CBS Radio Report: Huckaby Attempted Suicide Days before Arrest

By Rich Lieberman
City Brights
April 15, 2009

Just a few days before she was arrested on charges of kidnapping, raping, and murdering Sandra Cantu, Melissa Huckaby apparently attempted suicide, according to CBS Radio news correspondent John Blackstone.

In an 'exclusive report, (aired locally this morning on KCBS) Blackstone said that Huckaby was treated in a local Tracy hospital for "internal bleeding", which was the result of the 28 year-old woman apparently trying to swallow three 'X-Acto-knife' blades.

The suicide attempt took place the day authorities found the remains of Cantu in a suitcase, according to Blackstone's report.


KGO Radio News Director Paul Hosley took exception to my account last week that the 'news-talk' outlet gave only scant coverage of the arrest of Huckaby over the weekend.

"You gave the impression we didn't cover the story," asserted Hosley in an e-mail to me yesterday.

"We had reporter Jeannie Lynch in Tracy doing live reports Saturday morning during the 'top and 'bottom hour news updates--did we call 'wall to wall'? No--but neither did KCBS".

In my initial report last Saturday, I acknowledged that KGO provided updates on its top and bottom-hour news "segs", but that KCBS was 'front and center' early on the 'arrest story', with 3-4 updates per hour, and correspondent Margie Shafer on the scene, hours before any KGO staffer had filed a report.

In addition, KCBS covered the Tracy Police briefing on Huckaby's arrest in its entirety, while KGO provided only portions of the briefing.

Bottom Line: I never said KGO "didn't cover the story"--they did. I just think KCBS' coverage was far more comprehensive and they did a better job.


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