Talk:Murder of Jan Pawel and Quiana Jenkins Pietrzak

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Media coverage[edit]

What amazes me is near-complete silence of mainstream mass-media about this murder. While looking for sources, I have noticed that major media outlets, such as The New York Times, BBC or CNN, did not write a word about it. One can only wonder why. Tymek (talk) 17:40, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps because, as tragic as any loss of life can be, there were 15,495 murders in the United States in 2005 (the most recent year for which I can find accurate stats) and very few of those will get even regional coverage, never mind the international coverage you mention. I am concerned about the tone and neutrality of this article, especially as there have been no convictions in this case yet. There are quite a number of unsourced speculative statements about the suspects, about the victims ("Quiana was very careful about security"), and about the crime. Phrases such as "brutally raped" inflame passions but do not add to the understanding of the crime. Also, there seems to be an undue emphasis placed on the skin color of the alleged perpetrators for shock and conspiratorial motives. - Dravecky (talk) 18:19, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
When a Marine officer is murdered by his subordinates/somebody else, this always gets a national coverage, see the cases of Cesar Laurean and Cindy Sommer. Quiana was very careful about security - it has been provided by a source. brutally raped - the perpetrators raped her with a blunt object, forcing her husband to watch it. If it is not brutal, I do not know what else is. Anyway, if you do not agree with the style of the article, change it. Tymek (talk) 18:28, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Oh, one more. I do not see why you write that there seems to be an undue emphasis placed on the skin color. Their race is mentioned only once in the article. Tymek (talk) 18:32, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Mentioning it in the lead, if it needs to be mentioned at all, gives it undue influence as does tying the news coverage to the presidential election and Barack Obama. Several of the sources cited also key in on this fact but a number of key pieces in the article are sourced to a Baltimore Sun editorial, a letter from the victim's mother reproduced on a blog, and several articles in Polish. There are better English-language sources that can be used as references (like Siemaszko, Corky (November 6, 2008). "Brooklyn Marine sergeant & wife tortured, slain in Calif.; 4 of his men are arrested". New York Daily News. , for example). - Dravecky (talk) 18:59, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Feel free to use the New York Daily News article. Polish or not, we have sources that tie the incident to the presidential elections, this has to be mentioned. Tymek (talk) 19:12, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
The editorial in the Sun is an opinion piece, not an objective article. I don't read Polish so I can't characterize those sources. In any case, this story clearly got national headlines from major US newspapers and ABC News among other sources. Also, the phrases you detail above are not attributed to any source and while I agree that the description of the rape sounds horrific and brutal, words like "brutal" are subjective opinion and "editorial" words that shed heat but no light on the subject. (See especially the section on death and dying.) - Dravecky (talk) 19:21, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I guess we have to check at WP:RS to see if this editorial can be treated as a source. If you feel the word brutal does not belong here, please remove it. Tymek (talk) 19:25, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:RS is clear on the subject: "News reporting is distinct from opinion pieces. Opinion pieces are only reliable for statements as to the opinion of their authors, not for statements of fact, and should be attributed in-text." (The emphasis is in the original text.) - Dravecky (talk) 19:34, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
So WP:RS states that opinion pieces can still be used, I guess. Tymek (talk) 21:49, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but not for statements of fact. It's black-letter in the guideline. - Dravecky (talk) 22:06, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I see where you are coming from, but removal of this source, as much as it is desired by you, will not change anything, just check the article. And please stop randomly tagging sentences in the article, this is a bad will activity. If you strongly feel sources are needed for each sentence here, just help out and find them. Tymek (talk) 16:15, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually, CNN did cover the story when the four assailants were arrested around November 4, 2008.;jsessionid=5E306470430D1190DA1CE328A086FF97.live7i So did ABC News, as well as various newspapers in the Riverside, California and San Diego region. The New York Daily News did several articles on the subject, too. So did the London Telegraph. There is a facebook page that posts the links to several news articles on this story. You can view it here (talk) 22:00, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


A tag has just been placed on the article. What is disputed here? Tymek (talk) 18:16, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

See above. - Dravecky (talk) 18:19, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Above what? Please state here what makes the article non-neutral. Thank you, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 20:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


Is he really notable? IIRC, if a person is only notable as a victim, that person is not always notable. Thoughts? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 00:15, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Emmett Till was not notable right after his murder.Tymek (talk) 13:53, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


The lead-in currently says "he was murdered along with his African-American wife." The only reason her race is relevant, as far as I can tell, is that some (such as his mother) believe the murders were racially motivated, and if that is the case I think it would be more appropriate to disclose her race in the Aftermath section, right before the sentence stating that his mother thinks the murders were racially motivated. I would have done it myself, but I wasn't sure which source to cite along with it. —Politizer talk/contribs 16:54, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

POV issues[edit]

WP:NPOV requires articles to represent "fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources". In my opinion, this article overwhelmingly presents the point of view that the killings were racially motivated. Except for the lead paragraph's sentence "...the Riverside County authorities maintain the motivation was robbery and the pending murder with special circumstances charges and rape charges do not include an assertion that the crime was racially motivated", the article presents no more evidence to support the view that the crime had no racial motivation while presenting many instances of the opposing view, not the least of which is the intense focus on the victim's mother's campaign to designate a hate crime label to the events. One particular sentence, while very troublesome by itself, I find to be representative of the POV problems present in this article:

The announcement did not include any reported mention of race and came one day before the 2008 United States presidential election, where United States Senator Barack Obama would become the first African American to be elected President of the United States and subsequently responsible for all matters related to the United States military.

The problem I have with this sentence is that it's extremely suggestive of a politically and racially motivated cover-up without solid backing from mainstream media suggesting the same. Even if unintentional, the sentence reads as though the crime would have been reported differently had a white person been elected president. Even if this sentence were to be removed, I feel that the overall tone of this article is still very troublesome because it does read as though the persons writing it have reached a conclusion of their own. Please don't think that I'm accusing the article's authors of any wrongdoings (my sincerest apologies if my comments come across as such) but, should I not bother doing any external research myself, I think that this article could likely sway my opinion on this matter and convince me that this was a racially motivated crime and that is exactly not our job if we're bound by the tenets of WP:NPOV in any way, shape or form. SWik78 (talkcontribs) 21:22, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I find it more troublesome that people are continuing to deny this is a hate crime, and there is some discomfort with even addressing the issue. Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Um, maybe because there's no evidence that it was a hate crime? — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 22:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Or possibly because people don't want to look to closely at that possibility? Denying race in this case is just as bad as overemphasizing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:17, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Why do you think the article does not reflect the information conveyed in the reliable source material on the topic? If your external research has turned up information that you feel is missing in the article, please add it. -- Suntag 22:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I removed the {{POV}} tag in view of the recent revisions. -- Suntag 23:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I just figure out what is going on. The death penalty issue hasn't been decided and a racial motivation element would tip the political scales. The article now should be cleared of un-cited items relating to this issue. -- Suntag 23:50, 17 December 2008 (UTC)


The article was correctly moved from a bio to the event per WP:ONEEVENT, but the categories need to be replaced. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 01:00, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Why? A murder is not a 1984 birth or an American of Polish descent. The article isn't a biography, it's about a crime and the categories should be those that apply to the crime, not the victims. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 03:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
At first I saw the "why" and I thought that you were disagreeing with me. Then I saw the rest of your comment and realized that there's some sort of miscommunication here.--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 03:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I was confused. Earlier in the day I moved the article from biography categories to crime categories and I saw that User:Suntag moved it back. I thought Suntag moved it because of your message, but I see now that your message was later. Just to be clear, are we in agreement that the article belongs in Category:Murder in the United States and not Category:1984 births? :-) — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 03:49, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
No, I did not know of this previous history. We do agree. I would like Suntag's input. From the edit summary its not clear if s/he meant to disagree with your previous removal of the cats or didn't realize that the article name change should change the cat scheme. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 03:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
In editing the article, I was trying to work fast since the article was pending at DYK and it was tagged POV. I had several other fires burning and I was trying to get to everything. In revising the categories, I did not mean to disagree with prior edits. I'm fine with whatever change are made to the article. -- Suntag 03:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Article name[edit]

Why is it only Jan Pawel in the article title and not his wife?--brewcrewer (yada, yada) 02:14, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Good question. Probably because the article started as a biography of J.P. and most of the news coverage has focused on him and not her. Not that either of those is a good reason for us to name the article after him alone. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 03:51, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
You could always move it to Murder of Jan Pawel Pietrzak and Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak or something short like (just off the top of my head) 2008 Pietrzak murder. Just make sure to clean up double redirects, because there are likely to be a lot (since this article has already been moved once). —Politizer talk/contribs 00:34, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with 2008 Pietrzak murder as the new name for the article. SWik78 (talkcontribs) 18:11, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I think 2008 Pietrzak murders (plural) is a good idea, but I think we should wait until the article is featured as a DYK (which should be later today). — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 18:23, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry about being a party-pooper, but I would actually prefer the former, Murder of Jan Pawel Pietrzak and Quiana Jenkins-Pietrzak. The other proposal implies that it's the title given to the incident, while that's not the case. --brewcrewer (yada, yada) 19:33, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Malik Shabazz is right, I started the article as a biography of Jan Pawel Pietrzak. Somebody has changed it into the Murder of JPP. Tymek (talk) 23:58, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Unofficial Site Closed[edit]

There has been little if any information being given out on this case. Therefore the unofficial website has been closed. There is still a memorial group at facebook. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:24, 11 June 2009 (UTC)


First, may these two rest in peace. There really is no evidence to prove this was a hate crime. There are crimes committed where the victim(s) is white or black and the suspect(s) is white or black and race is not the motivation. I think whoever made this article had an agenda to make it seem as if this was a black male/white female couple and they were killed by four white men, there would have been more media coverage. But I digress. B-Machine (talk) 17:38, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

WP:Death Assessment Commentary[edit]

This is an excellent article, thorough without becoming mired in exhausting details. However, it has been assessed C-class, primarily for lack of "coverage". The last mention of the trial was from May 2011. It should be brought up to date by an editor familiar with the subject. Also, the page would benefit from an infobox, though it's not absolutely necessary. Boneyard90 (talk) 15:59, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Someone just needs to search the San Diego newspaper for more recent updates on the trial. Cla68 (talk) 22:36, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Service Status[edit]

There is one detail about this hate crime that puzzles me - apart from people who try to pretend it is not one, I mean. There is no indication that the criminals were dishonourably discharged from the service, which would seem to be inevitable on conviction of a crime like this. Can we add reliable info on their current service status? (talk) 03:20, 31 August 2014 (UTC)

If they were in the Marine Corps at the time of arrest and trial, which it seems they were, then no, they would not be "dishonorably discharged" upon conviction. They are still in the military until they have completed their prison sentences, then they will be discharged. - Boneyard90 (talk) 15:17, 31 August 2014 (UTC)