The ultimate conflict of interest

A reporter wrote a scathing piece that pits an author against a murderer. The reporter failed to mention he’s engaged to one of them (not the one you think).

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This story comes via Regret the Error blog.

Last week, Seattle Weekly published a 6,000-word cover story arguing that in her book Heart Full of Lies, author Ann Rule unfairly portrayed Liysa Northon, who was convicted of killing her husband in 2000 and is serving a 12-year prison sentence.

The author of the Seattle Weekly piece is Rick Swart, who is editor of the newspaper in the town where the murder occurred. Here’s where things get weird. Swart is engaged to Northon, a fact he failed to tell editors at the paper.

Seattle Weekly explained the debacle in a lengthy editor’s note.

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