Well, hello there.
A day spent not doing much. Shame on me. I did do some background research for a potential new entry in my cold case series. I briefly spoke to someone I was told would be a good source for information. He called me back and told me that I was misinformed, that he did not actually know the subject of my story. They were just acquaintances. Sigh and double sigh.
I contacted another source who has been helpful in the past for other stories. He gave me some information and asked me to contact him again in a bit to see if he can get me in touch with someone who knew the subject of this story. We will see how that plays out.
People ask me how I develop sources. If I knew, I would have more sources. My editor doesn't even like me to use the word "source" as much as I do as it is a specialized term for a person who provides key insights and information into the subject at hand. I was using the word indiscriminately apparently. I don't really understand.
But to answer your question, I am lucky enough to know quite a few people who work in quite a few disparate fields. They trust me not to give out their names or reveal anything that might identify them, so they are generous with telling me things.
Sometimes, as a result of working on a cold case article, other people will contact me with additional information that can result in a follow up piece on the same subject. That has happened a few times now. For example, when I wrote articles about the Michael Resk murder this past Winter, naming the man who, uh, likely had some information about who had killed him, something happened that had not happened before in the history of this very old murder: the man's adult children started contacting me, confirming my information and providing more. I promised not to name them, and I won't; but their information was very helpful in keeping this story alive with fresh information about the case, and even a picture of Michael Resk that had never been published anywhere else. I even got his autopsy report.
All these years, the family had kept quiet about their father's murder, and I had long wondered why. His wife Annie had occasionally been interviewed over the years, most notably for a 1991 series in the Daily News about unsolved murders, but otherwise, very little from the family. I got lucky.
As a result of their information, certain other "facts" began to make more sense to me, like just why the police were so downright outspoken on that old episode of the Hotline when they said what they did about Michael Resk and what kind of guy he was. When you take into account what I found out, from the family and other places, I can see why the police were saying what they were saying. I will leave it at that. Go read the articles yourself and you will see what I mean.
So, that is how I develop sources, or whatever I am supposed to call them. Oftentimes, it is through people I already know. Other times, it is just pure luck. In any case, I do not take them for granted. I appreciate them and will guard their identities with my life.
And, say, if you know anything about any Nova Scotia based unsolved murder or missing persons case, feel free to contact me right here. I guarantee anonymity if you ask for it.
That's it for tonight. I have an early-ish morning appointment, and it is nearly 1:30, so I guess I should turn in.
See you tomorrow.