Lack of funding blamed for attempted murder?



The editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News is terrified that lack of funding could lead people to try to kill their children?

That is what current events subject expert Tom Hewitt appeared to say in a Twitter message that relates to the deteriorated mental health of an engineer who works at the Port of Anchorage, previously called the Port of Alaska.

Hewitt wrote on Twitter:

The engineer was arrested and charged with attempted murder after he allegedly tried to drown his -8-year-old daughter in the bathtub.

The man in question is the point person for replacing the deteriorating docks at the port, and was admitted to Providence Alaska Medical Center in November after his wife found a shotgun in their bed. According to the accounts, he was really stressed.

His mental health has evidently continued to deteriorate and the alleged attempted drowning of his child took place on Jan. 2.

The story about the incident was covered by the Anchorage Daily News.

(Must Read Alaska understands the problem in identifying an alleged perpetrator when doing so automatically identifies the victim, and in this case is not using the man’s name to err on the side of caution.)

Hewitt appeared to accept the idea that the attempted murder was related to funding challenges the port is experiencing.

After some rebuttal comments came back to Hewitt on Twitter, he modified his stance:

The Port of Alaska is a department of the Municipality of Anchorage and has three bulk carrier berths, two petroleum berths and one barge berth. The supports under the docks are in bad shape.

Meanwhile, there’s an 8-year-old girl in Anchorage who will never be the same.

(Note to readers: Should the man’s name and occupation be used in the ADN story, or did doing so simply capitalize on a tragedy to attract readers, while allowing him to use the Port problem as an excuse? Comment below.)


  1. I don’t think it was necessary to identify the man’s employer. The whole story stinks and the way it was written makes it obvious that ADN had another agenda going on with the story.

  2. I know a fellow who says that the fact that no one has gone to jail over the misspending of public money on the Port of Anchorage reconstruction has caused him to hit some clay targets that he otherwise would have missed.

  3. I am disappointed that the ADN could not come up with a more explicit way to blame Republicans and old, white men for this situation. I’m confident that some adjunct professor at UAA will teach a seminar on this topic next semester.

  4. We have been trying to fix the Port with politics for years. I don’t know when the fiasco started but it goes back at least 5 Mayors.

  5. Connecting a person to their place of employ or profession isn’t anything new. And, it is often used for effect or conveniently left off if it won’t generate a headline. We all knew that Michele Linehan was a FORMER STRIPPER (accused of involvement in the murder of Ken Leppink). Had she been a former Landscaper, would we have known?


    But this one is interesting. An engineer that works at the port attempted to murder his family. He’s mentally ill is what he is. That could have been it. Didn’t need to name him. No, it didn’t stop there. This is where I found it rather nauseating. This Hewitt fellow conducts a pathetic threading and then some seam-ripping explanation of how ones stress level can cause mental breaks that make drowning your children seem justifiable. Wow. And I feel bad after a hard days work and yelling at the dog.


    Does anyone remember Cynthia Lord? Did the headline read, “Former Wayland Baptist Student Murdered 3 Sons after a week of Stressful Finals”. Nope. She was labled schitzophrenic and locked up. Cynthia had jobs, she had been a student, she was a mother, she was mentally ill. No excuses made for Cynthia Lords stress level.


    There is an 8 year old girl that is outed. There is an 8 year old girl that was told she was going to play with rubber duckies in the bathtub, only to be held under water by her daddy. Think about that. She will never, ever, ever forget that.

    • Yes, I remember Cynthia Lord and she is mentally ill also she’s in prison but I thought it was 4 of her boys, also, Michelle Linehan her conviction was overturned and so she is free and back home with her family. But when someone is writing about another person they do describe who the person is and what you do for a living is part who you are. And this man will go to jail if convicted but we do not know for how long and events he’ll come up for Parole but that’s how the system works I hope the mom moves out of state and immediately gets her daughter into counseling.

      • Yes, that is true, but seldom is the profession part of the headline unless it is a true attention grabber such as a stripper. And the issue in the case of the engineer, Hewitt is tying his attempted murderous actions to the stresses of his job. In the case of Cynthia Lord: It was 3 sons – kills 2, laid in wait for the 3rd to come home from school. A daughter spared. All a horrible, horrible tragedy.

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