Home The murder of Richard Lakin

The murder of Richard Lakin


By Jon Sutz, Editor, SaveTheWest.com

An extension of “Chronology of Palestinian attacks during the Third Intifada” (incident O22)

(1) About Richard Lakin, and his murder

(2) The Huffington Post ignored Mr. Lakin’s story, in part by whitewashing its source article

(3) So what kinds of “news” items did Huffington Post publish on its front page and World page, instead of this one?

(4) How does Huffington Post’s decision to ignore this story compare with the coverage that it provides to Palestinians, Islamist terrorists, animals and others who meet with misfortune?


(1) About Richard Lakin, and his murder

Jerusalem: On October 13, 2015 two Palestinian terrorists boarded an Egged bus, one armed with a gun and the other with a knife.  American peace activist Richard Lakin, 76, was shot in the head and stabbed in the chest, and succumbed to his wounds on October 27.  Chaim Haviv, 78, was also killed in the attack; his wife, Shoshana, was severely wounded. Also killed was Alon Govberg, 51. Fifteen other Israeli Jews were wounded, several seriously. One terrorist was killed by police, the second was apprehended.

Richard Lakin
Richard Lakin, 76.

From the Boston Globe [emphasis added]:

[Lakin’s son, Micah Avni] said the attack on his father was especially jarring because of Lakin’s commitment to social justice.

Lakin participated in sit-ins and was active in the US civil rights movement as an undergraduate at Boston University and graduate student at the University of Michigan. Later, after moving with his family to Israel, he spent decades trying to foster tolerance and understanding among Israelis and Palestinians, Jews, Arabs, and Christians.

To the end, the banner on [Lakin’s] Facebook page was a photo of two boys — one wearing a kippah, or Jewish skullcap, the other a keffiyeh, or Arab headscarf — with their arms around each other, beneath the word “coexist,” the letters formed partly from different religious symbols.

“My father’s core message in life was teaching kindness and respect,” said Avni, who has adopted a Hebrew last name in Israel.

From the Jerusalem Post [emphasis added]:

Lakin and children
Lakin with his children.

American-Israeli Richard Lakin, 76, who was wounded in a brutal attack in the capital’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood two weeks ago, died on Tuesday morning.

Lakin, a former principal at Hopewell Elementary School in Glastonbury, Connecticut, underwent numerous emergency surgeries at Hadassah- University Medical Center in Ein Kerem after being shot in the head and stabbed multiple times.  On his Facebook page, one of Lakin’s sons praised the hospital’s staff for working “diligently around the clock” to save him, but said his wounds were too grave to be healed.

“Dad passed away this morning,” the posting said. “He was 76 years old, and had eight grandchildren. He was butchered by Muslim terrorists who shot him in the head and stabbed him multiple times during an attack on bus 78 in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood.” […]

“Dad was a kind, gentle loving person whose legacy is ‘acts of kindness,’” it continued.  “Dad’s basic views as expressed on his website were: ‘Every child is a miracle,’ ‘kindness and positivism are contagious,’ ‘empowerment frees people to realize their potential,’ ‘parenting and teaching are acts of love,’ and ‘schools must be caring learning communities where pluralism and opportunities for choice abound.’”

Lakin, who was raised in Newton, Massachusetts, made aliya with his wife, Karen, and two teenage sons 32 years ago, after a distinguished career as an educator and community activist from 1969 to 1984.


(2) The Huffington Post ignored Mr. Lakin’s story, in part by whitewashing its source article’s headline

The Huffington Post ignored this story, meaning that the fact that Mr. Lakin, an American citizen, was attacked and murdered by Palestinian terrorists never appeared on its front page or World page. Thus, anyone who gets their news only from these top pages at HuffPost would have no idea of his identity or that he had been mortally wounded – or that the injuries he suffered were merely the latest in the string of murderous attacks by Palestinians on Jews (which HuffPost had all but ignored to this point).

13Oct -- 1st story ISRAEL PALESTINIAN UNREST -- near bottom - 1020pInstead, HuffPost published one wire article from Reuters on its front page, with the headline, “Worst unrest in years in Israel and Palestine,” but which mentioned none of the victims by name.

SaveTheWest’s investigation, however, reveals that HuffPost significantly altered the headline of the Reuters article, in a way that absolves Palestinian terrorists from their responsibility in the attacks on Jews, and blurs the distinction between terrorist and victim. Specifically:

(2.1) Here is the wire story from Reuters about these attacks, which HuffPost chose to publish:

On October 13, Reuters published the following story:

“Palestinian ‘Day of Rage’ attacks kill three: Israeli police”

13Oct15 Reuters source story - video of Rabbi murder

The opening sentence of the Reuters story reads (emphasis added):

Palestinian men armed with knives and a gun killed at least three people and wounded several others in a string of attacks in Jerusalem and near Tel Aviv on Tuesday, police said, on a “Day of Rage” declared by Palestinian groups.

Clearly, HuffPost’s editors knew that this was Palestinian terrorists who were murdering and maiming Jews.

(2.2) HuffPost rewrote the Reuters-provided headline to remove any indication of who was attacking whom.

HuffPost published the Reuters story, on both its front page and World page. Yet note how it fundamentally changed the copy of the headline, to remove any indication that Palestinian terrorists were murdering Jews – and imply instead that each side was attacking the other:

Israel and Palestine: Worst unrest in years”

10-13-2015 FPHL 22-06 - UNREST

Note also that instead of matching its altered headline with a picture of even one of the Jewish victims, or a crime scene, it instead chose to match it with a picture of a Palestinian rioter.

HuffPost clearly knew what this story was about – beyond Reuters’ accurate account – because it put the actual nature of it – in the URL – and the sub-headline:

13Oct -- 1st story ISRAEL PALESTINIAN UNREST storypage - callout

(2.3) HuffPost then ratcheted up its betrayal of the truth, by creating a splash headline that explicitly implied that both sides were responsible for this “unrest”

Yet on the evening of October 13, long after the above stories were published (Israel is 7 hours ahead of EST), HuffPost ignored all of them, and instead published this splash headline at the top of its World page:


Note the wording HuffPost employed for the headline and sub-headlines:

“Unrest…” “Turmoil…” “Numerous Israelis and Palestinians have lost their lives in… attacks…”

If one only got their news from HuffPost, they would have absolutely no means of discerning from this headline who was killing whom, or why.  And they certainly would have had no reason to know that an American citizen, Richard Lakin, had been mortally wounded and was clinging to life for two weeks – or that he then died.

(3.4) Contrast HuffPost’s actions in this case, to the ease with which it explicitly assigns blame to Jews, even when it knows (or should know) the accusations are untrue, or cannot be proven true.


See Incident 3 at Examples of HuffPost’s headline manipulation during the Third Intifada


(3) So what kinds of “news” items did Huffington Post publish on its front page and World page, instead of anything acknowledging the terror attack on Mr. Lakin – and his death?

Mr. Lakin was attacked on October 13, and died on October 27.  The following is a sampling of “news” stories that HuffPost’s editors decide were more worthy of appearing on its front page and World page, during the two days that followed the attack on him (October 14-15), and his death (October 28-29):

October 14-15

October 15: HuffPost was able to find this odd story about a “transgender durga puja” in India, which it placed on its World page:

10-15-2015 WPHL 22-59 - transgender nonsense in indiaOctober 15: Were you aware of “orgasm-inducing mushrooms”?  Neither were we.  But HuffPost was able to find this story, and gave it front-page coverage:

10-15-2015 FPHL 22-58 orgasm inducing mushrooms

October 14: HuffPost published on its World page this story, about some Cambodian families’ efforts to “cure” LGBT children:

10-14-2015 WPHL HP weeps for cambodia gays.
October 28-29:

October 28: A “news” item, on HuffPost’s front page, about a teacher who drew a penis on her student’s assignment:

10-28-2015 FPHL 23-05 - teacher draws penis

October 29: Miraculously, HuffPost was able to find a “heartbreaking” story about a gorilla, which it posted, with said gorilla’s picture, on its front page; a story about an American citizen who died from injuries sustained in a savage Palestinian terrorist attack… not:

10-28-2015 FPHL 23-05 - HP weeps for gorilla

October 28: While Richard Lakin’s family was arranging his funeral, HuffPost was busy ensuring that its front page contained information about the really important, timely issues – including this “news” story about (finally!) “clearing up the vagina vs. vulva debate, once and for all”:

10-29-2015 FPHL 23-28 vagina vs vulva debate


(4) How does Huffington Post’s decision to ignore this story compare with the coverage that it provides to Palestinians, terrorists, convicted murderers, animals and others who meet with misfortune?

Here is a sampling of the prominent, sympathetic, graphic coverage that HuffPost provides to: