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The rest of the story

"The rest of the story" Continued...

Issue: "Back to School," Sept. 7, 2013

More of a snack than a meal, but they say it tastes like chicken. I’ve heard that. So I interviewed him and he was very pitiful. I asked, “What would you like the most?” He said, “I’d really like a seafood platter—fried shrimp, lobster.” I said, “Call me when you get out of jail and I’ll buy you one” —but he never called. So, Nick, if you’re out there, I still owe you that seafood platter. 

Did you do some sports writing in the process? No. College students sometimes ask about how to get into sports writing, but I tell them it’s a mistake to wall yourself into this specialty so early. What serves me the most isn’t so much a knowledge of sports but the ability to go and dig out a story—find sources and the right public records, track people down and sift through the evidence and try to get to the truth. That’s going to serve you really no matter what you’re writing about.

Your story about the death of Darrent Williams is an example of that. Tell us about it. In 2007 a player for the Denver Broncos, Darrent Williams, was in the headlines because he was killed after a party at a nightclub. In the media reports afterward it was easy to get a very simple impression: Williams was behaving in a risky way, he was out with bad characters, he was flaunting his wealth, probably shouldn’t do that. The end. But I found a bunch of the guys who told me a story much more surprising and complicated than the initial one. I didn’t want just to believe what they told me so I ran this past the lead detective and prosecutor in the case.

So what really happened? Darrent Williams wasn’t the aggressor that night. He was in his limousine ready to leave. He would have gone on to have a successful career. But he looked out the back window of his limo and saw a teammate who had caused some of the trouble and was now in trouble with some gang members out there and needing help. Williams jumped out of the limo and went to go help his friend. Yeah, he made bad decisions, but a big reason he died is because he was loyal to his friend.

Watch Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Thomas Lake:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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