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Feb. 12, 2007


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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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I knew something was wrong when I heard the abrupt and sudden chatter on the police monitor. KSL-TV's voice monitors were loud last Monday night, echoing all the way over to my seat in the radio section of the newsroom. I have been on the staff here since Nov. 27, 2006, recruited from Richmond, Va. where a shooting here, a killing there is part of the warp and woof of that market. Salt Lake is the most civilized city I have lived or worked in; the reasons are best left for another blog. I was dispatched immediately last Monday to the LDS hospital, high up on a hill in the northern part of this city; to the south, I could see the circling planes and choppers...sharks reconnitering the trouble below, a random, mad shooting at Trolley Square, a quaint, landmark mall right in the heart of town. Six people killed, including the 18-year-old, Sulejman Talovic who opened fire, blowing away people like toothpicks. It was a day of contrasts I will never see again. A few hours earlier, I covered a news conference with LDS Bishop Chris Williams, whose pregrant wife and two of his kids were killed on Feb. 9, 2007 by a drunk 17-year-old driver, identified as Cameron White. Williams was all forgiveness before our microphones and cameras, telling reporters that his wife of 18 years would want him to forgive. It was like listening to Coretta Scott King moments after her husband was murdered on April 4, 1968. She was bereft of anger and hate. Williams was no different last Monday; he seemed almost robotic in his recitation of forgiveness. But it seemed real, althought his emotions were so tightly controlled. But the projected tenderness of forgiveness preached by Williams is in jarring contrast to the utter depravity of the shootings at Trolley Square after 7:00 p.m. The shift from the sublime into the depths of human despair was too much. Let's reach back to Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." In each of us, there exists two emotional templates of greatness and darkness. Tom Callan

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