Mother of girl killed by brother wants media to leave case aloneFARGO, N.D. – The mother of a 16-year-old girl killed by her brother pleaded with the media this morning not to use information contained in police reports involving her daughter’s death, including the 911 call she made and the boy’s confession to authorities.
By: Brittany Lawonn, The Forum, Worthington Daily Globe
FARGO, N.D. – The mother of a 16-year-old girl killed by her brother pleaded with the media this morning not to use information contained in police reports involving her daughter’s death, including the 911 call she made and the boy’s confession to authorities.
“No one in this community needs to be subjected to seeing those crime scene photos,” Penny Ripplinger said. “No one in this community needs to be subjected to hearing the 911 call I made.”
Ripplinger said she and Whitney Carlson’s family had thought after Sergei Isaac Carlson’s sentencing Oct. 23 they “could put this horrible ordeal behind us and let Whitney rest in peace so we could move forward in our grief and healing.”
She said that idea quickly faded when she was notified Tuesday that The Forum and KFGO AM Radio had requested police documents for the case, including Carlson’s confession, crime scene photos and the 911 recording.
The documents became public record after Carlson was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for killing his sister last summer in her Fargo bedroom.
Forum Editor Matthew Von Pinnon said requesting the complete police file in a high-profile case is not uncommon. Such requests are made in an effort to get the “full scope of what happened” and make sure nothing was missed in the reporting process, he said.
Von Pinnon said The Forum is sensitive to the family’s concerns.
“I don’t think we’re interested in printing anything that would cause undue pain to the family,” he said.
Von Pinnon added that the police file has not yet been released to the newspaper.
“The truth is we don’t have these documents yet and it's hard for us to say exactly what may be of interest or may be newsworthy in them, but we're not requesting them to, again, cause pain for anyone,” he said. “This is a pretty routine practice, especially in higher-level types of crimes in our area so that we have a complete picture of what’s happening. It doesn’t mean that any of that will necessarily make it into print.”