Greatest Newspaper Ever? Greatest Newspaper Ever.
They say print is dead, clearly whoever they are have not heard of the “St. Louis Evening Whirl.” The Whirl is a thriving piece of print journalism focused solely on the reporting of urban crime. After all, isn’t that what sells papers anyway? Only nerds read about government shutdowns and Middle Eastern protests. Why try and pander to them? Everyone knows urban youths read way more than nerds…wait, what? Anyway, what sets the St. Louis Evening Whirl apart from its more mainstream competitors like the St. Louis Post Dispatch is the way in which they report crimes. The P-D will throw out boring sentences like “Man guilty of murder.” The Whirl reports with flair. Take a look at these two examples below (you can find these and other stories here):
Sister Of Famed Singer Killed Driving Through The Hood; Gang War Heats Up
FOUNTAIN PARK—The sister of a popular local jazz singer is dead after being caught in the crossfire of a Wild West-style shootout between rival factions Thursday night. The woman, Patrice Thimes, is the latest victim in a string of shootings that have gripped the North Side as St. Louis’ gang crisis deepens.
Pandemonium erupted in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy as curious onlookers, detectives and news reporters all desperately sought information as to how this awful tragedy had unfolded. I was fortunate when, not long after I arrived, a man who wished to remain anonymous walked up to me and gave me the uncensored 411. He wore his hair in braids, huge diamonds in his ears, a large gold ring on his pinkie finger, and a heavy platinum necklace. His ensemble was complete with a hefty blunt, from which he took deep, intoxicating drags.
According to my source, two rival gangs were exchanging gunfire at the intersection of Page and Euclid when the 39-year-old Thimes unwittingly drove her Lexus 300 SUV through the firing zone around 9:55 p.m. Someone took aim with a .40-caliber Glock. In a flash, Thimes’ Lexus was sprayed with bullets. She was struck in the head and killed instantly.
Word on the curb is that an armed crew of thugs was shooting at a black vehicle traveling east on Page when Thimes passed by in the westbound lanes…
PEABODY—A drive-by ambush rocked the Peabody projects on the near South Side Wednesday night. When I got to the scene a young black male stared me down with his red eyes, looking not malevolent, not savage but just dangerous if you blundered out of your element into his, like a dragon or a crocodile. After a few minutes he walked away in his Taylors.
In addition to that shady character, detectives were also there investigating the incident, which occurred around 9:15 p.m. and left three badly wounded.
The injured men were hanging outside the crunk housing complex in the 1400 block of Rutger when they were attacked by a hustla fresher than a peppermint who was stuntin’ in a red SUV.
The SUV was heading east on Rutger when it stopped in front of the victims and someone inside started firing shots.
After squeezing off about 16 rounds the gunman dipped out, possibly escaping on Highway 44.
None of the injuries have been classified…
I honestly have never been more impressed or intrigued by two stories in my life. For one, The Whirl is connected to the streets. Their reporters have sources on the spot (or “curb” I should say). The Whirl paints such a vivid picture of life in the hood that one is compelled to continue reading. Every story is written with such a gripping narrative that the reader has to remind themselves they aren’t reading a brilliant piece of fiction. Of course obviously they aren’t reading fiction since all of these articles seem to be completely factual. Who could make this stuff up?
Well, okay, I could make this stuff up, and I’m going to. Not for fun, but rather because I’ve decided I want to write for the St. Louis Evening Whirl. After all why should I waste my talent on you bastards…for FREE! It only makes sense that instead of blogging for free at work I should get paid by a second job for not working at my first job. Obviously I haven’t been around any violent street crimes lately (except when I shoplifted from that garage sale the other day, I am NOT paying forty cents for a pack of old pencils damnit!). For now I’ll have to create a crime to report on for my writing sample submission. But I think it’ll be more important for me to capture the voice of the St. Louis Evening Whirl than anything else. I won’t lie, it won’t be easy, an urban voice is something I’m going to have to force. Here goes nothing…
Infamous Local ‘Gangsta’ Gunned Down in a Hail of Bullets
NORTH ST. LOUIS- Noted street thug Marvin ‘Lil Ray’ Rivers was killed after his 64 Impala was lit up by a hit squad like a menorah on the last day of Chanukah at the intersection of Natural Bridge and Kingshighway. The famed intersection, where local hero Nelly once boasted you could find him, was now only host to capped shells dead gangstas. Along with Lil Ray, his associates Tyshawn ‘RayRay’ Baker and Coleman ‘Errbody Loves’ Raymond were also slain by the thugs.
One source, who approached me shortly after I arrived, described the scene as a “ghetto Death Race.” Anyone who was at the scene of the crime and had also viewed the Jason Statham action film would’ve agreed that my source’s description as appropriate. My source then pointed across the street towards an imposing figure with dreadlocks, a hoodie, a gold chain with a platinum AK, and four pit bulls on leashes and observed “that guy has four dogs with him, that is a lot.”
Multiple police detectives were around the scene investigating. When I asked them about their theories on who the shooters could have been an officer responded “Go away.” It was clear that the ‘po were in no mood to be trifled with at the scene of such a horrific crime.
RIP Lil Ray. You may have murdered 18 people and sold crack at a grade school once, but I can’t judge you now, only God can.
I’ve sent this article in to the Evening Whirl and will hopefully hear from them regarding my possible employment in the next few days.