It’s just January 4th, but we’ve got ourselves a prohibitive favorite.
A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year’s Eve, less than a week after the baby’s father died of cancer.
Now, you young kids in J-school, this is known as a lede. If it’s badly-written, nobody clicks through and you don’t get any traffic. The one quoted above is an example of what you’re striving for. It has all the important introductory facts and a powerful hook to draw people to the rest of the story: to wit, some lowlife snot decides that an 18-year old widow hasn’t had a bad enough start to 2012, and decides to make it worse by skeezing her out at her own husband’s funeral, and caps it by later attempting an armed break-in of her home – with an accomplice.
Sarah McKinley says that a week earlier a man named Justin Martin dropped by on the day of her husband’s funeral, claiming that he was a neighbor who wanted to say hello. The 18-year-old Oklahoma City area woman did not let him into her home that day. On New Year’s Eve Martin returned with another man, Dustin Stewart, and this time was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife. The two soon began trying to break into McKinley’s home. As one of the men was going from door to door outside her home trying to gain entry, McKinley called 911 and grabbed her 12-gauge shotgun.
Then it occured to our heroine that since there were two bad guys, she ought to have two guns. She took her 3-month-old child to her bedroom, gave the baby a bottle, and then herself a pistol. And when Stabby kicked the door in, he got a bunch of buckshot to keep.
One of the commenters theorizes that the men were looking for easy marks by acting like the title character of Beetlejuice, searching the obituaries like a personalized business section and picking out places with easily-had valuables, such as the leftover pain meds of the departed husband. They picked wrong, and Oklahoma is one punk lighter.
We’re not necessarily closing the nominations, but be advised that the bar to clear is very high.