Horrific crime, horrific headline / Over the top


How horrible. Two Canadian women stabbed to death by an obviously deranged woman, on Pacific Avenue, right in the center of town, in the middle of a Monday morning.

"Random and bizarre," Tourism District Commander Tom Gilbert called it. And that's exactly what it was.

It's also sad beyond words for the victims - one 80, the other 47 - and for their families and friends. We are so sorry for this terrible loss.

This brutal crime, of course, is also unfortunate for the Atlantic City Tourism District, which has been making significant strides lately in making the city cleaner and safer.

But a "Tourist Death Trap"?


In words our fellow journalists who designed Tuesday's front page at the Philadelphia Daily News might use:

Yo, Philly. Stick it.

Newspapers, of course, have an obligation to report the news, even and especially when the news is painful and distressing. And The Press of Atlantic City did not shy away from reporting this story in the newspaper and online.

But our brethren at the Daily News were over the top - and irresponsible.

The fact is, tourists are rarely victims of crime in Atlantic City. True, the city has its share of murders - but the overwhelming majority of those crimes are the result of the same drug- and gang-related violence plaguing nearly every city in the country these days.

Monday's stabbings - between Michigan and Ohio avenues, right in front of the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center - were especially distressing because they come at a time when Atlantic City really is changing. Tourism District workers in bright T-shirts with the "Do AC" slogan on the back can be seen at work throughout the district, cleaning up the city and maintaining new landscaping.

An increased police presence is also obvious. Indeed, Atlantic City officer Jacob Abbruscato came upon these stabbings while they were in progress and quickly got the suspect, Antoinette E. Pelzer, of Philadelphia, to drop her weapon.

It was seconds too late to save the victims, who died later in the hospital. But the point is, the police were right there.

The Daily News, of course, is the Daily News - a tabloid known for splashy and even trashy front pages. But calling Atlantic City a "Tourist Death Trap" just as the summer tourist season is about to kick off is not only inaccurate - it's downright mean-spirited.

Larry Platt is editor of The Daily News. People who care about Atlantic City and know the truth about the city might want to let him know how they feel. His email address is plattl@phillynews.com.