Several things make this two-part narrative notable. The first and most visually obvious is the method of attribution. The footnotes illustrate Shalhoup’s vigorous reporting; they point to her ability to take mountains of details and write a clear-headed story. We also like the piece’s even-handedness. Felicia is clearly the central character of the story, but Shalhoup takes a section to develop the victims’ families as compelling characters. In certain ways the piece doesn’t work as smoothly as one might hope, but we applaud the focus on Felicia: It’s not common to find stories that portray the perpetrator with as much complexity as this one does.

Shalhoup won an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for this piece.

Read “Learning to Hit a Lick,” by Mara Shalhoup

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