California couple’s home thrown open to media

Published December 6, 2015
A copy of the Quran and a plastic delivery envelope are shown inside the home of suspects Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. ─ Reuters
A copy of the Quran and a plastic delivery envelope are shown inside the home of suspects Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik. ─ Reuters
A can of gun oil sits in a bedroom closet inside the home of the suspects. ─ AFP
A can of gun oil sits in a bedroom closet inside the home of the suspects. ─ AFP
Reporters look through photographs found inside the home of the suspects. ─ AFP
Reporters look through photographs found inside the home of the suspects. ─ AFP
Members of the media are seen inside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters
Members of the media are seen inside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters
Reporters inspect the home of the shooting suspects. ─ AFP
Reporters inspect the home of the shooting suspects. ─ AFP
A religious sticker is shown inside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters
A religious sticker is shown inside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters
Reporters look through the living room inside the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook on December 4, 2015 in Redlands, California. Dozens of members of the media were let into the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook by the property owner. The San Bernardino community is mourning as police continue to investigate a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left at least 14 people dead and another 21 injured.   Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP
== FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISIO
Reporters look through the living room inside the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook on December 4, 2015 in Redlands, California. Dozens of members of the media were let into the home of shooting suspect Syed Farook by the property owner. The San Bernardino community is mourning as police continue to investigate a mass shooting at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino that left at least 14 people dead and another 21 injured. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP == FOR NEWSPAPERS, INTERNET, TELCOS & TELEVISIO
The California State University Fullerton student identification of Syed Farook. ─ AFP
The California State University Fullerton student identification of Syed Farook. ─ AFP
News media mingle outside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters
News media mingle outside the home of the suspects. ─ Reuters

REDLANDS: Baby toys, shredded files, a copy of the holy Quran, computer paraphernalia: the home of the California shooters was bizarrely — and controversially — thrown open to media on Friday, offering a glimpse of the life of the couple behind the carnage.

Two days after US citizen Syed Farook and his Pakistani wife Tashfeen Malik burst into an office party in San Bernardino and shot dead 14 people, media crews were given access by the landlord to the two-storey townhouse where they lived with their six-month-old daughter.

In a surreal scrum, journalists flooded into the home in Redlands, jostling for space as they rifled through children’s toys and family photos for clues to what drove the couple to commit mass murder.

The FBI — which is investigating the shooting as an “act of terrorism” — said it had turned the property back over to its owner and no longer controlled access, as experts voiced consternation that media were allowed to disturb the site. A photographer said it was mayhem inside.

“People were touching everything, some reporters were removing pictures out of photo albums and photographing them,” she said.

Television crews displayed drivers’ licences and social security cards on screen, and what some speculated may be the first known photographs of the 27-year-old Malik.

There was a prayer rug, a copy of the Quran, and a children’s guide to Islamic manners.

In the kitchen, dirty dishes littered the sink area. A waste-paper basket was filled with shredded documents, apparently discarded by investigators.

Journalists filed live broadcasts standing beside the baby’s crib, which brimmed with stuffed animals and colorful quilts — drawing scathing commentary from some fellow media.

“Nothing says we’re journalists bravely uncovering the truth like pawing around a child’s bed,” tweeted Mary Beth Williams, a writer for Salon.com.

`Contaminated crime scene’: Some outlets, including CNN, said they decided not to broadcast close-up footage of objects that could be considered sensitive or identifiable, such as identity cards.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2015

Opinion

Biden’s world
27 Jan 2021

Biden’s world

The boundaries and limits of this new world are even more stringent than before.
The PDM’s predicament
27 Jan 2021

The PDM’s predicament

Expediency is the essence of politics. So one should not be surprised by the PPP’s divergence.

Editorial

27 Jan 2021

Pemra’s powers

IN an increasingly restrictive environment for the media, the last thing Pemra needs is more powers to tighten the...
27 Jan 2021

Increasing debt

THE numbers released by the State Bank regarding the government’s domestic debt stock and servicing at the end of...
27 Jan 2021

Women in conflict

“WHEN the guns fall silent, it does not mean the suffering of women and girls stops. The suffering and abuse that...
Pakistan-US ties
Updated 26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-US ties

The US remains the world’s most powerful country, one Pakistan cannot afford to ignore.
26 Jan 2021

NAB not impartial

NAB CHAIRMAN retired justice Javed Iqbal has claimed that his organisation is an unbiased anti white-collar-crime...
26 Jan 2021

Pakistan-South Africa series

IN what is seen as a rare instance, Pakistan start as the underdogs on their home turf when they take on South ...