On Friday, convicted murderer and illegal immigrant Julio Blanco Garcia was sentenced to 49 years' imprisonment for the June 2010 murder of northern Virginia resident Vanessa Pham. True to form, in covering the story, the Washington Post's Rachel Weiner and Justin Jouvenal completely omitted the fact that Blanco Garcia was an illegal immigrant.
But in addition to omitting Blanco Garcia's illegal status, the Post reporters left out another nugget noted by at least one other local media outlets: local prosecutors believe that Blanco Garcia's motive initially was to rape Pham, contrary to his insistence he was merely driven to a moment of homicidal rage in a fit of PCP-fueled paranoia. Reported WTOP.com:
While covering the murder trial of Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia -- a day laborer who is charged in the brutal stabbing death of a 19-year-old woman -- Washington Post reporter Justin Jouvenal tweeted on Tuesday: “Vanessa Pham likely tried to fight off her killer, examiner says.”
Soon after, conservative syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin modified that message by adding two important words to the text: “Vanessa Pham likely tried to fight off her illegal alien killer, examiner says.”
The Washington Post’s August 9 front-page story about the brutal murder of Vanessa Pham is missing a critical detail. The young woman's alleged murderer is an illegal immigrant; a fact that is omitted entirely from Justin Jouvenal's story, even as Jouvenal mentioned Julio Miguel Blanco Garcia has a prior criminal record. It's not like Jouvenal was unaware of Garcia's being in the country illegally. This has been covered in other local news outlets previously.
What makes the story particularly of interest is that Pham was being a good Samaritan, giving Garcia and his infant daughter a ride to the hospital when Garcia allegedly flipped out and murdered her in cold blood in a fit of paranoia induced from PCP:
Yesterday the trustees who oversee Social Security announced that "the program's trust fund will be depleted by 2033 -- three years earlier than projected last year." "Never since the 1983 reforms have we come as close to the point of trust fund depletion as we are right now," trustee Charles Blahous said. But alas, the Washington Post shuffled that story over to page A3 rather than the front page.
So what actually made today's Post front page? Among other things, a highly parochial story about a lawsuit pitting neighbors against each other in a wealthy Northern Virginia community. "Plans for a Va. mansion modeled on Versailles irk neighbors," read the subheadline for Post staffer Justin Jouvenal's 30-paragraph story. Why on Earth is this worthy of front-page space? You have to wait until paragraph 14, when Jouvenal discloses that a former media executive is one of those filing the lawsuit against his neighbor, Young Yi: