A 2,000-word story about the Emily Dowdy case--"Drugged or Drunk?" by Adriana Gardella—appeared on Salon.com August 30 and prompted more than 60 letters to the editor. (My story on Dowdy, "Oklahoma Railroad," appeared July 21, 2005 in the Observer.) A former architecture student at OU, Dowdy is now serving 40 years in an Oklahoma prison for killing a policeman's son while driving drunk. Dowdy maintains that she was drugged with GHB. Experts on the drug back up her claim.
Though some letters were snide, most were favorable to Dowdy. Some people shared their experiences with GHB or the Oklahoma justice system. Overall the story pleased Dowdy's parents, Nancy and Charlie Jackson, because it is keeping attention on the case and salon.com has a readership in the millions. Readers also posted comments on Emily's own Web site.
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"We realize that Adriana was really limited as to space," emails Nancy Jackson. "But we cannot help but think that each new exposure is going to be beneficial for Em. We hope that one of the 'big boys' (networks) will eventually pick the story up, but we believe that they are waiting to see what the outcome with the appeals court decision is going to be."--Glenna Whitley