Last week we wrote the follow-up story on Richard Abston, the guy who drove the wrong way down Highway 99, then died after he was Tasered by cops.
I wrote one of the initial stories on Abston.
It was a good reminder of a truth reporters sometimes forget about: there's never just one version of a story, even if it seems like a cut-and-dried news story.
Every person involved in a story has his own perspective on what happened. The reporter's job is to weave these accounts into something coherent.
Here's what happened with the Abston story.
The first article we ran on Abston was standard breaking news, which means all the information was from law enforcement's perspective.
The next day, we heard from the story's other sets of eyes.
First, a driver who had seen Abston's wild ride on the highway called the newsroom.
He was disappointed that the focus of the first Abston story was the death-by-Taser angle - it had seemed too sympathetic to Abston, he seemed to be saying.
He told me how scared he'd been when he saw Abston driving toward him, and how he saw him laughing as he drove.
His comments and the ones I got from another eyewitness who called us added a lot to our coverage. We're lucky they contacted the paper because there's no way we would have found them otherwise.
Meanwhile, I used Lexis/Nexis, voter registration records and other databases to try to track down someone from Abston's family. No luck. I also called courthouses in surrounding counties to get his criminal background.
After the follow-up story ran, I heard from two other people who represented the perspective that had been missing from our coverage - the people who knew Abston.
One guy named Mick called from Colorado to say that Abston had been on his way to visit him. He said Abston was a good guy. He had no idea why his life had ended the way it did.
Another man, Sonny, wrote me an email: "Richard was a good caring person that will be missed by his friends. I don't know what made him do this. I know he was not feeling well and was having chest pains the night before. He is being made out to be a lawless druggie and a criminal and he wasn't."
I contacted Mick and Sonny and told them we would definitely include their comments when we wrote the final story on Abston after the toxicology and cause of death reports were in.
That happened last week. Reporter Victor Patton contacted both Mick and Sonny for comment, but unfortunately he didn't get a hold of them before deadline.
So in the end, did we really get all the versions of the Abston story into the newspaper? Probably not. But it was a good reminder that it's our job to listen to all those different voices out there.