Friday, December 21, 2012


Lauren Rousseau's funeral was yesterday. I was there as a mourner, not a journalist, so I'm not going to go into any detailed rundown of the day. Plus, Lauren the person is more important to me than Lauren the media focus, although I never met her.

Amid all the remembrances, there were copied stacks of a one-page essay called "About My Daughter, Lauren G. Rousseau," a piece Terri wrote in 2004 for a senior sorority honors day at UConn.

"The first time I saw her," it begins, "her nose was smashed and her face was smudged with blood. I was drugged and felt like throwing up. It was the happiest day of my life." Terri proceeds to describe Lauren's feisty, smiley childhood, her "sunny disposition" and love of singing.

It was the P.S. that killed me: "I love her more than she'll understand till she has a daughter of her own."

Monday, December 17, 2012

on newtown

The Danbury News-Times broke the news on Saturday that one of the victims of the Newtown, CT, school shooting was 30-year-old substitute teacher Lauren Rousseau. The police had yet to release the names of all 27 people killed in Adam Lanza’s rampage. But Rousseau’s mother, Terri, is a News-Times copy editor.

Terri's colleague, Bob Miller, wrote the story. Bob is also a childhood friend of Terri’s longtime partner, Bill Leukhardt, a reporter at the Hartford Courant. Lauren Rousseau lived with him and Terri.

At the Courant, Bill was my first internship editor, back in 2006, and has since remained a caring mentor and friend. And Bob and I covered Ridgefield, a nearby community similar to Newtown, at the same time, so we spent hours at nighttime municipal meetings trading sarcastic quips sotto voce, as reporters do. Newtown is a story that is being covered by journalists I care about and one that affects people I know.