Included in the Los Angeles Times coverage of the mass killings in Isla Vista over Memorial Day weekend was a story describing the journalistic efforts of editor Marissa Wenzke and her staff at the UC Santa Barbara student paper, the Daily Nexus.
Bob Pool’s story opens with Wenzke leaving a party Friday night to check out an accident about a block away. She later learned the car crash involved the BMW driven by suspect Elliot Rodger. At the time, Wenzke told Pool, she had no idea she had happened on the beginnings of a story that made headlines all over the world.
“The most disgusting thing is we didn’t realize the gravity of this,” Pool quotes her as saying. “Then we go to the press conference at the sheriff’s office about 2 in the morning and are sitting there when they tell us seven had died. I got emotional. I couldn’t believe it. Until then, it had been ‘possible fatalities.'”
Editor-in-Chief Rachel Zemanek at The Channels, the paper at Santa Barbara City College, also worked past the end of her academic year to provide her readers coverage of the slayings, including suspect Rodger’s status as a student there. The Channels posted updates both Saturday and Sunday as the story unfolded.