covered with blood and was found alongside the deceased couple.

A former counselee of the Jamisons was saddened to learn of their deaths. Stacy (who requested we not disclose her last name) came to the farm out of respect for the deceased couple. “They helped me when I was in rehab at Meadowbrook. They used to sit by my bed when I wasn’t in good shape…all night sometimes,” she stated. Stacey said the Jamisons failed to show at her house for dinner. Initially she was not concerned because of Alana’s recent health issues. However, after the police were involved and had declared the couple as missing, she became alarmed.

Unconfirmed sources report the Harlingers knew the Jamison grandchildren were visiting their grandparents for the first time. They escaped from the hospital, murdered the Jamisons and began their plan of deception.

Captain Vasili Borodin

On November 14, 1984, Captain Vasili Borodin, age 41, passed on to the other side while serving about the submarine Red October. In keeping with maritime tradition, Commander Marko Ramius and his officers stayed with the vessel after evacuating the crew. Captain Borodin is survived by his parents, Igor and Anna Borodin of Polyarny, three nieces, one nephew, several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Vasili’s love of the sea took him directly from his undergraduate days at Saint-Petersburg State University to studying nuclear engineering at N. G. Kuznetsov Naval Academy. He graduated with honors and was immediately assigned to the shipyard in his hometown of Polyarny. His studies proved instrumental in helping to design and build the new typhoon class of submarines, like the Red October.

The sea was not the only love in Vasili’s life. He enjoyed playing squash and racquetball competitively. Scuba diving and practicing speaking English were two of his favorite hobbies. He also enjoyed the outdoors which included hunting and fishing around his home. After his naval career was over, he planned to marry and travel the post-Cold War world. Family members often remember him stating how he would “…marry a round American woman, raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck. Maybe even a recreational vehicle.”

A celebration of life will be held at the Cathedral of Christ Church in Polyarny on Dec 1, 1984. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Vasili’s honor may be made to his church.

Announcement on mySU

“Learning to avoid predators before you are born”

On Monday, February 1st the Library and Committee on Faculty Scholarship will be proud to host three short talks about faculty research in biology, history, and accounting. We hope you will come listen to these exciting presentations:

  • Matt Persons:  “Learning to avoid predators before you are born”
  • Lisong Liu: “Chinese Student Migration to the United States and Selective Citizenship”
  • John Pendley: “Measuring the environmental performance of oil and gas firms.”

A reception and refreshments will begin at 4:15 in the library’s conference room 104.

The talks will begin at 4:30.

The event will end by 5:30.

Please join us!