Dec 13, 2004

For a brief few weeks after I finished college but before I moved to Hawaii, I worked as the Saturday death notices writer for the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, sitting at a desk waiting for funeral directors to call with details about a life and a death.

I’ve always been grateful for that short stint at the Daily Chronicle, for while I wrote only two or three of these short obits, that was the quintessential start to my journalism career. (Read the New Yorker on The Death Beat.)

Today I learned that a high school acquaintance of mine, Jeff Trail, was murdered in Minneapolis back in 1997, the first in a spree that ended with the shooting of fashion designer Gianni Versace in Miami.

I feel compelled to search for Jeff’s obituary; I hope that whoever was on the death notices desk that April day approached the obit with respect and honor for Jeff.

[Note: this post is an edited version of a first draft that reflected confused memories of my high school days. Once I can retrieve my high school yearbooks over the holidays, I hope to add further details to this post.]

Anton Zuiker

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