Misplaced Eulogy

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The Huffington Post eulogizes one of its writers, Carol Anne Burger, who took her own life:

The Huffington Post’s OffTheBus is deeply saddened to report that one of our writers, Carol Anne Burger, died on Friday, October 24.

The circumstances of her death remain unclear; police believe she may have taken her own life after learning that her roommate – and former partner – had been found dead.

Carol Anne, an award-winning photojournalist and former editor, was an OffTheBus Election Correspondent. She used her background in journalism to bring us ground reports from her home state of Florida – and was very excited to be writing about the presidential election and filed multiple stories a week. She covered a wide range of stories including early voting in Florida, a summit on green jobs with Barack Obama and swing-state governors and a Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation event. Her high energy and curiosity kept OffTheBus editors on our toes. Vermonter Christian Avard – who worked with Carol Anne on her final dispatch – wrote that she was “always fun to work with, cheerful, and always very supportive. We are all very lucky to have Carol Anne be a part of the Off the Bus family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Carol Anne Burger and Jessica Kalish.”

This coming week, Carol Anne had planned on using her background in financial reporting to cover how the economic crisis is affecting food bank donations and the poor in Florida.

Carol Anne will be deeply missed. Please use the comment section below if you wish to offer her family and friends your condolences.

Update: For further details on Carol Anne Burger’s death please click here.

If you click on the link, it takes you to this report:

Carol Anne Burger killed her former lover by stabbing her 222 times with a Phillips-head screwdriver and then took pains to hide her crime, police said Wednesday.

Jessica Kalish, who shared a house with Burger despite breaking up with her more than a year ago, was found last Thursday stuffed in the backseat of her gun-metal BMW sedan, abandoned behind a medical office at 2300 S. Congress Avenue. Her blood was splashed around the rear end and undercarriage of the car, as if her killer had tried to load her into the trunk. The driver-side window was shattered.

Examining the body, detectives absorbed what had been done to her. Stab wounds were clustered around the back of her head and stitched across her back and arms and face. Most were between an inch and an inch-and-a-half deep. A blow to Kalish’s neck probably killed her, investigators determined.

At a news conference Wednesday, police laid out what they’d learned during a week of investigation. They said the evidence pointed to one conclusion: Burger killed Kalish, a 56-year-old software executive whom friends described as worldly and intelligent, and then tried to throw investigators off her trail.

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Burger, a 57-year-old writer, did yoga, had a fondness for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel and preferred to watch musicals in theaters with Dolby Sound. She recently stopped drinking coffee. She thought Jackson Browne’s For a Dancer was good to listen to when you were sad, and she refused to take anti-depressants despite her relationship problems with Kalish.Their situation really was a bad one, friends said, but for financial reasons Burger and Kalish had continued to share the house they’d bought together in 2000.

Burger, who on Oct. 7 was tapped to cover the election for the Web site, The Huffington Post, still sometimes felt sad and isolated. Kalish, whom Burger had married in Massachusetts in 2005, had met another woman.

At 3300 Churchill Drive, Burger had her half of the house, a room and office where she would write and read and surf the Internet, and Kalish had hers, where she would spend hours absorbed in cyber dates with her new companion, friends said.

All in all, the former couple seemed to be doing the best they could as their lawyer drew up plans to sell the house and divide the money. But secretly, police said, something was building up in Burger that would explode in a sudden, sustained burst of rage.

Minutes after someone called their home and said he had found Kalish’s wallet and keys near 548 E. Gateway Boulevard, Burger reported Kalish missing Thursday afternoon. She told police Kalish left for a workout Wednesday night and never came home.

As investigators studied the case, several telltale signs, including the ferocity and personal nature of the attack, pointed to Burger, they said.

But before they could question her, Burger walked out into her back yard, pressed a gun up under her chin and pulled the trigger, police said. Detectives found her body there last Thursday but couldn’t locate a suicide note.

In the days that followed, detectives and crime scene investigators put together this theory:

On Wednesday night, Kalish exercised at LA Fitness at 2290 N. Congress Ave. and was home by 9:30 p.m. A confrontation ensued, and she probably was dead by midnight.

After stabbing Kalish, Burger put her in the BMW and drove her to the Congress Avenue site. She walked home, a distance of about 2 1/2 miles.

Burger cleaned up the garage and used the washing machine and bathroom sink, where traces of Kalish’s blood were later detected. She got into her Toyota Celica, drove to Gateway Boulevard and tossed out Kalish’s keys and wallet.

On Tuesday night, detectives proved their theory, said Lt. Gary Chapman, who heads the department’s major crimes squad.

Using Luminol, a chemical agent that causes blood traces to fluoresce under ultraviolet light, they found a “tremendous amount of blood” splattered throughout the garage, where the attack must have taken place, Chapman said. The Luminol also revealed Burger’s glowing sneaker prints on the garage floor, mapping her steps after she walked through her old flame’s blood.

“We believe the process of killing Jessica was pretty lengthy, in and out of the car,” Chapman said. “She obviously was out of her mind.”

Now granted that perhaps the HuffPo did not have the full set of facts when it first posted the eulogy. But when these facts came to light, why would they post only a blink-and-you-miss-it line containing a link to the story of the murder?



If I was family of the victim, I would be fuming.

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